Whitecliff (Wide Eyed Boy)

When I carried out this interview the band was called Whitecliff, since then they have changed and are now called ‘Wide Eyed Boy’, all their social media links will be for the current band. I will soon review their new single ‘Wolves’.

Whitecliff are an indie-pop rock band who have already been heard in the music circle as they have already had radio support from many radios including BBC Radio 2’s Janice Long. The group who met whilst studying Music at Liverpool have just released their ep ‘Five Minutes’. Band members include Oliver Nagy (Vocals), Tom Taylor (Drums) Johnny Ball (Guitar) and Paul Bates (Bass). On the 29th of April 2016, Whitecliff were doing a gig at the Ferret in Preston where I interviewed Oliver and Tom. Pictured left to right Oliver, Johnny, Tom and Paul. Their newly released ep ‘Five Minuets’ is available for download on ITunes for £1.49 or you can buy the singles ‘Five Minuets’ or ‘Till The End’ for 99p.

Where did the name for your band come from?
Oliver – “You know that’s a funny story, we started making music writing songs together, and we didn’t have a band name. I was just walking up to band practice and I just pressed shuffle on my iPod and for some reason it played ‘Wyclef Jean’ and I didn’t even know I had songs of his on my iPod, and basically for a joke I went into the practice room and said “We should call ourselves ‘Wyclef'” and they thought I said ‘Whitecliff’ so we just kept it.”

How would you describe the style of your music?
Tom – “I think it’s like indie-pop, it’s basically guitar music meets pop music.”
Oliver – “I guess the melodies are a bit on the poppier side of the spectrum and then the indie guitars the rock elements in it as well.”

Do you have any advice for any new budding artists?
Oliver- “I mean it sounds very stereotypical like write a lot of songs, you know usually your first songs aren’t going to be the best, don’t be very precious about them, just write and write. Do gigs, meet new people, you know network.”

What is the writing process for your songs?
Tom – “It’s all written together which is really cool.”
Oliver – “We just jam really, we just go and practice, someone comes up with an idea and we just build from that and it just comes a song after a while.”

Do you have any future plans – any tours and gigs?
Oliver – “We are about to finish our tour now, we are more than halfway down, we have another four to go, so we are doing that and then we are going to Germany in October to support The Rifles, which is great because I am from Germany originally so it’s going to be fun.”
Tom – “We are sure there’s going to be another UK tour round October time.”
Oliver – “We are just going to do a lot of writing.”

Who are your influences?
Tom – “I’d say older bands like Strokes and the Kinks as well, more recently bands like the 1975, Circa Waves, Catfish and the Bottlemen, you know all big North West bands, it varies.”
Oliver – “You know individually we all have different musical backgrounds, us put together in a room, we all bring our different musical identities so that creates our sound really.”

What is the weirdest thing to have ever happened to you whilst being in the?
Tom – “We were at a service station and our van is white with a blue roof, and Johnny got in to a black van, totally unrelated van and he got in that, that was pretty weird.”

How long have you been a band?
Oliver – “We properly started working on the band about 2 and half years ago, but we only finished uni last year so its been on the road now for a bout a year.”

Where did you all meet?
Tom – “Everyone meet at uni up in Liverpool. Oli is from Germany, I am from the South, we are all form different areas and we all met in class up at uni.”

What did you study at uni?
Tom and Oliver – “We studied Music actually.”

How many hours a day do you practice?
Tom – “We are actually quite good, we actually practice together everyday, Monday to Friday if we are not touring we are doing stuff like that. We write 4 hours a day.”

Where do you get your instruments from and how much did they cost? For those people who may want to start their own band.
Oliver – “That’s interesting. I am a singer so I don’t, obviously I have a keyboard as well that was like £200 or something, that’s it.”
Tom – “My first drum kit I actually borrowed from a friend for years and years and years ad then I just grown over the years and I had different stuff, I couldn’t put a figure on it.”

How did you get into music?
Tom – “I am really bad at everything else to be honest so that’s how.”
Oliver -“I have always been a singer, I was on stage I started singing at 6 or 7, I really didn’t have a choice.”

Do you have any future plans for an album?
Tom – “Yeah so we have a few more singles coming out and then we are going to record our first album and that should be out next year-ish.”
Oliver – “We always write, I think by now we probably have material for an album, but you know as we grow as a band, as time passes, we change our sound a bit so I am guessing next year. ”

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Tom – “Everyone always has different answers for this one, but I think personally I think it would be cool to do something with Kanye West, it would be interesting. On a more serious note, maybe a legend. I know its not possible now but playing with somebody like David Bowie or someone like that would have been amazing.”

Does it ever get difficult being in a band?
Oliver – “Definitely, obviously at the very beginning you don’t earn money from it, so we had to get jobs to make a living and we are on our first tour now and you get tired a bit some of us get really ill, there are always ups and downs.”
Tom – “Its doing something everyone loves as well, you know its good with bad really. If it’s tough at least we are out there doing it which we are really great full for to be able to go and tour the UK.”

How would you describe the process of getting signed, was it difficult?
Tom – “It was after doing loads of gigging and loads of writing, it’s our first stepping stone really.”
Oliver – “We had to grow as a band and then we played loads of gigs and we were lucky that Gary Powell was in the audience in Brighton, who owns 25 hour convenience store, you know the label we are signed to, and it was just like really being in the right place at the right time.”

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