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Local Pop/Rock outfit The Tymes are making some headway with an upcoming tour and EP release.
Nikki Smith spoke to them during rehearsals for their summer shows.
Interview – Nikki Smith
The Tymes were formed when songwriter Mark met singer Chris in a pub. Having gained sponsorship from “Merc” clothing, The Tymes are going on to release an EP with a tour to follow soon.
I met with The Tymes at one of their rehearsals at Amber Studios, Chelmsford. Before the interview I listened to a few of the tracks they were rehearsing.
“Limbo”, in my opinion, is one of the Tymes’ strongest songs, and definitely of chart standard. As in all of their songs, Singer Chris’ vocals fit perfectly with their sound. The song features a double time guitar solo with an interesting use of effects, and a keyboard solo delivered by Elliot Porter.
“Foolish”, written and sung by Elliot definitely showcases his talents, his voice sounding slightly Chris Martin-esque.
The band is completed by Drummer Steve Jackson (aka Animal), and bassist Jack Daubney.
Who are your main influences?
Chris: I love Paul Weller, he’s had a big influence on me.
Mark: I like Oasis. I love “Live Forever”, it made me get into music really. I also like Richard Ashcroft and a lot of new bands, like The Kooks.
Steve: I’m into the older type of music like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who. I also like Metallica and Foo Fighters, that kind of music.
Jack: Victor Wooten, Beatles, Claypool, Metallica.
Describe your music in three words?
Chris: Soft British rock
Mark: No, I think it’s more pop rock to be honest with you. People say that some of our tracks are quite indie, and some of our others are more pop.
Elliot: It’s like indie pop rock really.
Mark: But we aren’t as cheesy as Bon Jovi.
What sets you apart from other local bands?
Chris: We’ve got Elliot.
Steve: I think it’s like a family unit. We all seem to get on really well as mates and it’s almost like we’re family.
Mark: We’re not following a trend either.
Chris: We don’t try and jump on the bandwagon.
Mark: A lot of bands are trying to sound like t
The Artic Monkeys. We’re trying a more original sound. We’re trying to do our own thing.
How do you go about writing your music?
Chris: Each one’s been different to be honest. Mark came forward with quite a few he had already written before the band was formed. All of us have bought some songs to the band.
the basic structure is bought along and then as a band we all flow with it and taken it to another level.
Steve: Mark brings a song to us and we all put our own bit in.
Mark: it’s not just me, there’s a lot of Chris in there, and Elliot’s bought his own songs along too. Chris has really taken the melody and adapted it to fit his voice and he really gives it a great sound. And Elliot’s keyboard playing really sets us apart a bit, it gives it kind of a lower tone and makes our music flow a lot better. And then you’ve got Jack here who is an exceptional bassist.
What new bands are you digging at the moment?
Elliot: I like Snow Patrol. Wolfmother, they’re really good, they sound like Led Zeppelin, they’re really heavy. Also The Kooks.
Steve: The Killers and Audio Boys are good.
Mark: Sub Pop Sunday as well.
What bands would you most like to support/ open up for?
Mark: It’s got to be Oasis.
Elliot: I’d love to support Coldplay
Steve: Someone like The Who or The Kaiser Chiefs
Chris: Everyone and anyone!
How do you feel about sharing music over the internet through sites such as Myspace or Purevolme?
Chris: I think it’s great! We’re on myspace...
Elliot: Yes, it’s a great way of getting out music out there.
Mark: It means our music can get heard all over the world.
Steve: We’ve had feedback from people in America and Japan. Some bloke asked us to put up some more songs on the site, and wanted us to go and play in the US. He really liked us, and as Mark was saying, it’s a good way of getting exposure, a great way of getting our music out there.
Some people could say that sites such as Myspace and Purevolume mean that there are constantly more new bands, and its harder to filter out the good ones. Would you agree?
Chris: Well all it does is bring healthier competition.
Jack: People are always going to say stuff like that when new things start up.
What’s the best venue you’ve ever played in?
Elliot: Aesthetically probably The High Barn
Chris: The Man on the Moon is quite good.
Jack: I quite liked it when we played down in Carnaby Street, at Merc Clothing, who are our sponsors. We played down there in November’05 in the shop.
Elliot: It was a really good atmosphere.
Mark: We’re actually playing down there again around September. It’s still to be confirmed.
What would be your perfect venue to play?
Chris: Wembley would be nice!
Steve: I’m not fussed! Maybe Maddison Square Garden?
What’s the worst criticism you’ve ever received?
Mark: We haven’t had any really bad criticism yet.
Steve: The only criticism I can think of is that people say we haven’t done enough rocky numbers. But we’ve taken that onboard and the last three songs we’ve written are all rocky numbers.
Elliot: Mainly for a live perspective.
Steve: That’s the only criticism I can think of, but again, touch wood, everyone likes it really.
Mark: Everyone seems to like everything from across the board, for example “Lady Of My Dreams” which is kind of a poppy song to “Lately” which is more heavy.
Steve: Yeah going on what Mark said, we appeal to a wide range of people, over age ranges too, from a six or seven year old up to the older generation. All the music we do hits a widespread of people. It’s not aimed at one particular type of age group, it’s across all generations really.
Mark: I would actually like someone to say they didn’t like it and give me a reason why, then I’d know what I was doing wrong and if there was something else I could add to it.
So taking a criticism and making it into something positive?
Steve: Yeah I mean if it’s constructive criticism we’ll take it on board.
What’s been the highlight so far for the Tymes since you’ve been together?
Mark: I think it’s all been good really
Chris: It’s been a bit of a roller coaster really. Getting the sponsorship from Merc was a good thing. They put us on their website and that was a real kick-start for us.
Steve: Also the interest from High Barn. We’ve got a nice back-up team with Mark’s brother doing the website. We’ve got photographers as well and we could have a stylist if we wanted one.
What are you guys doing at the moment?
Mark: We’re going to launch an EP with High Barn. We’re going to press a thousand and make it available as a download. We’re also going to do a tour around the south-east.
Steve: We’re also going to do a few things on Cambridge radio and BBC Essex .
Mark: We’re just getting people to download the EP, and it’d be nice to get into the charts. And just to get our music known.
Where do you see yourselves in two years time?
Chris: Touring America would be nice!
Steve: My plan is to just gig as much as we can, get the music out and see what happens.
Mark: Two years from now I think things will be a lot different for us, I wouldn’t like to say. A small band can still make a living out of it, as long as we’re dedicated to it.
Steve: Getting a fan base is what it comes down to.
Check The Tymes website for upcoming live shows.