DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Hazels | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to another edition of Doorstep Interview where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists we’ve got right here in the north east. This time it’s the turn of Durham quartet Hazels to answer our little questionnaire.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

We’re Hazels and we’re a five piece indie-rock band originally from Durham but now living together in Jesmond, Newcastle. We met in secondary school and have known each other for nearly ten years, but it was only in March 2013 when we started taking music a bit more seriously and began the band.

What inspired you to first start making music?

A number of things; certainly a desire to create something completely unique that we could own for ourselves. Also, as we’re all huge music fans you listen and look up to all these amazing bands and artists and you just want to be like them. Most importantly, we’re all musicians and we’re never happier than when we play together; making music together wasn’t even a conscious choice it was just a natural progression that we couldn’t help.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

We’re a very diverse band when it comes to musical tastes and between the five of us I can honestly say we cover every genre I can bring to mind. Obviously we all share a love of big indie-rock bands but musical influences are never drawn from the specific music of a handful of bands. We love the live energy of bands like The Libertines and heroes Palma Violets, but to compare our sound with them would be wrong. The Orwells, Interpol, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Martha and many more are bands that we all love and listen to.

How would you describe your sound?

Each song has a different feel but we always love catchy guitar hooks and loud noisy outros as well as a strong sing-a-long chorus. Expect fuzzy guitars and fast tempos with a lick of reverb.

Where do you see yourself fitting in the local music scene?

As a band we’re relatively new but the local scene seems to be enjoying our music so far. We’re making a name for ourselves as support for touring bands and we’ve been included in the Evo Emerging line-up, which speaks volumes about how the local scene has received us. Sound-wise, the scene is very diverse and I’d say minus The Castells we don’t share many similarities with any of the current bands.

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by Hazels?

We’ve recently been praised for our energy on stage and it’s something we’re really proud of. No-one likes to see a band performing who are static and not putting everything they have into their music. We all understand that an audience gives back exactly what the band puts in to it, so when we play we try and give it our all. We love what we do so why not show it?

“we’re never happier than when we play together; making music together wasn’t even a conscious choice it was just a natural progression that we couldn’t help”

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

The next one booked in is supporting Glastines for their single launch at The Cluny 2 on Sunday 26th April. After that we’ve got Evolution Emerging on Saturday 23rd May which we’re over the moon about. We’ve also got quite a few potential support slots in the pipelines but nothing is confirmed yet so keep checking our Facebook for further gig updates.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?

We got playlisted by Amazing Radio and ended up making their top 40 chart coming in at 38th with In Control. It was crazy to see ourselves sitting alongside bands like Alt-J and Drenge; we still don’t really know how we managed to get on to it, but we’re not complaining! From that we got involved with the IMC initiative Across The Pond and our track got played on numerous radio stations across USA (New York, Ohio, New Jersey and Charlottesville) and the reaction we got was brilliant. To have a song that was written in a bedroom broadcast to such a wide audience is something we are extremely proud of.

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

The biggest challenge has been getting the music heard. Self-releasing the singles has given us a lot of pride; however, ensuring we reach the widest possible audience has proved difficult to do. That being said, seeing the band naturally progress is rewarding and with the second single In Control we’ve had a lot more exposure than the first, so we’re really excited to see how far we can take our next release.

What else have you got planned for the future?

We’ve just recorded four new tracks at Blank Studios with John Martindale and we’re planning on releasing them on a six track EP along with our first two singles This Ain’t A Game  and In Control. We’re hoping to release it by the end of summer and we’ll hopefully have some gigs up and down the country to coincide with the release date, more information on the EP will be posted online in the upcoming weeks. Until then we’ll be spending our time writing bigger and better tunes and hopefully playing bigger and better gigs.

Hazels will be supporting Glastines at The Cluny, Newcastle on Sunday 26th April.

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