IPO Interview: Brave New World

Posted on 20 August 2015

Brave New World Band

PGH is all about helping artists highlight their most recent projects, so let us all know what your latest project is – and tell us about how it come into the world. What has the initial feedback on it been like?

Chris Twigger (CT): Brave new World are named after the book by Aldous Huxley and are a 4 piece band who were formed when our previous band “Grover” disbanded at the end of Summer 2014. Grover had a track written by myself entitled “8 O’Clock Horses” that was included on last years International Pop Overthrow compilation.

Brave new World is a band from Nantwich, Cheshire U.K. and is comprised of the following members:
Chris Twigger (myself) – Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar
Derek (Dibs) Holmes – Lead Guitar
Tim Lee – Bass and backing vocals
Mike Heathcote – Drums.

We have been encouraged by recent gigs in our area, feedback from these gigs and this years IPO Festival in Liverpool to go into the studios again in the next couple of months to hopefully record an E.P. We have received advanced enquiries at gigs for product from ourselves and have a wealth of material we are wanting to lay down. We are lucky that the group is comprised of 3 songwriters (Derek, Tim and myself) and we bring to the pot a diverse range of influences from psychedelia, powerpop, new wave and singer songwriter traditions.

The Recording Process: There are so many interesting ways that music projects come into the world these days compared with what artists had to struggle through years ago. Take us on the creative arc of how this project came into being and any wisdom that you learned along the way. Also, what were some of the obstacles or struggles that you encountered when you were working on the project?

CT: Our first recording 8 O’ Clock Horses was rushed out to meet the deadline for the International Pop Overthrow compilation and as such we were not entirely happy with the original mixes we were provided with, which were swamped in bass. One of the songs entitled “MASQUERADE” was shelved as there was nothing we could do with the mix we were provided with (a valuable lesson here – research your studio before using it folks). We took the product to another local studio and the engineer there (Glyn of Colossus Studios of Crewe) did what he could with overdubs. The track was re-mixed with an hour before the deadline for track submission loomed. In an ideal world there would have been harmonies on the song and also 12 string guitar which we feel would have given it more depth. Response to the song was good though and we got local radio play to promote some future gigs with. With the next batch of recordings we are undertaking we can afford to spend more time over them and someone has offered to put strings to the mix of one of the numbers which should give it a whole new dimension again.

Are there any particular songs on this project that are special to you or communicate a message that you’d like to share here?

CT: The songs we intend recording will hopefully be as follows:

Never Time – a song by Dibs our guitarist and one I wish I had written. This is the most Beatlesque number we do and we have been told on numerous occassions it is very reminescent of the “Revolver” album.

Rivers Edge – I wrote this over 20 years ago now and it was a piece I had put in a box and forgotten about. This evolved and evolved and seems to be one of our more popular numbers. Quite folk rock and almost Zeppelenish in parts. This is the one we have been asked on several occassions when it can be purchased.

Penelope Freelove (The Wonderful World of) – A song about ladies of the night – yes thats right Milk delivery women. This was my attempt at trying to write a Ray Davies number. Once I’d got the tune the lyrics kind of fell into place. Cello on this maybe, possibly some brass as we have a guitar synth we can play around with so who knows how this one might be arranged.

Distraction – Another number by Dibs. This gets people up and moving onto the dance floor and that cant be a bad thing can it?

As we all know, the music industry has been devastated for many reasons over the past 10 years, what are your thoughts on these changes and are you finding some of the changes helpful to you with getting more people to hear your music?

CT: Feedback from this years International Pop Overthrow Festival has been really encouraging and we were advised to put in for the Liverpool Psychedelia Festival which we may decide to try out for next year. The Facebook page for the band has been getting a steady stream of visitors. It’s hard getting gigs around the area where we live as most venues are just wanting cover bands. We try and combine our set with 50% original and 50% cover versions (e.g. Stones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, Clash and Zombies etc) ideally we would just like to perform our own material but in doing this we risk the opportunity of future gigs at the venues we currently play in. I guess this is the same for many bands wanting to do original material. At least we are lucky in this part of the UK as we do not have the “Pay to Play” stance which I know was and possibly still is the stance of some venues in the South of the Country.

Along the lines of this discussion, it would be really interesting to get your thoughts on what you think the future of ‘music enjoyment’ will look like in the coming years? How do you personally enjoy and ‘consume’ music? Any trends you’ve noticed with your own habits compared to, say, 10 years ago?

CT: I run a small music review website myself and am encouraged by the quality of the material that gets passed my way. The internet has certainly opened my mind to a wealth of music I never knew existed and I am excited by the fact that I am potentially discovering something or someone new every day. I am glad to see that vinyl is making a come back and would love for the band to release an LP in 12″ format. A couple of friends are running there own small press Indie labels and the response of the public so far to their releases has been really encouraging. Chris McGranaghan for instance runs TOR records and has put releases out by bands such as The Madeleine Rust and Peter Parkers Rock and Roll Club which are certainly worth seeking out.

We would love to hear what your plans on with your next project – Are you going to a full CD, an EP or just release songs as you finish them? Release them digital only or combine physical with the digital or what?

CT: I would like the forthcoming release to be on vinyl. We have a budget though and unfortunately it looks like it will have to be CD. I’m not too despondent about this as it at least gets our product out there but I still feel nothing beats vinyl at the end of the day.

What are you finding that is working well for your music right now that others may find interesting to hear about?

CT: It’s encouraging that people are prepared to look beyond the mainstream and not stick with product that the popular media tries to drip feed us

Okay – time for some light humor! Spinal Tap Moment: dig deep. Locate. Relive. Share that special ‘trauma’ with all of us! 

CT: I have old footage of a PRE Brave new World gig. Someone decided to do backing vocals not realising that this was not their strong point and that the Mic they had was turned up higher than my own. This caused major trauma when the footage was played back.

Is there a particular musician(s) you’d love to collaborate with – and why?

CT: There are so many. And so many who are sadly no longer with us. This list would be too vast as each member of the band would more than likely have a different choice and a different reason behind their choice.

What other artists and bands have influenced your music and any particular reason why? Also, push come to shove: “Your Top 5 Albums Of All Time”? 

Check us out on Facebook under “Brave new World Band” as 3 of the band, myself included, have already answered these 2 questions and compiled a Top 10 each.

We’re always trying to find new music discover here at PGH – what are some of your favorite music releases of the last few years?

Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
All of the Fading Yellow compilations
Stephen Duffy – Memory and Desire (fantastic comp)
Epic – Sunshine State
Anything by The Green Pajamas
Most Items on Fruits de Mer discs.
I could go on and on and on here……….

Yes, it would be great if most indie musicians could work on music full-time but the reality rarely the case for most of them. I am always asked by music fans, what are the careers or full-time jobs that the musicians of the music they are listening to do…so ‘what’s your main gig?!’

CT: I work Freelance in Health and Social Care. Dibs is a Careers Advisor. Tim works in Education. Mike runs his own Business as a Plumbing and Heating Engineer.

Where can we hear more of your music and any other releases you have?

CT: Keep an eye on our Facebook page “Brave new World Band“. Gig footage is on there as well as general chat. 8 O’Clock Horses is also uploaded for those that missed out on the IPO compilation from last year.

One Response to “IPO Interview: Brave New World”

  1. Within the last month we have a new member in our ranks. Her name is Jen, she is American now living in the UK and will be sharing vocal duties as well as keyboards and electric Flying V Uke. Recording work will start imminently so please keep an eye on our facebook page.