Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with unsigned Isle of Wight band JEPH 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?
We're made up of Jess (bass & main vocal), Steph (guitar), Joe (guitar) and Guy (drums), and we met through default of being people on the Isle Of Wight who like music.
While Joe and Guy had been playing in bands for most of their lives, Jess and Steph thought it'd be funny to start a band having barely even played an instrument, and thought it'd be even funnier to call it JEPH (y'know, Jess plus Steph = Jeph).
It honestly started as a joke, which probably explains why we have such fun doing what we're doing right now.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
We didn't grow up together as such, and so the music we were all influenced by at an early age varies pretty drastically... So to save embarrassment let's just say "The Beatles".
Now we share a fairly common taste in music and are big fans of Wolf Alice, Weezer, Alvvays, The Magic Gang, Boy Azooga and The Japanese House to name a few.
How would you describe your sound?
We call it "beige". Not many people accept this as an accurate description of our sound.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Jess and Steph wrote "Lola" on a snow day, and it's about the vibe between best friends who drag each other through the struggle of life and make it a laugh along the way. While it started life as a soft acoustic demo, we increasingly wanted to give Lola a gnarly attitude and it's been cool to see her grow into the monster that YOU CAN NOW STREAM ON SPOTIFY and all that other stuff.
What’s your local music scene like?
The Isle of Wight music scene goes through pretty distinct cycles of being vibrant and depressing. Currently, we're happy to report that it's the former, and that has a lot to do with the fact that we finally have a great venue central to the Island again (Strings Bar & Venue). It really gives bands something to work towards on a local level, and more importantly somewhere for people who love music to hang out.
There's always a handful of awesome flagship bands from the island for us all to try and keep up with: 77:78, Plastic Mermaids, Champs etc who are all doing really well, and that's good for local morale. There's some great stuff around here at the moment.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We've got a few festivals in the pipeline for this year, but our focus is on a string of single and video releases we have coming up. We're also itching to get back into the studio to work on a bunch of new songs which we have floating around. As far as touring goes, we're working towards some dates up and down the UK in the autumn.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
We'd love to work on a record with Tom Lord-Alge or Tchad Blake... Anyone got their numbers?
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Yeah. We bring our friend Harry (who happens to be a dog) to most of our shows. A while ago we were lucky enough to support Ed The Dog in Southampton (go check him out if you haven't already), and during load in / soundchecks, Harry leapt up to Ed as if to say "hello / I love you". Guy said "That's funny, he usually hates other dogs". That was pretty funny. At the time.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
Basically that we are like vampires, but instead of blood we need streams. Please go and stream Lola or we might die, and then Harry will have to go to the RSPCA. And remember: he hates other dogs.