Rise to Addiction – Issue 1

March 9, 2009 | By:

So its an august night and it’s a warm one, I’m walking through the centre of Bradford to meet up with a band that I’ve heard so much about and yet still they aren’t in everyone’s CD collection. This band of course is Rise To Addiction and they’re out for a few dates after spending all summer recording their new album. Having been to this venue before it brought it all back when I walked in to the backstage area I knew this was where all rock and roll interviews should happen, dirty, graffiti walled rooms just like this.

So first things first, i grab a beer and set up and then as the other band arrive its time to go. I don’t hold back from the start.

Dave: Hi guys! Thanks for this interview. Lets get straight to it. You’ve had 4 months in the studio, how does it feel to take a break from recording?

Leigh: Its been really nice for me since I’ve not finished my vocals. It’s good to get out and do some live stuff for a change.. It’s also nice to play together as a band again because of the studio work we’ve not had chance to play live for a while. It’s also great to get a reaction to the new stuff live and have some new songs to show people.

Joel: As a band you spend so long analysing each song, best way to prove that it is a good song is to get out there and show it off. First couple of times you play it, you arrange it to make it better live.

Dave: I bet it’s also nice to hear things in their entirety for a change?

Leigh:Yeah its always nice to play something all the way through, I’ve been focussing on the vocals so much it’s a change to go all the way through from start to finish.

Dave: Is this the first time you’ve spent so long together?

Leigh: No in our previous band we recorded a couple of times and, just like then, its been a long process. Steve and John have added something else to this as well and we have really pushed ourselves.

Joel: Spending time together has been easy to be honest, I know some bands don’t get this lucky in the studio.

Dave: Who has the worst habits? You must have found some out after spending all that time together!

Leigh: Steve likes to do interpretations of other bands and impersonate people, which we can’t name! Steve is a bit obsessive compulsive as well. He has an order for everything and we saw this first had when recording. Recording has been split with Andy and also in our own space. Steve needs to have everything in its right place or there’s trouble. The other problem sometimes is that we are very much the same and trying to be serious some times is difficult. We all get on and the job gets done in the end though.

Dave: Sometimes there’s a fine line between where the fun stops and the work starts.

Leigh: Yeah, sometimes the fun for us is nailing it live and then you can come off and feel great. Luckily we haven’t had any bad experiences live and we have been tight and put in the effort for rehearsing. Going onstage every night and making a fuck of it can really dent your morale and make you perform worse. So our biggest tip to people is don’t shy away from rehearsing.

Dave: So theres a new album in the pipeline, the track list is out for all to see but what is the album name?

Leigh: That’s a bit of a political hot potato really. We have a short list but we haven’t got a name as we have different views.

Enter John and Leigh fills him in on the current question.

Joel: Steve’s the only one who apposed the name we all like (laughs)

Dave: So what is your favourite track off the new album?

Leigh: As an Overall song I prefer low, which you will hear it live tonight. Some of the tracks will knock people sideways like Fessionia and it might just make people step back and think.

Joel: Fessionia is something we wrote and came up with as an idea in the studio and John built a riff for it and we worked from there. It’s a jigsaw put together really and it worked really well in the studio.

Leigh: There’s some additions to the album, Bez from the happy Mondays (Laughs)…..no only kidding!. Mike Garson who appears on the album has probably helped write the best song on the album.

Dave: Going back to your mission statement on the website of moving away from the safe and mundane, does this album do this?

Joel: We always try to focus on this but we never try to write a song for the sake of being different.

Leigh: We haven’t tried to write the same song ten times either. The album is powerful enough to hook people but respectable enough to hear stuff they know. It’s also something totally new for the fans and sounds like nothing else we’ve done before. We have flexed our muscles a bit to push ourselves mainly.

Dave: Aren’t the fans going think woah hang on here a sec?

Leigh: No the songs are definitely there like our usual style. The difference is EP’s needs to be catchy but albums need to have a different depth completely and this is going to have something people won’t have heard from us before. This will add to our live performance too.

John: We haven’t written around working out how we can perform it live, it never came into consideration What we have written is good songs and then worked out how they will work live. We are a live band after all and the studio sound has worked quite well live so far. Some of them we haven’t planned to play live but when we performed them they worked really well.

Leigh: It really helps having 2 guitarists who can play both lead and rhythm because this gives you extra layers.

