EKKOES: The fresh faces of electro-pop

Indie | Thursday 10th March 2016 | Teresa

Marc from our team at Guestlist sat down with lead singer Jon of the up and coming electro-pop trio from London, EKKOES.

Thanks for joining us, we’re sitting with Jon from EKKOES.
No problem.

So can you tell us about your sound and influences?
Like 80s bands like Human League, New Order, Depeche Mode, also, bands from a little bit later that we’re massive massive fans of. Dave takes a lot of influence from guitar players like Johnny Marr, loads of different places, really. Even bands like The Killers, and stuff like that, bands with like big pop sensibility.

Sweet, and you’re the singer?
I’m one of the singers, one of two.

And who else is in the band?
Myself, a girl called Rose who also sings with me, and Dave who basically does everything else.

Do you just turn up and sing?
Yeah, I just turn up and sing, [laughs]. Easy, easy.

Have you been on any tours recently, have you got any coming up?
We’ve got a few. Not too long ago we did a couple dates with CHVRCHES. A big tour coming up soon, which we’re really excited about is with The Human League.

Sweet, I bet you can’t wait for that.
Yeah, it’s amazing, I was saying to someone the other day, they’re actually one of the bands that like weirdly I’ve never actually seen, despite being a huge fan for many many years. First time I ever see them live, I’m gonna be playing with them. It’s nuts.

Yeah that’s pretty cool. In regards to touring, how is it? Is anyone annoying on the road? Do you get on well with all the other guys?
Um, yeah, yeah, it’s not too bad, actually! No one’s too awful actually.

Really? Go on, give us some dirt on someone [laughs].
[Laughs], no, well when you’re all on tour, it’s all about allowing each other to have your personal space stuff, and allowing everyone to have their own time every now and again.

So are you the diva of the band? Do you have your own changing room?
Nah, that’s Rose all the way. Yeah, I’m alright, [laughs].

So what’s the ambition of the band? Have you got, like, a goal you’re going for? Or are you just trying to go along and see what happens?
Well, I mean, we just want to see how far we can take it, really. You know, we don’t have any end goal in mind, really. We just want to get the music out to people, we hope the people like it, hope a lot of people like it, and kinda see where it goes. We’ve not done this with a big plan in mind. We just want the people to like it.

Sweet, sweet. How long have you guys been together actually?
We’ve been together a little bit over two years now. I don’t know, I lose track. Maybe a little bit longer. I guess when we started writing together and doing stuff, was a little bit sooner than that.

And you said there was three of you in the band, how did you all meet?
Myself and Dave have pretty much been mates since we were born. And Rose, we got from a good ol’ fashioned advert. We were looking for someone, a female vocalist to add into the mix, and we just stuck up and advert at the The Premises, a rehearsal room down the road that we rehearse at, and yeah, she was the only one that answered that.

So the only one? So you had no choice really but to take her.
[Laughs] yeah basically, but to be fair, when we met her, we thought she was pretty much perfect. But yeah, she’s great, lovely.

And in terms of musical direction, do you all hold the same views?
Actually, largely, yeah. Myself and Dave do a fair share of the writing, and yeah, we share a pretty similar outlook, in terms of what the music should sound like. We both just love melody, really. Anything that’s melodic. We very rarely have an argument about song structure, or a certain bit of it, we’re usually pretty in sync, actually. So there’s gonna be no artistic differences down the road. We’re sorted, we’re fine.

If you could eradicate any song from history, what would it be?
Uh, so many. I really really hate The B-52’s ‘Love Shack.’ Horrible.

It’s got melody in there, though.
Yeah it does, but I just hate it. It’s just disgusting. It’s just like cringey, and it’s got a faux-kinda surfy vibe to it. ‘Rock Lobster’ I like, but I got a real real thing about ‘Love Shack,’ can’t bear it.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Um, that’s a good question. Ah, I don’t know, I think the main stage at Glastonbury takes a lot of beating doesn’t it? Or Red Rocks Ampitheatre in the US.

