We sat down with Nottingham quintet Amber Run to give them a thorough #NewNoise grilling.
How did you guys meet? What’s been your journey, thus far?
I (Tom Sperring – Bassist) went to secondary school with Joe and Will and we knew Felix from the area. Joe and I went to Nottingham University and Henry was my neighbour in halls – we fast became really good friends. The year after, Will came to the same Uni and we started playing around with little acoustic shows at Rescue Rooms on Monday, it was nothing serious. It got towards the beginning of 2013 and we decided to give it a go as a band and it’s just kind of run away from us I guess.
Were there any previous projects before Amber Run?
Will, Joe and I were in a couple of bands together as teenagers at school, and Felix has played in a couple of bands too. Henry was busy focussing on his touring choir and honing his oboe skills. Joe was actually working on a solo project when the band started to get together. It just felt more natural for everyone to form as a group.
Nottingham seems to be quite a creative hub for emerging talent. What do you guys love about the place and what’s the best place to discover new talent?
Yeah it definitely is – some world class acts have come out of Nottingham over the past few years. I think it’s a general confidence in the scene, and it’s exciting. Everyone is really inspired by the likes of Jake Bugg and Saint Raymond, and seem to be just going for it. We love it because it’s where we formed and played our first ever shows, so it feels like home. Going back and playing shows there is the most gratifying feeling, people seem to welcome us back. There are great places all over, with amazing acts gigging relentlessly, but if you want to catch some jaw dropping new talent, it’s worth checking out Acoustic Rooms at Rescue Rooms on a Monday night – it’s a great vibe.
What has been your best and worst gig that you’ve played, to date?
We don’t really like to dwell on shows that we don’t think are up to scratch. We played a show to just the sound tech, our manager and one friend we’d managed to bring before, which was fairly dispiriting, but you know what? I actually had a lot of fun playing that show. And it’s all practise anyway. When it comes to best shows, that would probably depend who you asked in the band, but most likely Brixton Academy with Kodaline and James Bay. It’s such an incredible venue, and getting to play such a huge stage in front of so many people with a band that we all truly admire was a bit too much to take in to be honest. Incredible.
What would you have liked to have achieved by April 2015?
Well hopefully by then our debut album will be out – we want it to be something we’re all really proud of. We’ve loved writing and recording it so far, so being able to show it to the public, any fans, and our family and friends will be incredible. We also want to get out to more people. Play more and bigger shows across Europe and anywhere our music will take us really. Coachella would be an absolute treat.
What sorts of stuff do you guys listen too whilst you’re writing and recording?
It’s quite hard to listen to music when you’re really focussing on making an album. We take a lot of inspiration from the soundscapes created by post-rock bands like This Will Destroy You and Explosions In The Sky, and use that to add expanse to our music. We’ve tried to make some huge sounds on the album, and that comes from anywhere – from Drum and Bass to more classical music or even heavier stuff.
What musicians and bands have really inspired the overall Amber Run aesthetic?
It is hugely inspiring to see bands like The 1975 who have just absolutely nailed the aesthetic and make it look amazing (in addition to being a sick band), but we’ve all found doing something like that a bit tough, probably down to being a bit insecure that no one would latch on to it because we’re all fairly pathetic.
Have you played alongside any other artists and felt starstruck yet?
The Kodaline tour was unbelievable. They were a band that inspired us as we were starting out, so playing along side them was a bit of a dream.
Tell us about the new single ‘Spark’?
It’s one of the first songs that kind of fell together at practise with the band. We started jamming it out and just carried on playing it for the rest of the day. It’s a song about small beginnings and just enjoying it all. It was written to be uplifting and inspiring. We really enjoyed writing it and love playing it, and I think that comes across.
How is the album shaping up and who have you been working on it with? Any exciting Producers?
At this point, the album looks like it’s nearing completion. We owe it to ourselves and everyone involved in this project to give it our all, so we’re not rushing it – but we’re extremely proud of what we have so far. We’ve always worked with the extremely talented Sam Winfield, who is our good friend as well as an incredible young producer. For the album, were extremely privileged to have Mike Crossey on board, and he’s an absolute genius. To have him with us after having worked with acts like the Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club, Jake Bugg, Ben Howard and The 1975 is just insane. We’ve done some really fun stuff, and thoroughly enjoyed working as a team – Sam, Mike, Mike Spink and Jon Gilmore too.
What can we expect from the collection and when will it be released?
We had more minds focussed on the sound, and more time than we’ve ever had before. So, as mentioned before, we’ve gone for some big sounds, and worked out different ways of creating them. We’ve pushed ourselves to incorporate other elements in to the sound we haven’t before, but we’re not straying too far away from what’s natural. It’s currently looking more like early next year. As I said – no rush.
Are there ever any in-house fights when it comes to compromising the sounds of certain tracks?
Not fights, but we all have to give a little in certain circumstances. When you’ve got 5 people in the band with staggeringly different music tastes, plus Sam and Mike, all of us with visions of where a song could go, there can be conflicting suggestions. But we wouldn’t draw a line under a song and call it complete if we weren’t all really proud of it.
‘The Spark’ EP is out now!
Find out more from the boys here.
Words: Shane Hawkins