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.
Dovey: Early on, the yearning to stick out from the other kids on the school yard. To be seen as cool. Years later the Rec was inspired by a Ritchie guitar purchase and a trans-Atlantic digital reunion was established.
Ritchie: We met at school in Oswestry, Shropshire, a small market town on the England/Wales border in the very early ‘80s. We grew up in a time when there was loads of amazing music around and I’d guess me and Dovey were probably the two biggest music geeks in our year, so it was kind of inevitable that we’d find each other and form a band. After school and art school in Shrewsbury, we went our separate ways but kept in touch. After years of having kids and not doing any music at all, I decided to buy a guitar to try and fill a creative void in my life. Dovey lives in Los Angeles and I’m now in London, but the invention of the internet meant that we could trade ideas and actually make the music we’d wanted to make all those years ago, back when we were in school.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Dovey: A tribute to all the various accents and slang words from all corners of Britain. Sometimes you feel like a tourist in your own country.
Ritchie: Sleaford Mods and Gang of Four, jamming in the Butcher’s Arms, Oswestry.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Dovey: Music wise: XTC, Yes, the Byrds. I live in Los Angeles, so memories of home, friends, family, TV shows, food and fine English footwear.
Ritchie: Musically – loads of stuff really. Classic ‘60s music like the Beatles, the Who, the Byrds etc., Motown/Stax/late ‘60s and early ‘70s soul, punk and post-punk, Bowie, early REM, Go Betweens, Springsteen, Neil Young, Nick Cave. There’s also lots of inspiring music around at the moment: Weyes Blood, Big Thief, the Delines. As Dovey says, we’re also influenced massively by popular culture – film and TV in particular.
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?
Dovey: Variety is our specialty. We have no agenda, we trust each other’s instincts, they’re normally spot on.
Ritchie: I don’t know how to describe our music. In a so-far unreleased Rec song, there is this line: a sense of nostalgia for simpler times, and we do tend to look backwards to sometimes quite niche cultural experiences for inspiration. At the same time we also touch upon more universal themes that often crop up in both popular music and modern society – anxiety, alienation, a sense of not quite fitting in. There is something paradoxical about the way operate. Me and Dovey are analogue people in a digital world, highly skeptical and suspicious of social media, the internet and so on, and yet we make our music in a very 21st century way.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Dovey: Hemispheres/Rush, Close to the Edge/Yes, The Lamb Lies down on Broadway/Genesis;
Midnight Cowboy, the French Connection, Pinocchio;
Down and out in Paris and London/George Orwell, In Cold Blood/Truman Capote, Lowdown/AJ Albany.
Ritchie: Revolver/the Beatles, Station to Station/David Bowie, 16 Lovers Lane/the Go Betweens;
Fargo, Pulp Fiction, Toy Story (1, 2 or 3);
Of Mice and Men/John Steinbeck, Ethel and Ernest/Raymond Briggs, My Dark Places/James Ellroy.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Dovey: We’ve never played live or been in a studio, logistical reasons obviously. A comfortable bedroom works fine.
Ritchie: For me, the process of creating and making music is really immersive. These are dark times and the Rec provides some respite and a portal where I can escape from all of the bad things happening in the world.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Dovey: We’ve never written a song in the same room. It’s a modern relationship.
Ritchie: That isn’t quite correct. We were definitely in the same room when we wrote our early songs, including College Road which is on our first album, Town Slang. Back then we were called Abraham Lincoln and the Assassins, but we shortened it to just the Assassins because it took too long to write the full name out in Letraset. It is true though that we haven’t written any songs as the Rec while in the same room.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Dovey: Our first single – this is the Rec. A great example of our strengths
as songwriters. Quickly assembled, lyrics and concept gelled instantly, followed by an outstanding arrangement from Ritchie.
Ritchie: 1982 – a two-and-a-half-minute post-punk pop-art splatter-gun collage of teenage life in early ‘80s small-town England. It is unique because as far as I know it’s the only song ever to include the phrase ‘underpant skids’.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Dovey: Lots of new songs in the works. Keep pushing forward.
Ritchie: Yes, lots more top tunes in the pipeline, including maybe a concept album about a prog-rock-loving window cleaner who lives on the moon.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Name your favorite football commentator from the ‘70s
Dovey: Archie McPherson.
Ritchie: “One nil! Goals pay the rent, and Keegan does his share!” The legendary David Coleman, commentating on the 1974 FA cup final, when I fell hopelessly in love with Liverpool Football Club.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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