5 Hills Out
Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Ben from 5 Hills Out to find out more...
Who is in the band?
Ben Liverman: Guitar, Mandola & Vocals, Rebecca Liverman: Saxophone, Accordion & Vocals, Andy Gurney: Guitar, Mandola & Vocals, Dave Coxon: Bass Guitar & Vocals, Chris Clay: Drums & Percussion
How did you meet?
Bek and me went to school together a long time ago. We finally got a band together as well as a marriage and 2 kids (they are now our merchandise team)! Bek’s dad is on bass as he’s absolutely amazing (He was on the same bill as Thin Lizzy, Status Quo, Velvet Underground back in the 70s!), Andy was a solo guitar player in our town so we roped him in as we wanted more voices and songwriters and Chris replied to an online advert asking for a drummer!
Where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
We are based in the Derbyshire town of Ashbourne which has 5 Hills into it, we named the band after that!
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
We have so many! Eurythmics, Cream, Queen, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, No Right Turn, Squeeze, Levellers, Nirvana, RATM, Metallica....
Newer influences would include Idles, Downtown Boys, Seth Lakeman, Richard Thompson, The Levellers, Gogol Bordello, Rival Sons.
How would you describe your sound?
Folk-Punk, Agit-Folk, annoyed and aggressive folkies with the back line of a punk band with a desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons and the massive divide between the rich and the poor.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Derbyshire Folk-Punk band 5 Hills Out are releasing double single ‘The Snug Sessions’ marking a major step forward in their development.
This will be the band's first release on their own label Culvert Collective Recordings. This builds on their debut acoustic EP ‘No Way In’ and their follow up EP ‘Still Outside’, which got the band nominated for best folk act 2018 on Radio Wigwam.
The band have never shied away from using their music to share their political and social views. They have marched on protest rallies, played various charity gigs including Musicians against Homelessness and supported many petitions to stop further social decline.
The lyrics to the band’s latest offering reflect their concerns. Front man Ben explains about the two songs:
“Track one ‘Cogs’ is a rallying folk-punk belter which is aimed at a society that continues to undervalue and underpay its workers. We spent a lot of time on the arrangement which features a bass guitar solo before we all launch into a big tune section full of whistle, sax and mandolin all trading off each other”.
Track two ‘The Divide’ is all about sticking together through the current political unrest and climate of division. Ben recently showcased ‘The Divide’ whilst on a business trip to Berlin, managing to play at a different venue on each of the six nights he was there. He reflects “Berlin was incredible, the music scene is so vibrant out there. I was a bit nervous about playing ‘The Divide’, but felt given the political past of the city, the song would resonate with listeners. It did, they absolutely loved it, each night everyone was joining in on the chorus about us all coming together”.
What’s your local music scene like?
The two main venues in Derby are The Hairy Dog and The Venue. We have played the Dog a few times and it’s got a great set up, they tend to have more rock and punk bands there. The Venue is more Indie type acts including bigger breakthrough bands. The scene has always been a bit on the quiet side due to the size of the city and the downturn in people supporting grass roots music compared to big ticket events at arenas.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months?
The single release on the 12th of April is a major one for us. We have started to get some local festival bookings coming through so check out our website for the updates when we can announce them.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
We’d love to work with The Levellers, they have a great lineup that has been together 30 years. They’ve written really hard hitting stuff throughout their career and done things their way on their terms. They even have their own festival (Beautiful Days) which we really want to play at!
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
We made Chris play a gig at the weekend with one arm! A dog ran him off his bike which resulted in Chris breaking his Collar bone! He managed to strap it up but the fills were a bit tricky!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
We are genuine bunch of Derbyshire folk that love music and use our wide musical tastes to create a great sounding mix which we think a lot of people will enjoy.