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Paves, recently described as  the ‘London face of rock n roll’ have come even further since being described by Fred Perry Subculture as “One of the most exciting new bands for 2016”

With Luke Shield on lead vocals and guitar, Mike Whitaker on lead guitar, Perry Read on bass and backing vocals and Tom Triggs on drums, they approach their lyrics and music with equal care, crafting epic songs such as ‘Take Me While I’m Here’ and more recently, ‘Baby’ which has received evening airplay on Radio X. We were able to catch the guys before their December dates to see how life’s been treating them.

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From your previous incarnation as Thieves to PAVES, your style has evolved quite dramatically over the last few years. How would you describe that journey and your musical style to anyone who hasn’t heard you before?

It’s a natural flow, an expansion of what we began with really. We’d be dead bored if we were playing the same things we played the first time we jammed together. For us, we’re part of a continuum both in musical culture generally, and in our own artistic development wherein the creative cycle never stops, be it on stage or whilst writing.

Who are your influences and where do you draw your inspirations from?

Music, in general, is obviously a great part of our lives and we are constantly engaging with it, but more than anything I think everyday life is the best stencil to use. Taking a rough picture and filling it in with your own colours is using it as an inspiration after all, and this could come from anywhere…

Which instruments did you learn to play when you were growing up? How does that translate into the instruments you play today and the genres you are inspired by?

Tom: I learnt drums first, and then learnt guitar and piano after, as I wanted to fully understand how you marry rhythm and melody together. I was instantly drawn to Rock from the get-go!

Mike: First instrument I learnt was piano when I was 7 or 8ish. Didn’t properly pick up a guitar until I was 17. I guess both require your fingers to be dexterous.

Perry: I learnt to play bass as my first instrument as there was a severe lack of bass players around in bands growing up. Just sorta fell into it, came naturally, then realised it’s probably the most enjoyable instrument I can play.

Luke: I began learning French horn for some reason. I think I just liked the look of it and in France, you could get cheap lessons through the government. I think it’s helped me to think orchestrally which is great for writing stuff! Guitar came a bit later when I wanted to play the same instrument as the cool kids…

Growing up, which were the tracks you remember being played at home?

Mike: My family are from the north, so I remember hearing a lot of northern soul growing up.

Luke: I listened to a lot of what my mum listened to as she’s very musical. She has great taste and there was a lot of variety. Anything from medieval choral music, through to Moby and a lot of ’70s music. Probably top was the Graceland album by Paul Simon.

Tom: Main songs were probably ‘Careless Whisper’, ‘Money’, ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ and ‘Like a Stone’.

Perry: Fond memories of ‘On’ by Metallica and’Dear Doctor’ by The Stones

Tell us a little about your new single ‘Baby’, the process of writing it and a little about the messages it contains.

I wrote it pretty fast, to be honest with you. It took me less than 20 minutes. Coming back to what I was saying earlier about things coming orchestrally, this is one of those songs where lyrics, chords and melody all came at once. Message-wise, it’s pretty self-explanatory, it’s hard to make love work when the stresses of life are upon you. I wrote it ages ago, so my ex who it’s about is probably wondering why the fuck it’s coming out now, not that she’d even know haha. When I took it to the band it was equally as swift as we wanted to play it for a gig the coming weekend.

The video to ‘Baby’ has been recently released – what were your influences for it such as film, photography etc?

Well, we had all these great ideas and then got to Soho and it was brutally cold. Seriously cold, so there was a lot of thinking on our feet to make things easier etc. One of the main things we wanted to use, and that I think comes across really well, is the use of all these dark alleys with glimmers of light coming from the end. It gives off a feeling that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel despite being lost in some kind of emotional maze. But yeah, bloody cold!

What do you hope your fans take away from the lyrics and music you perform?

We put our music out there built on our experiences, but words can speak to two people very differently: it’s the whole point of the Death of the Author. People interpret stuff as they wish to and all we can hope for is that it brings something to them.

What was it like touring with Starsailor? Any stories you can share with us?

It was great, we get on really well and it was an honour to be asked back on tour with them! New fans, new cities and some new stories, yes! I’m sure people have seen online that Barry joined us for ‘Take Me While I’m Here’ on the last few shows of the tour and then obviously we had a blast each night but that’s all we’ll give away. Those who know we have a good time, know we have a good time.

 

You’re just heading off on a mini four-date tour to promote new releases. What can people expect at these gigs from the ‘London face of rock n roll’?

‘London faces of Rock  Roll… Quite an accolade that innit!? We’d like to thank whoever came up with that, it looks lovely on the old curriculum vitae.
We’ve told each other we’d behave for these dates but after the London gig we’re up playing on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, then with our pals, Arcades, in Leicester and finally in Manchester. Last time we played in Manchester, we all graduated from the Burnley School of Excellence, ask no more.

As we hurtle towards the end of the year, which have been your 2017 highlights?

We just dig playing, and the crowds are growing and growing. People bang on about whether rock is dead or not but it seems pretty alive from where we’re standing.

What’s next for you guys? Upcoming releases or performance dates? Any exciting news you can share with us?

We’ve arranged some Christmas gigs with our friends, Bang Bang Romeo and The Wholls, in their respective hometowns and they’ll be a blast for sure, other than that we’ll let you know all the rest very soon!

FOLLOW PAVES AT: 

https://twitter.com/PavesBand

https://www.facebook.com/PavesBand/

KATE O’BRIEN

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