Posts tagged Swansea Rock
Interview: James Weaver [Swansea Music Producer]

Words & Photos: Billy Stillman

Swansea based music producer James Weaver has certainly made a name for himself in the city and beyond over the years, providing professional tracks of a unique style for many bands coming out of South Wales. With a production sound that is becoming more and more publicly recognised, I chatted with James about the importance of his recording services in the local music scene and the plans he has for 2019.

 
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SWANSEA MUSIC HUB: 2018 was a very productive year for you, having been the go-to producer for countless Swansea bands, any highlights?

JAMES WEAVER: 2018 was an amazing year for me thanks to all the great artists that I had the pleasure of working with. It’s hard to highlight something specific from this year, as all the bands I’ve recorded have their own unique characteristics and musical flare. It will always be a highlight for me when I hear the bands that I record getting airplay on the Radio. Massive shout out to Adam Walton from BBC Radio Wales who has aired my recordings countless times and is doing a great job shining a spotlight on some amazing artists around the country! I also heard that some of the artists I worked with got signed up to record labels due to the recordings I created, so I’m over the moon about that! Its great to know that the music I work on reaches so far and helps people in various ways!

SMH: Being such a popular Swansea producer, especially with the younger generation who are looking for a professional sound, I understand you have a rapidly growing list of artists you have recorded. Do you experiment with new techniques and ideas with every musician and band that comes to you?

JW: I am constantly learning new techniques and try to soak up all the information I can get my hands on. I love to experiment with sound at any opportunity and I’m constantly filling up the studio with new gear and audio plugins that I get incredibly excited to implement into my artists music. When crafting ideas, I try to stay as close to the artists vision as possible, and then build on that vision to make something bigger and better! I think its really important when creating ideas to have a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the studio so that everyone in the room feeds of each others creative energy. That way you all come up with great ideas together. Always keep the teas, coffees and snacks flowing!

 
 

SMH: Are there any key musical influences that have a significant impact on your production style?

JW: I think musical influences are definitely dependant on the artist I’m working with at the time. Different genres and styles may define different musical directions. Saying that, I love music that has a powerful production behind it, for example; Bring Me The Horizon, Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis and Enter Shikari. I try to embody that explosive, wall of sound in my mixes. Additionally, I adore listening to orchestrations and film scores by composers such as Hans Zimmer, Jesper Kyd, and Lorne Balfe. Their music style is so emotive and dynamic. Their minimalistic, yet commanding melodies have a way of plucking at your heart strings.

SMH: Who are you currently listening to that’s a favourite?

JW: Bring Me The Horizon, Pvris, Architects, Nothing But Theives, Arcane Roots, Don Broco just to name a few...

SMH: Since the beginning of your career as a producer up until now, do you feel that your recording style has changed and improved?

JW: I definitely think the quality of my recordings have improved in many ways since I started. Experience has given me a better grasp of the recording process and also working with people to create great music. Theres always room for more improvement though and I plan to make 2019 the year I take my recordings that extra step further!

SMH: If you had any advice for the younger James starting out his career as a producer, what would it be?

JW: One of the best pieces of advice that I learned is not to worry too much about the small things. Always keep your eye on the bigger picture!

 
 

SMH: And is there any advice you would give to artists going into the studio?

JW: Make sure you’re well prepared going into the studio. Practice your songs. Practice them again! Restring your guitars, reskin your drum kits. Have a good nights sleep before the session. Oh did I mention practice your songs... haha! Great recordings are made by great musicians with great ideas. Producers like me just add the extra sparkle! And last but not least, don’t worry or stress about it. Its just music at the end of the day and I’ll be there to help you along the way!

SMH: Who was the first and most recent artist you recorded? How much has your style changed in between the both?

JW: The first artist I recorded was my own band The Effect. The latest artist I recorded was a local Swansea band called I Digress. A great deal has changed since I started producing music in my bedroom all those years ago. I now have a professional studio setup with higher end recording gear and a mind full of new ideas that I’m excited to unleash. Although much has stayed the same. My work ethic hasn’t changed too much. I’ve always worked countless hours recording, editing, and mixing, getting the music to sound as best it can and thats never going to change. I always strive to give my clients 110% and I hope that shows in the music!

SMH: What have you got lined up for 2019?

