You may remember The Night VI when they were part of the Burberry Spark campaign earlier this year. The motley crew, who boast members from all acres of the globe, has just released details of a headline autumn tour proceeding on from a sold-out show at The Lexington in London earlier this week. No surprise there, given their irresistable 70s-tinged throwback sound, combined with a backdrop of melancholic pop, has gained them comparisons to Fleetwood Mac.
Wonderland spent the day on London’s Primrose Hill shooting V of the VI members and got guitarist Jack Gourlay and lead vocalist Sophie Rose-Harper to answer some of our questions.
How did you eventually find one another and become The Night VI?
Sophie: Bogart, Anna and I met at the French Lycée, but we formed many years later. We were all in previous projects, they all came to a natural end when we basically nicked all our favourite musicians and put together The Night VI.
Surely it must be difficult to keep you all in one place at the same time, being such an assemblage?
Jack: Yeah for sure – it’s meant lot of sacrifice from everyone to keep the gang together.
You’ve been compared to greats like Fleetwood Mac and emerging talent London Grammar, how would you describe you?
Jack: At its core there’s a conceptual idea of taking 70s influences and infusing them with a wistful sense of contemporary pot. But really we sound like a band playing in a room – loud and greater than the sum of its parts.
Where does the inspiration come from to pen such personal songs?
Sophie: Love, failed love, experiences, other people’s experiences all of which go through this romantic filter that apparently I have in my head.
What inspires or influences the decisions you make when it comes to track production or the direction in which certain tracks should sound?
Jack: We’re quite strict about writing with just a guitar or piano and voice, it’s important to keep it as naked as possible early on in the process. Once an idea’s really singing to us I tend to think and arrange initially on guitar, Rhodes, drums & bass – the essential 70’s instruments I guess. But from that point it can get much more experimental, Bon Iver and Feist are always great for texture and sound inspiration for folkier tracks – if we’re doing something more pop then we’re not afraid to listen to how Rihanna does it.
Are there ever any creative differences between the 6 of you when a song is initially born?
Sophie: Jack and I write the songs, lyrically we may come across a battle or two, but for now we are both respectful of each other’s ideas.
Tell us more about the new EP ‘Still Thinking Of You’?
Jack: It’s our first release. It has four songs – ‘Thinking of You’, ‘Trouble’, ‘Mother’ and ‘Skyline’ – no acoustic tracks or remixes! It’s pretty strictly autobiographical and its very honest. There’s lots of harmonies and lots of love went into making it.
Did you feel that filming the video at Tintern Abbey reflected the song’s vibe?
Sophie: Definitely, Tintern Abbey is symbolic to the emotion that I felt towards that person. At times your happy to walk into it and feel it and at other times your a prisoner in your own feeling. The Abbey itself was just breathtaking, it was a beautiful way of showing our song.
How did you guys become involved in the Burberry Spark campaign?
Jack: A fellow musician and friend Roo Panes did a Burberry campaign the year before and was very positive about the experience so we got in touch to see if there was anything we could get involved in.
Your best gig to date?
Sophie: Last week, we played a gig in St John’s Church in Hackney. The audience were really with us and the church itself was beautifully run down. It’s definitely made a print in my mind, I hope we can do a church tour in the future.
You all seem very visual individuals. How important do you think social media has become to the music industry?
Sophie: I think it’s important to put your vision across, separate yourself from all the other bands and we do this through our Tumblr. Anna started it and is consistently putting up our influences of the week, photos we’ve taken, imagery that is inspired by and inspires the music. Frank Ocean is very good at that, it then becomes a feature in your live shows. I think this way you’re making your mark in the industry on a much deeper level.
By this time next year, what do you want to have achieved?
Jack: To have released our album, tour Europe, play on Jools Holland, tour America and play Glastonbury!
Words: Shane Hawkins (Follow Shane on Twitter @piccadilly_boy)