Head turning Brighton band White Room are a hugely talented amorous mix of sky-gaze psychedelia and indie rock ‘n’ roll. They are quickly gaining a solid fan base, well deserved, by the band’s catchy tunes and euphoric energy they give out on stage. Jake Smallwood is a mesmerising frontman; reminiscent of a young Liam Gallagher or Alex Turner. The band have also received recognition from music royalty Paul Weller saying “White Room are definitely one to watch, and in lead singer Jake they have got a great young vocalist.”
They’ve been smashing their way through the festival circuit this year, recently giving an electric performance at Y-Not and they’ll also be hitting up the Festival Republic stage at Reading and Leeds next week so make sure you check them out if your attending. Northern Exposures Imogen Thomas recently caught up with the band before their performance at the iconic Prince Albert in Brighton.
Where has been your favourite venue to perform at so far?
Jake: Y-not was brilliant.
Jacob: I really liked the dot to dot festival, in Nottingham, Manchester, and Bristol. The Bristol venue was a place called Start the Bus, it was only a tiny stage but the venue was packed.
Jake: Yeah we were basically on each other’s shoulders throughout the set but it was one of those gigs that just stuck with us for a while after. And obviously any Weller show we did in the past has been pretty mind blowing.
Who writes your songs?
Jake : I do lyric and melody. And I would say me, Jacob and Triston are the writing force. But musically it’s all a bit of a collaboration, we do a lot of demos and that’s when things really start to find their way.
Jacob: It’s quite an organic process, it is nice to have a few different ways to write.
Jake: Recently Jacobs been doing quite a lot of recordings at his place, It’s a team effort really. There’s defiantly no creative overlord.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Jake : Lyrically in the first EP and ‘Think too Much’ there’s a lot touching on growing up and things you feel as a teenager. But I also like to tell a story and create characters, but not too much. Not in the sense where as say Paul McCartney would do with lovely Rita, I like to clock into people and try to think like them and use that as inspiration. But a lot of the time it can be more personal.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Jake: I think the whole change of James to Josie (bass player), that was defiantly a spanner in the works but I also don’t think it was a challenge at all, Josie just came in and it all felt really natural.
How did you overcome it?
Jacob: Just play together as much as possible. Josie just gets better and better and finds her feet more every day.
Jake: I’d say when the whole Weller thing came about was also a huge challenge for us as well, we changed a lot within the band and started to take the process a lot more seriously. It was a huge step up for us.
What advice do you have for people wanting to start their own band?
Jake: Write as much as possible and make sure you are with the people you love to be around. Also gig as much as you possibly can, because your only going to get better. The small gigs can sometimes turn out to be the best ones.
Jacob: Yeah you can lock yourself away for a year to write songs but when you play live, that’s when everything really starts to come together I find. It’s the moment you know if you are on to something or if you need to keep working at it.
Do you have any upcoming shows you want the readers to know about?
Jake: Reading and Leeds. We also have a couple of shows in London coming up, you can find out all of our upcoming gigs through our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
How can fans get access to your music?
Jake: Spotify. The whole EP and ‘Think too Much’ is on Spotify. Sound cloud as well. And all our videos are on YouTube.
Jacob: Also the new single is on iTunes.
Weapon of Choice (instrument):
Jacob: Shacklewell arms in London on the 22nd August.
Jake: Erm just smash it! (Laughs)
Both: Brighton and Hove Albion.
Guilty Pleasure (tune)
Jake: (Laughs) Rhianna – Man Down I’m not even guilty for that, it’s a straight up banger.
Jacob: A local designer we know called Jazz Grant and she’s got a label called Clint Things. She’s in the process of making me a T-shirt which I’m pretty excited about.
Jake: Yeah she’s making me a suit soon, looking forward to that.
Drink at the Bar
Gig you wish you could have been at? (Any in history)
Jake: Walking on the streets of London and seeing the Beatles playing on the Apple Hq roof, you can’t beat that.
Jacob: The recent Libertines gig for 300 people in north London would have been pretty good.
Both: Or Woodstock.
Night out with anyone, who would it be?
Jacob: Defiantly David Schwimmer.
Jake: Noel Fielding, I just want to pick his brain.
Jake: Quentin Tarantino.
Top 3 Songs
Jake: That’s too hard! Haha well Rhianna- Man Down will have to be in there.
Jacob: (Laughs) Any White Room song.
Three words to sum up White Room:
Jake: Skygaze, Rock n Roll.
iTunes || https://itun.es/gb/2ZE2cb
Spotify || https://play.spotify.com/track/7ol0W8…
Apple Music || https://itun.es/gb/2ZE2cb
Imogen Thomas for Northern Exposure
Photo: Imogen Thomas and Katie Willoughby