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Interview with President Elect
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Zak (drummer) and I (Iggy - frontman/singer/bassist), had our eyes open to music at the age of 10 when our dad drove us up to Leeds Festival to see Foo Fighters in 2012. It was honestly quite an intimidating first live experience, but Foo Fighters were incredible and their raw energy and showmanship is something we still try to capture in our performances now. If I wasn’t in music I would like to think I would still be doing something creative, probably something with words - like an author (a really cool alternative I know), as I love the songwriting and creative process of being in a band.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
As a band we like playing video games (Skate 3 is the favourite) and just hanging out with each other. It really can’t be understated how great friends we are and that chemistry definitely inspires us and motivates us to keep writing songs and keep bouncing ideas off each other.
Personally, listening to music is one of my favourite things to do. Although it always ends up resulting in me thinking of lyrics and ideas for the band's own songs, so I don’t know if that counts haha. I also cook a lot, I’m no great chef but it takes my brain off music and allows for space to come back refreshed and feeling creative.
How long has your band been together?
The band has been going since 2020 - starting with Zak and I in our hometown in Essex, we then moved to London and that's where we met Vincent in 2021 and then Jude joined us in 2022. Its been an interesting process to see how the band has developed and to figure out all our strengths and weaknesses, but we feel the best we ever have with the band at this time and it's definitely to do with our experience and what we have learnt as well as our support for each other and from our friends.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We are based in South West London and have been for the last 2 years. London is a metropolis of incredible and talented people, and we would be lying if we said it wasn’t scary thinking about how many bands and artists we are up against in this scene.
We have tried to never think of it that way though. Music has the great ability to bring people together and connect people who wouldn’t meet otherwise, so instead of always treating it as a competition we view it as a way of boosting everyone up and supporting each other.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our first sold out show at The Hope and Anchor in Islington was something truly special. It was just an incredible night of music that we put on all independently, and we were lucky to have some many of our friends and fans there to support us that night. It was a well deserved moment after all the hard work we’d been putting in for years. We were on top form as well - playing our new songs that we recorded with Tayte Nickols in Manchester for the first time with REBOUND coming out in June and Coffee Song out on the 22nd of this month (Sept)
An honourable mention would be our first show outside of London which was at a small student bar called The Indie Lounge in Birmingham. That place rocked and we honestly just tried to blow the roof off the place (which I think we did). Birmingham will always have a special place in our heart after that.
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
As just mentioned The Hope and Anchor is a small basement venue in Islington which is so much fun to play - especially when you pack it out. The Water Rats in Kings Cross is another really cool venue! In support of Coffee Song we are going on tour and we are playing some really exciting venues that we’ve wanted to play for a while. Most notably, The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch which is just a super iconic venue and we can't wait to headline that on the 27th of September. We are also playing The Castle in Manchester with our good friends Hungry, we’ve heard really great things about that venue so we can’t wait to play there too.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Obviously this would be quite a personal question for each band member but I am going to try make one that features bands and artists we’d all like haha.
We’d start with the late singer-songwriter Elliot Smith to open the night - he’s Jude’s favourite, then move onto Jimi Hendrix for some blues attitude - Vincent is really inspired by his blues music. It’s hard for me not to choose Paramore as they are such an incredible live band, followed by Coach Party, and then with us headlining, obviously.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Don’t overthink it, don’t overthink it, don’t overthink it. Don’t worry about results and what other bands are doing, just enjoy the journey and focus on the parts that make you the happiest.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Don’t overthink it haha. Jokes aside, it would definitely be to play as many live shows as possible and befriend all the bands, promoters, sound guys, and bar staff we could. The industry is all about who you know and not what you know so getting a large list of people in the industry who like you early on would make things easier.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Our upcoming single Coffee Song is about getting through the tough times and is linked to our own journey with music and modern life, so I would say that one. We also have some older ones that we love to play because our audience loves them like Last Forever and Dreams of an Outcast, but the one that I think connects to us the most as a band is Coffee Song.
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
Last Forever gets requested the most - it's upbeat and a ball of energy and we love getting the crowd involved with it. My favourite ones to play though are probably REBOUND and Addicted - they’re the songs that kick start our set and have great energy and performance moments. They’re the songs (alongside Coffee Song) that create community within our fans and reflect our ethos of a band that is finding your crowd and even when you feel out of place there are people out there who will accept you and love you.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
We really adore writing together - when you have the mystical moment that feels like a cliche in an indie film, of the song just coming together before your very eyes and everyone playing to their full potential it is really incredible. Recently we have been starting with riffs or drum grooves and then layering the other instruments around that, I then write some lyrics and melodies on top and the songs start developing from there.
The studio process is when we bring in our producer Tayte who really helps us craft the vibe of the song and gives scope to take the songs to places we never thought of. Our upcoming single Coffee Song, is a great example of this and although Tayte making me sing those harmonies over and over again was tough at the time, the song totally benefits and is only better because of it.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Not all the songs are specifically about this feeling, but the energy and vibes of the songs are always there to try and connect people - it's why we love a big chant or moments where our audience can get involved. As individuals we always felt misunderstood and that the people we were surrounded by weren’t the people we needed in our lives. It wasn’t until we all met each other and our larger friendship group that we finally felt like we could be ourselves and connected to the people around us. President Elect is an entity for that to happen with our audiences and for people who may feel the same, it’s wonderful to feel understood and heard with our music, so we try and emphasise that so others can feel the same when they hear it.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We do, as any friendship group and bands do. Sometimes its some passive aggressive words or a comment, but honestly we are quite a wholesome band when it comes to arguments. We aren’t throwing cymbals or punches at each other haha. We usually resolve it by chatting or calling each other after and then we hug it out because hugs are great and we all love them.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have just finished recording our EP at Rak Studios in London, so that's for our far away future. The most important upcoming plans to emphasise are the release of Coffee Song on the 22nd September - this is our second proper single release after REBOUND in June and is really setting the tone for the quality of music we want to release - moving up with every release. Alongside the release we are going on tour! The current confirmed dates are:
27th September - The Old Blue Last - London
10th October - The Castle - Manchester
18th October - The Hobbit - Southampton
And then a Brighton, and Essex date yet to be announced due to some issues with other bands schedules. We would be delighted to see you there and if you want to keep up with us the best way is by our instagram.com/presidentelectbanduk . Thank you to Volatile Weekly for the interview!