With their second album in the works at Peter Gabriel’s London studio with upcoming producer Alex Gidman, a jam packed summer tour and a brand new line up, things are looking big for Joe Symes and The Loving Kind. Epic Earworm’s Helen Weston caught up with the band to hear more.
Helen Weston: Joe Symes and The Loving Kind have been super busy and some big changes, the biggest of which is you guys are now a 3 piece (Welcome bassist Stefan Bujak). How’s the new addition altered the band dynamics?
Joe: (Joe Symes/Guitar & Lead Vocals): Yeah it’s all great. New line up and better than the previous one. It’s really nice to be in a band with members that actually want to do what you want to do, been playing really great gigs and much more to come.
Colin: (Colin White/Drums& Backing Vocals): I’ve secretly always wanted to be in a 3 piece band. You can’t beat a good old power trio. It’s the best line up I’ve ever been in, and the dynamics are perfect. Even though the band has been going since 2013, it emotionally feels like it’s started this year.
Helen Weston: Has becoming a 3 piece altered your approach to live performances?
Colin: Hell, yeah! I’ve always taken pride in the band being great live, but now it’s like that, but even more so. Just as good, of not better. It’s certainly very loud. [Laughs]
Joe: For me there is a lot more room to do new things, even on stage there is more room [laughs] but the live performances are a lot better I feel. Less busy and it’s opened up our sound and [ability] to experiment more on stage.
Helen Weston: It’s been a busy year for you guys gig wise. You started off with Noel Gallagher’s Aftershow Party (NGAP) at Liverpool’s 02 Academy in April. It’s the second time you guys have been invited to play (The first time was the 2012 inaugural NGAP ) How was it second time around?
Stefan (Stefan Bujak/Bass guitar): Was good yeah,stage was a bit big got lost a few times in all that dry ice shite. A bit like Victorian London with all the London fog [laughs].
Colin: Better than the first time.
Joe: It was really great, we played new songs, crowd was awesome, we just had a ball playing it and to headline that stage again was great, just wish we could have played longer.
Helen Weston: You’re currently in the midst of your UK tour. Arguably your biggest gig is coming up at The Royal Court in Liverpool (Justice For the 96 tribute concert) with a whole host of musical talent. What’s it like to be invited to play this show in such a historic venue?
Joe: It’s an honour to be asked to play. For me playing that stage is something else, but we are happy to be involved, as it’s now seen the truth about that fateful day, the sad loss of life, and who was responsible for it. We’re glad to be showing our support for all the families and those that were affected by that awful tragedy that day. We’re really looking forward to it.
Colin: I can’t wait for it.
Stefan: Gonna be really special and emotional.
Helen Weston: Sounds like a full on show but are there artists who’s sets you hope to see?
Colin: Ian McNabb’s will no doubt be a great one. Interested to see Starsailor’s too. As a whole, I’ve no doubt everyone will perform brilliantly.
Joe: As long as everyone involved has a great night then I’m happy with that. Ian McNabb’s set is the one I’m most looking forward to as I’ve been a lover of his music and was brought up on it. We are really good friends also.
Stefan: Yeah some good bands and some old ones from the Eighties. Gonna go right through to the end of the night.
Helen Weston: Your summer tour continues this weekend with a show at the Pier Head, Liverpool on Saturday for Liverpool Loves festival. Are you guys psyched for that? What can fans expect from the show?
Stefan: Yeah fantastic.
Colin: Just us delivering the goods as usual. Hope the weather is nice.
Joe: Yeah we always look forward to the shows, just expect us to perform our best as usual, new songs also in the set.
Helen Weston: Do you have a favourite gig you’ve played so far this year? When not on the road you guys are in the studio laying down tracks for your second album, the follow up to the self-titled ‘Joe Symes and The Loving Kind’.
Joe: Ooohhhh….[Laugher] They have all been great for me. Yeah we have put down the tracks for the album and we go back in September. Really looking forward to it.
Stefan: The canal barge was a good one, lovely setting waiting for the sun
Colin: The Gallagher gig’s up there for me. Our first gig of the year is too. It felt like the band’s actual first gig, which emotionally [speaking], it was.
Helen Weston: You guys are recording in Oxford at Peter Gabriel’s studio Sonic State Logic. That’s a pretty awesome environment to be working in. Tell us about the songwriting process for this record?
Colin: Well, Joe wrote all the songs and we do our colouring in parts. I used red, green, and orange.
Stefan: Yeah,take it easy and just write bass parts to suit each song and give it a groove with the drums, especially when there’s a back beat that’s narrow and hard to master.
Joe: It’s the same as last time with all the songs that I’ve written are on acoustic guitar. This album will be so much different from the last one with being really heavy but still catchy.
Helen Weston: What have the sessions been like so far?
Joe: Great, really quick as well, they are pretty much straight forward songs.
Colin: All the drum tracks are down. A friend of our was amazed that I just whittled all then off on about 5 to 6 hours. I know all the songs, so it was no big deal.
Stefan: Fantastic, the studios in the countryside so its nice and chilled out there, made friends with the studio cat too – He’s ace.
Helen Weston: Have you switched up the recording techniques for this record now that you’re a trio?
Joe: I have lots of idea’s for pre-production, so I think it will open up more when we start to hear the tracks unfold.
Stefan: Keep it fresh, lively, true and tight.
Colin: Since I’m the person who jots down all the notes, it was great to see it all come together.
Helen Weston: You’ve been working with upcoming producer Alex Gidman (Graduate of Paul McCartney’s LIPA school – Need we say more?). You’ve worked with him on previous band recordings and singles. What’s he brought to the table in terms of shaping the album?
Colin: Alex is a total whizz kid when it comes to the studio. I think we’ll be working with him on future recordings.
Joe: He has a lot of suggestions and a great ear, he knows our sound well and with this being brand new songs for him he’s really keen to get his teeth into the tracks.
Stefan: I have total faith in him.
Helen Weston: Are there any surprises fans can expect from the new tracks?
Stefan: Yeah a few.
Colin: You’ll have to wait and see.
Joe: Compared to the first album, yeah because I think some people will expect the same but they will be really surprised.
Helen Weston: Your current single is Things Get Better. Is this a standalone single or will it be included on the new album?
Joe: No it’s not going to be on the new album, we don’t want to con the public and let them buy it twice, we can do stand alone singles no problem.
Colin: We like to do things the old fashioned way.
Helen Weston: Do you have a projected date for when fans can expect to hear the new record or a new single from it?
Joe: Hopefully about March 2017 at the latest I think.
Stefan: Summers almost gone, so March is a good time, like the start of spring, fresh season, fresh album, fresh songs.
Helen Weston: What’s coming up for Joe Symes and The Loving Kind you want fans to check out?
Joe: All our upcoming gigs, releases and any up to date information from our website and all our social media links.
Stefan: Just keep checking social media for upcoming gigs hopefully we’ll be playing a town near you soon.
Helen Weston. Photography: Karen Blinkhorn, Siobhan Marie Slater & Ian Percival.