As We Leave is made up of Caine Entwistle, Kit Joliffe, Kyle Abram and Tom Gardner and is based in Sandown, on the Isle and Wight. The four write and produce all the band’s music.
I am interviewing you for Backseat Mafia, the Downunder version, so for Australians, who might not be aware of it, can tell us a little bit about the Isle of Wight?
The Isle of Wight is a Victorian holiday destination. It’s a little left behind the times and the general demographic is not good but it is beautiful, quiet, pretty safe and an encouraging environment to be creative. It’s also home to the big festival in the 60s, [which was headlined by] Bob Dylan and The Doors. Charles I was imprisoned here before having his head removed and Queen Victoria loved it so much, she annexed whole swathes of it!
What is it about Sandown that you find so inspirational?
The whole south side of the island’s coast is lovely – sandy beaches, little coves, isolated spots to have a bonfire, dinosaur cliffs… this is where we grew up!
I have read that you have been friends for a very long time, how long you have been friends and how did you become friends?
Me, G [Tom Gardner] and Kyle [Abram] met at school as kids and we have been making music together in one capacity our whole lives since then. Kit [Joliffe] is the same age, went to a different school and hooked up with us later on.
When was the band formed and how did the band come about?
As We Leave came about after me and Kyle were left, just the two of us, wanting to try something different, so we just plugged away at it, the two of us… we got some good success with the first self-released EP (it appears in Netflix’s ‘The Kominsky Method’) so we asked G and eventually Kit to come and have fun making some music with no pressure.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves, like who plays what instrument and how you go about composing and recording your music?
We all play whatever needs on the records. Predominately though, Kit will play the drums and the rest gets distributed depending on the song. There is no set formula for the writing and composing. If someone has an idea, we put it down and slowly, everyone builds something on it. Sometimes a song might be brought to the table with skeleton and flesh, sometimes it’s just a hook line or a catchy melody. No one is the boss, it’s always worked out together.
How was the name of the band chosen?
The name of the band was chosen many years ago, when it was just me and Kyle as a two-piece writing machine! We didn’t want to be like everyone else at the time, ‘The…something’. I said to Kyle we should be more of a statement than a band name, so ‘As We Leave’ was what I come up with. It rolls off the tongue and can’t be mistaken for anyone else.
How does living on the Isle of Wight influence the music that you make?
I think it influences us hugely. We are naturally mellow, laid back guys so the natural, slow, laid back island life feeds into the songs conscious or unconscious. It is also a lot harder to be heard.
What are your ‘day jobs’ or are you full-time musicians?
Bit of both really – G is a full-time musician, Kyle has a cafe on the beach, Kit fixes things and I have an office job. It wasn’t always this way but needs must sometimes.
What are your major musical influences?
All music has some kind of influence, but we’re big Beatles fans, Gomez, Pink Floyd, Tom Waits, CSNY, Hendrix, Beach House, The La’s, Andy Shauf, Tame Impala, Crowded House… any band that treats songwriting as its most important aspect is a big tick for us.
Could you overview each of the 4 tracks on ‘Stop Making Plans’ and explain what the inspiration was for each track and any other insights on how the songs were created?
There was a whole bunch of songs written for it but the ones that eventually went on fit well together;
‘Rarely Been So Long’ is a tongue in cheek stab at the world around us in general. Cynicism is a recurring theme and it’s a fun one to play live… it came together really quickly when we wrote it and the recording was done at our own little studio, as were all the songs before they went off to be mixed and mastered at Empire Sound.
‘What We Become’ started life as a big Bruce Springsteen jamboree. Over time it got stripped back and became a more As We Leave groove, with lots of subtle layers piled up and a catchy hook for the chorus, very us.
‘No Atlas’ is an ode to our younger days. Another one where we just laid guitars up, set the keys in the right places and let the tempo and character do its own thing. It’s a good one live, the ending can get massive.
‘Wood For The Trees’ is probably the collective favourite. It was much bigger to begin with but we thought it needed more of a pretty, panoramic feel to it. Ironic really because it’s all about the breakdown of relationships, interpersonal and inorganic, like state and citizen… so the sound and vibe of the song is actually contradictory to the content.
Will you be touring ‘Stop Making Plans’?
Unfortunately, through many different reasons we have been unable to play live all summer so no tour or promotional stuff but with a little luck, things will be different for the next one which we are having fun writing at the moment.
Stream ‘Stop Making Plans’ HERE.