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White Clouds and Gunfire are a five-piece rock band hailing from Peterborough made up of Evey [lead vocals], Rob [bass & vocals], Lewis [drums], Byron [guitar &vocals] and Alex [guitar & vocals]. After forming in 2009, they are already signed to ‘I Am Mighty Records’ and they have just completed their third hugely successful UK tour. The most recent of which was in support of The Famous Class and Anavae and kicked it off right here in Lancaster with a headline show for the fortnightly live music event Live at the Oak, based in County College. Jonathan Doyle had a chat with them and got a glimpse into what it is like to be part of touring band and being involved in the UK music scene.
How did you all meet?
(R) – A couple of us went to school together, me and AC [Alex Cox]. We played in bands together for years; projects split up and went separate ways. We found other musicians and eventually brought Lewis and Evey in.
(E) – We found Byron along the way.
(R) – We all run in the same circles I guess. We got together and just wanted to try something different.
How did you decide on your style?
(A) – Narrow mindedness!
(E) – We’ve all got a pretty wide taste in music but I guess we all play what we want to listen to and enjoy, or what is the point in doing it? It’s basically five different people’s opinions, so it’s whosever opinion wins at the time, whoever shouts the loudest!
What inspires you to write your music?
(E) – Life, beer..
(A) – Beer, copious amounts of alcohol and anger make me write music!
(E) – I only write about what I know about, otherwise, what’s the point in writing songs if you don’t have any way to relate to the lyrics? I just write about what I know and these boys make some music behind me.
(A) – WHEY! I make some sweet sweet music! [laughs].
Describe you sound.
(L) – Pocket rocket pop punk.
(A) – Filth!
(E) – Yeah pop punk music, female fronted pop punk.
What bands do you take inspiration from?
(A) – GWAR!
(E) – No come on, we’ve got to be serious, we should have left him outside! I personally love Halestorm, love Lzzy Hale! I do quite like a lot of metal music, I’m not into pop or indie stuff really… We all have a lot of time for Don Broco.
(R) – Yeah, a lot of UK bands like Deaf Havana, Mallory Knox.
(E) – We are quite fortunate that the UK music scene at the minute is so varied and strong. We’re massively fortunate that sometimes our paths cross with them [Deaf Havana, Mallory Knox etc.] and it’s also nice to meet the people behind the music, especially when they inspire you so much.
What piece of advice would you give a young band just starting on their journey?
(R) – I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot over the last couple of weeks actually. I’d say definitely stay in the rehearsal room for longer. There’s an urgency when you are young to get out and gig as much as possible, it is good live practice, but there is a lot to be said about staying in and getting a really strong set of songs worked out first. Go to jam and open mic nights and test your stuff out and then go and get gigs rather than just going out and maybe tarnishing your name because you’re not quite ready.
(E) – Dedication as well. I think being in a band requires a lot of time, energy and money, so don’t go into it half hearted. You have to go in at full force and really decide it is something you wanna do and then just go for it. Don’t take it lightly. These are some of the best experiences you will ever have in your life and only a few people get to truly experience being in a live touring band so just make the most of it.
Is this your biggest tour to date?
(R) – This tour definitely has the best venues, we have a few O2 dates which should be cool.
(E) – This is our third UK tour now, so it’s been quite nice that we’ve been able to start form the bottom and to be able to establish ourselves and work our way up the ladder.
What has been your favourite support slot?
(R) – Example was pretty good.
(E) – It was just before he peaked so we felt really privileged to be able to say we supported Example. It was wicked, he came up to me afterwards and said that he thought that I was awesome. It made me feel a little bit good about myself!
What has been your favourite city while on tour so far?
(R) – Newcastle, it was wicked.
What has been your worse tour experience?
(E) – Carlisle last tour, it was a bit of an experience. We stayed in a, well let’s say a budget hotel.
(A) – It was like Alcatraz wasn’t it?
(E) – When we turned up there it was just me and the guys. They [the receptionist] looked at us and asked “are you here for the night or just a couple hours?” – I must have looked like I could handle it!
Would you rather be a tiger or a bear?
(L) – I’m going bear.
Rest of WCGF – TIGER!
(L) – Bears are boss; you’ve got polar bears, grizzly bears…
(E) – But which bear would you be?
(L) – I’d be Yogi Bear.
(R) – A tiger is like the biggest, most powerful animal.
(L) – A bear’ll take it out mate, you seen the size of it’s paws?!
If you could meet absolutely anybody, who would it be?
(A) – Ron Jeremy [pornstar], because he gets to sleep with everybody; he’s amazing!
(R) – Mine would probably be Randy Rhodes; he used to play guitar for Ozzy Osbourne, that would be incredible.
(L) – Superman, the new one, Henry Cavill. Lad isn’t he, hench, LAD of Steel.
(B) – I want to meet Dave Ghrol, that would be sick. Nicest guy in rock they say, let’s see how nice he is!
(R) – What about you Evey?
(A) – What, Gemma Jameson? Or Veronica Vega, she’s fit.
(L) – Kelly Brook.
(B) – Yeah I’m really looking for fitties… My god, I’d like to meet Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon as well. I’d like to go round to their house and have a cup of tea. I’d love to do that, that would be fucking amazing – that’s my choice.
Check out White Clouds and Gunfire’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wcagf) where you can view their music videos, find out when they are next performing and if you like what you hear, pick up a copy of their latest album, ‘For All The Non Believers’.