Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In the interview ring with Leeds 'shoe-wavers' The Boxing

Words: Linn Branson

Dark psychsters The Boxing emerged early last year with their debut single ‘Annabelle’ receiving praise from BBC Introducing and helped secure shows alongside Forever Cult and Trudy and The Romance.

Now the moody Leeds threesome turn their special dark blend of pulsating guitars to latest sonic offering 'Violet Sun' - already featured by Little Indie with its cerulean tinged video previously as a Track Of The Day.

Now we step into the ring with The Boxing for a few rounds of questions.

The Boxing are: Harrison Warke (vocals, guitars), Henry Chatham (bass), Charlie Webb (drums).

So, hello you - or all of you, should I say.

All: Hello!

And how do we find you, sirs, and where right now?

Harrison Warke: Very well thanks, Just popped round Henry's for a brew and he’s been painting in his pyjamas. It’s a very easy-going Thursday morning.

Ah, Yorkshire leaves I hope. So, introduce us to the band.

Henry Chatham: I play bass, Charlie is the drummer and Harrison sings and plays guitar.

Well, that's short and to the point. Now, play at being your own PR for those who don't know you, and give us the spin on The Boxing, the band, the music.

Henry: We’re a three-piece, obviously, from Leeds. We play instruments together a few times a week and the resulting noise is something we’re quite fond of.

What was your initial sound aim?

Henry: None of us like the same music really, so our writing process is basically a series of disagreements that occasionally bares strange fruit. I guess we never had a clear sound we were chasing.

I ask that as your name seems synonymous with 'dark' in every review. Do you consciously try to go 'dark, dark, and darker still'?

Harrison: It’s not a conscious rule, but I think when were writing there are certain avenues that tend to be dead ends we try to avoid. We all know fairly quickly if we’re on the right track when developing a song. There’s nobody shouting down the mic ‘it’s not dark enough’, its just happens to turn out that way really.

And how does that tie in with your name - The Boxing?

Henry: We once had a fistfight over a middle 8 in the practice room. Charlie won and that’s the moment that really defines us so there we are.

We'll remember in all future reviews never to disrespect the drummer! The band kicked off well with your debut 'Annabelle'. Was/is this a real person?

Harrison: It’s a real person, he knows who he is but I won’t go into any more detail!

Ah, sounds like there might be a tale there! You picked up praise for the track from BBC Introducing. Were you at all surprised with response?

Harrison: It’s always a pleasant surprise if people are into your music, I guess. It was the first thing we’d released so we didn’t really have any expectations!

Your latest 'Violet Sun' is such, such a good song and I'm not saying that because I'm interviewing you.; we all at Little Indie love it. And is this written about a woman, 'Violet'?

Harrison: Thanks! Lyrically I enjoy writing without a clear subject in mind, so that’s one’s pretty mysterious even to me.

Were you at all influenced by Exit Calm in there at all, as the opening especially felt it has a Barnsley aura about it?

Henry: That’s a new one on us to be honest as we’ve not heard of them, but we’re all huge fans of Barnsley!

The video is trippy cool too. Who came up with the format for that?

Harrison: We had a visual concept we wanted to follow, but in terms of the production that left in the hands of Harry Scott of JUSTDEATH in Leeds. He sent us the first draft of it and we went ‘perfect!”

What kind of feedback have you received so far?

Henry: If people have hated it they’ve not taken the time to tell us thankfully! It’s been positive. 'Violet Sun' got some airtime on Amazing Radio and BBC Introducing have supported us, as you said. It’s a lot easier to gauge reactions when we play live, people seem to be into it.

What are you following 'Violet Sun' with, have you decided yet?

Harrison: We just recorded a couple of tracks at the Nave with ol’ Greavesy, which we’ll be releasing in May/June.

Would you call yourselves a psych band or a shoegaze band or a psychgaze one? As there are components of both psych and shoegaze to be heard, I think.

Harrison: We’ve been toying with ‘shoe-wave” and ‘post-psych new-gaze” but we’re undecided!

'Shoe-wave' is a good one. Think I might coin that!

Harrison: There’s influences of all that in music but I’m not sure how we fit in there.

Do you feel you have a message to get across via your music?

Henry: Not really. It probably means something different to each of us in the band, but certainly no one clear message we’re trying to push. It’s just our way of expressing what we’re about as musicians.

You're from Leeds, give the casual tourist your:

best pub?

Henry: Harrison has his birthday party at the Palace every year, which we’ll be at in a few weeks again, so yeah.

best venue?

Harrison: That Brudenell Social Club's alright.

best foodie?

Harrison: Buca De Pizza, a real romantic spot.

best band?

Henry: Cowtown.

Harrison: Eagulls. There’s too many to name.

best hangout?

Harrison: The Mount. Home of the 85.

best must see attraction?

Henry: Call Lane on a Saturday night is a sight to see.

Harrison: Tropical World.

You have these upcoming live dates, any more in the pipeline?

Henry: We’re heading out of Leeds for the first time this month to play Bristol and Nottingham, when we’re back we’ve got Goldsounds festival and a gig with Pizza for the People. Beyond that, there’s stuff both in Leeds and outside that haven’t been announced yet, so keep an eye out. [see dates further down.]

Keep 'em peeled, as they say. So, lastly, give us your parting word or words of wisdom...

Henry: A toast in the hand’s worth two in the toaster….

Well worth rembering. Thanks both of you.

Live dates

17 Bristol Crofters Rights
18 Nottingham The Angel
06 Leeds Wharf Chambers
20 Leeds Brudenell Social Club Goldsounds Festival

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