Dave: I agree sometimes double tracking makes the song, when played live, sound flat and uninteresting.

Joel: One of the guitarists a bluesy player ones a metal player and this itself gives our shows the contrasts needed to stand out and works really well for us.

Dave: So this is the 4th date since the studio break, how’s it all going down?

Leigh: It’s going down really well people are liking the new songs and we have played to good audiences each time. Some of these songs we’ve played for a while so people have all ready heard them before and sing along. Also our merchandise is selling well which is good to see.

Dave: I read an article about a band called Leaves Eyes where the singer said one fan spent the whole time kissing her feet!, what’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you whilst playing?

Joel: How weird! Aynsley also had a guy kissing his feet! (Laughs). It actually made him play better!

Leigh: I don’t know what’s been weird so far? (Pause) What hasn’t! You always get things, especially from our previous bands but its best to not say!

Joel: You get a lot of bands who try and tap you up to play with them on tour but some are just weird. They get quite pushy and sometimes you try to be nice but there’s a certain amount you have to do yourself and you can’t coat tail other bands all the time. Some of these bands are really good but others tell you they are ad yet stand there with no back up, no demo, nothing!

Leigh: Its all dog eat dog industry sometimes. Some try it with us and we’re doing the same with others. It’s a kiss ass industry and we don’t do it that well to be honest.

John: It’s nice to play in smaller venues like this though as well but some guys want us to headline massive events and sometimes you feel its not the right way to go.

Leigh: I always find it a worrying thing sometimes when it comes to hype like that, especially when you’ve been locked away for 4 months. You think that you will really have to sell this album and the band again but its nice to see the reaction then and that the fans are still there

Dave: Talking earlier about September what’s in store for you guys? Obviously the mastering takes priority then what?

Leigh: Recalls and more mastering! Then maybe relax but we probably won’t have a lot of spare time as were perfectionists. Then the album goes onto labels who might want to put it out for us and if all goes well….. sign a million pound deal!…….. if the planets align!

Dave: And how is the management?

Leigh: (Pause) ……they manage yeah……(laughs)

John: Some people see us as a new band but really we have been a around for a while and people don’t realise we know what’s going on…(interruption from Steve who phones John) Yeah mate 10pm……. I’m in the middle of an interview mate, anything you want to add? (laughs) We have to add our own spin and not let the management make decisions that we don’t agree with.

Leigh: We have two windows for a launch, November and February, realistically it’s going to be February as the labels need 3 months lead time.

Dave: Where are you going to push this?

Leigh: It’s all down to budgets to be honest from the labels.

John: We can’t say we want to go worldwide as its down to money. We’re just going to be happy raising our profile.

Joel: Likewise though, no one forms a band to play small venues all their lives anyone who does is bullshitting and we want to go as big as we can with this.

Leigh We’re ambitious and we know what’s out there but we are realistic too. It’s not a great time at the moment for labels spending money on acts. Advances have down turned when it comes to album launches these days. We want enough to push the market and also to get decent support slots with bigger bands. There’s always more and more bands out there and also more and more small groups of people who call themselves labels who really have no money.

John: They’re trying to find the next big thing to make it themselves and they really start from nothing. We get lots of companies talking to us that smaller naïve bands would love to go and sign with just because it has the name records at the end but this isn’t a great way to go all the time. We’ve been there before and our experience tells us to be weary. Some of these companies only have a myspace address.

Dave: What do you think of myspace as a promotional tool?

Leigh: It has been useful for gigs and new people hearing the music. We put a rough mix on myspace that we didn’t on the main site and we get a lot of people singing the song so it works on some levels. I think you get a lot of people who don’t get out much on there too.

Joel: Some people just need to get out and support the bands rather than writing blogs I’d say to these people ‘Just go out and support these bands live!, support Rise To Addiction.’

Dave: Finally, guys are you looking forward to tonight?

Leigh: Yeah definitely, we might even play better than last night. We might change the order a bit but sometimes we don’t pick an exact order until we are up there. As long as we have the first 3 songs sorted we go from there, I guess that’s a singers prerogative!

Dave: excellent guys well enjoy tonight and thanks again!

Rise to addiction then went on and played an absolute storming set of a set. Keep watching this space for a sneak peak at the album!

Check out http://www.risetoaddiction.com