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

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists we have right here in the north east. This time, the members of Humanism tell us about their varying influences, their biggest achievements and tolerating each other…

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

We are Andi, Pip, Tom and Jack and we make up the fun-loving quartet known as Humanism. We’re from Whitley Bay and we formed around May of 2012.

What inspired you to first start making music?

Andi: I used to sing as a child from a very young age and I did have the occasional piano lesson when I was younger, but I started playing guitar on my 8th birthday and after a year or so I was coming up with ideas. I always loved classical music, Vivaldi was a favourite of mine, so I think that played a big part in my inspiration. That said, I started playing guitar because of Bryan Adams really, haha!

Pip: In High School people around us were all enjoying live music more than ever. Joining bands and making music with friends was a great way to socialise and express yourself.

Tom: I was inspired to start drumming by my early musical influences, like Green Day and Foo Fighters, plus the fact that I had close friends who played guitar or drums. Expanding my taste in music has made me more inspired to better myself musically.

Jack: Seeing Angus Young playing guitar solos on his back! AC/DC for sure.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

Andi: I find influence and inspiration from a lot of different places when creating for Humanism, but musically I’m always really loving Death Cab For Cutie, Copeland, Mute Math, Jimmy Eat World, Circa Survive to name a few. We all have really wide spread tastes in music so I think the more we’re collaborating together as a young band, the more our different influences come across in the styles of how we play. Pip actually got me in to Death Cab For Cutie in the first place and we share a lot of the same taste in music, R.E.M and Snow Patrol are up there for sure. Tom’s favourite band is Muse and I think we all like something by Coldplay and Foo Fighters. Jack’s favourite band is Iron Maiden so there’s a metal influence and then there’s stuff like Four Tet, Deadmau5, that kinda thing.

How would you describe your sound?

I suppose we’d call it Ambient-Alternative-Progressive Rock? It’s hard to say but people seem to like them terms when describing us. The word psychedelic has also been dotted around, but I think for us we are never set to one genre and Humanism is a progression so we can never say where our music will go from one release to the next.

“we work really hard in rehearsals to ensure that things are as tight as possible and we do everything we can to recreate the soundscapes from our records”

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?

Now there’s a question. We have found it quite difficult as there’s nothing like us in this area that we’ve come across, so we sort of gave up on trying to play gigs with “similar” bands. We play quite a bit with Street Party In Soho and Absorb but that’s more because we’re friends. We don’t really fit in to the Ouseburn clique, although we love The Cluny and playing there is always great. I don’t really think there’s that much more of a scene that we’ve had any opportunity with. It’s on the rise though I think, there’s a lot more talent than opportunity in the North East.

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

A Humanism show generally has a lot of energy, we work really hard in rehearsals to ensure that things are as tight as possible and we do everything we can to recreate the soundscapes from our records. Always a fun night.

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

We played at the O2 Academy 2 in Newcastle on Saturday 6th June with Street Party In Soho and Absorb. Then we’re planning on an unplugged session near the coast at a cute little coffee shop called WOODS on the broadway in Cullercoats; that’s in August but we are yet to confirm the date. After that we’re focusing on playing outside of the area and we’re going to release some new material. We’re debuting our new single, Show Me The Way on 6th June so it’s definitely the place to be.

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

We played two festivals in 2013 and supported The Undertones which was really cool. We also played at the Polarsets album launch at The Cluny which we were so happy to be part of. I think our latest album, Porcelain Soul has to be the biggest achievement though. We worked hard on that album and we went down to Metropolis in London to have it mastered with John Davis and that was really special.

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

Pip: The same as any other band starting out, pushing yourselves musically, giving as much time as you can to what you believe in and then there’s tolerating each other, haha!

Andi: I think the musical side of things has been the least challenging part. We’ve had a lot of changes in the line up since 2012, with only Pip and myself as original members, but aside to that I’d say balancing work life with the band has been challenging for everyone involved.

What else have you got planned for the future?

We’re shooting a music video towards the end of June for the song White Lies. We’re still in pursuit of management although we’ve had some interest, but I think once we secure the right person to take us forward we’ll be doing some exciting things.

Humanism’s new single Hearts is released on Sunday 19th July.

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