The Staves, An English Folk group from Watford, landed in Leeds this gone Saturday 21st and took time out of their diligent schedule for a quick interview before their magnificent gig at the Brudenell social club.
Off the back of their tour with The Civil Wars in America, The Staves were quick off the mark to continue touring with a heavy set of dates across the UK, and its clear to see why. Their music is graceful, Charming and Beautiful, reminiscent of artists such as Joni Mitchell.
Combined with their songwriting ingenuity and skill they certainly are a group to be taken seriously and should be heard by those who care to listen. They have recently released an EP titled ‘The Motherlode’ and the title track is definitely worth your time.
Before their gig at the Brudenell I managed to catch up with them and ask them a few questions about their influences,Their History and the Music Industry.
“Apart from obvious musical influences is there anything else that Inspires you to write?”
(Emily) “I think your surroundings can make or break your mood really … Some of the drives we did on the American tour were really Beautiful and would give you a real rush to write something sometimes. Being surrounded by Mountains or the Sea I think can be really inspiring”
“Is Music something you have always wanted to do, or was there any other plans?”
(Jessica) “It’s always been something that we’ve all loved and found naturally, our Parents wanted us to be sensible and go to uni, but it wound up something we were doing so much it became our main aim anyway, there was no real action plan”
(Emily) “Even if we weren’t doing it full time like we are now, we would still be doing it anyway as a hobby it just happens that we have been fortunate enough to be able to do it full time really”
“Was Signing to a label something you looked for or was interested in originally?”
(Camilla) “We never really thought about getting signed, we were making a living from doing it ourselves at first but it just kind of happened we never planned anything. We just wanted to gig a lot and keep writing and I guess it was a nice surprise at the end really”
(Jessica) “There was a point where we started to get interest and emails from labels but it was really awkward and non committal. We were not really interested in that aspect of things at the time, which was naive because it’s really important to have some sort of structure whether that’s a label or management, but only when you’re ready for it.”
“Do you try and keep upto date with and talk to fans on sites like twitter and facebook?”
(Emily) “Yeah we do all of or most of that ourselves when we have the time to, being on the road a lot we sometimes need help letting fans know about gigs but we enjoy doing it and try to get on whenever we can… I think its the go-to for all bands these days to have sites where fans can connect with them and I really enjoy it, its nice to hear what people have to say.”
(Camilla) “I think they’re really useful for artists in giving them more power and control over how they are presented and getting their personalities across.”
“As an all female Group do you think there is still any prejudice within the industry?”
(Jessica) “I think it spills into every aspect of things sometimes, especially music. It can be hard but there’s no point in worrying about it you’ve just got to be strong in your opinions and ideas”
(Emily) “It’s not worth getting angry about, you’ve got to be assertive as you can be and not pander to any stereotypes. Having said that we have a good time still it’s hardly a war”
(Camilla) “It can be quite dangerous in the beginning if you start meeting managers and labels. Those are the times where you have to really stick to your guns and understand what you want to do. To understand what music you want to make and not be pushed a certain way.”
Later on in the day I was fortunate enough to see them play their live set, and it was a true caption of why the genre exists. There was no thrills, or anything else to rely upon but their own performances and musicianship. The enticing harmonies and progressive melodies keep you listening to each unique song from start to finish.
The crowd were receptive throughout and gave The Staves the opportunity to show off their casual style. The support act Christof was also worth a mention with a vocal not far removed from The Fleet Foxes.
Still touring across the UK and yet to go on tour with Bon Iver across America. The Staves are set for great heights I recommend you take the time to listen to their music and look forward to their full album release later on in the year.