Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Isaac from band RedFaces find out more about them…
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
RedFaces are Harry Lyon, Isaac White, Charlie Yapp and Ryan Laycock, we’re from Sheffield/Derbyshire. The band name came about after we played our (awful) first gig in which our faces went bright red with embarrassment. Or maybe it was nerves? Who knows - it just stuck.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
We all grew up listening to quite a wide variety of music but admittedly it was all before the millennium - I grew up on my Dad's record collection with all the old 50s rock n roll, and 60s pop so pretty much everything I write has some Beatles in there somewhere. But my mum was a massive indie head so she got me into all the 80s stuff like The Smiths and the Cure and a lot of 90s lo-Fi like the Eels.
We all went through the whole Brit pop phase when we were younger too - but now our tastes have diverged a bit. Harry’s into a lot of the new indie music coming out like The Magic Gang and Blossoms, and has recently rekindled his unconditional love for Supergrass. Charlie really got into his lo-fi and has been listening a lot to Rex Orange County and also a lot of American surfy stuff like the Growlers and The Drums. I myself am a huge lover of psych/spacey synthy pop like Tame Impala, Pond and that sort of stuff. We’re also getting into a lot of hip-hop and all that side of making music so we’re all at a point where our songwriting is getting more interesting I guess because we listen to loads of different music.
How would you describe your sound?
We’ve been asked this kind of question a million times and I’m still not sure how to answer it. It’s definitely pop music in some form, because we’re huge on melodies and hooks and because really most of the music we listen to is “pop”. But I guess it’s kind of garagey with the guitars but then kind of spacey at points with the synth. I think at a push it’s some sort of indie pop, but it won’t remain that way forever because the way we describe ourselves changes in whatever mood we’re in.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
Our latest single is called 'Messed Up Feeling'. It’s sort of about feeling a bit insecure in a relationship and trying to overthink what the other person feels like but then ultimately overcoming it because you love the person. Those feelings can come from the relationship itself but also from pressures from the outside world - hence why “everybody”’s got a messed up feeling.
It started out as this scratchy guitar thing from Harry. And we slowly built everything up until we got it to a good place - I tried to imagine what a classic bass player like James Jameson would play on the song, if his soulful lines were crushed in a fuzz pedal - I’m not sure if I was accurate but I enjoyed what I came up with nonetheless. The result is quite a tight groove with a crackly synth line and some lovesick lyrics - hopefully people like it.
What’s your local music scene like?
It’s good! Very varied if you look in the right places. There’s a lot of good bands and there’s always gigs on which is great. There’s also some egos there but you’re gonna get that with every city I guess. My picks from Sheffield would be SHEAFS and The Seamonsters.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We’re just gonna keep releasing music and see what people think! We’re playing a bunch of awesome festivals like Y Not and Boardmasters. And we’re also coming to Tramlines which is in our home city which should be great. We’ve got a new song coming out soon but apart from that we don’t know! We’re always writing and our style's constantly evolving so there has to be a point soon where we go “right let’s bookmark it here and make an album” but I have no idea when that will be.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I’ve always imagined collaborating with Michael Jackson would have been amazing. The way he wrote his songs and the way he was about music was so unique and brilliant. Alongside all the 60s stuff he was my first musical obsession growing up and a lot of my love for groove and bass lines came from him so working with him would have been great.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
We played a gig recently in Guildford where a really loud fire alarm went off in our set. It was hugely distracting for everyone but one of our songs started to synchronise with its rhythm and it was so infectious even members of the audience started to dance to the rhythm of this fire alarm. Bizarre.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
I really, desperately want readers to know that Charlie makes a lovely sponge.