Meeting in a pub in Notting Hill, Tuska – or Rich Sturges and Rob Weaver – are just as lovely as the music they make. And I’m not just saying that because they bought the beer…
Dropping their debut EP, “S.E.P”, earlier this month, the duo’s dreamy sound is totally infectious and instantly transports you to a different world. Made up of three songs, each track is fiercely unique and equally as brilliant. Showing their skills, the pair effortlessly blend rousing guitar riffs with sizzling synths, all whilst highlighting Rich’s otherworldly vocals.
As they prep for a sold out show at London’s Lock Tavern – tonight – we found out all you need to know about your new fave duo.
So firstly, how did you two meet?
Rob: We met at uni in Guildford. Actually we met via a mate who was like, “oh, we need to live with another two people.” You and your ex-girlfriend were looking for a house…
Rich: It was basically like, “oh sweet, these guys are like the only people who are normal at uni, so we’ll live with those.” And that was it.
When did you decide to make music together?
Rob: I was looking at Rich and I was like, “he can definitely sing.” So I think, I had this conversation about three times and then I was like, “come on then, sing.” So he sang and I was like, “yeah, alright, let’s have a little jam,” and then we just made some music, and then was like, “yeah, let’s have a little crack at this, why not?”
When you started doing stuff together, did you kind of have the same thought of how you wanted to sound? Or was it quite different?
Rob: In terms of like, what we wanted to make, it was kind of like a bit more separate. I was definitely a lot more like, rock orientated, I wanted to make rock music.
Rich: I was thinking about this the other day. I said to Rob right at the start, “oh, we should get some synth,” and I remember you saying, “no, I want it to be all guitar based.” And now, most of our tracks are synth so…
Rob: I was kind of like, “nah, bass, drums, guitar.” So, yeah, it started out from there really and then just slowly came together.
How does it feel being compared to Tame Impala?
Rich: A blessing and a curse, but it’s the only thing that everybody knows about, you know what I mean? So it’s kind of easy to say, “oh, you sound like Tame Impala.”
Rob: Yeah, that’s definitely what we’ve found. We’ve always said if you think about indie rock, like I’ve heard a million bands that sound like The Strokes, but they’ll never get that reference because there’s a million bands that sound like The Strokes. So we get it and we’re kind of like, well, that’s a good thing, because, you know, Tame Impala’s pretty sick. You know, at least they’re not saying we’re like some band no one’s ever heard of that are actually really shit.
Talking about one of the people that said you sound like Tame Impala – Annie Mac – how was it finding out you were going to be played on Radio 1?
Rob: Unexpected… But really cool.
Rich: A big milestone for us. It’s nice as well, because it takes those moments for you to sort of look back at when we started and think, “oh shit, we’ve actually come quite far.” You don’t realise as you’re doing it, you know, we’ve actually done pretty well.
Rob: Yeah, yeah. It sounds stupid, but when you’re a bit younger and people go, “oh, you know, Radio 1’s classed as a big thing” and you’d go, “fuck, yeah, okay.” Then when your track’s going to get played on that and then on the Annie Mac show, you know, primetime… Yeah, it’s amazing really.
Rich: Something to make the mums proud I think, innit?
“Something to make the mums proud I think, innit?”
And obviously your EP, “S.E.P.” came out earlier this month. What was the inspiration behind it?
Rich: It’s just me sitting and thinking about people and the way people are. A lot of it is written after a night out, when I’m sort of hungover…
And feeling like shit?
Rich: Yeah, and you sit there thinking like, “what was I doing last night? What was I talking about? Why was I talking about that?” And yeah, that’s it. Just kind of like your thoughts and why they act like that. And kind of how everyone interacts with each other as well. So, it’s really interesting, because you think, you know, you see your mates and all that but you forget that every one of you’s got such a big life in their own minds, but we’re all interacting at the same time and you forget that you’re not the star. You’re just one life. That’s how I think about it, like, shit, there’s so much going on if you could open everyone’s mind and see it.
And what made you want to lead with the song “Brother”? What was the thing that made that one stand out?
Rich: That one came really quickly I think, so it just felt really good for me.
Rob: Yeah, we got quite attached to it. And we felt like we’d released like, three already in-your-face songs, like not properly released, but just to people who know us already, so it seemed a bit different for us. It’s a bit fresher…
Rich: Yeah, I think it’s kind of like what we were saying earlier about us changing. It’s quite nice to hear us do something that is a little bit different at that point, but at the same time trying not to think about it too much. It just felt really good. It was an idea that I’d written like a year before and just had it in my phone somewhere, just a little guitar part, and then wrote it when I was hungover. Cured my hangover, so…
And is there a next big project on the horizon?
Rob: We’ve got a couple of songs that we’re pretty proud of.
Too soon for album talks, or thinking about it?
Rob: We’re not thinking too far ahead, are we?
Rich: I think I’d quite like to gig a bit more beforehand, because it’s kind of hard when it’s just me and Rob writing. Sometimes we’ll write a tune – I mean every tune we’ve done so far is written just me and him in a room, not thinking about the live side of it, and then when we take it to live it’s kind of like, “how do we make this work? How do we make this sound as good as it does on recordings at a gig?” It’s a very different thing, so I’d like to gig a bit more, be able to write an album that could maybe, I don’t know, just feel as easy live as it does on a recording.
Rob: When we’re rehearsing we play around, like, “oh, we’ve got an idea” and they’ll just be like, “oh, this is cool and maybe this isn’t.” We feel like, in a tour situation, hopefully that will push ideas forward quicker and nicer and change it.