Exam Season

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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 Exam Season to find out more…

Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
Ed (guitar/vocals) and Jack (guitar) met in a graphic design class at school in Ringwood, Hampshire back in 2005. Ed had just redesigned the blink-182 logo whilst Jack had just put the finishing touches on his Taking Back Sunday-inspired keyring. They chatted about music a bit before setting up their first band The Professional Amateurs, and then continued to make music (under different names/with different people) all the way until leaving for university. During school Ed and Jack played football (specifically headers and volleys) with a bunch of mates. One of them - Toby (the younger brother of a friend and a former keen magician) - was learning to play drums and by the time Ed and Jack finished their studies and kicked off Exam Season, it turned out he was actually quite good at his instrument. Later, Jack met Louis having bonded over a mutual love of bath bombs whilst working at a specific high street cosmetics company and found out he played bass. They gelled together like shower jelly.

We're dotted all over the UK these days (London, Falmouth, Bournemouth) but call Ringwood our base. As for the name, that actually came from the front of a newspaper during the exam season period in 2015. I think that year the country must’ve sucked at their exams or something. But yeah, it’s such a dainty-sounding phrase and yet in actuality it fills students all over the country with total dread - so it felt apt for the sorta sad music we’re making.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Chart pop is quite good so Julia Michaels, Hailee Steinfeld, Shawn Mendes. Also lots of big emo pop punk bands like Modern Baseball, The Hotelier, Oso Oso, Algernon Cadwallader. Used to be Radiohead but tbh they're actually a bit dull aren't they?

How would you describe your sound?
Not as good as Simple Plan but better than The Offspring.

What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
The song is called ‘Strawberry Milk’ and its taken from our new EP ‘smol’. In a nutshell, it’s all about the anxiety of feeling youth slipping away and how being 10 y/o was much better than being 25.

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What’s your local music scene like?
Ringwood is a small town outside of Bournemouth and I’m not certain there are any bands there at all nowadays. The only gig(s) that take place there are annual Battle of the Bands’ (school) and Ringwood Festival (on a truck in a park). Bournemouth’s pretty good though!!

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
An album would be fun! Or maybe a 10-track cover record. No festivals at the moment but if anyone reading this would like to book us then we have a PO Box set up.

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Charli XCX and Matt Healy. They know how to write consistently very good pop songs and we would like to know how to do that too.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
We haven't played enough gigs for anything to remotely funny to happen. Hopefully soon though... (October time)!

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
That we’ll never be as good as One Direction.

You can find out more about Exam Season via Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Twitter or YouTube.