Heyoooo pals! There’s nowt like a lazy Sunday, is there? Not when I’m sat inside revising all day, wishing the next couple of months would cease to exist so we can get goin’ on summer. I hope you’ve all had a considerably more riveting weekend than I’ve had, and I hope tonight’s post gets ya inspired for the week ahead. I’m back on the ol’ music hype again, with another wee interview with another v exciting band I want you to know about: Candid Heist.
As ya’ll know by now, I love music. Whether that’s writing, performing, listening to a new Spotify playlist on repeat: I dig all thangs music. And one of my favourite ways to get involved with music now I don’t perform so much anymore (thx uni for takin all my time away, h8 u) is to write about new bands that have come onto my radar. And Candid Heist are one of them. Made up of four lads originating from Reading, but one hailing from University of Birmingham like myself (big up Old Joe, and by that I mean the clock tower, not the band member) has meant that Candid Heist appeared on my Facebook feed a few months back, with an invite to their first major gig at The Indie Lounge, in Birmingham.
Candid Heist comprises of Dan, fellow Brum student and the band’s guitarist and vocalist, Shyam, the other guitarist and vocalist, Joe the bass player and George, CH’s drummer. And just to let you know the kind of lads we’re dealing with here, Shyam can double how old he looks by not shaving for a few weeks, Dan used to compete nationally at wakeboarding, George told me the guys watched each other play instruments for 7 years before deciding to actually begin a band and Joe has the exact theoretical BMI as a Yangtze river porpoise. Talented lads at that. Now go on, treat yoself on a lazy Sunday: have a read of the interview and get to know Candid Heist, their music and what they’re all about.
And keep a’readin’ for all the deets about the band’s upcoming gigs across the country.
How did you guys get together and how long has this band been in the making?
Shyam: Dan and I had been toying with the idea for ages- probably since we were 16. We had a few half-finished tracks that we wrote back in school, but never got round to finishing. It was only when we got home after our second term at uni, back in Easter 2016, that we just fleshed them out. We knew Joe and George from school, and how awesome they are at their instruments, so we asked if they wanted to play and it just went from there.
Dan: We only played one semi-acoustic show in Reading before going back to uni after we formed. We put up several acoustic covers the next year before coming together to record our first demo – Demo One – around Christmas 2017. We put it out in January 2018 and have just played our first gig further afield in Birmingham!
George: “I never want to turn down the chance to play live music and I’m loving it!”
Joe: I’d played with George throughout school, so we already had a cohesive bass/drum section. I then started playing with Dan and Shyam in Sixth Form. I remember them showing me a riff they’d written whilst we were jamming and we immediately began to elaborate on it- we clicked instantly!
George: When Dan approached me asking if I wanted to play with him in a little project, I was down straight away! I never want to turn down the chance to play live music and I’m loving it!
How have you found maintaining the balance between university and pursuing development as a band?
Shyam: Tough, to be honest! We’re all at different stages of our studies, so coordinating things has been tricky. Our home, Reading, ties us all together though- so hopefully we’ll be playing more gigs in the bars we used to hang out at soon!
Dan: Shyam’s in Loughborough/at his placement in London on the ol’ 9-5, George is in Kent, Joe’s in London and I’m in Birmingham so we have to make the most of our time when we can all get together. We’ve stuck up covers on our Soundcloud in the meantime, but when we get together we try and get some new stuff in there. In an ideal world we’d be closer and able to rehearse more often, but we seem to be making it work pretty well regardless!
Joe: Yeah, the hardest part is that everyone’s in different places both academically and geographically, so finding time to get together can be difficult.
George: I always think though, if you really do enjoy something, then you’re always going to find time for it.
Is the band something that you want to work alongside another career, or do you want to try to make Candid Heist a full-time thing?
Shyam: The dream would be for it to be a full-time thing, of course, but who knows?! Things change so quickly and it’s all about timing (or so I’ve read). Right now we’re just starting out. We want to play as many gigs as possible and get in the studio as often as we can. There isn’t much of a master plan!
