Welsh indie rock band The Cradles will be releasing brand new single 'Ideal Girl' next month, but ahead of that we caught up with the group to talk about their career, music and much more. Read on to find out what drummer Declan Andrews and guitarist Kieren O'Brien had to say...
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
Pretty immediate and exciting with strong lyrics and melodies is what we've always set out to do. There's a lot of The Kinks and The Beatles influencing the songs but then big modern influences from the likes of Pixies and The Strokes come into it when we get in the studio.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
We recently ended up on a lineup with Lethal Bizzle and got given the tiny box-size dressing room with no food or drink, whilst Bizzle was in the massive room across from us and had a table piled with all sorts of fine looking delicacies. We put our necks on the line pinching some of his rider. Then there are all the usual challenges like trying to fund decent equipment, tours and recording.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
Well, there's obviously so much music out there now because it's easy to make and distribute, people don't even need to leave their bedrooms. Plus, you've got everyone promoting their stuff on social media, even buying up Facebook likes and fans, so it's probably harder than ever to make a name for yourself regardless of how good you are. You can make more of a name for yourself by posting a photo of the band in a bath of Cheerios than putting a good song out there.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
I think that if we didn't have creative control then all life would go from what we're doing it and it would start to seem like a waste of time. We've only ever set out to write songs that we love and if someone starts meddling with that, not only will the songs be worse but it'll turn into a drag. We didn't exactly set out as music careerists who are happy to do anything to make it. We want to be known for having better songs and being a better band than everyone else. The most satisfying part is playing songs that we've come up with.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
Mainly just from good songs that we hear. People are good inspiration for lyrics too. Quite a few of our songs talk about characters. Even if you exaggerate a bit it still comes from people you've seen out and about or crossed paths with.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
It would be exciting to work with a lot of the big names who've been involved with music that we love and have listened to growing up. But when it comes down to it we want to make something new and exciting happen and to do that you need nobodies with a hunger and ambition to make it to the top around you. As much as it'd be fun to work with Steve Albini or someone like that, really you want to be working with the next Steve Albini.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you not many people know.
Luke carved his name into his bass one night and spelt it wrong.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
To be playing the biggest stages, storming the charts and doing this every day rather than day jobs.
Where do you hope to be by this time next year?
Putting out or well on our way to seeing our debut album get a good release and take up some space in the charts. It would be good to see our music starting to take a hold and getting a lot of people excited.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
We're supporting Bill Ryder-Jones in Cardiff on March 11, then doing our single launch at Clwb Ifor Bach on March 23. Then we'll be off on a UK tour in April.
New single 'Ideal Girl' is released on March 25.