Somojo Magazine

Groucutt and Haynes

Discography
Single – You Come Alive (2009)
Album – Another Good Reason(2009)
Live EP – High on the Time (2010)
Single – Rain (Release Date: 14th March 2011)

Hi guys, how are you?
[Both]Very well, thank you.
 
Would you mind introducing us to yourselves?
Rob Groucutt – Vocals, Guitar.
Dan Haynes – Vocals, Guitar.

How long has the current band line up been together?
[R] Dan and I got together in 2008 brought the live band together in 2009.
[D] The live band has: Carrie Pickering on Vocals, Saxophone and Flute; Saffron Box on Bass and Rob’s brother Steve on Drums.

How did you two meet each other?
[R] We we’re playing in separate acts on the Midlands gig circuit and seemed to keep playing on the same nights at various venues.
[D] Yeah, we seemed to always be playing the same nights and it led to Rob originally playing percussion on my solo stuff I was doing at the time.
[R} It just seemed to build from there. We came to a point when Dan had a new set of songs ready to begin playing as I did so we just decided to bring them all together and  become one act. 

How did you come up with the band name?
[D] Well I was already going out under the solo heading of Dan Haynes and Rob was the songer writer for Corda and if we’re honest, we didn’t know how long this new project would last and we didn’t want to lose the songwriter identity.
[R] So we thought Groucutt and Haynes seemed to avoid that problem. 

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
[R] That’s always a difficult one to answer [Laughs]. The closest band we tend to describe ourselves as are ‘Turin Brakes’
[D] Someone said we sounded like Simon and
Garfukel mixed with Jack Johnson – which we quite liked.
[R] I Think it’s best if people listen and make up their own minds and let us know what they think. It’ll help us next time we get asked the question. [Laughs]

What music did you listen to while growing up?
[D] I listened to mainly acoustic music really, Simon and Garfunkel, Beatles, Nick Drake, stuff like that.
[R] Quite similar stuff for me really as well as listening to Rock & Roll and the close harmony groups like The Beatles and The Beach Boys.

Which artist or track inspired you to want to make music yourself?
When was the ‘I want to do that!’ moment?
[D] For me it’ll always be ‘Homeward Bound’ (Simon & Garfunkel). I don’t know -  there’s just something about the song that I really like. I learnt to play it and love it when I get the chance to do it live.
[R] For me it was probably when I started to listen to early Indie bands like The Wonder Stuff and The Levellers that I really started to get a passion for performing.

What was the last music you put on your ipod or mp3 player?
[R] I’ve recently put the latest Jamiroquai album on mine.
[D] Green Day – Warning!
[R] Green Day?! Really?! I thought that was more my thing?
[D] I go through spells of listening to heavier stuff. Plus that album is quite chilled for Green Day. I like it.
[R] Fair enough!

What have you been up to recently?
[D] Well we’ve just started recording our 2nd Album – which we’re going to be documenting the progress with some video blogs.
[R] Yeah, just to make the process more stressful– we’re editing videos at the same time!
[D] (Laughs). Yeah, what we’re we thinking?!

What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
[R] The new album. It will be out sometime this year. Keep checking the website for updates and the video blogs for the progress.

Do you have a favourite piece of musical kit that you couldn’t live without?
[D] Not so much that we couldn’t live without but I think I speak for both of us when I say we’re quite fond of our Line6 POD Pedalboards.
[R] Yeah, it has to be. Just for the wah-wah for me to be honest. There’s something quite cool about playing an acoustic guitar through a wah-wah pedal.
[D] Yeah…But in every song? 
[Both] (Laughs)

Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio?
[D] Mostly, yes. All our songs are fairly organic so they tend to translate on stage easily. We don’t really use much that can’t be recreated live.

Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
[R] The recorded songs are definitely more polished but the essence of our sound is pretty much the same live. The main thing we will change live is the arrangement of the songs – different sections, solos and breakdowns.
[D] It keeps it fresh for us to perform and hopefully for the people that come to see us.

How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
[Both] All of it! (Both laugh)
[R] Yeah, we record and produce everything in my project studio at home. I have been involved in production for a while so it just made sense for us to be totally independent. Also, I think we might find it a bit difficult to relinquish the control over the production!

Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
[D] Yes for sure. It’s one of those things that at times can get a little tedious. I remember saying after finishing the first album that I didn’t want to do another but, it’s something I love doing really and getting the final product makes it all worth it. There’s just a lot more work involved than you think to get it all sounding just as you want it.
[R] I really enjoy the creative process in the studio. You work out new parts and arrangments as it’s being recorded. It’s great fun.

Which are your favourite original tracks?
[R] I’m loving ‘Rain’ at the moment because we’ve been plugging it a lot for its release in March. Although – some of the stuff we’re doing for the second album is sounding pretty good.
[D] For me, it’s a bit of a strange one but I always love ‘Drowning in Luck’.

Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track?
[D] Well, we’re working slightly different on the 2nd album. We’re having sessions focussing on recording particular instruments at a time. We just did a session to get all the guitars down for 3 songs.
[R] We were less structured with the first album and this seems to be working well.

Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
[R] For me it depends on the song. Some songs I have written have come together within a few hours but others can take months before I feel inspired to turn an idea into a full song.
[D] I normally like to complete a song in one session while the feeling and inspiration is fresh.

Would you sign with a major record company?
[R] If the conditions were right, of course! It’s such a difficult industry that you need all the help you can get.
 
Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
[D] We have some fans in the US so I’d say we have to go over there for them really.

How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?
[R] Facebook mainly. We have found it’s a great way to not just promote but actually interact with fans and hear what they to say about the music – especially when we’re bringing new stuff out.

What’s your best/worst experience at a gig?
[R] My favourite gig so far has to be Farmer Phil’s Festival.Seeing people come out in the rain just to watch you perform gives you a great buzz. They seemed to really enjoy it as well – there is something about the festival atmosphere that make people let go more than normal venues.
[D] My worse experience was in a venue is Worcester called the Marr’s Bar. It was a Sunday night and I was playing a small acoustic guitar. It was a really nice atmosphere in there except for one guy who had had just a little to much to drink. He was shouting “Fire” for some reason after every song and heckling me throughout. It ruined the show a little bit.

Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down?
[R] I always do but I actually enjoy the feeling, strangely.
[D] I do yeah. I can’t say I enjoy the feeling but you just have to play through it and normally after the first few songs you settle into it.

Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
[D] Actually, we only recently finished working on an independent movie called ‘Inspector Drake’ which is released soon. The director has used some of our music and asked us record one of his own compositions for the main theme.

Is composing for film or tv something you’d like to get more involved in?
[R] Absolutely. We’ve had the opportunity before for another director called ‘Jamie Maule-ffinch. He asked us to write music for a short film called ‘Days of Freedom’.
[D] It was a really good experience actually. Writing something for a brief someone provided rather than it coming solely from your own inspiration.

Is there anything you’d like to add?
Only a thank you to the fans of G&H and to the people that haven’t heard us yet – please check us out on the website and come and say hello on facebook.

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