Dan: It’s always a dream to play your own music and have people respond positively to it for a living. It’s so tough to break in to the industry, though- not that that means it’s not worth trying for- but for the meantime I’m just happy writing our own tunes, jamming out to covers and seeing what happens.
Dan: “It’s always a dream to play your own music and have people respond positively to it for a living!”
Joe: As for me, I’d definitely do it full-time- so long as I can make it pay!!
George: I’ve always wanted to try and make it in the industry, but you can never been too focused on ‘making it’ as such, as there are so many factors involved. Sometimes a bit of luck can propel you massively. I just look at my favourite band, Royal Blood, and their crazy rise to success!
How did the name Candid Heist come about and was it something that took a while to decide upon?
I came up with the name ‘Candid Heist’ while just in conversation with a friend about a month before we formed the band, in summer 2016. I was joking around about a very informal robbery and referred to whatever it was as a ‘candid heist’ and someone turned around and said, ‘that’d be a good band name’- and here we are! I think we only decided on it because we needed to give the rehearsal rooms in Reading a band name and it was the only one I had up my sleeve!
What is the song writing process like for you guys? Is it collaborative and how do you start coming up with a new song?
Shyam: Dan and I tend to write guitar parts and lyrics in our own time, and then we send new music across VoieNotes to each other. Then it all comes together in the rehearsal room as a full band. Joe and George put their stamp on it- the songs are half-baked until then, really.
Dan: It’s crazy how much the songs change as we’re writing. ‘Abroad’ changed a lot- it started out maybe a bit heavier. When we took the track to the guys we changed the rhythm of the riff for the better which was George’s work, then Joe threw a cool bass riff over the top and we had the finished track! Lyrics vary, sometimes they come sooner, other times later. For example, with ‘Claws’ I remember writing some form of the lyrics as soon as we had the riff back in 2014, but for ‘Abroad’ we recorded the whole song and I was still working out the lyrics two days before we put the track out!
George: “There’s often a groove or drum pattern that I just can’t get out of my head!”
Joe: Dan and Shyam will usually show me a riff and then I’ll work out what and where I want to play- then we’ll just flesh it out from there. After that, it’s just up to George to decide where he wants to bang the skins.
George: Often for me, there’s a groove or drum pattern that I just can’t get out of my head and will have to put into a song! Everyone definitely has an input into the songs, and we’ve had no major disagreements- as of yet…
If you could sell Candid Heist in one sentence, what would it be?
Shyam: I think we have a pretty cool variety when it comes to sound- no two songs sound the same, so there’s something for everyone- like Pick ‘n’ Mix, or somethin’.
Dan: Riffy indie-rock tunes by people who love riffy indie-rock tunes.
Joe: I’d like to think we’re fairly varied and have something to fit the listener’s particular mood- lots of our stuff is high energy, but we also have some slower songs, too.
George: Incredibly varied tracks, with irritatingly catchy riffs.
You’ve just played a show in Birmingham. How did it go?
Shyam: It went well- I think??? We were a little bit nervy so kind of raced through our set, and there were a few technical difficulties. But the feeling afterwards was amazing- if only you could bottle it! The crowd were awesome, too- we felt a lot of love from them and the other bands, which was so sweet.
Dan: We played alongside four great acts- Matt Romo, deafpony, Bears in Trees and DAME, who all absolutely killed it! It was our first gig as the full band, so we wanted to get the setlist just right: a mix of originals and covers which seemed to go down a treat. The crowd singing along to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Can’t Stop’ was great fun, and the phone lights coming on or ‘Girls on Shoulders’ was really cool, too. We covered ‘Can’t Stop’, MGMT’s ‘Electric Feel’, Jet’s ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ and Joy Division’s ‘Shadowplay’, as well as playing all-but-one of the tracks from Demo One.
Shyam: “The feeling afterwards was amazing- if only you could bottle it!”
Joe: It was so good to play live again- it was a really cool venue and it was great to meet the other bands! We smashed through the set a little too quickly, but I really liked having that grungy/rough aspect.
George: It’s always gratifying when people clearly like your original material, alongside some classics.
