Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Dan from unsigned Reading band Candid Heist 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?
Hi! Our band is called Candid Heist – a four piece made up of Dan Wootton (vocals and guitar), Shyam Lakhani (vocals and guitar), Joe Bate (backing vocals and bass) and George Russell (drums). We’re all from Reading and met at school back in 2008/2009 when we were all 11 – Shyam and Dan were the first people each other spoke to on day one of Year 7 – time flies! Dan came up with the band name when chatting to mates one day and referred to an informal robbery as a ‘candid heist’, to which someone replied that it would be a good band name, and it was all we had at the time so we went with it!
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Growing up we all listened to similar stuff – a lot from bands like The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys and modern indie rockers like Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club and The Strokes. Now it’s a bit different – we still love all of those artists but now alongside Tame Impala, Foals, Royal Blood, Father John Misty and Pond.
How would you describe your sound?
Definitely full of catchy riffs and pretty energetic. That’s something we really think about when writing. Our music is soaked in indie rock though, that’s probably where we most closely align our sound at the moment but we always try and draw on other musical genres too – alternative and pop at times.
What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Our most recent release was our third single called Stopwatch! It’s got a real earworm riff and big chorus and I hope you can tell we listened to a lot of Foals and Arctic Monkeys when writing. The lyrics are about feeling a bit lost as a young person in 2019 and not being able to seize big personal moments. It’s got a super big musical build after the second chorus which sounds its best when played as loud as possible!
What’s your local music scene like?
Reading is a great place for bands at the moment. A few bands like Sundara Karma, The Amazons and Valeras have gone on to be big which is really cool, knowing they played their earlier gigs at the same venues we’re playing in now. People like Sid Siddle are great with new bands in Reading and developing the scene – he gave us our first Reading gig last summer and we’ve played a lot with Club Velocity since because we always enjoy those shows so much. In terms of other bands from round our way, we think Harroland are great and well worth checking out, same goes for Reliant, Air Circus, Darshaan and to be honest a lot of artists at the moment! Great time for indie music in Reading.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We’ve recorded our next single already, it’s called Faults and will hopefully be out this October, and we’re in the studio in the next week or so to record the one after that so we should have two new tracks out by Christmas. We’d love to record an EP after that early next year, really hope that happens. For live stuff we’re hoping to play bigger and more frequent gigs next year – we love playing live. Festivals would be amazing but nothing in the books yet – we’re a Reading band, so if we get anywhere near that festival one day we’d be happy. Would love to play outdoors! We have a gig in Reading on 7th September at Readipop Studios and in London on 13th September at The Spice of Life.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Working with someone like Kevin Parker would be sublime, or Josh Homme or Johnny Marr. Imagine getting the three of them together? Dream come true.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Not sure about funny but our first gig sure was eventful! It was in Birmingham at a small venue in Selly Oak called The Indie Lounge back in March last year. The gig went well and we had a great time playing our songs for people for the first time, and to celebrate we went out to Snobs, a club in Birmingham. The night pressed on and we were about to head home when George went down like he’d been shot! Turned out he’d torn a ligament in his ankle while boogieing to Last Nite. Terrible stuff. We were in A&E in central Birmingham until past 6am! His ankle is better now :)
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
We have, in fact, not actually been involved in any genuine heists. Candid or otherwise. We haven’t the requisite skills. We put on a mean show though.