JW: I have loads of bookings so far this year for recording so should be a busy year! I will also be stepping into the world renowned recording studio Monnow Valley in the near future to produce a song with a band, which I’m really excited about.

SMH: Finally, top three artists you would love to record / loved to have recorded?

JW: Oasis, David Bowie, Foo Fighters


To find out more about James and his music production services, check out: www.jamesweavermusic.com

Gig of the week: I Digress 'Haunting Me' EP Release show
 
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Our first featured gig of the week for 2019 is alternative rockers I Digress’ show tonight at The Bunkhouse to celebrate the release of their debut EP ‘Haunting Me’. Tonight is a must for rock fans in Swansea - I Digress have been tearing up the scene with their high energy sets and great sound for the last year. Joining them are Port Talbot rockers I Am Gravity and Llanelli band Beyond The Break.

Don’t miss this! Tickets are £3.00 in advance and more on the door!

Gig of the week: Cities & Estuary Blacks
 
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What a treat for you #SwanseaMusic fans this week! With lots going on, there’s a lot to choose from, but one stand out for us is this display of talent at Cinema & Co on FRIDAY night. If you’re into your Post Rock, you MUST NOT MISS THIS! It’ll likely be your gig of the year!!

Estuary Blacks & Cities team up to form an ultimate lineup of musicianship at the highest level, two belting live shows that’ll leave you no doubt in awe.

Describing themselves as “POST MARSH ROCK FROM NORTH GOWER SCOUNDRELS” Estuary Blacks have just released their stunning self titled debut on CD and vinyl (which will no doubt be available this weekend) Listen below:

And with new music on the horizon, Cities will be showcasing tracks from their new release, as well as picks from their debut EP Manning Alaska - if you saw their set at the Swansea Fringe Festival this year, you know it’s one not to miss!

Gig of the Week: White Riot at Hangar 18

There’s a great lineup of young local talent this Saturday as White Riot & friends take over! Celebrating the release of their second single ‘Ghost Town’, White Riot’s live sets are already renowned to be one not to miss - and if their first single ‘Sid’ is anything to go off, their second will no doubt be another absolute banger!

Joining them are young indie rock / alternative band The Furns, (who we like to keep an eye on - they seem to be going from strength to strength) and newly formed The Stray Pursuit, who' we’ve heard great things about so far!!

Tickets are just the precise £2.97 available here via SeeTickets.

Gig of the week: WINDSHAKE, The Pitchforks & more at Creature Sound
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Creature Sound host our spotlighted gig of the week this week as some of South Wales’ finest young rock bands take over on Friday evening.

Headliners WINDSHAKE bring their superb psychedelic rock and roll sound in what is always a standout live set. We’ve really been enjoying what they’ve releasing and caught these guys a couple of times - really worth checking out if you haven’t already!

After recently sharing a stage with WINDSHAKE at the YMCA for this year’s Swansea Fringe Festival it’s great to welcome Rhodda’s The Pitchforks back to Swansea! One of the Horizons 12, The Pitchforks are one of the most exciting young Welsh bands on the scene at the moment!

Newport alt rockers Finding Aurora also join the lineup: their 90s and 80s Alt Rock influenced sound makes them a really exciting young band to watch. And completing the line up are Swansea three piece punk band White Riot - another one we’ve been really impressed with in the short time they’ve been together!

It’s just £4.00 on the door - what better way to spend your Friday evening than to support young, emerging talent from South Wales!

Gig of the Week: Mallory Knox at Sin City
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In the week prior to the second Swansea Fringe Festival - things at SwanseaMusic Hub are pretty mental in preparation for that - but we couldn’t ignore this HUGE show at Sin City tomorrow night (sorry it’s late in the week!!)

Melodic Rock/Punk quartet Mallory Knox head to Sin City for a special intimate show that will be one hard to forget we’re sure! Joining them are a trio of the finest alternative rock bands on the UK music scene at the moment: All Ears Avow, Hide Your Eyes and one of Swansea’s finest alternative rock bands The Effect make a strong return (check out their latest single below!).

Tickets are £12.50 adv but will be more on the door.

GIG OF THE WEEK: PEARLER AT CROWLEYS ROCK BAR
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Rock / metal fans assemble! There's something for everyone for our featured gig of the week this week.

