It’s that time again, when are man on the ground Desh Kapur Editor/Photographer All Music Magazine UK/Europe spotlights a bands or artists he thinks are going to have a big 2021 ; bands and artists we think you should check out to stay ahead of the curve
It is a great pleasure to introduce you to FEVER!!! A super cool, newly-formed indie-rock quartet from Hull, formed in early 2019 and made up of James Harrod, Mitchell Capes, Joe Gray, Sam Howell and Ellis Keogh and they are part of Blossoms’ label, ‘Very Clever Records’. Combining rolling guitar riffs with mellow harmonies, with hints of 60s rock, whilst sounding fresh and new. This four piece have a very bright future. I have to also go on record to say FEVER are most definitely one off my favourite new bands.
For Fan OF Artic Monkeys, The Beatles, Paul McCartney
So we decided it was time to have a little chat with Joe Gray to see where they came from, what they have been up to and what their plans for the future are.
What is the story behind your name?
There’s no real deep meaning behind the name Fever. We just wanted a one-word band name that rolled off the tongue easily enough, without people having to ask you to repeat yourself, we’d not accounted for our band name being one of the key symptoms in a global pandemic six months after we formed, but hey ho. Could be worse!
What first got you into music? or Who inspired you to make music?
For me personally, I have older sisters who introduced me to the likes of the first couple of Kings Of Leon & Killers records, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, The Libertines, The Cribs, etc, but it wasn’t really until I saw the Arctic Monkeys video for ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ that I thought I’d found ‘my band’. Although I loved and still love the likes of The Strokes, their level of cool made them seem like they were from a totally different planet and one that was totally unattainable for people from our part of the world and social background etc.
How did you all meet?
James and Mitch have been friends since they were kids and were actually a couple of years below me at college studying music, we didn’t know each other then though. To me they were just the kids in the next room doing Oasis covers, whilst I thought I was dead cool next door listening to Queens of the Stoneage. To be a teenager eh!
James went onto form a band in 2015 called Fronteers that went on to do pretty well, supporting the likes of Blossoms & Courteeners etc. Towards the end of that band in 2017, as I’d been to school and played in another band with Andy (the other lead singer of Fronteers), me and Sam (keys player with us now) filled in for one gig to replace their rhythm section who had left (one of which ironically enough being Ellis who now plays bass for us, this is getting messy isn’t it?)
Anyways, that gig with me and Sam was clearly enough for them to call it a day ha. About six months later I got a call from James saying he was working on some demo’s for a potential solo thing and would I be up for drumming on them. One of the demo’s was actually for ‘Jungle Man’, which I immediately thought was great. I know James had also sent it to Joe Donovan from Blossoms, who was a fan and encouraged him to get a proper recording of it done. I think James was understandably a bit sceptical of jumping back into another band, but thankfully for me he agreed!
Mitch was always James’ first choice to be lead guitarist. One, because their best mates and two, as he’s an amazing guitarist. We then had Charley on bass, who James knew through college. After a couple of months of gigging we were fairly keen on trying to break away from the straight up indie guitar sound, so we knew we needed a keys player. As James had picked both of the other members, I was fairly keen on picking the right person for keys. We also knew that we wanted someone who was going to be tasteful with it and not just doing ‘boogie woogie’ piano all over our tunes ha.
Although Sam’s first and foremost a bass player, he’d mentioned to me about six months prior to him joining that he was looking to do a slightly different project and potentially move onto keys, so that had stuck in my head since we had that conversation. He’s just a dead chilled personality to have around the band and super talented, so he was a great fit immediately.
Unfortunately things didn’t quite work out with our old bass player Charley, so in September last year James suggested we ask Ellis to join who’d previously played with him in Fronteers. I also went to college with Ellis and knew he fit the part perfectly, both technically as a great musician, but most importantly, personality wise. And I think that about bring us up to date!
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I guess for us, we just view it as alternative pop music really. We’re unashamedly big fans of melody and your just as likely to find any of us listening to Billie Eilish or Harry Styles as you are Tame Impala or Talking Heads. I know James has mentioned it before, but for him The Beatles will always be his go to when it comes to classic pop songwriting. I know it’s the obvious band to site, but it’s a cliche for a reason I suppose!
