Interview: EMU | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Middlesbrough’s alt-rockers, EMU have been incredibly busy this year and the current climate hasn’t seemed to have slowed them down, as they release the follow up to their previous single, Walk Of Shame, with their latest offering, Average Lad (available to pre-save here). We catch up with the band to talk about them and the new release.

How did you guys get together and where did the name come from?
Luke (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) Matty (Lead Guitar) and Ian (Bass) knew each other from being in another band together and Luke had some songs that he wanted to demo. After demoing the song (‘Wrapped Up’ from our debut EP) writing and demoing just became a weekly occurrence and we ended up with a bunch of tunes before we had even had a band practice. Matty (Lead guitarist) knew Ben (Drummer) from being in a band back when they were in school and invited him to join to complete the line-up. Once Ben joined, we really started to find our own sound, and everyone fell into their roles a lot better. As for the name it was just one of those things where Luke suggested it in one of the early demoing sessions and it just stuck, we like everything about it besides the comparisons to rod hull.

How would you describe your sound?
Loud Guitars. Louder drums. 

How are you keeping and how have plans changed since the Covid-19 pandemic?
Obviously the Covid-19 situation is not ideal for anyone working within the music industry and has affected a few of our plans such as gigs being cancelled or rearranged and few tunes having to be released later on in the year due to us being unable to get in the studio. However, this isn’t just affecting us, and we are all in the same boat so hopefully, that means that after this all blows over a tonne of great tunes and gigs will come from it. We are also trying to promote as much local music during this time as possible because if bands can’t gig then streaming their tracks helps them massively so we have been doing things on Instagram such as ‘best gig photo’ and ‘supporting local artists’ where another band/artists tags you in a post then you go on to tag other creatives. To try and keep some live presence Luke is going live on our Instagram (@weareemuuk) and doing some acoustic sets over the coming weeks.  

Tell us more about your new single average lad?
Our new single comes from one of the earlier sessions of demoing and we have been playing it live for about 9 months, so chances are if you’ve seen us, you’ll recognise it. It tells the story of an ‘Average Lad’ who nicks a TV. 

Tell us more about the songwriting process.
In the earlier days of the band, we would normally take a full track or idea that Luke had and then all add our own parts over a demo. Then we would take it to practice and hash out any problems but with some of the newer tracks we have written they have come from just jamming a riff in practice and within 20 minutes we have a new song and are eager to play it at our next gig. Since we have quite a large selection of songs we haven’t recorded yet, a lot of the songs end up completely different from how they started by the time we go in the studio. 

When this is all over and social isolation is not a thing then what’s the first thing you are going to do? 
Jump on any gig possible. We are already missing playing so by the time this is said and done we will be absolutely itching to play a gig. Hopefully, some promoters will put on all-dayer or weekender so that bands can blow off some steam with our band friends as I’m sure a lot of people will be dying to have a pint and watch a few bands. Who knows even if no one else does it we might have to give it a go ourselves.  

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