London based four piece, Storms are killing it right now with their grungy, guitar driven indie pop. It’s anthemic and addictive, and you’ll fall in love with I Had A Vision Last Night immediately. If you haven’t heard their début EP yet, Visions, then where have you been? I’ll forgive you but make sure you do have a listen, click here to stream the whole EP right now. 2013’s been a great year for this band so far and 2014’s looking to be even better, so be sure to be on the look out for this band, as they are truly ones to watch.
I caught up with the band’s frontman, George Runciman, to talk about everything from their début EP, Visions, to what’s next for the band and much, much more. Read on for more insight into the band.
Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for this interview. What’s one thing that we should all know about Storms that we might not know about you now?
Thanks for showing interest. Well, I guess you all definitely need to know that Yacob (bass), the insane Dane, is a genius foosball (table football) player. I’ve seen him beat a team of four people on his own before. Freakish!
You released your début EP, Visions, earlier this year, it’s available to stream on soundcloud, do you have a release date in mind for when it will be available to purchase?
No, we’re not sure if we’re even gonna release it at all yet to be honest. At the moment we’re just focusing on writing new songs. We would rather be patient and wait ’til we sign a record deal before we officially release anything ourselves at the moment.
How has the response been to the EP so far?
Yeah it’s been positive. Not one single person has disliked our video on YouTube yet which surely means we’re the best band ever, even Bob Marley has dislikes on YouTube! By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who dislikes Bob Marley, have you? Who are these people and where does YouTube find them?
I know, right. Good question. What’s the story behind the songs on the Visions EP?
‘I Had A Vision Last Night’ was a song Felix and I wrote in his bedroom. With ‘Daffodils’, Yacob and I wrote the verse at my gaff way before Storms was formed and then it was left untouched for a while, we’d actually forgot all about it. Then we started working on it at band practice about nine months ago, Felix wrote the chords for a chorus and a middle eight, Ben did his thing on the drums, and it ended up coming together real easy. It’s my favourite song on the EP and one of the most enjoyable songs to perform live. I don’t think many people expect the song to go in the direction it goes towards the end, it’s always fun to see the crowd’s reaction.
‘Beach News’ was a song Felix wrote solely. It’s a song we’re yet to perform live actually, it’s a nice chilled number. We recorded the drums for all three songs at Oktopus studios in Willesden with this dude, Darren Jennings, who did a great job mixing for us also. Yacob recorded some bass and I recorded some of my guitar there too. Then we recorded everything else in Felix’s bedroom.
All the songs have their own flavour but they all share these dream-like visions of escapism and freedom, and that’s why, along with the lead song being named ‘I Had A Vision Last Night’, we decided to name the EP ‘Visions’.
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote together and if you do, can you tell us a bit about it?
The first song we all wrote together is a song called ‘Plague Machine’. We began writing it this year in January and finished it in February. I’d say it’s heavily influenced by early Radiohead & The Pixies. When Felix came up with that intro guitar riff, we all looked at each other and were like ‘that’s so Pixies’.
There’s nothing wrong with ripping off The Pixies though, after all there would be no ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ if Kurt hadn’t had done the same right? So then Yacob came in with this grungy bass line as Ben came in with the drums. I began singing any old garbage to find the melody. Then when we had the music for the chorus I just sung the first thing that came to my head which was, ‘I’ve been discussing it with all of my friends, they keep on telling me again and again and again, I’m still in love, I’m still in love’.
Felix wrote all the lyrics for the verses and changed the ‘I’m still in love’ bit to ‘I’m twisted up, twisted in love’ which was obviously way better. Like ‘Daffodils’ it all came together quite easy. We’ve performed it in every set since it was written. I think it’s definitely a contender to be one of our singles next year, it’ll be on the album for sure.
You played a headline show at the Koko, you’ve toured with Broken Hands and released your debut EP this year. What’s been your highlight from what you’ve done so far this year?
We had a great time on tour with Broken Hands, they’re great lads, but I think the highlight this year has to be the KOKO show really. We were on stage at 30 minutes past midnight, it was absolutely rammed in there, it’d easily hit capacity, and everyone was really getting into us which I have to admit was quite surprising considering most the people there didn’t know who we were and it was in London, which doesn’t exactly have a reputation for energetic crowds – probably ’cause we’re far too spoilt for choice in London.
But yeah, it really was a great feeling and proud moment for us all. We’ve worked hard this year writing, recording demos, recording the EP, gigging in London prior to touring the UK, all whilst holding down jobs, so the feeling from the KOKO gig felt like a great reward for all that hard work. I’m sure we’ll play there again at some point next year.
You filmed the video for I Had A Vision Last Night in Blackpool. How was the video shoot, it looked like you had lots of fun filming it. Do you enjoy filming music videos?
Yeah, it was a great laugh. Kell Mitchell (the director), her assistant, Leo, a hair and make up artist named Kar, plus us clowns all piled into to a 7 seater, and Ben whizzed us up there. We all stayed in a hotel called Turkish Palace which was a fucking shit-hole, but that made the whole experience more humorous to be honest. We wanted to make a feel good, fun video without taking ourselves too seriously and I think Kell did a great job of achieving that.
It can be quite tiring being filmed for two days straight but overall we really enjoyed it. The people of Blackpool were really friendly. The lady who ran the fairground let us on a couple of rides free of charge, in fact she kept the place open for 10 minutes after closing time especially for us to film. Also, earlier that day we were denied filming in an Arcade by the security guards, but then shortly afterwards Felix found a wallet in there with around 150 quid in it which he handed in, and then as an act of good will the guards allowed us to film. Karma eh?
If you could create your dream line-up for a gig, who would you choose to be on the bill?
Ok. Firstly, I’d have Andy Kaufamn’s Tony Clifton as the compere in-between the bands. I’ll go with The Velvet Underground to open, you know you could rely on them to kick things off nicely.
Then I go with The Verve on second. They’re the best live band I’ve ever witnessed. The sounds coming out of McCabe’s guitar amp along with Ashcroft’s vocals and performance was simply mind blowing at Glastonbury 2008. It’s a massive shame that I’ll probably never get the chance to see them again but at least I got to see them that one time.
Third on the bill would be Radiohead from ’97, so they’ll only play stuff off of ‘Pablo Honey’, ‘The Bends’, and ‘OK Computer’. It’s not that I dislike their other albums, I don’t think they’ve ever written a bad song and I think they’re a great, great band, but I just prefer their vibe in the 90s.
Then I’d go with the genius that is Jimi Hendrix to headline. I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like to see The Jimi Hendrix Experience live, that must have been fucking insane. I recently watched a documentary about him, it reminded me how great he really was. The guy was from another planet.
We’re big supporters of new music here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. Having said that, are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?
Yeah, I’m sure you’ve already heard of them though. I’m really impressed by Wolf Alice and Superfood. I’ve seen them both live, they’re as good live as they are on record, and I can’t wait to hear their full début albums next year.
As we’re approaching the end of 2013. Is there anything that you’d like to achieve by the end of this year and what can we be expecting from Storms in the New Year?
We’re just focusing on writing new material and recording demos at the moment. Our next live show is on New Year’s Eve at London nightclub, Cherry Cola. We’re hoping to be in the studio again by February recording new material. We have a couple of shows booked for January too. I honestly can’t wait for 2014, I believe it’s gonna be a busy year us. 2013 has been a year of development for us, now we’re ready. Let’s be ‘avin ya!
A special thanks to Storms for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.