The Strangers Club
Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Lee from unsigned Bournemouth band The Strangers Club 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?
George Aquilla Hardy (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Harry Millward (Drums), Dylan Crook (Bass), and Lee Chadwick (Lead Guitar). We met at Bournemouth University all arriving in first year with our own search of band members with similar visions and sort of gravitated towards each other.
George and Dylan are from the south coast, but Lee’s from Worcester, and Harry’s from Somerset. Harry, Lee, and George all go to Bournemouth University, so we are often all in the same place.
The band has had one former, short-lived name; Cherry Red, We all decided we wanted a name that had a sense of exclusive inclusivity, something everyone would want to be a part of. We like to think that those who come to our gigs are like a club of strangers. Meeting at the same place, at the same time, for the same reason. You may not know anyone in the room, but you’re all there for a good time. And so, The Strangers Club was born.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Our influences are very diverse, and for each of us it’s very hard to choose a handful. For the most part, the influencers of our childhoods are still our biggest motivators to date. George was inspired mostly by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queens of the Stone Age, and Nirvana. Harry was influenced heavily by his parents' taste in music when growing up, specifically Simon and Garfunkel, Nirvana, and U2, although he still loves these legends, he enjoys the current post-punk scene, specifically Slaves, Idles, Shame, and The Chats (LEAVE ME ALONE). Lee’s are Santana, Rage Against the Machine, and The Last Shadow Puppets. Dylan likes Kings of Leon, Cold War Kids, The Vines, and Tame Impala. As a collective, we look up to bands like Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, and the Foo Fighters.
How would you describe your sound?
As it is for any band, it’s hard to see yourself from an outside perspective; so we’re still trying to work that one out, but with our new singles we’ve recorded it’s mostly Alt Rock, Indie, Blues Rock, Post-Grunge with elements of latin sounds fused together.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Our latest release is a single, titled ‘Headache’. George is a blues fanatic, and we had written a very similar bluesy-song to Headache beforehand that never seemed to work out for us. So during one practice, George was messing around with the notes, sped up the strumming pattern, and it just caught fire. In that moment, it seemed like everyone in the room already knew the song. We nailed its basic formula down the very first time we jammed it. This seems to be the formula for most of our songs - start playing and just let the music write itself.
What’s your local music scene like?
Bournemouth is a cool spot for music, we’ve been to a lot of shows with local bands and solo acts that have been insane. We’ve played gigs with many great bands too; there’s a lot of good talent in the area. We’re definitely ready to venture around more however, bring The Strangers Club to some different places.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
To put it bluntly, we hope to smash it. We want to play as many shows, festivals, uncles sheds, wherever, as possible. We love everything about playing together and with this passion as well as the raw energy we put into every second we are on stage, we know no limits to how much we can achieve.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
It would be quite obvious to say all the above mentioned favourite bands (which would of course be incredible). In our eyes, however, we would simply love to collaborate with any artist that shares the same passion as we do, which is making something different. As we did when first jamming together, learning to adapt to other musicians styles expands and improves your own style. Seeing Morello, Santana, Homme and many others dive into musical projects outside of their signature sound and come out with unique and innovative music is always inspiring.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
The first gig we ever played went amazingly well, yet by all laws of nature… it really shouldn’t have. We had months to prepare for the gig, so we practiced extremely hard to get our performance down. We plugged the gig, and amassed a huge number of people who all planned on being there. The night before the gig, we all went to a house party but we all left at 9:30pm, said goodnight, and went home to sleep in our pyjamas with a glass of milk...
We stayed until the early hours of the morning, drinking lethal amounts of alcohol, jamming on someone's guitar, and George blew his voice out. Later on that day George was almost late to the show because he was throwing up, and we all had splitting headaches (Subconscious inspiration?). Dylan picked George up, and he sat in the passenger seat, wearing sunglasses, head against the window, not saying a word. We all managed to get to the venue on time to do tequila shots… and strangely, the gig went off without a hitch.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
If you haven’t heard us, put it down on your list. Our number one priority is making songs that people can live and dance to. We write about life, for all of its ups and downs, and we always make sure we are innovating with our sound. Our aim is to write a song for every occasion, for everyone. Because we’re all in this world together, and we should all be having a good time while we’re visiting this planet. We’re all Strangers, every single one of us on this Earth, and we’re all in the same club... But yeah seriously, you should definitely check us out.