What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
My dad played guitar and he had a few guitars lying around the house. It was always cool watching him play and at around the age of 13 or 14 I asked my parents if I could learn the guitar. They acquiesced and not long after that I started getting lessons locally (in Sydney). I eventually began to dabble more extensively into songwriting after playing guitar in a few projects. It provided a new platform of personal expression and facilitated the ability to induce a sense of solace. I developed an innate desire to create something that people can connect with, feel, and relate to, and making original music was a logical next step. Music is a powerful creation and I hold a hope that our music can help others in some way, shape or form.
The band’s formation is an interesting story and really materialised after some uncanny coincidences and fortuitous meetings. I met Andrew (guitarist) in a hostel in Budapest many moons ago. We were both backpacking, both in the same dorm room, and he was conveniently travelling around with a little guitar. Perfect conversation starter. We got to know each other over the course of a few days exploring the city together. Before continuing our respective journeys, we exchanged details and wished each other well on our travels. I doubt either of us would have guessed we’d eventually be in a band in London playing around town, recording, making videos and what not!
A few years later I was planning on travelling again although spontaneously decided to delay the trip to record an EP of tracks I’d written. I reached out to musician friends to see if anyone was keen on recording and coincidentally Andrew was in town visiting family. He jumped on board with some other friends and we got the record done before I left Sydney again. On this next journey I wound up in Latvia and volunteered at a hostel for a month. One of my colleagues, Ed, turned out to be the future drummer of Neuromantics.
Fast-forward a year and Andrew is back in London, Ed has since moved to London, and I am a new arrival in town. We got together to form a band but were missing a key ingredient – bass. Andrew suggested a colleague of his who played bass and he came along to the next practice. Dani fit in straight away and from that moment Neuromantics was officially formed. We got busy creating music and experimenting and ended up recording our first album which we are in the process of releasing.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Invisible is the second single off our debut album. The song delves into the notion of breaking free from the undesirable yet omnipresent chains of apprehension which cause us to lose our sense of self, our direction, our purpose, and ultimately drive us to become invisible. We also filmed an accompanying music video that cuts between the faces of ordinary people from diverse backgrounds all united in their personal struggle to realise themselves through the hurdles and demands of a quotidian life in constant flux. It really explores human sensitivity, connectivity and vulnerability and the myriad of people in the video do justice in conveying that raw emotion.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I’d say everyone in the band draws from a variety of influences, particularly given we are all from different countries and have played in bands encapsulating different genres. That definitely helps when we are writing as we can all draw from our respective experiences and perspectives. Personally, from a musical perspective I think there’s so many talented artists out there that all offer something unique and special. I love experimenting with alternate tunings when writing to explore new tones, sounds, and combinations. A lot of our songs have guitar parts in alternate tunings, so I’d say artists such as The Goo Goo Dolls, John Butler, The Tea Party, and Led Zeppelin are definitely influences in that department. I also really dig post rock such as Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Rós, and This Will Destroy You, and get inspired when writing melodic layers. Non music wise it would have to be people who take risks, stand up in the face of adversity, and have the courage to follow their passions. Seeing others strive to make their dreams come true cane be pretty inspirational!
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I’d like to think this first record epitomises variety and exhibits our flexibility as musicians. There is a blend of songs which I feel has the capacity to resonate with a diverse audience. At the same time, it’s just the beginning and the future second record would ideally illustrate how we’ve grown together as musicians and evolved our sound. There are some catchy riffs, melodies, beats, and vocal lines and overall I’d say give it a listen as you may gain some enjoyment from it.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums = Valtari (Sigur Rós), A Weekend in the City (Bloc Party), and No Name Face (Lifehouse).
Movies = Garden State, Before Sunrise (the whole “Before” series if possible), and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.
Books = The Disaster Artist, This Man Rode a Bike From India to Sweden—for Love, and Brave New World.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Both are special in their own way, so I guess it depends on the current mood! I love the energy and atmosphere of playing live and having the opportunity to meet new people. It’s also a great platform for us to witness first-hand which songs the audience are reacting to and offers and opportunity to get some feedback. Having the opportunity to play for others is always a special feeling. I like the process and innovation inherent in the studio. Experiencing something that was written in a bedroom or rehearsal room come together into a final song is a rewarding feeling.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Our first gig was a highlight. The speakers blew halfway through the second song, so we basically had no vocals or bass for most of the show. We did get a free meal after the show and it was pretty tasty!
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
I’d say either Splinters or Trapped. Splinters stylistically is quite different to the other tracks, whereas Trapped blends a lot of nice layers and has primarily female vocals.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Play, play, play! We love playing live and would like to line up more shows not just in London but in other places around the UK and eventually beyond these shores. We’ll also try and get on some festival bills. We are releasing a couple more singles (with music videos) before dropping the album and will of course continue to write new music in the anticipation of eventually releasing a second album.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
What do you think is important for a successful band?
Comradery, teamwork, everyone having a voice, shared goals and vision, and ultimately having fun.
Photo credits: Ance Kazaka
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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