What’s your favourite part of being in the band – writing songs, performing live, or something else?
Shyam: I love the writing process the most. There’s something cathartic about just wasting a day inside with your guitar, curtains drawn, just messing around with ideas at your own pace. Playing live is like a rollercoaster- you’re bricking it before, feel like you want to vomit during, and feel exhilarated afterwards. I think we just need more practice live and then it’ll feel more second-nature- it’s all new to me at this point!
Dan: Playing live was great- I love that. Although particularly, for me, the feeling you get when an idea for a song you’ve had in your head translates into a whole song with the band is incredible. For example, I had the riff for ‘Electric Wolf’ for ages, probably a couple of years, before I was just warming up and playing it in the rehearsal studio, and George wanted to know what it was. I played them the riff and we working out the song there and then- it was so cool hearing the song come alive like that.
Joe: It’s definitely the rush of performance: trying out your songs on the audience is really rewarding and I love sending huge waves of bass through them- that and having underwear thrown at me…
George: It has to be performing live. There’s just this feeling I can’t really describe when things just ‘click’. Playing songs you love with some of your best mates is euphoric. Get past the initial apprehension just before you play and you have the time of your life!
What would be your advice to anyone wanting to have a crack at starting up a band and pursuing their love for music?
Shyam: Don’t think too much about it. I tend to overthink things a lot. You end up finding that all this time has passed and you haven’t moved because you were too scared to. You can end up doubting yourself too much to be creative. I still feel that way sometimes, but I’m trying to get over it. At the end of the day, none of it really matters- just pick up a guitar or whatever, learn some chords and write a song!
Dan: Write the kind of music you like – it’s way more fun that way. I love indie rock bands like Arctic Monkeys, so it just comes more naturally. Just play as much as you can- it’s always great if you’re playing music you love with your mates.
Joe: “Start to be adventurous and try writing your own stuff!”
Joe: Find some people who have vaguely similar tastes and start small and simple so you can get used to the dynamics of being in a band by playing some really easy covers. Then start to be a bit more adventurous and try writing your own stuff. As a bassist, I would definitely recommend making your performance memorable- there’s nothing worse than when a bassist is just a statue at the back.
George: Just don’t think about ways of getting big or anything like that. Just enjoy the challenge of playing good music live with people you like and do it as much as you possibly can. That’s it- just enjoy yourself!
So there ya have it. Candid Heist be a name to watch out for. And ya can also watch the lads live if you’re near London or Reading anytime soon! Check out Candid Heist live at The Workshop in London on 3rd May, Surya back in the capital on 16th June and Readipop Studios in Reading on 28th July. And in the meantime? Get ya Candid Heist fix by following them over on social media:
We have some gigs coming up in the next few months!Hot Vox Presents Candid Heist at The Workshop – 3/5Absent Kelly presents Candid Heist at Surya, London – 16/6Club Velocity presents Candid Heist Live at Readipop Studios – 28/7Ticket info in facebook events tagged above!Song: Abroad by Candid Heist from Demo One – https://soundcloud.com/candidheist/abroad
Posted by Candid Heist on Monday, 16 April 2018
Our first Demo is available on Soundcloud, Bandcamp and Youtube!
We're really excited about this – our first seven tracks being put out there for everyone to be able to hear! pic.twitter.com/1auyE7TI5D
— Candid Heist ?? (@CandidHeist) January 19, 2018
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ONE WEEK UNTIL OUR FIRST LONDON GIG ?? • We’re really looking forward to this one so get tickets online in advance here: https://www.fatsoma.com/hotvox/3975847c/hot-vox-presents-wicked-splinters-micko-westmoreland-the-mellotronics-candid-heist-boyfromthecrowd-ellen-blackman • Will be playing new original music too! • Follow @candidheist for all gig updates and new music soon! • • • • • • • • #gig #bands #band #hotvox #music #livemusic #indie #indierock #rock #arcticmonkeys #royalblood #thelibertines #rhcp #vampireweekend #joydivision #mgmt #guitar #fender #stratocaster #telecaster