Maxwell Stott interviews up and coming band Deaf Club.
“Music doesn't need saving one bit. The people who come out saying they're here to 'save music' normally have quite a narrow awareness of all the amazing new music that is out there”.
Not afraid to mince her words, Polly Mackey, lead singer of Wrexham born band Deaf Club, tells us that illegal downloading isn’t to blame, nor is it the ‘X Factor’, or the big scary corporate eyes of the record label, that makes life breaking into the music industry elite, for new fresh artists like Deaf Club, so difficult.
“I think artists need to take their focus from catering to suits and record labels and concentrate on their art and music; music-lovers and listeners drive success, not record labels - they follow”.
Wrexham isn’t usually prolific for its musical starlets, yet the northern Welsh city might just have something to shout about soon, as alternative band Deaf Club, surging across the UK in their mates old banger of a campervan, put on a quite a show.
On being asked whether the dream of ‘making it’ was a real possibility, I was put firmly back in its place!
“The term 'making it' is so subjective. We've been in NME, Telegraph, have a single coming out under the Transgressive imprint 'Kissability', to me, that is already 'making it' I suppose. I guess you're always constantly looking ahead”.
The band says they take inspiration from a number of big names, of them include the likes of The Talking Heads, The Smiths and The Velvet Underground, which is evident in their latest ‘Lull’ EP. An EP which was given away for free, a decision Mackey states was one of the best the band has made. Mackey also made it clear that “free downloading is what is keeping the music alive at the moment, in terms of blogs and discovering new music”.
On behalf of the band she also stated that making the music you want to listen too is where you should start out as an artist. She also informed us that Deaf Club were not in the music industry for the money, if you are, then it isn’t really the industry to be in, a quote every aspiring musician should have plastered to the wall of their recording room/garage/shed.
Deaf Club hit the festival scene this summer, and are gearing up to play at Reading and Leeds’ infamous BBC Introducing stage. The live scene can be a cruel mistress, even for likes of artists who have been around the block a few times such as The Kings of Leon, who had to cancel half of their North American shows last year due to fatigue.
Touring live is such an important tool in getting your name out there. The internet is a great breeding ground to let your music run wild, but what is the reaction like? How many people is it actually reaching? How many people WANT to see you perform that music they’re hearing on the web? All these questions are answered by getting in the back of that van and touring, a challenge Deaf Club have taken in their stride.
The band have also received recognition from the likes of Jen Long, presenter of BBC Introducing in Wales, who has amazingly, put the band on live...in her kitchen.
Playing in the wonderful Jen Long’s kitchen was nowhere near enough though as they have also had the grand privilege of recording at London’s infamous Maida Vale Studio.
“It was just amazing. I've never heard such a good drum sound created within less than 10 minutes”.
The name Deaf Club originally came from an idea to set up a small label of their own, yet the band thought better of it as we believe, getting their own music into people’s headphones or speakers was more important.
I couldn’t try and persuade you any more that these 5 young starlets are going places, but if it hadn’t got through yet, they are.
by Maxwell Stott