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

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Humanism are something of a unique ensemble in the North East’s music scene. The quartet – Andi Anderson, Phil Wallace, Pip Coates and Tom Scrimshaw – have recently been putting the finishing touches to their debut album but as a band, Humanism have had an unusual inception. “Humanism first came about as a solo project back in 2010, with the debut album, which was my final university project piece,” Andi explains. “That was the catalyst for the formation of an actual band, around the summer or 2012.”

Humanism’s music combines the psychedelic and ambient aspects of Jagwar Ma and Tame Impala with some elements of mainstream rock, most notably Feeder (“one of our all-time favourite bands to be honest,” says Phil). Their deceptively simple riffs and powerful vocal deliveries are shrouded in a mist of ambient synths and complex rhythmical webs. It is not surprising that each member of the band have extensive musical tastes. Andi was raised on “Vivaldi and Beethoven to grunge and everything in-between,” while Phil has a “distorted taste” in music that spans Dizzy Gillespie to Bon Jovi, with Michael Jackson being a personal favourite. Tom wishes to inject “the energy in performances from bands such as Foo Fighters, Muse and Biffy Clyro” into his own role with the band. Pip explains how they work together with their disparate tastes: “we all stem from different backgrounds musically but as a band it’s important to appreciate influences from everyone involved and ensure that the direction is clear.”

The LP was recorded at YStudio, where the skeletons of the tracks were recorded in three days. Phil notes that “although it was short and sweet, it was a nice change from recording in the bedroom.” Andi worked at home to add the samples and strings to the bare bones of the tracks before being sent to Steve Kitsch, member of The Pineapple Thief, for the final mixing. Although the process seems quite smooth, there were some hitches along the way. Tom damaged his ankle, while organising time to fit around the band’s full-time jobs and university commitments proved challenging (“that can be quite difficult at times,” Phil muses).

Although they are only just unleashing the album, the band are already looking to the future. For Tom, touring is a top priority, while Phil states that the band are thinking big for the LP’s promotion: “we’re constantly working on increasing our exposure and media profile, so there will be plenty more in the coming months, as well as applying for festival next year,” he states. “Hopefully the album will bring some exciting new opportunities.”

Humanism release Porcelain Soul on 1st December, they play Newcastle University Student’s Union on Saturday 29th November.

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