Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Feature: Joe Lewis-Brown (04/03/14)

Joe was brought up in a musical family, with all kinds of backgrounds and styles. After learning to play drums and guitar, whilst being in a band he was inspired to start writing his own music, recording demos and playing at local venues. His EP 'Heal', recorded and produced by himself was put together and shared for free, with plans for this year being to play as many live shows as possible and to share his music even more!

General Questions...

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
I was about 12 and I started learning drums at school, I can't really remember why or how I got into doing so, but I was into bands like Fall Out Boy and Paramore and stuff and I'd always drum along and I think when I saw drum lessons were available I begged my Mum to let me take them haha.

2. What is the most inspiring gig/concert/festival you've been to?
Probably the first time I saw City & Colour at the HMV Forum in London, I think it was Summer 2010. There was just something incredibly special about the whole night, he played some beautiful renditions of his songs, I mostly remember he played 'Day Old Hate', just him singing, playing a Gibson E335 and it was just so lovely. Also the full band version of 'Sometimes' blew me away, and generally the vibe of the evening was just incredible. Everyone was just so respectful of him and it was just one of those indescribable feelings that I'm sure won't come again too often, everything seemed right at that moment.

3. What have you been listening to lately?
Volcano Choir ('Repave' is soo good!), Christof (I first heard of him when he supported The Staves in London and he was fantastic, I've listened to him almost every day since). Sufjan Stevens (whatever mood I'm in Sufjan has an album to cover it I swear), James Vincent McMorrow ('Post Tropical' is brilliant, and 'EITM' was something I listened to a lot when I made the Heal EP). William Fitzsimmons, and I'll always say John Mayer because I honestly think there's not one day that goes by that I don't listen to him.

3 Questions for Joe...

1. You have a musical family background, whose record collection would you enjoy listening to the most and why?
Most definitely my Uncle, Don. I know he's been in loads of bands over the years, but never actually heard any of it so I'm sure I'd find some real gems in there haha. Also he just listens to some great music, proper blues and such, you can just groove to it you know, real guitar music.

2. What do you hope to achieve as an artist?
At the minute, just for my music to reach as many people as possible, play lots of live shows and have fun with it really. It's very early days for me as an artist, but I'll keep writing and releasing music and if people continue to like it and get something from listening to it, then that's a bonus!

3. What process did you go through writing and producing 'Heal EP'?
I wrote the last song on the EP, 'Flood', in the Autumn of 2011 and although I'd written songs before, it felt different. After writing it I just wanted to write more songs like it and 'July' was written quite shortly after, I guess I never really realised but the two songs are actually about the same thing, except 'Flood' was written in the present and 'July' was written with the fortune of hindsight. All the songs were written firstly with just acoustic guitar and me singing, only when it came to recording did I build the arrangements around them. I recorded demos of all the songs at home as I wrote them really, and it was when I wrote 'We Heal' that I thought, I want to make a record now. So the 'demo' of 'We Heal' that I recorded in my room, actually began the process of the recording process of the EP as it's the version of the song that made it to the EP. All of the guitars, banjo and vocals were recording using one microphone, an SE Gemini (which is a gorgeous valve microphone) and extra instruments like bass, piano, organ and drums were added during extra recording sessions at the studio where I'm lucky enough to work, Aubitt Studios. Making the EP taught me a lot about different recording techniques and about myself, it was quite an introspective experience, it was nice working alone and knowing that the record was made entirely by me, and although it took a lot of time from start to finish (about 2 years) I know next time I record something, the process will be a lot shorter now I've done it once already.

Random Q...

What movie could you watch over and over again?
Probably Django Unchained, it's just a great movie haha. Christopher Waltz is so so good in it.

Reviews of 'We Heal' by Joe Lewis - Brown:

1. 4/5 - Lailana: this is the perfect song to listen to when you're down, it makes you feel warm inside.
2. 3/5 - Maria: I liked the guitar and drums, but a bit too slow for me at times.
3. 4/5 - Evan: really chilled track, love the vary in instruments and is a good one for when you're feeling a little down.

Joe Lewis Brown's Links:
Twitter: @joelewisbrown_

Check It Out!

Chart: Dark Horse - Katy Perry ft. Juicy J

Combining the genres of pop and trap music, this track shows possibly a more mature tone from Perry. 'Dark Horse' was released as the first promotional video, three months later it was released as the third single from her fourth studio album 'Prism'. Nearly another three months later it's peaked at #4 in the UK Singles Chart. It's a weird one!

Live Performance: Beth/Rest & Wonder - Lauren Aquilina

Recently, I saw Lauren on her third sold out headline tour and she performed this mash up... It's a stunning mix of Bon Iver's 'Beth/Rest' and her original song from her first EP 'Fools'. She's also recently signed to Island Records and has her final EP release this weekend (10th March).

Cover: Umbrella - Lucy Spraggan

Originally by Rihanna, the massively successful track is covered here by X Factor star Lucy Spraggan. 'Umbrella' served the UK's #1 for 10 weeks in the UK Singles Chart and went on to win lots of awards, back in 2007 and 2008, and is still seen as one of Rihanna's best songs. Lucy puts a unique spin on the popular song, enjoy! 

Classic: Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks

The Kinks had many classic songs from 'Lola' to 'You've Really Got Me' to this. Every time I'm up in London, this song springs to mind! Released in May 1967, the song written and produced by by front man Ray Davies became a hit, #2 in the UK, and a top 10 in Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe, enjoy! 

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