Give us a potted history of the band
Formed from the ashes of a band called Harry Oakwood & The Millionaires over ten years ago, we’ve been writing and recording as a labour of love whenever we can ever since, finding the perfect line-up and building to this first release. Two songs remain from the original incarnation and we’ve been adding to the canon of outcast character-driven songs.
We’ve all been involved in various bands and scratched livings from playing in covers bands and surviving as music teachers and jobbing musicians. Collectively we’ve played stages all over the world, but the biggest high is driving a room full of strangers to their feet and keeping them there when we finally started playing live earlier this year.
Who inspired you to start making music
The writing of the late, great Robbie Robertson and Lowell George for starters. For the guitar, it was all about Michael J. Fox in Back To The Future though.
And the one or maybe two records that inspired you artistically
Steinbeck as much as The Band’s eponymous second album and Sailin’ Shoes by Little Feat. Lyrics that allow for the breadth of experience you accumulate by virtue of struggling on, despite being down-on-your-luck and on your last legs, were especially attractive. There’s often something a little playful with the stories behind the songs, the comedy within the tragedy. Something we can relate to from the precarious living afforded by a career in music. There was a particular musicality present from ’69-’75 or so that we’re drawn to exploring how that would sound today.
If you’re trying to explain who you sound like to someone who’s never heard you, what do you say
If you were in a bar at the edge of the world with hours to live, we’d be playing in the corner and living our best lives doing it. If their faces are blank, I’d probably just throw them the lazy short-hand of Fleetwood Mac, CSNY & The Band.
Tell us about your new track
Mixed by Ruadhri Cushnan (The Maccabees, Half-Moon Run, Mumford & Sons & Isaac Gracie) Open Door tells the first person-take on a relationship they’re too scared to leave, but too scared to commit to. Detailing all the ways in which they’d like to have their cake and eat the be-heck out of it. Recorded live and featuring the Ayoub Sisters (https://instagram.com/theayoubsisters?igshid=OGQ5ZDc2ODk2ZA==) on strings which I recorded in a shed.
Where can we get hold of it
Anywhere you get music on Fri 1st Dec.
Tell us how you write
One reason we all keep coming back to East Of Reno from our day jobs is that there’s a sound we’ve got and finding something so strongly defined is a rarity. There’s a camaraderie here, just as rare.
Over the course of writing, we’ve got a strong idea of the characters we write for and that helps us direct the story accordingly. It’s nearly always one of us starting the ball rolling with the writing and presenting it to the band as a demo. Then we get it on its legs in rehearsal and problem-solve whatever problems need solving, as a collective.
I write more with music first and let that influence the mood and inform what the story is. Sometimes I have lyrical ideas written down. Half the fun is finding a new way to skin the cat of songwriting.
Tell us about your live show What would be your dream gig
Every show is a party! We live all over the country (Nottingham, Brighton, Worthing & London), but sharing a stage and a drink is what keeps the love fresh. I’d love to play America. Never done it. More than anything, to have people connect with your music: that’s what it’s all about. Sure, we’d love to play big shows and festivals, but I’d gladly take a sweaty room full of passionate, active people we can bounce off.
What can we expect from you in the near future
Open Door is our first single from a soon-to-be EP which will be released early ’24. We’ve got so much new material ready to go, we’re just chomping at the bit to finish recording the album.
Tell us your favourite records that are rocking your headphones/tour bus/stereo
Countdown to Ecstasy by Steely Dan and anything touched by Adrianne Lenker.
Check out the bands track Lousie, below:
Find out more via the bands Facebook