Sonntag, 1. Dezember 2013

Interview with the one of a kind acoustic rock band Joe Symes and the Loving Kind (.. or: the story of how I made my first interview experiences)

DrBones' music show (canadian music podcasts via

I still can recall my first interview 'experience'. All too well in fact. The tingling excitement, the pleasant anticipation, the touch of nervousness of which I now - as almost one year has passed since then - like to believe vanished once I started to ask the questions I prepared. But I can tell, it hasn't, my voice, slightly trembling, told so, I knew, probably the band knew too and all the listeners did certaintly notice it as well. 

Yes, the first interview 'scenario' in my life has been witnessed by 94 people thus far (including Brian). No, Brian is not with the band I 'interviewed', he's the one who broadcasted it on his music show. Actually he was the one asking the questions of relevance, of interest for the audience, he was the one who interviewed the band in depth. He has been and still is way more professional than me when it comes to talking with bands and it shows time after time, interview after interview what well-informed and passionate music enthusiast he is. To be hoenst, I only asked a few questions which have been merely based on what potential listeners would like to know about the band but more on what my personal interest in the band and their music was, still is. But please don't hold my rather amateurish first 'interview' attempt against me, you need to consider the whole setting of the interview before you judge. When Brian (who has as time went by grown to be a good friend of mine, which shouldn't come as surprise since we have been closely working together since the end of 2012, arranging interviews, showcasing music, previewing releases and presenting songs that should be heard - I even had my own slot on his internet radio show every monday/tuesday to spin the compositions I fancy, take a guess which band is often included - exactly, the one I approached for my first 'interview'! But I stray from what I actually planned to tell you, which is by the way a typical trait of mine when I'm nervous too, which you might have already noticed whilst listening to the podcasts Brian and I have done together. I tend to be wordy and talk, and talk, and talk .. anyways, back to the topic ...) asked me to call in on his interview with Midnight Hour, I was beyond thrilled and embraced this opportunity without hesitation. It came later to mind, that talking to my all time favourite band might be challenging to a certain extent, especially since the interview was broadcasted live. So, I was thrilled, at the same time nervous, I admit, I was pretty nervous. It went well though (I didn't get the joke about David Hasselhoff - Dan, the drummer of the band is quite a teasing and sarcastic person, don't get me wrong, he's still nice guy and such a gifted musician - but hey, I still struggle to see through Brian's sarcastic comments too, although I should have get used to them by now) and it has been the starting point for me to be (more) involved in Brian's music show. However, that's another story (which has been briefly told above). It eventually led to more interviews I helped to arrange, prepared questions for or even called in (quite embarrasing was my latin excursus whilst The Devious Means have been interviewed on Brian's music show, but since they are very kind people, they bore with me, gratias nobis ago!). 

By sharing the 'Curriculum vitae' of my interview experience with you, highs and lows included, it hopefully became apparent that talking to bands, especially to those I think highly of and whose music I throroughly enjoy listening to, is still something new, exciting to me, an intense but delightful experience. This is why I was all the more jazzed, yet felt flattered too, when Joe Symes and the Loving Kind asked me if I want to feature an interview with them on my blog. I gladly agreed to it and promised once I finished the review for their debut album, I would reach out to them again. The moment has now come to proudly present not only the outcome of this very interview but also to present my interview debut. I hope you enjoy reading as well as to find what the band's current curriculum vitae is and why answering what renditions of other musicians' compositions they would love to include in their live set, is as difficult to answer as the question what their musical influences are...

Liverpool acoustic rock band Joe Symes and the Loving Kind 

Joe Symes - Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica 
Colin White - Drums/Percussion
Dave Skilling - Keyboards/backing vocals 
Paul Hetherington - Guitar/Synth Guitar
Chris Giblin - Bass Guitar

 1. First of all I'd like to thank your for offering me the chance to interview you. This is really much appreciated and since this not only my first 'solo' interview ever but also the first one I do for my music blog carpe carmina it will be remembered. Now, would you please introduce yourselves briefly and tell what Joe Symes and the Loving Kind sounds like?

JOE I'm Joe, singer/songwriter of the band. I can't answer what the band sounds like. It just happens. 

COLIN I'm Colin, I play various types of drums. That's a difficult question. There's so much in our music. It's versatile, but consistent at the same time. Let's go with consistently versatile. 

DAVE I'm Dave, I play keyboards. There are certain nods to some obvious bands (The Beatles, Kinks etc.), but we hope we sound like ourselves and not a rip off or copy of any other band that's been before. 

CHRIS I'm Chris the bass player. I think we sound like us. We don't try to sound like anyone else. 

PAUL I'm Paul, I colour in the lead guitar sounds and add synth guitar where I think its needed. Our sound is 5 musicians adding colour to a very autobiographical collection of songs written by Joe. 

