These Reigning Days are set to make a bit impact on the music world this year as they not only release their debut album but they will also be heading to Hollywood as part of the MUSEXPO event, which will introduce their music to the world.
I caught up with lead singer Dan to talk about the debut single and album as well as heading to the States.
- You are about to release your debut single Changes so what can we expect from the record?
Changes is a fusion of different types of music I think. The album as a whole is a better representation of the crossover I am trying to create between indie, rock and dance. It’s hard to pin point exactly which genre it is in but it builds nicely and it’s quite emotional and quite intense.
- How would you describe the sound of not only the record but your music in general - Changes has some really great guitar work on it?
Yeah. One thing I believe in when writing an album or just doing a live show in general is not to pigeon hole yourself and say ‘we are a certain sound’. We work on the songs and do whatever it takes to make each song better so every song gets treated independently and then it gets true representation - it works better I think.
Rather than thinking ‘right we are going to write a concept album and it is all going to sound like this and it’s going to be amazing’, it better to just go with it sometimes.
- Is there an album in the pipeline and if so how much does Changes prepare us for what is to come?
There is an album and we have nearly finished recording it and that will be due for release in the summer. We are working with a guy called Yoad Nevo, he has worked with the likes of The Pet Shop Boys and Duran Duran, so he is a really talented guy and he has brought a lot to the table.
I think that Changes is a nice refreshing opener that introduces you to what we are about as a band and it’s definitely a starting block to what happens on the rest of the album.
- You have mentioned Yoad Nevo has produced the single and the album so how did that collaboration come about?
It’s the same thing in the music industry someone knows someone who mentions it and it kind of happens that way.
It was the best for both of us really because as soon as he liked it he was like ‘this is the band for me’ and when we heard his work and what he was doing with singles and stuff it was like a match made in heaven.
- How did you find working with him and what does his input bring to the album?
He is the most professional guy, he is just one man engineer/producer and he is an absolute genius with the technical side as well as the creative side.
With certain songs we needed some direction and having a fresh pair of ears that has got such experience and a wealth of knowledge of the music industry and what works he has managed to bring that special little something and made the songs more alive.
- What does the record say about you as an artist?
I think it says, I don’t know. It’s kind of an emotional rollercoaster because there are times when I have been happy and there are songs about how great everything is and the album does touch on the war in Afghanistan and things like that.
There are various different aspects that a lot of people think about and we have written about them in a more subtle way; even the songs about me are written in a way that everyone can relate to.
- You were originally a member of The Quails so how has your experience in that band prepared you for These Reigning Days?
Because These Reigning Days has only been going for six months I think that the fact that we have all got a handle on the music industry and what is expected has allowed us to go full steam ahead into it.
I feel that with The Quails there have been memories of great gigs and festivals and they are great lads but it felt like that was my apprenticeship and now I have got my place.
- How did you meet Johnny and Joe?
We have all been in bands in south Devon before this and I knew that Joe was a brilliant drummer; we all knew we were pretty good and we all saw each other at gigs.
So when I wanted to started a band we just went out for a couple of pints and I was like ’I know you are good mate so are you up for it or not?’ And he was like ‘I was thinking the same thing, no way.’
- You are a seasoned performer so how have you seen yourself develop as an artist from The Quails to now?
I think it’s just simple little things really. Before The Quails it was like a glorified hobby and then it was like ‘oh shit this is job’.
So simple little things like the way that you speak to people when you get there and meeting other bands and just having the confidence to hold your own when you walk into a room; just because you music is different or you have different creative ideas it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily worse then the people on before or after you.
We are making so much progress and everyone seems to like what we are doing and as long as I am happy and the band is happy then it’s cool. But I defiantly think that a lot of things have changed, like I said to you before it felt like it was a glorified hobby.
You have to think about drinking and the amount that you drink when you go on stage because it is not a party it’s a job at the end of the day and when you have people investing money in you and everyone’s backing you you have to be professional.
- Where are we going to be seeing you perform this year in the UK?
In the UK we have got loads of festivals but we are just waiting for confirmation so I can’t really say.
But we are going to LA at the end of April and May to do this MUSEXPO and World Wide Radio summit and we are really glad to be one of the twenty two bands to be selected to go, so after that I think things are goanna go pretty.
Well after that we are going to get the album out and there will be a lot of heavy touring. But this is the time of year when the festivals are saying ‘right we are just sorting out the headline acts on all the stages’ and then at the end of February, March and April are when they book up all the other stages so it’s early days yet - so hopefully Isle of Wight and Reading and things like that and get on the BBC introducing stages. But it is really hard to confirm at this time of year.
- MUSEXPO is my next question so how excited are you about that and how did you get involved?
Basically I have been on their radar since The Quails and they have been keeping an eye on us, they liked my song writing and the tunes but I guess that it wasn’t really for them at the time; they never really give you a reason.
Our manager just got in touch again and sent them our latest single and video and they absolutely loved it and were like ’we would like to offer you a place, come on over.’
It’s a bit of a mental thing to go all the way to go all the way to Hollywood to do two half hour shows (laughs), but I am well up for it and am not going to complain.
- There is a lot of great music around at the moment so what and who are you listening to?
Elbow I am really liking them at the moment. I am also listening to Muse; apparently they have got a new album coming out so I am really looking forward to that. As you say there is a lot of really good music coming out. But it’s hard for people at my stage to get into the mainstream because there are so many people doing it.
- You have mentioned that there are lots of bands around so what sets These Reigning Days apart from everyone else?
We rehearse every single day and we are writing and working our asses off, some other bands seem to think that it should happen to them more if they write and they should be more successful.
I can’t stress enough you can think that you are the best in the world but if you just take a step out you realise that there is always more work that you can do and there are always more changes you can make to be better.
I’m never happy creatively I think (laughs) as there are always better lyrics to be written and better tunes to be made - the only way you can tell is when you play in front of an audience to see their reaction.
- Finally what's next for you?
Basically carry on with what I am doing, but I do need to change something because I find myself living in Groundhog Day situation sometimes; which doesn’t bode well for my creative writing. So I need to go and try something new and do something a bit crazy to get some new experiences under my belt and then carry on writing.
But this summer is going to be predominately touring, releasing the album and going on a support tour hopefully.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw