Interview | Introducing…Boat To Row

Midlands collective Boat To Row are one of those bands where every member seems to be able to grab the nearest instrument and bash out an uplifting tune. Whether they have guitars, banjos, mandolins or violins to hand, it doesn’t really matter – its the tunes that will get you. As they prepare to release their Loyal Light EP next month, they sat down to tackle FFS’s tried and trusted ‘Introducing’ interview…

Tell us a bit about your latest release.

(Ben): Our new release Loyal Light is us properly finding our feet as a band. I feel like we’re starting to craft a sound for ourselves and we kind of know what is Boat To Row and what isn’t these days. That isn’t to say we have a formula or restrict ourselves, we love to push our own boundaries and try new things! The main reason we do this is for our enjoyment so we like to keep things fresh, but we definitely know what works for us and we think more now about the overall sound of a release than before. It was recorded over the summer amongst our weekends at festivals so the songs feel nicely worn in and road tested and when we were recording we really felt like we were putting together our strongest release so far. I’m very excited to start playing it to people!

Which of your songs is your favourite and why?

(Ben) My personal favourite song on the EP is ‘Ode To Work A Day’. It came together quickly in the writing stages and right from the start we were very excited about it! It has a lot of energy but it’s also quite restrained and almost fragile in places so I think it sums up what we can do nicely in one song. It’s a big track live and I think we found a good balance between all the different instruments, supporting each other in an interesting way.

What’s the worst thing about being a musician?

(Emma) The worst thing is probably the long late night car journeys after shows. We once drove to Glasgow, played a show and drove back to Birmingham in the space of 26 hours! It has to be done though and it is worth it when you get to see places you wouldn’t have otherwise.

What was your best ever gig?

(Emma) 2000 Trees festival this year springs to mind just because it was so different. The power went off during our set a few times and we ended up going into the crowd and playing unplugged, which thankfully was well received, and it just made it a really unique and unforgettable experience for us.

What inspires you?

(Lloyd) I’m inspired by Chuck Norris movies and playing etch-a-sketch, listening to pop music and seeing how I can pretend to be Dave Grohl whilst playing in a folk band.

What are you plans for the future?

(Mike) We preparing ourselves for a busy 2013! We hope to be touring and hitting the festivals as much as possible and releasing equally as much as possible. No dead set plans for an album just yet, but we’re building up to it. We’ll be releasing a collection of new singles, starting early next year.

If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?

(Billy) I’d buy a van for the band, some shoes and some flapjack. The rest I would put in a huge vault like Scrooge McDuck in Ducktales.

Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?

(Billy) I saw Andy Oliveri and the Cadbury Sisters playing at the Island Bar in Bimringham the other day, that was pretty special. Andy’s EP has been a firm favourite in the car.

Loyal Light is due for release on November 19.