2. Tell me what the story behind the band name is. Joe, have you been composing songs, gigging as a solo artist before and then decided to collaborate with other musicians or why did you decide on this name in particular?

JOE Colin came up with 'The Loving Kind' name. Myself and Colin were playing acoustic gigs around Liverpool and the UK under my name and when he suggested to bring in other members, I wasn't keen at first because we had built up what we had at that point by ourselves. I eventually said OK to getting other members in and haven't looked back since. I'm always writing songs, I never stop.

COLIN Yeah, I got the name from the song 'Get Up' by R.E.M. It has a nice ring to it, which people seem to like. 

CHRIS Well, I only joined earlier this year, so the band name and everything else was already in place. 

3. Your eponymous debut album has been released in July this year, what has been the concept behind it, what has the album making process looked like?

JOE The concept behind the album was to put out a collection of songs as one story. They are all linked, I know the whole story behind the album and it was great to make. A lot of hard work went in to making that album even down to the layout.

COLIN Me and Joe drew out the concept and order of the album. I have the original notes framed on my wall at home. As Joe said, a lot of work went into the making of the album. 

DAVE Joe has hit the nail on the head as far as what we wanted to get out of the album perse. But I would add that when you look at each song individually they are stand alone songs from different styles of music. There's elements of Jazz, Psychedelia, Rock. We have always wanted to express ourselves fully without 'pigeonholing' ourselves to a certain type of music. 

CHRIS Everything was planned to detail for the album. We wanted to put out a proper professional CD, so we took our time and only went with it when everyone was happy, it was right.

PAUL  It was always intended as a collective piece of work, a meeting of minds, now completed and out there in the world showing the variety of just what the 5 of us can do. This is now the firm foundation from which we develop as a band and produce future products in whatever form they may take.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration from when it comes to songwriting? Do the lyrics or the instrumental and vocal arrangement come more naturally?

JOE I get inspiration from everyday events like the news, television, newspapers, speaking to people etc.. I also listen to a lot of music, a very wide range of music and all kinds of styles.

CHRIS You have to draw on influences as they are what shape you as a musician, but you also have to stay true to yourself and that's what makes a good song.

5. The music on the album conveys some kind of 'live atmosphere' - what has been the intention behind creating such 'scenario'?

JOE The songs for me speak of a weeks long event, day to day journeys around the city, seeing friends,going out and meeting new people and catching up with old friends also.

DAVE Good question! Well, I think our other intention was to create an album that will sound very much like it would do live. This gives the listener a better experience as it helps them maybe understand more about what we are about and what we are trying to convey. 

CHRIS Having a theme to the album gives it just a different edge. Hopefully setting a scene for the songs being in bar etc. can create an image to the listener.

PAUL It's not just song after song, that would have been too easy, the listener journeys along with us. I don't like to use the term 'concept album', it's more of a tightly knit, perfectly formed package of where and what we're all about right now. It is the bands current Curriculum vitae in song form.

6. You have been working with 'local' music enthusiasts, advocates and promoters including the people behind 'Addistock Session' and 'Culture City Television' - how did the collaboration come about? And what impact did they have on your progress as a band, what impact do you think those institutions have on independent musicians in general?

JOE We contacted them at the time because I had seen that they were promoting up-and-coming bands/solo artists and I thought it would be a good move to work with them. They are really nice people and very easy to work with, and the impact from those sessions has been fantastic and amazing feedback also.

COLIN I think any band who gets in touch with these companies can get great exposure, and that's what it's all about, really. 

DAVE It's a 'good to go through' as the more local 'avenues' you use the more recognition you'll get locally. You want to take any opportunity you can to get your music across to a wider range of audience. So going through the likes of Addistock and CCTV will help get people from those types of interest interested in our music. 

CHRIS I think after any promotion we have done, we have seen a rise in our popularity. It's very important for all bands to promote themselves using every avenue possible.

PAUL These guys really do have a role to fill in the city, there's so many artists out there today who can benefit from the additional exposure they give. It helps that they're pro-active, professional, friendly and perhaps most importantly music fans themselves.

 7. Some of the songs you played for Culture City Television are now featured on NME. What does this mean for the band and do you expect some additional exposure as conclusion?

JOE We are very pleased the songs are featured on the NME site and I think it's important that you get exposure from such a big music paper. I can only hope that they come back for more songs to go on their site as people have contacted me through Facebook since seeing the songs on the NME site, saying how much they enjoyed the songs.

COLIN I hope so. It is a major magazine in the UK, so I can see it as being a big boost for the band. 

DAVE Well, that is obviously what we're after but you cant expect it to fall on your lap so we'll keep playing and Joe will keep writing and we hope that our continued effort will reap the rewards. We wouldn't want to expect something from, with no disrespect, being in the N.M.E, there's no that anything will happen. You cant think 'That's it, were done.', it has to be a continuous process. 

CHRIS The NME is one of the biggest music publications in this country, so to be featured on there is huge.

