Interview: Just a Ride
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Well, I always liked numbers and money so I had wanted to go and work in the city when I was studying. Probably equally as damaging as rock music at the end of the day!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I am really interested in politics and philosophy, so I spend a lot of time watching docs, listening to podcasts, and reading books. Health and fitness is another thing that is important to keep you in the right mindset to create. The good thing is with audiobooks I can combine both of these interests and do them together!
How long has your band been around?
Drew and I first started writing for what would become Just A Ride in early 2015, but it took a few years before we really got the project going as a band. The pandemic was a real catalyst for us to get a move on. We finished the batch of tracks we had pencilled in for album one and used the time to record. Now we are firing on all cylinders and ready to rock hard.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We actually all live quite far apart. I am based in Nottingham, Drew (guitarist) in Andover, and Alex (drummer) in Ilkley so we are quite unconventional as a band. The distance between us means that we have pretty much always written our material remotely. This also makes rehearsals few and far between, so we all have to learn our parts inside out before we get together for gigs.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The band name comes from our love for the late comedian Bill Hicks. His most famous bit is known as the "Just A Ride" monologue so our name is a tribute to him!
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
You probably want a good one, but I can't help but recall a bit of a nightmare show we had recently. We'd had the co-headline band pull out at the last minute after COVID exposure, so it wasn't going great from the get-go. When we got to the venue, they didn't seem to know that anybody was scheduled to play and when we finally got shown into where the stage was, we noticed that the venue's resident dog had left us a rather unwanted present in the centre of the room. In the end we did actually have a good gig, but I think I'll always remember this one...
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Tough one, but I really like the Concorde 2 in Brighton. There is a great rock scene on the south coast and that room has a great atmosphere when it fills up. To be honest in a previous band I was lucky enough to play in some really amazing venues, but one that is still left to play is the Brixton Academy. That would be amazing!
If you could play any show with any line-up, who would be on the ticket?
Kiss, Bon Jovi, Stone Temple Pilots, Refused, Rival Schools, Incubus, Span - would be a strange gig and likely an all-dayer.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Make sure your songs are only pushing you to perform at about 60% of your ability level. That way you can put on a great performance and sound amazing.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Make as many connections as possible and find as many ways to monetise as possible.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Probably our last single "Not Enough". It was written at the start of the COVID pandemic of 2020 when my world had been turned upside down. When I was writing the lyrics, I put on paper many of the emotions and fears I was struggling with at the time. It ended up being a real release from what was dragging me down and turned out to be a great song; our most successful to date, so that is why it is so special to me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I really love to play our song "I Wanna Know" and it is fast becoming a bit of a fans favourite. It is a really high energy track that we usually close the show with and it kinda showcases all the elements of our sound.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
For the most part we work on songs individually and then once we have a basic structure, we send them to each other and start writing on top of each other's parts and allow the tracks to evolve.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I'm inspired to write music that has a positive message and can bring people together.
We live in a world that seems to be growing more divided by the day and it is something that concerns me. I try to write songs about the universal feelings that affect us all, so they won't be dated and don't alienate anybody like a lot of the arts seem to do these days.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We all have our roles within the band so that helps us steer clear of most conflict. I am very much the guy behind the marketing, content, and image of the band and Drew is very much the musical director. This works really well and so far, we haven't had any problems!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are really excited to be releasing our debut album on February 25th and will be hitting the road to promote it in March. We have a show at The Black Heart in Camden on launch day that is shaping up to be a big one, supported by our friends Amongst Liars, Solcura, and Stereotyped.
The album was a long time in the making and produced by our friend Dave Draper who did The Wildhearts last record. We were really lucky to get Chris Sheldon to mix it. Chris is one of our favourite mixers and we love the sound he got on Foo Fighters "The Colour and the Shape".
2022 is going to be a huge year for us. We want to be playing as many shows as possible and really stake a claim for a place on the UK rock festival circuit next year. Hopefully people will dig the album and enjoy listening to it as much as we love playing it!
Here’s the YouTube link: