Gig of the week: All Dead All Dead [Interview]
Ahead of their headline show at The Bunkhouse this Saturday, we caught up with the All Dead, All Dead guys over a coffee last week - find out what was said below!
SMH: So last year it seemed like you had a pretty crazy year, in terms of the places you’ve been, the tunes you’ve released and more – can you tell us a bit about what that was like for you?
Gareth: So we sent out a lot of emails when we started the band and had three songs that we were really happy with that we’d recorded with James Weaver
Jamie: Shout out James Weaver, always and forever
Gareth: Simon and Martin (All Dead, All Dead’s management/mentors) got back in touch and said that they wanted to work with us! And since then we’ve had a really great working relationship with them – they’re like mentors for us
Jac: It’s really great, they’ve really helped us as a band
Jamie: You’ve got Martin who’s a songwriter and then Simon who’s a tour manager and they’re close friends who’ve done some things in the past – it’s great that we have those both sides.
The biggest thing for example is like, in the Ukraine we supported a band called Red and it’s mad how different everything was for that show. We’ve all been gigging around South Wales since we were like 15 and we arrived and thought “ah we know what we’re doing we’ve gigged loads before” and it was a whole different experience playing such a huge show – we’re definitely learning a lot fast thanks to them!
Gareth: They’ve given us all these opportunities basically – Simon’s got some great contacts because he’s been on tour around the world, Ukraine with Red was the first gig that we’d played away
Jac: It was definitely a different feeling to all the other shows we’ve done.
Gareth: I think what we’ve definitely come to understand is it’s so important to have a decent local fan base – that’s been left to us. Our gigs in Ukraine and Amsterdam were amazing opportunities for us to get our music out to different audiences outside of the UK.
Jamie: In Amsterdam we played with a band called Desert Mountain Tribe and it was the weirdest thing ever – we’d actually supported them in The Moon in Cardiff!
SMH: Tell us about how long you guys have been playing together
Jamie: Our first show playing as just the three of us was March 14th 2017 supporting MILK (who play with the band this Saturday) in Gwdihw! It’s the first band that I’ve ever been passionate about other people seeing – they are so exciting and you genuinely don’t know what you’re going to get!
Gareth: We were called SUNS before, but the nature of the name meant that we were one of about 100 bands called SUNS – so we changed our name to All Dead, All Dead!
SMH: What’s been the best gig you’ve played?
Jac: It’s got to be Ukraine – the passion we had off the crowd was unreal.
Gareth: When we supported VANT in Clwb. That was awesome. We all lost it on stage. It was so fun.
Jamie: I think for me, it was the Swansea Fringe show. It was just before we went to Ukraine and we were really comfortable going into it, so we really let loose. I was so nervous for Ukraine that I didn’t have time to get nervous for Swansea! It was amazing – it was the reddest I’ve ever gone on stage.
SMH: You’ve released three great songs, can you give us an insight into how you write your tunes?
Gareth: Are We Lucky, Under Edinburgh and Autonomy were actually all written acoustically first starting with the riffs. But our style of writing varies quite a lot.
Jamie: Jac has a very traditional way of writing and to some extent we were all like this when we started out – get in a room, jam it out and get a feel for the tracks altogether. What we’ve started doing recently is use Garageband – myself and Gareth are eternally connected to Garageband and the way we’re writing at the moment is us sat on Garageband to play around with riffs, structures and more. It’s funny though, we sometimes forget about Jac and his drums and focus on bird noises and sound effects before anything else! We then go to Jac and say “hey Jac, over these bird noises and you go: boom boom ba-boom kah!” and we’re usually met with a dirty look.
Jac: The bird noises are now louder than my drums…
Gareth: Mainly we’ll have an idea on a guitar or a vocal line and go from there. But we have so many different ways of working and often piece together ideas that we all have at separate times to make the tracks work. The song narrative usually comes after the music – we think about what the songs are about after we have the music.
Jamie: One of our tracks grew out of Gareth’s love for Ross Kemp and a sample he heard on one of his TV shows that he recorded on his phone.
