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Amber Herd - Interview

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 31 / 8 / 2013

Amber Herd - Interview


At the Deerstock Festival Dave Goodwin chats to much acclaimed Nottingham-based post punk/alt.rock band the Amber Herd about their forthcoming debut album

Once described as "Nottingham's best kept secret", the Amber Herd are a five piece post punk/alt.rock band. They have won much local acclaim for their blistering live shows, and, having recorded a string of singles and EPs, are now working on their yet-untitled debut album. The Amber Herd's current line-up consists of Neil Beards (guitar/vocals), Paul Wentworth (guitar/vocals), Robert 'Fitz' Fitzmaurice (bass), Ollie Powditch (keyboards)and Mark Lasbury (drums/percussion). Pennyblackmusic spoke to them shortly after they had finished playing a set at this year's Deerstock Festival. PB: You have got an album on the way. How is the recording for that going? PW: We started work on the album near Chesterfield. We have managed to hire this little studio in Hasland to lay down the drum and the acoustic guitar track. It is a nice, big echoing space so it sounds beautiful. We've managed to get five drum tracks and four acoustic guitar tracks down so far, so that's a start. NB: We're working on it with Mark Rolfe (Lorna, Ed) who is a bit of a Nottingham legend, so were really pleased to be doing that. We are about a quarter of the way through it. We hope to have a record out by the end of the year. We've still got Paul's guitar and the bells and whistles and other bits and bobs to go on to it yet, but it is shaping up really well. This is going to our biggest release so far so we're really excited about it. PB: So, I would imagine with the album coming out hopefully this side of Christmas it must be a fine juggling act getting it together with all the gigging that you are also doing at the moment? NB: Yeah, it's okay. It is finding the time to get us all together. But the album itself we are hoping to release on a 12 inch slab of vinyl and bung a CD in with it and a few other assorted lovelies. Its going to be a limited edition thing, we think. PB: Are you all from Nottingham? RF: We are from all over the bloody place really. NB: I'm from Peterborough actually, but I currently live in Chesterfield. RF: I come from all over the place, but mainly the south west. OP: And I am from Coventry. A relative southerner! PB: Tour wise, you've played at both the Bodega and the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham and have also played shows in London. Is there any sign of going further afield? PW: Oh we'd love to. If we could ever get it organised between us we will. NB: In the very near future we are staying a bit more closer to home. We are playing the Riverbank Bar as part of the Nottingham Riverside festival. And then we are at the Amazement Festival at Nottingham Racecourse. After that we are going to get our heads down and finish the record, and then look at the possibility of doing a few more shows further afield. PB: With there being five of you in the band, do you find it easy sorting out band practice? NB: It can be difficult at times. There's certain days we struggle. Usually Thursdays are band practice. Ollie's in another band too, so we have to tie it all in with that. OP: I play guitar and bass in another band. RF: We are extraordinarily good at making it up if we don't practice. It's like today. I think we did alright considering we haven't practiced for around a month for one reason and another. PB: Ollie, who are your other group? OP: It is a band called Library Music. It is very different to this. It is all sort of slightly odd tuning. PW: Amazingly enough these small fingers manage to get around a bass guitar! PB: Paul, you recently set up a gig at The Bodega in Nottingham to showcase local bands. Are there any more plans for organising another? PW: Very probably, actually. I'll probably wheedle a few in here and there. I'm hoping to organise a few small festival type things locally. I've got a nice little clique of bands that I would like to get involved. Of course, we are going to play at them. The Bodega though was the first one that I have organised in a venue. PB: How long have you been together now? ML: A long time, around seven years now. PB: Why have you not released an album sooner? ML: We've had two singles, two double a sided singles and an EP out. But we've just not got around to it to be honest. PB: You've gone for quality not quantity as it were? NB: I suppose we have really. PB: Who does most of the writing? NB: It varies, I suppose. The songs come together with all five of us. The germ of the idea normally comes from either me or Paul, but generally it is quite a collaborative thing. PW: The songs constantly change as well. The albums are going to have a song from each of our releases, but they've changed so much since we've released them we thought we might as well do them again. We are putting a lot of effort into this to make it sound the business. PB: Are all the original members from the start? ML: We started off with Neil, Paul, our original keyboardist Rachel Edge and we got another bass player, but we've been together in this line-up for the last three years, the main push as it were. Ollie joined us after his band unfortunately dissolved. OP: Yeah, I replaced Rachel, and it has been good so far! I knew these guys from way back anyway. We did lots of shows together when I was in my old band, and it was like a natural progression to join the group really. PB: Ollie, you're the youngest member of the bunch. Do you get a lot of ribbing for it? OP: I do really. Yeah, but it is all good natured! RF: He's known as the Cherub! We are not allowed at plus eighteen shows when Ollie's with us. OP: It's a bit embarrassing as I am actually thirty one. It is the moisturiser that helps! And I never do a hard day's work according to my boss. The rest of the interview descends into a round of Ollie bashing, so I cut it short and we finish by taking a few serious shots of the whole of the band on a children's revolving tea cup ride that was whirring away next to us...

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Amber Herd - Interview

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live reviews

Hasland Theatre, Chesterfield, 5/7/2014
Amber Herd - Hasland Theatre, Chesterfield, 5/7/2014
Dave Goodwin watches post-punk/alt.rock Amber Herd play a stunning show to launch their debut album in the unusual venue of the Hasland Thatre in Chesterfield



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