With their debut EP ‘Dead Bands’ now out to the world and the band set to support the release with a Uk tour, we managed to find out a little bit more about the Hull four piece.
Give us a potted history of Bedsit
Tom: In 2019, I lost a couple friends and was struggling with depression. I’d hit a wall. To cope, I learned guitar and worked towards self-producing a solo EP titled Pocket Toy. I’d only ever been a bassist and drummer before, so it was all new to me. During lockdown 2021, I recruited Casey Stead (guitar), George Garnett (drums) and eventually Ciaran Hall (bass). Together, we’ve got over forty years’ experience playing in bands. We started an independent record label Forever Underdogs and have been self-producing our releases ever since.
Who inspired you to start making music
Tom: I remember watching Nirvana’s Unplugged album on my Dad’s computer when I was a kid and being transformed. Right now, Hull’s live music scene is a constant inspiration – the bands, the people, everyone’s excitement. It’s great to feel a part of something bigger than yourself.
George: From a young age I was drawn to music, I’ve always sang. The first instrument I tried to play was a cornet, but I think I was 11 when I got my first guitar and that stuck. There was no particular inspiration from a person for me, I was in my mid-teens when I realised music is the only thing I’m good at.
And the one or maybe two records that inspired you artistically
Tom: I was listening to Dilly Dally’s Heaven a lot when I first picked up the acoustic guitar. I never expected to be a vocalist or electric guitarist, but I think subconsciously that record was shaping my aspirations. Also, two of Stoj Snak’s albums: Life, Death and Everything in Between and Screamer Songwriter. The lyrics to both are like my personal bible. So wise, so down to earth. Masterpieces.
Casey: I was probably 16 when I first heardHüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade. It was, and still is, hugely inspirational for me. That album taught me just how ambitious punk-rock can be. It was crazy hearing the pace and the tone switch from lightning-fast hardcore to acoustic tracks, piano pieces to mantras backed with whistles! It’s massively experimental, yet so very seamless, and accomplished. And then the fact that it was a concept record, with a narrative throughout, and characters I could identify with … artistically, that was mind-blowing.
If you’re trying to explain who you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say
Tom: Northern British grunge, with punk and shoegaze and whatever else we feel like doing.
George: I tell people we’re a grunge band, it’s the most apt I feel. You don’t have to be a scholar to hear the many influences in our music but the four of us are huge Nirvana fans, so naturally grunge is at the forefront of our sound.
Tell us about your new release
Tom: Our upcoming Dead Bands EP is set to release under our independent record label Forever Underdogs. We recorded it at our own studio Unit 45, mixed by Hull’s fantastic Nick Russell and mastered by Pete Maher (Pixies, Nick Cave, Garbage, Jack White, Nine Inch Nails). The EP is about the chaos and uncertainty of modern times, the struggle for meaning and motivation. We all have the sense that something isn’t right. We often get cynical and angry. But, occasionally, we get a glimpse of the magical – a moment of ecstasy – and that relief is worth living for. This is our first EP as a full band and the title track is a celebration of the heritage of live music. From gigantic rock stars who inspired generations, to local artists who you think never got the exposure they deserved, they were all answering the same calling – blessed release. How those burning passions, die as they may, continue to smoulder in the hearts of strangers, inspiring joy and creativity.
Where can we get hold of it
Tom: You can stream it anywhere or purchase it as a physical CD or download from Bandcamp.
Pre-save link: https://push.fm/ps/deadbands
Tell us how you write
Tom: I write most of the stuff on my own out of my bedsit on electric or acoustic guitar, then I bring the best and the most suitable stuff to the band. With such a variety of influence covering such a broad spectrum of genres, it can sometimes take us a while to shape a new song. I want every song to be unique, with a specific story or theme. Lyrics are very important to me, even if you can’t hear them very well live or in the mix, they inform the feeling of the song, and the way in which its played.
Tell us about your live show And how much did you miss it during lockdown
Tom: The live music scene is a huge part of my identity, so I struggled a lot during lockdown. Music is my social life, my work, my sense of purpose and belonging. I wrote a whole plethora of songs during lockdown, some of which we’re using in Bedsit, but many which I’ve had to shelve because they felt too dark. I love performing, it’s a huge stress relief. There are some songs which we play where I find it hard to control myself. It’s all about teetering on that edge, playing with the drop.
Casey: Our shows are notoriously energetic. There’s always so much movement in the audience. Moshing, singing along, chanting our name between songs, that kind of thing. It’s a real community around the band on a local level, and in certain places further afield too. But despite that, we’re always confident in places that are entirely new to us, as we have so much variety and tend to win over a crowd pretty quickly. I think that variety is one of our biggest strengths.
What can we expect from you in the near future
Tom: After this EP, we’re planning on releasing a few singles with music videos – we just enjoy producing them too much! We want to tour a lot and work towards our debut album. Then we want that debut album to change the world.
Tell us your favourite records that are rocking your headphones / tour bus / stereo?
Tom: I’m currently obsessed with Nothing’s The Great Dismal. The songwriting is beautiful, the vocals are subtle and yet startling. The production is incredible. The more I fall in love with the record, the more I feel it seeping into my own writing. I don’t want to be a copycat artist, but I enjoy fully embracing the feeling of being inspired.
George: I’m never not in the mood to listen to Misfits or Municipal Waste. But over the last few years I’ve picked up some new favourites.
Deafheaven – Sunbather
Basement – colourmeinkindness
Drain – California Cursed
Cerce – Cowboy Music
To name a few …
Casey: I adore the latest Low album, HEY WHAT. It’s so moving, and sonically it’s just incredible. Play it LOUD, and just sink in.
Check out the bands track Dead Bands, below: