My mentality when I joined the band at 18 was that I was a classic rocker fashioned after the iconic figures that went before me with my sole aim to sing as emotively as Michael Jackson, as creatively as Freddie Mercury and as dynamically as Axl Rose. The poetic realism of Eddie Vedder’s almost prophetic voice didn’t captivate me until later on. My naivety was quickly hit with the realisation that living in the past quite literally didn’t last very long where inspiration and accessibility were concerned. I got sick of smoke on the water very quickly and indeed most of our set that only just managed the 21st century.
If someone had told me back when I joined the band that I would be singing Lionel Richie, I probably wouldn’t have joined the band, but I suppose everyone has to start from what they are initially passionate about and work from there.
I actually really enjoy singing absolutely anything now.
Keeping the set fresh with daring new ideas refined and tailored by audience response makes live performance exciting, and it gets us to create something new within the chemistry of the band each time we put our signature on a song, producing limitless enjoyment for us all. We inevitably enjoy a gig when the audience enjoys our music!
The desire to just want to be a classic rock band then wasn’t the most fruitful for me. It produced a limited audience and limited inspiration even though initially it seemed quite exciting. The problem wasn’t these fruitsnecessarily, as some of our fondest gigs were in tiny pubs with few members and a great response.
But my mind set about what I was and what we were as a band was naïve.
Perhaps I wasn’t adverse to diversifying our set but Ireally needed the direction of those who were a little more connected to current trends and opportunities. Mybrother with his stint in the band before joining the RAFwas one of these influences and also our former savvy bass player Nathan. Once these guys started opening up our set it was almost a domino effect as we began doing weddings and larger functions, which in turn made demands on our versatility.
The idea that we could be more commercially viable also grew out of this to the point that aesthetics took on a new meaning, so we were not a bunch of lads wearing beat-up shirts and jeans, but smartly dressed professionals with decent equipment, lights, promotional material and finesse.
Even now over the last year with Will being in the band, he brings another skill base in marketing which has opened my eyes to what we can really do and enjoy in our music when we look outside the box.
So in short, diversity that old, old wooden ship has allowed us to set sail and thrive in music