Gareth: We love Ross Kemp. He’s actually my idol. I hope he can make the gig on Saturday!
SMH: Tell us some of your influences as a band.
Jamie / Jac / Gareth: Ross Kemp
Jac: Haha, nah we all have like… roots together of things we all mutually like, but we all have really different things we listen to.
Gareth: One band that always springs to mind that we all like is Biffy Clyro. We have a mutual appreciation of them.
Jamie: The perfect metaphor for it is: “it’s like three trees sprouted from the same roots”
Jac: Oh god, please don’t put that in haha.
SMH: What are you all listening to at the moment?
Gareth: At the moment I’m really enjoying Everything Everything
Jamie: Jeff Buckley
Jac: Biffy for me at the moment, but my all time favourite is Linkin Park.
Gareth: We learnt a lot about Jac when we all went to see YouMeAtSix at the Brangwyn Hall – Jac said “I don’t really like YouMeAtSix, not really my thing” but then sang every single lyric at the show.
Jac: I didn’t realise I knew all of their songs!
Gareth: My all time favourite band has got to be The Beatles. They’ve got such a wide breadthe of music that’s influenced so much.
Jamie: Right… When it comes to my all time, not necessarily my favourite, but the most important bands are Nirvana and My Chemical Romance. I wish you could see Gareth’s face!
Gareth: Jamie’s half way there to becoming Gerrard Way!
Jamie: Basically, I was brought up on Motown and Soul and then one day I stumbled across Scuzz TV. It was fate. I heard those first four notes of “Welcome to the Black Parade” and it was my first introduction to this kind of music. If it wasn’t for Gerrard Way, All Dead All Dead may have been an Aretha Franklyn tribute band!
Gareth: I thought we were?
Jamie: It opened up a whole world for me. From there I discovered Queen, Black Sabbath & so many more.
SMH: Favourite Swansea band? Who are you excited about?
Gareth: Obviously I used to be in Bandicoot, and watching them the other day in the Bunkhouse was an amazing experience. Such a great band with such a great energy!! Otherwise I really love Trampolene – I’ve been listening to their album a lot recently.
Jamie: Yeah Trampolene are looking huge. You know you’re making waves in Swansea when my hairdresser knows who they are and has big things to say about them! Any day though, you’ve got to choose Badfinger!! They ended the best TV show of all time – Breaking Bad!
Jac: A band I haven’t actually seen but have heard great things about are Taxi Rank – they’ve got some great tunes. I love Apathy Avenue too!
Gareth: String Theory as well – great band – they’re playing this Saturday!
Jamie: News From Nowhere and I Digress have such a great passion for music which is great to see!
SMH: Favourite Welsh band?
All three: Milk!!
Gareth: Super Furries 100%
Jamie: If you don’t like Phonics you’re not Welsh. Currently it’s got to be Boy Azooga.
Gareth: I love Gwenno at the moment too.
SMH: What can we expect this Saturday at the Bunkhouse?
Jamie: Lots of Ross Kemp!
Gareth: Confetti, bubble cannons, the lot!
Jamie: Possible nudity. Guaranteed nudity from MILK.
Gareth: We’re playing a couple of new songs that we’ve never played before.
Jamie: They’re big… Two BIG songs. Our last show was at the Swansea Fringe Festival, so we’re super excited to play our hometown again!
SMH: The gig is a charity gig for Parkinson’s UK – can you tell why you’ve chose this important charity?
Jac: It’s actually in memory of my Grandad and Jamie’s uncle. We’re trying to raise £1000 and we’re really close.
Gareth: It’s really nice to be able to do a hometown show and raise some money for an important charity is really special.
Jamie: And we’ve got to give it to The Bunkhouse guys. 100% of the ticket sales are going straight to the charity and they’ve been so helpful in the organisation. Make sure you buy lots and lots of drinks. We sound a lot better then too!
Gareth: Oh, the women’s darts team will be buying drinks won’t they?
Jamie: So the Southgate women’s, I think this is safe to say, over 50s (sorry mum) darts team are going to be there – they’re all very lovely ladies – so make sure you buy all them drinks!