"We're a bit heavier and faster than what most folks would consider to be stoner rock"Today we welcome the Widows into the Fit4Talent interview room, welcome lads!
Firstly, I will let you begin by introducing yourselves.
Hi, this is James Kidd (guitar) and Adam Jolliffe (vocals) from Notts band Widows here. The other two (Steve Mellor - drums) and (Ste Birch - bass) aren't here right now.
Having checked out your press release I see a list of great band inspirations, what genre do you put yourselves under and who, if anyone, do you liken yourselves to the most?
We'd put ourselves in the heavy rock or possibly stoner rock category. We're a bit heavier and faster than what most folks would consider to be stoner rock although I think that's down (to some extent) to our drummer Steve's musical background as rock/hardcore drummer in his previous bands, as well as our background of playing in metal bands for the last ten years.
As far as who we would most liken ourselves to, Clutch and Kyuss have been a big influence on us for a long time, even before we started playing together as Widows. They're definitely two of the bands we have the most respect for as aside from the fact we love their music, they're responsible for spawning a lot of amazing bands both through their influence as musicians, and through the bands that their members have gone on to form like Fu-Manchu, The Bakerton Group, Unida, and obviously Queens of the Stone Age.
It seems to have been a very positive time for you before even hitting the stage. Desert Scene, a uk promotions group got in touch with you and things went on from there, would you like to tell us a little bit more?
When we started Widows it was just James and Adam basically sitting around with a few beers, a computer, and a lust to write the music we grew up on and had wanted to play for years. We kinda realised the timeless-ness and longevity of heavy rock music after watching how various metal scenes have appeared, grown and fallen by the wayside whilst rock bands seemed to just keep doing their thing regardless of who was musically in fashion at the time. We felt we didn't want to put our heart and soul into something that was going to disappear in 5 years time so when it came to jamming and starting to come up with riffs/songs and so on, we quickly realised this was the path that we should take as it was what was happening naturally anyway.
It was a good 3 months before we actually got ourselves a drummer n started becoming an actual band. As a result we had already written and tracked 4 songs on James' home set up ready to show prospective drummers/bassists when we managed to find them. We put these up on Widows' myspace page so we could show the tracks to a greater number of proscpective musicians and people interested in our music. These 4 tracks eventually became our first EP "Raise the Monolith" which we released at the end of 2009. In summer 2009, Reece and Dan from Desert Scene found us on myspace and expressed an interest in promoting Widows through their promotions company/website. They have since got us involved in some great shows with Atomic Bitchwax, Truckfighters, and Nebula, as well as rising UK bands like Alunah and Sedulus who are also part of the Desert Scene roster. These guys have been bringing awesome bands from the US and European stoner rock scene together in the UK for the last 2 years and are planning some great shows for this summer as well as Desert Fest 2012 next year. Keep yer eyes peeled for that one cos it's gonna be amazing!
Let's get personal for our readers. There are 4 of you in the band so please, place a name against the words below.
Funniest Member: James
Smartest Member: Steve
Most Unhygienic Member: James, also Steve's arse
Best Dresser: Adam
Worst Dresser: Steve
Most inspirational Member: Steve - he's a machine. Lost half his bodyweight in 18 months, works a million jobs, does martial arts, never sleeps and is training to be a mental health nurse. Respect
Well, it's great to see you have an album release happening very soon. Tell us some more!
Yes indeed. The album is called Death Valley Duchess and will be coming out on world wide release through Bad News Records in late October, we don't have a solid date yet as we're still in the post production stage with it at the moment, getting the artwork all sorted and CD reproduction etc. You'll also be able to pick up a copy at our album launch show - stay tuned for details, they'll be up on our websites soon. The album was recorded down at Moot Group studio in Nottingham with Johnny Carter from Pitchshifter and Paul Yeadon from Bivouac, who have recorded bands like Send More Paramedics, Sanzen, and Bring Me The Horizon.
It's a great little studio and we were really happy with the sound they got for us, these guys really know what they're doing. We recorded 9 tracks in 8 days then a few more days for mixing and mastering. The whole process lasted little over 14 days total and it's an absolute monster!
The artwork is being done by a local Nottingham artist called Michael Cowell who has worked for loads of great bands with both album design and flyer art.
We decided on him not only for the quality of his work but because he's from Notts as well. We're proud of this city's musical heritage across all genres and the huge amount of talent that exists within it, and we wanted to represent with something that came completely from within the city: The band, the studio we used, the label we're releasing on, our rehearsal studio, and the artists who have designed all our merch and album art are all from Notts.
Who would you say your greatest inspirations are as individuals and as a band?
As a band we'd have to go with older classic rock groups like Led Zep and Floyd, Deep Purple, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and ACDC. These were all groups we grew up on as kids. Adam and James grew up in the same small Yorkshire village and with little to do, a lot of time was spent at their friend's house listening to endless albums and getting drunk and stoned and playing cards. All that good quality music has been with us our whole lives and serves as a soundtrack to the memories we have, as a result we'd say that these bands and many others like them are our greatest inspiration because if it wasn't for their influence on us when we were kids then we wouldn't be here today and doing what we're doing.
Our friends who play music and have got somewhere and made a name for themselves are an inspiration as well, in that they have proven that it's possible to play good music and get noticed for it.
Seeing the buzz created by people feeding off the music at a show and the band feeding off the crowd's reaction is something that gave us the bug when we were kids just starting out playing music, we loved being in the crowd at shows but we wanted to be the ones creating that buzz more than we wanted to be in the crowd.
Do you have any gigs coming up that our readers may wish to attend? If so, where can they find more information out about you?
We have a tour coming up across November in support of the album, all the details and gig listings are in the events section of our web pages:
But we will also be appearing at:
TUES 8th NOVEMBER - RAILWAY VENUE - BOLTON + STOP STOP
WED 9th NOVEMBER - DOVE AND RAINBOW - SHEFFIELD + STOP STOP
WED 16th NOVEMBER - TBC
THURS 17th NOVEMBER - SNOOTY FOX - WAKEFIELD
TUES 22nd NOVEMBER - TBC
FRI 25th NOVEMBER - LIVE SESSION MOUNTAIN FM RADIO - WALES (2pm)
FRI 25th NOVEMBER - THE PATRIOT - CRUMLIN (WALES)
SAT 26th NOVEMBER - THE DUKE - NEATH
SUN 27th NOVEMBER - PURPLE TURTLE - CAMDEN
I would like to say a massive thankyou for speaking with us today, we wish you all the best for your album and the band for the future.
Thank you for having us guys