Local five piece band Scenery are on the verge of releasing their debut single titled Howlin' with an EP following suit later this the month.
Since forming in the later months of last year, they have gathering a dedicated following and are due to spread their wings further afield upon the release of their forthcoming EP.
We caught up with lead singer Stephen Whiteman to get the low down on what’s to come and how they found the journey of recoding their debut EP.
Who are Scenery?
Well where to start, we have myself (Stephen) on vocals, Davy Blues on guitar, Chris on bass, Ruairi on drums and Peter on sax.
Where did the band name come from?
Myself and Ruairi were driving home from dropping a friend off in Donegal. We were lost on some back roads nearly halfway up a mountain. Rain was lashing down and my petrol was nearly gone, plus Ruairi was pretty hungover from the night before so it was a pretty dull moment for the both of us.
Shortly after though the rain stopped and the sun came out there was this moment where we could see down Dunlewey lough. It was very picturesque. I remember Ruairi saying we should call the band Scenery and that was it.
How did you guys get together?
Ruairi and I had been to tech together a few years before he had actually asked if i was interested in forming a band outside of the course but I just didn't think the time was right.
Fast forward a year or two later, I saw him play with one of his bands, Fabric, at the Record Store Day event downstairs in Sandinos and I think me and the rest of the folk at the bar that day couldn't get over his drumming, I thought I need play with him.
We both hung about at the bar for a while after the gig and a few pints later we once again got on the topic of playing together. In the early stages we spoke about doing covers until the other members of the band joined.
Ruairi asked David (guitarist) and Peter (saxophonist) if they would be into joining the band and I had met Chris at Open Mic. Chris was effectively the house bassist for all the performers on the night. We all decided to get a jam together and well now the rest is history!
What are your musical influences?
Rock 'n' Soul
Scenery - Fool For You (Live at the Lockup)
Although the band formed late last year, you didn’t take long before hitting the studio with your debut EP due to be released in August… how did the recording process go?
Well as I said, we started off just with a jam or two and before we knew it we were already writing our own stuff. It literally took two jams together. We were playing about Derry then for a while, just trying to get the name out there and create a bit of a buzz. Then we headed off to Small Town America.
Being more of a live band at this point, our songs have a great deal of improvising and every time we play them there might be something different happening. So we decided we'd be best off recording the tracks live all together. This coupled with the fact most of us are students and low on cash, we got it all done in one day. In hindsight there are things we would do differently, but it's all a learning curve for us.
What can people look forward to with the EP?
Well as we recorded the tracks live in the studio, there is an energy to each of the four tracks. You can hear each of our different influences all tied up together. I've been told we have a bit of a throwback to early Rock, but there are Jazz aspects too, and huge Blues influences.
Each track has a different feel, yet has our own 'Scenery-brand' on it.
Talk us through the title of the EP – Howlin’…
Howlin' is our single on the track. It should be release sometime in the coming weeks actually. As soon as you hear the track you'll know why it's called Howlin' ha, ha. It's a bit of a double entendre between the howl of a wolf and a girl...eh, 'giving off' to you on a night out.
The E.P. has a number of working titles at the minute, but we've not quite settled on one. We're still on track releasing it at the end of this month, just need to agree with each other for once! Ha, ha.
Nice artwork too on the record… who came up with the design?
Well Ruairi had an idea to use old images of Derry archives. Then a good friend of ours Paul Brown, whose project Primitive Sound (primitivesound.co.uk) creates opportunities for artists through press, online marketing and touring, etc., took us under his wing. He reworked the image which we loved instantly.
What are your plans for the rest of the year EP release aside?
Things start to get busy for us once the E.P. drops. We're playing at Block Party in Bennigans on the 27th of August along with some great acts like PORTS, Making Monsters, TOUTS, among others. Then come September we'll be playing Omagh, RoCo, The Water Rats in Kingscross in London on the 17th.
We’re also getting dates sorted for Manchester and Chester while we're over in England too before finishing on the 22nd, opening for Acid Mothers Temple in the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny. From there we hope to start the pre- production of our 2nd E.P. which is ready to go at this point.