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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I guess we all got into music for different reasons. I personally got into music after my mum decided I should learn an instrument, I learnt piano and guitar from when I was 7. I honestly am not 100% sure what I would be doing now. I’d probably have applied myself a bit more at school, I want to be a doctor for a long time.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I at the moment, what with it being lockdown, I spend my time doing exercise, reading and going on long walks just to stop me looking at the same walls on repeat. I do tend to think of musical ideas at very random times. It could be that I’ll finally workout a new riff whilst I’m working out. Quite often I do find that I come up with song lyrics when I’m on a walk, though they tend to have nothing to do with what I’m looking at, I just let my mind wonder as it does when you’ve done the same walk everyday for 4 months.
How long has your band been around?
The band has in one form or another been around since 2018. It was started by me (Sam) when I had a few songs I wanted to record, we enjoyed working together and decided that we would enjoy playing the tracks live. We went under the name Leave The Light On for the first 2 years, but after our original bassist left the band and our synth player had joined, we felt like it was time for us to change name to better encompass the band in the way we now were.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are mainly based out of Hull as we all went to university there. However due to the pandemic we have found ourselves slightly more spaced out as we’ve had to travel for new jobs and there’s been no live music to stay around for. There are a few bands in Hull who I believe have had an impact on some of the songs we’ve written, most notably being The Hubbards and Mauritia. There are a few bands who we’ve seen live that led to changes in the way we’ve performed live, just to up our game to try and reach their standard.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name ‘Aphelia’ pretty much just came from us just sending random words to each other on a whatsapp chat. We were just looking for a short name we thought could be catchy. It did turn out that the name is a type of moth and a phase of the moon, it’s also a literary term for a sentence with no entertainment value, which I quite enjoy the irony of. The name didn’t feel like it needed to mean that much to us at the time because it would gain meaning over time as a part of our life. The name doesn’t make the band, the band makes the name (eyy, good quote that).
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best show we’ve ever had was Humber Street Sesh 2019. The weather was amazing and the atmosphere was incredible, which for our first festival really made it special. Just that feeling of looking out over a crowd and seeing them enjoying the show and dancing along was what I always dreamed it’d be like.
The worst show we ever played has lived in infamy within our circle. It was a charity gig at a venue in Hull. Unfortunately, not a massive number of people turned up which was a shame. However, we got up and gave it our all which then led to me and josh both breaking guitar strings during the same song when we’d only brought one spare guitar. So, we played a song without him which at the end of a lady came to the edge of the stage and started talking to me, she then came on the stage and told me she thought I’d been “over doing it” at the end of the last song. After I apologised for this she told me that she was a musician and couldn’t wait to start singing again. She eventually left the stage and we played on, a couple of songs later she starts shouting up to me so Phil just started playing drums to the next track at which point she stands up comes to the front of the stage flicks me the bird and walks out. She came back after our set with a bottle of milk.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
My favorite venue to play at was the Polar Bear in Hull. Well, I mean there’s lots of places we haven’t played yet and honestly with how long it’s been I’m not going to be bothered where we play, I just want to play again. But then I’d love to play Wembley or Redrocks in the US that place looks amazing.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
It’d be us, The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club, John Mayer, Prince, D’Angelo, The Wombats and Marsicans. Although saying that I’d probably be far too star struck to actually play if that was it
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
It’s all about consistency. You need to be able to turn up and play at your best every time, so practice as a band before you play live, you only get once shot at a first impression. It’s then the same with socails and releases, little and often, and consistent is far better for keeping people’s attention then releasing a full album after being around a month then not releasing anything for another year because you’ve run out of songs.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
The same advice I gave for the last question as I’ve learned most of that from not being consistent. Also, I think a little more confidence would have helped.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The next track we’re releasing on March 12th is definitely a song that’s close to my heart as I wrote it shortly after my grandma died.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Favorite to play must be “A Little While” it’s got so much energy in it that I can’t help but start jumping around. It’s also put in the best spot in the setlist where people are really starting to get into the show. I don’t think we’ve ever had enough songs for them to need requesting as we play them all at all the gigs, though that’ll have changed by June I’m sure.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The tracks tend to start as an instrumental idea or riff coming from myself or one of the band members. In normal times we’d send this to everyone then jam around it in a rehearsal coming up with a structure then I’d go away and add lyrics and boom you’ve got yourself a song. At the moment it a bit more, we send demo ideas around on logic and I we all add bits to each other’s tracks, then I try add a few lyrics or melodies then it sits in a folder for 2 months.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I think I have a different view on messaging to a lot of people. I know that quite often you find bands have a politic of social commentary that they’re trying to get across with their music or as part of their brand. I find that whilst I do have strong beliefs about a lot of things, I just don’t think that the music of the band is the place for me to get them across. Generally, I think it’s for the listener to find what they want in the music. If they can connect with my track on some level whether it’s just enjoying the vibe or empathising with the lyrics that’ll do me
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Nah they all do what I tell them to.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
We have a few tracks that we’re working on at the moment with the intention being that we’ll release them over the next year one every couple of months. We’re also planning on re-arranging our EP launch that was meant to be March last year to the end of this year to try and end on a high, even if it is a bit late for the EP itself. We do have a new single coming out on March 12th, it’s pretty different from the tracks that we’ve released before. But, I believe it captures the more melancholic turn our lives have taken over the last few months/year.