Llanelli Music Scene tracked down newly signed touring band Seconds From Ruin , ahead of their gig with The Ecko, Fatal Desire and Dodgem-X at the Kazbar in Llanelli on 17th February 2013. The band agreed to answer a set of ten Questions put to them as follows.
1. Tell us about yourselves, (Names and role in the band)
We are a Five piece Alt Rock band from Blackwood in South Wales The band consists of Jamie Thomas (Bass), Chris Clark (Vocals), Henry James (Keys/Synth), George Pinkett (Guitar) and Nathan Lewis (Drums)
2. How did members get together?
We formed in December 2011 when Jamie and Nathan decided to form a band after the demise of previous bands. We were then joined by Guitarist Craig James and Keyboardist Henry James to start writing material. In January of 2012, vocalist Chris Clark joined the setup where we then headed into the studio to record our first single 'Distant Light'. Shortly after that we then released a second single called 'Guilty' and performed a string of shows around Wales.
Craig then decided to leave the band and we carried on writing for the next release. George Pinkett, a guitarist, then joined SFR and immediately we entered the studio to record the 3rd single '442'.
Not long after the release we then signed to Rebirth Records and carried on playing shows around the welsh regions. The band then continued to write for the EP while playing shows and then caught the attention of Cheltenham based label, Red Zebra Records. In January of 2013, the band signed with their new label and release their new EP 'Mayday' On March 4th on Red Zebra Records via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Xbox Live.
3. What made you choose to play Llanelli?
We decided on playing the Llanelli date as we have noticed a growing reputation of live music occurring down this part of Wales. We find a lot of towns and city's have a lot of underground great venues and the Kazbar is no exception. Very excited about playing down in the west of Wales.
4. Any other gigs booked?
5. Are there any messages you are trying to get across in the music?
In all types of music/lyrics every artists has its own message. With us, some of the story lines are of everyday life and some of very random subjects. We tend not to look into that too much, we prefer for people to relate in their own way and put their own stories or relations to the tracks.
6. Are there any funny stories behind why a song was written?
Well there's one where Chris had nightmares about big yellow monsters chasing him! Don’t ask why but lyrics were wrote to a piece that George composed. The lyrics stuck and it’s on our new EP. Apart from that we tend to knuckle down and write more serious but enjoyable music.
7. What are the downsides / upsides of being in the band?
Upsides are definitely seeing enjoyment on other people’s faces at the shows. We have a great fan base and they all seem to stick together pre show and that's a really humbling feeling knowing that they have spent their hard earned money to come and watch the five of us doing our thing. The other upside is having a big satisfaction knowing that 100% of the music we play is written by us, it’s not an easy process, but is a very satisfactory one.
Downsides? There's not that many! There’s always lots of smiles and enjoyment, but the only one I can think of is the late nights after the shows and very early mornings where we have to travel. But again it’s worth it in the end.
8. Any advice for other musicians to get started or gig finding?
Be patient, maybe 20% of all promoters/venues are willing to give you a chance. Take the shows you are offered and slowly build a fan base, don't rush as the quality will disappear. Over time, people will take notice and offer you more and definitely don't come across as if you’re already the next Guns and Roses or Nirvana. People hate bands ahead of themselves, knuckle down and do the basics.
9. What is it about your band that makes you different to all the others?
Well there's so many genre's around at the moment it’s hard to stand out. Something we do take pride in, is that we aren’t afraid of trying new things and not trying going with a certain trend. We write what we feel is good enough and not what the latest 'fashion' band are playing, there's too many of them around.
Our set is very varied as we have very energetic tracks right down to a slow ballad. With the structure we have, we can experiment a lot and that's what makes us different.
10. What methods of advertisement besides from Llanellitown.com's music scene do you find has helped you gig?
There's a huge market for online advertisement these days so it’s very easy to spread the word about a show or the latest release. Social networking is a huge help and Llanelli has many different groups and pages for music that helps advertise the show.
Alun from Cadno Music has been a massive help for this and with people like him helping there's always a excellent chance you will have a fantastic gig and a chance to network with fellow musicians from Llanelli. The rest is up to the artist to build on that for the near future.
Questions formulated by Keith Evans, arrangements of feature by Trudi Goldsmith.
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