Wolverhampton unsigned band METHODS talk about new single
What do you get if you cross David Bowie and Joy Division? - METHODS.
No, this isn't a nonsensical joke. It's the shared love of two iconic British musical institutions that brought five disenchanted players together to give this band lark one last go.
Getting together in 2015, the initial plan didn't even involve gigging. For frontman Ash Bradley, a 37-year-old postman from Wolverhampton, it was just about getting the creative juices flowing that he missed so much.
"I was happy never to play a gig again," he admits. "I'd been in bands before and I had done all that. I was just happy to write and experiment.
"It was our producer Gavin Monaghan who convinced me. He told me we couldn't hide this stuff away for ever and we had to get out and play it."
Gavin knows what he is talking about. The Magic Garden Studios mogul has worked with the brightest lights this region has to offer - Editors, Scott Matthews, Robert Plant, OCS, The Twang and JAWS have all sampled his expertise.
So Ash relented. And he and his fellow Wulfrunians Ryan Deakin on guitar and Jon Nash on keys can now showcase what they have created alongside Hednesford bassist Adam Hall and drummer Pete Bates, from Salford in Greater Manchester.
"It started in February last year at the O2 Institute in Birmingham," continues Ash. "And we've played a few places and are arranging our biggest show for August 18. It's at Newhampton Arts Centre and we've got The Jack Fletcher Band supporting. It's our own night, we're doing everything ourselves.
"We are looking for another local act and we'll put a bit of a good night on. We also want to bring local music fans something different so we're going to bring along someone from out of town, too."
There will also be a DJ set from The Twang's Phil Etheridge.
It will be a chance for them to play some new material, such as the single Fires which is released everywhere today. Described by Ash as a 'softer song, a lovey-dovey tune', it will be available on all electronic platforms and there will be physical copies available at their upcoming shows too.
"We decided to set up our own record label, Hellhole Records, as a platform to release our own music," adds guitarist Ryan.
"Fires will be the first single proper to be released through the record label. It's a tune we wrote in 2017. Fires has a dark death disco beat, but still manages to be deeply emotional and bitter-sweet.
"It’s centred around the break-up of a relationship, two people that have grown apart, and captures the raw emotions perfectly."
So what can newcomers expect when attending METHODS' Newhampton show?
"There's a lot of quality on show for your money, and a great venue," Ryan adds. "If you are sick of the drab and mundane, and going through the motions, METHODS in the height of summer will blow you away."
Ash describes their stage presence as 'quite intense'. "I don't mean it to be," he says, "that's just what comes out.
"I can't write happy lyrics, and to use one of the great rock clichés I just love a bit of rebellion. We just want it all to be about kicking back against the fat cats."
And so back to that sound. Bowie and Joy Division seem a curious mix, but they are keen to point out they are so much more than just tributes to two acts.
"We locked ourselves away for three years, experimenting with raw rhythmic drums, 50s drone guitar and electronic sounds," Ryan says. "This is all pieced together with Ash’s darkly urban vocals.
"After a few mesmerisingly frantic live performances, it became clear that we had a scary energy that the average band do not posses."
Ash agrees. "Me, Ryan and Nash all love that synth, post-punk sound of the early 80s," he says. "Pete is a bit older than us and is from that era. He saw the bands at the time. We took that and added the love of Bowie, particularly the Berlin period, the Iggy Pop period.
"We have those big guitars and the early synth sounds. My lyrics are just on the top of that."
More releases are also planned later in the year, so their record label can expect to be busy even if they don't currently plan on promoting other artists due to the time constraints.
"We'll be back in the studio soon," says Ash. "There'll be another single or two by the end of the year and then we'll be working to an EP. We've got five or six songs we could release and at the moment it's a toss up between two which one is next."
METHODS also have another local show before the Newhampton date. On July 21, they top the bill at Birmingham's Actress & Bishop for the Rebel Against Cancer night alongside The Jack Fletcher Band, Kelly Underwood, Underground Empire, Young Chasers and The Brazen. The proceeds from this one go to charity.
They also recently dropped in at Birmingham's Raw Sound TV's 'wicked little studio' to record some live material, which can be viewed on their social media feeds.
"We've also got London and Leeds shows pencilled in as we have relationships with people there," Ash adds. "We'll just kick on and do what we do.
"It's all moving in the right direction. We've had some good online reviews from blogs.
"Some people say the lyrics aren't inspiring or whatever, but then they're not really meant to be. It's mostly good feedback, which is great."
METHODS can be found on Twitter @methodsmusik, Instagram @Methodsofficial and Facebook @methods2. For updates and to get tickets for the Newhampton Arts Centre date or Actress & Bishop gig, or to register an interest in playing on the bill at Newhampton, visit www.methodsmusic.co.uk
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