Get to know the boys behind the blissed-out sound of Birmingham’s newest indie-pop band.
As we creep ever so closer to a string of festival line-up announcements, there’s already a few bands we’re imagining ourselves sunnily shuffling about to in a muddy field clutching a plastic cup of beer. One of these is Cinema, a five-piece indie band comprised of David, Alex, Thomas, Ben, and Jake, who are the latest in a slew of bands with roots in Birmingham’s bustling alternative music scene. Boasting a plethora of instruments at their fingertips—guitars, drums, bass, piano, keyboards, synth, samplers and live percussion— they may very well be one of the most musically dynamic and distinct band that 2016 has to offer. Think Bombay Bicycle Club with added zest.
Their live shows have also been gaining quite a reputation amongst music circles: their performance space, routinely draped in exotic foliage and shrouded in atmospheric lighting, remains as cinematic as the band’s name suggests. Their first single is ‘Move On’ and it’s a high-spirited slice of indie-pop with a lyrical nostalgia. All the makings for a festival classic. Following its recent release online, we jumped at the chance to find out a bit more about the five-piece and what the future holds for Cinema.
How did the five of you get together? What got you making music? Were you all doing your own projects before?
Dave and Tom wrote and performed together throughout university, they met Jake while he was drumming for a handful of other bands in the Birmingham scene. Jake then introduced us to a school friend and songwriter Alex, who had previously written and worked with Ben.
What got us making music was a mutual respect and collective appreciation of what would come to define our sound.
How would you describe your sound?
Electronic alternative pop. We love layering percussion and weaving melody using out of context instruments.
Starting out in Birmingham, do you feel that the city influenced your sound at all? What’s the music scene like there?
Although we are proud to be a part of the Birmingham scene, starting in Birmingham didn’t directly influence our sound. It probably had more of a direct influence on our independent approach to recording and filming.
The scene in Birmingham is thriving, partly due to the success of bands like Peace and Swim Deep. There are a lot of good bands and great underground venues here.
Who are your musical influences? Are there common themes amongst you all? Did you bond over anyone in particular?
We all have our influences rooted in different places, but we always come back to bands like Arcade Fire. They are a band we will often aspire to in terms of artistic creativity and longevity.
Do the five of you ever have any creative differences?
Always, like most bands things will get heated but it’s always resolved and will never leave the room afterwards.
What is the new single ‘Move On’ about? What do you most like to write songs about?
The song is about looking back at the people you grew up with as they move on and progress in life in a traditional sense, while time gets away from you.
With lyric writing Dave’s always taken a broad analytical approach, rather than focusing on details. This opens the music up to be more of an escape than a specific narrative.
Tell us about the aesthetic for your live shows.
Our aesthetic relies heavily on the amount of instruments we play at any one time on stage. This adds its own complexity and energy to our sets. We’ll drape lights and flowers around anything we can
Have you got any upcoming shows? What’s the best thing about playing live?
We are currently recording at the moment, but can’t wait to start playing again this year. The best thing about playing live for us is seeing the reactions and hearing the feedback back to something you’ve worked hard to make.
Can we expect an EP or album out soon?
The prospect of albums and EP’s are exciting to us because as a band we love writing and have always been hands on with music production. The main focus at present is building momentum with singles. So we are back in the studio this week.
Where do you see the band in five years’ time?
Main stage festivals hopefully! But as long as were still enjoying it, it really wouldn’t matter where we were.
Words: Lewis Goodacre