8. It must have been one of the most memorable experiences for you to perform at the Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds Official After Show Party. Despite feeling honored to do so, what has been the most remarkable memories you made that night?

JOE Being asked to play it, was a really big thing for us. We had a lot of people there to see us on that night and it was only our 2nd gig as a full band. Just the feeling of playing that gig to a large audience was fantastic. We gained so much from that gig as a band.

COLIN For me it was the size of the audience. You can't beat playing in front of a large crowd. 

DAVE It was only my 2nd gig with the band so it was quite surreal to say the least. To have that many people watching you was fantastic. I think the highlight was being told we're headlining, to be honest. I remember being backstage and thinking this is what it's all about!! A great night. 

9. You're managed by Truly Independent Records. Can you give some insight in the cooperation with them?

JOE Yeah, our manager, Ian McHale, does all the promotion for the band and works very hard for the band. He comes up with amazing results in terms of gigs, radio interviews in the UK and around the globe. We have a fantastic relationship with him and our label. He is also a big fan of the band and our music, which I think is very important.

COLIN Ian's only been with us since June or July, but he's done so much for the band in that short time. 

CHRIS Having management has been amazing. It's give us paths into parts of the industry otherwise hard to reach, and the record label shows we are a serious band.

PAUL The timing was just right as there's far too much going on for the band for us to keep on top of. It really does help matters having professional representation and one single point of contact, the whole business aspect of the band is suddenly taken up a level.

10. What does the show schedule for the band looks like right now? And is there above that any local band/musician you would love to perform with in the near future?

JOE We are confirming more gigs as we speak and our schedule is great. We have been asked by Alan McGee (Creation Records founder, Primal Scream, Oasis etc.) to play at his night in Liverpool at the 359 club on December 6th, which we are looking forward to, we have a support slot in Eric's in Liverpool December 13th with The Blockheads, (Ian Dury is no longer with them as he died), we are recording our next double A sided single which is due for release in February 2014 and looking forward to the new year.

DAVE Just a mad busy schedule with lots of great gigs to come in the next few weeks, so it's all good and we'll keep on gigging and playing and Joe will keep writing. As I said it's a never ending process :-) 

CHRIS Gigs are coming up all the time. I'm looking forward to getting this single out and hitting some of the big festivals next year.

PAUL We're pretty busy and there's always new avenues to explore after each gig or interview or milestone for the band, the next one being the release of our single. I'd like to keep an open mind and see what pops up in terms of who we perform with.

11. What is your favourite song to perform live?

JOE I can't answer that one, there are so many. I love playing all of them to be honest.

COLIN Hmm, difficult one. I guess at the moment it could be 'Fallen Down'. The middle section gets extended when we play it live, which is great to play.

CHRIS Ha! It has to be the first one in the set, whatever song that might be. It's a great feeling when you hit that first note of the first song on stage.

PAUL Both ends of the spectrum get the hairs on the back of my neck, from the upbeat 'Falling Down' to the laid back 'Ready To Ride'.

                                                    Joe Symes and the Loving Kind - Ready To Ride (at Cavern Club, 2013) 

12. I don't want to ask you about your influences, as it's a tricky question, yet I'd love to know what song of another artist each of you would choose to include in your live set.

JOE I can't answer that one either (laughs) There are so many I would be here all year (laughs again).

COLIN The list would go on forever.

CHRIS It wouldn't be right to pick just one, my mind changes from hour to hour. Ha!

PAUL Tricky that one, give the audience what you think they want? Couldn't be too far left-field mixing a Doors track in, but which one, hmmm?

             This photos might include a hint for the band's influences .. or it just shows their appreciation for the greats in music

13. As this interview comes to an end, is there anyone you want to mention, anything left unsaid you want the people to know about you and your music?

JOE I'd like to thank all of the people that continue to support the band and attend gigs and a big thanks to everyone that has been buying our debut album. You can find us on Facebook on our official band website at and also on reverbnation at We are also on Youtube, Fit4talent and Twitter 

CHRIS Think Joe's covered it all there, maybe just a bit more treble in the mic. Ha!

PAUL We look forward to your support at gigs (full listing on website), come over and have a chat with us, we don't bite. If you do want to know more feel free to drop us an e-mail via the website. Did I mention the website?

You've heard Joe and Paul! Go ahead now and find out more about Joe Symes and The Loving Kind, find out more about this outspoken, humorous, dedicated and passionate band, these talented, steady and firm musicians and indulge in their ambient, their ever evolving and exciting sound

Also don't miss out on the chance to tune in on one of Brian's shows (you can find his podcast at, he goes under the name of 'DrBones') and learn what quality music sounds like (schedule: every saturday for a brand new edition of 'New Music Saturday' and listen to Brian's interviews and music nights/afternoons in between - I'd say your daily dosis of music has just been supplied ;)] ... bones out, Nessi out.