Head to Crowleys Rock Bar this Friday for a night of the finest hard rock / metal / punk music Swansea has to offer. Swansea rock/metal legends Pearler headline and will undoubtably bring the party and tear up the stage. 

Joining them are hardcore punk outfit State of Decay & doom metal band Godkilla. 

An ace lineup of Swansea's finest and best of all - it's free entry!! 

Gig of the week: SOUTH WEST FEST!!
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We're super excited about this one. The guys in Picsel have organised an absolute whopper of a one day festival at Cinema & Co this weekend - expect awesome music, great beer & great burgers (from Exist) this Saturday - and better still you can bag yourself a ticket now for just £5.00

So! Let's take you through the line up:

Picsel

Organisers of the event & noisey pop punk quartet Picsel have made a huge impact on the Swansea music scene after releasing only 3 tunes. Their songwriting game is superb, their live game is superb & they're the nicest guys too! Check out their latest video for "Alcohol & Drugs" filmed at Cinema & Co below:

People & Other Diseases

Noisey, post-punk, garagey, grungey Swansea legends People & Other Diseases will be making a wonderful racket too at Cinema & Co this Saturday. They were one of our highlights from last year's Swansea Fringe festival, and they were really ace supporting The Wytches at Sin City - we're super excited to see them again this weekend! 

French Alps Tiger

We caught French Alps Tiger at Cinema & Co back in April and we were blown away! Check out their tune The Floor is Lava below - proper good punky, post rock goodness that wouldn't be out of place on a Tony Hawks Pro Skater Soundtrack!! 

Luv Dot Got (NYC)

We'll also be graced with chunky guitars, sweet melodies & pop-punk bangers from New York this Saturday! Luv Dot Gov will be stopping by Swansea to deliver some top notch tunes and after listening to their latest release 'At Least We've Got This Madness', we're really excited! 

William Poyer

After a superb headliner show at Cinema & Co, Will's back for another stunning set at South West Fest this Saturday! Superbly written songs from this Welshman (via Mexico). His songs perfectly combine storytelling, strong rhythms and melodic hooks all wrapped in a unique blend of folk & americana.

Emilie Merry

Ahead of her EP release later this month, Emilie joins the lineup to deliver her stunning compositions. Her EP 'Not Your One' comes out soon and if the recent release 'Different' which was played on Adam Walton's show a couple of weeks ago is anything to go off, we're super excited to hear more! Here's an old one from Emilie that showcases her superb talents: 

Ben Luc

Completing this stunning line up is non other than former artist of the week and #SwanseaMusic legend Ben Luc. Expect wicked tunes draped in lusheous soundscapes, drenched in reverb, delay and all through Ben's awesome ability with his looping pedals. His ability as a producer is also superb: check out his most recent release Frequencies below: 

If you're not convinced that Cinema & Co is the place to be this Saturday I'm not sure what else you'd want!! Make sure you bag yourself a ticket early too because it'll be more expensive on the door! 

Gig of the Week: Static Fires 'Thirteen' Album Launch
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We're back at Sin City this week for our featured gig of the week as Swansea band Static Fires release their album 'Thirteen' following their 2016 debut EP. 

We really enjoyed the lead single from their album entitled 'Black Velvet' (that we suggest you listen to below) and couldn't ignore the lineup they've put together for what will be a great night of original live music - and for just £3.00 it's an absolute steal for your Friday night this week! 

Joining them are South Wales based The Caspiens, Swansea rockers In With The Jellyfish and last week's artist of the week String Theory

Music is Important

#SwanseaMusic 

Gig of the week: Heavy on the Ride at Sin City
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We head to Sin City this week for our featured gig of the week and what a show you're in for!! It'll be loud. It'll be rocky. It'll want to make you move. It'll make you want to bang your head. And this is largely down to the three ridiculously good bands on the bill.

Headlining the evening are Swansea legends Heavy on The Ride - if you live in Swansea & haven't heard of these guys you must be living under a rock, because these guys have a firm footprint on the music scene. For fans of Queens of the Stone Age, Mastadon, Zeppelin, Foo Fighters etc... 

Joining them on this killer night are Blackburn based band Sky Valley Mistress (who have been described as "a cacophony of rock n’ roll excellence" and local hard rockers Fallen Temples (described by Adam Walton as "Intoxicatingly melodic and genre defying".)

Tickets for the show are £4.00 - alternatively they'll be £5.00 on the door.