What is your creative process like?
Generally, James will bring in a verse/chorus idea and then we’ll flesh it out as a band and everyone gets to put their own personality into it. For me, I always think the best ones are the ones that fall together dead quickly without overthinking them too much and when everyone immediately knows what they should do without even asking. Likewise, some songs we might sit on for six months and then James might have an idea for a middle eight that then suddenly changes everything!
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
In terms of new bands, we’d collectively really like to play some shows with Inhaler. Their new record is great! Personally, I’ve always loved The Coral and think they’re criminally underrated, so I’d love to play some shows with them, just purely so I’d get to watch one of my favourite bands every night!
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I mean, I’m awful at this sort of thing… So instead of pushing anything to do with the band, I’ll just urge people to get their vaccine!
What is the most useless talent you have?
Being a drummer…
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
I don’t unfortunately, nobody wants to hear the drummer sing do they? If I did though, it’d probably have to be ‘Live and Let Die’ by Wings. “The band The Beatles could have been…”
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Probably what I’m doing now to be honest, as I really can’t do anything else. I currently work at a live music venue in Hull called Social and the other lads all have day jobs ranging from IT software developers through to engineers & delivery drivers. The pop biz isn’t as glamorous as people think until you get anywhere near the top ha!
Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
So far it’s only been UK stuff. The tour with Blossoms last March was definitely an eye opener for us and absolutely terrifying to play in venues of that size, although you do weirdly settle into it. You basically just pretend to be a better musician and act as if your a professional when you’re around other people who actually get paid to do it for a living ha!
Favourite venues on that tour would probably have to be Margate Winter Gardens and Bournemouth O2 Academy, as they’re both beautiful old buildings! In terms of least favourite venues, I haven’t really got anything bad to say about anywhere we’ve played or maybe we’ve just not gigged in that long that I’ve forgotten? Who knows!
What is your favourite song to perform?
We’d all definitely say it’s the stuff on the new ep that excites us most currently. We love ‘Time Will Define’ although it is a bit of a bugger to play live, as we’ve had to finally succumb to using a click track, so that I can stay in the time with the synth arpeggiator at the beginning. So because of that I’d probably say another new song called ‘My Imagination’. That’ll most likely be the closing song of the set from now I think!
Which famous musicians do you admire?
From a drum perspective, my two big ones are Matt Helders from Arctic Monkeys and Fab Moretti from The Strokes. Neither of them are particularly that flashy, but they’ve both got their own unique style, whilst also being tasteful at the same time. In my opinion, being a drummer you’re there to serve the songs at the end of the day, not the other way round (or that’s my excuse anyways…) For me, these two are perfect for their respective bands. I’ve also stolen EVERYTHING I have from them, so I guess this is my way of saying thank you!
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Well, there was this field of wheat that I used to run through… just kidding. To be honest, I’m the most sensible/boring one out of the lot of us, so I’m probably the worst person to ask this question. I’d also hate to incriminate any of the rest of them…
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
“Beer then wine, feeling fine. Wine then beer, oh dear…”
What’s next for you?
Well, we’ve just released our new single ‘Time Will Define’ last week and that’s the first track from an EP we’ll be releasing towards the end of the year. Then just as much touring as we can possibly cram in between now and the end of the year, all being well!
FEVER LIVE GIGS
29 – Glastonferret, Preston
1 – Sheffield Sydney & Mathilda
2 – Lincoln Engine Shed (with Blossoms)
3 – Stoke Victoria Hall (with Blossoms)
4 – Birmingham O2 Academy (with Blossoms)
6 – Leicester O2 Academy (with Blossoms)
7 – Cambridge Junction (with Blossoms)
8 – Nottingham Rough Trade
10 – Glasgow Attic
11 – Newcastle Underground
12 – Norwich Voodoo Daddys
13 – London O2 Forum (with Blossoms)
14 – Southampton Joiners
16 – Bath Moles
23 – Hull Social
12 – Manchester Deaf Institute (with Pacific)
10 – Manchester Academy 2 (with Fuzzy Sun)
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My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.