If you were prime minister, what law would you change?
Uh, [laughs], which one of these can I say that won’t sound really cheesy. I don’t know. Oh god, so many. I would certainly change the whole education system. I’m a big advocate for education, so I’d probably change all of that with the tuition fees. I think it’s a bit mental.

Legalise anything?
Uh, yeah, all drugs. Everything, [laughs], every single one. They’d be my two changes.

What would you say is your proudest moment so far?
Meeting and playing with Andy Bell from Erasure. Did a couple of dates with them for Electric Foundation. So that was pretty cool. He liked my outfit, so it was good.

What were you wearing?
[Laughs], well I was wearing, well what he particularly liked were these collar tips I was wearing at the time, and he wanted to know where he could get some. I was like I’ll show you around Andy, yeah I’ll take you out to get some collar tips. Topshop’s got them, I’ll get you some.

Topshop, yeah? Well do you hold down jobs, or is it like full time?
Yeah, that’s the nature of the beast these days isn’t it? Until such time that we’re selling tours out and all the rest of it, jobs are necessary.

What’s the worst job you’ve done so far?
The job I last did the shortest amount of time at was a double glazing firm, I was selling double glazing. People have done those kind of jobs, but it was brutal, man, absolutely brutal. Like if you call up an old lady, and you ask her to talk to her husband, and she says that her husband passed away, you’d have like use that as an in to say, "well I’m sorry to hear that, but now that he’s gone aren’t you hearing thinking about security a little more?" I was like, no, fuck this, I’m not working here anymore.

All because of the fear of talking to old ladies?
Yeah, [laughs] it was brutal, man.

What are you in love with right now? Musically, or just anything in your life.
Aurora, I love Aurora. Just an amazing artist. I caught her just a little while ago, couple months back, and she’s just incredible, her voice is flawless, and she’s kinda like this childlike cute sort of singer who’s about 5 foot, with this huge voice, and really great songs. Yeah, I love her at the moment.

Tell us something weird about yourself.
Jeez, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m all that weird.

Have you done anything weird?
I don’t know if I’ve done anything weird that I want to admit to [laughs]. I’m not sure I’ve done much weird stuff. I’m having a blank.

That’s fine.
We’ll come back to it, if I remember.

Definitely, well if you start like touching yourself on camera, then we’ll know some weird fetish you’ve got.
Yeah [laughs].

If you had to start a new life in a new country, where would it be?
Colombia… Not for the reasons you’re immediately thinking! [Laughs] I visited Colombia a few years ago, and ever since, it’s always been in the back of my mind. It’s just an incredible country, really, really lovely people. Super cheap, Caribbean coastline, amazing scenery. Yeah, really really great place, I loved it.

I’ve never been, but I’ll take your recommendation.
The cocaine’s amazing! [Laughs] that’s a joke by the way!

What are you looking forward to at the moment? What’s new, apart from the tour with The Human League, in your life?
I’m really looking forward to the album coming out to be honest with you. It’s been a really long time, we’ve been writing it for a really long time, you know we’ve kinda gone through bumps and things that have kinda got in the way. So you know, I just can’t wait to finally have it out.

How long did that take, from start to finish? It’s done, right?
Yeah, it’s done, it’s finished, it’s mastered. I don’t know, a few of the songs that are on it, Dave and I wrote a number of years ago. Like if you take it back to the first song that’s on it, you’re talking 5 or 6 or 7 years. Yeah, I mean, it’s been a good few years, I suppose, properly.

You’re not sick of the songs yet though?
Oh no, I hate them [laughs]. No, I still love them.

And when’s that out?
It’s out in April. I now can’t remember the date off the top of my head, but I think it’s around April 29th.

But they can find that out online, right?
Oh yeah, it’s all online.

Okay, now I’m gonna ask you some quick fire questions.

Would you legalise cannabis?

Heaven or Hell?

Worst UK city?

Favourite UK city?

For more from EKKOES like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and check out their Soundcloud.