The Doctorates make music that lives and breathes with summer vibes. Their garage surf rock and indie pop spirit brings together both a sweetness and a roughness, making for an undeniable combination that will not rest till your up on your feet and dancing your troubles away. It’s like if Circa Waves and Palma Violets had a love child, I’m pretty sure that The Doctorates would be the product of their passionate affair, and if that’s not something to get excited about, then I don’t know what is.
I caught with the band to chat about their new single, the music scene in Kent and much more.
You all met at school and later formed the band, what were your first impressions of each other when you first met?
Myself and Josh (drums) met on the first day of school when we were eleven and we got on really well straight away and started playing together. I didn’t meet Addi (bass) until we were fifteen and he sat next to me in GCSE German- we spoke about music and he joined the band and that’s how Addi and Josh became acquainted, and again we all had the same interests and musical ambitions from the get go.
It’s no secret that it’s hard for unsigned bands in this industry. What have you learned about the industry over the time you’ve been together in this band?
We’ve learnt that you can never try too hard really. It doesn’t really pay to turn up to gigs late, overrun on your set time and not listen to the other bands. When there’s so many bands around that are mostly much more talented than we are, it pays to be considerate and punctual and talk to the promoters and actually try to give them a reason to book you again.
Kent’s music scene is thriving right now, who are some of your favourite musicians from the area?
There are so many. Slaves are a band that every Kent band are so proud to be associated with right now and they deserve every success they achieve. Likewise we look up to Indoor Pets immensely, they are fantastic. Also Gang, Fuoco, Polar Beach and Two-Bit Sister are great bands we’ve had the pleasure of meeting and playing with.
Your new single ‘Make for an Exit’ has just been released and it comes with the b-side ‘Why Not’. Can you tell us more about these tracks and why you chose them as the new release?
They felt like a natural progression from the last EP- they’re kind of a slightly gritter version of our earlier style. As is often the case with our songs, we’ve got some fairly bright guitars and melodies in there but lyrically they tell quite bleak and frank stories; the songs have allowed me to vent a lot of frustration in my lyrics.
You’ve gained a lot of support from BBC Introducing, how important has their support been to you as a band in helping spread the word about your music?
It’s been massively important. BBC Introducing has of course given us the opportunity to reach more people, but also just having that support from someone who knows about music is a real confidence booster and makes you think maybe you’re doing something right.
What’s the songwriting set up within The Doctorates? Does it start with one of you bringing the initial idea to the table, then it develops from there?
More often than not someone has an idea for the instrumental, and then we’ll hash it out at practice improvising melodies and tweaking chords and structures before chipping away at it until it becomes an established song. The lyrics are the last thing to come in only after the melody and full structure has been finalised. So it’s fairly collaborative in that sense.
Why music? What drives your passion to make music and write songs?
We all have grown up being raised on music so it’s something that has just been a natural course to follow; playing instruments and starting a band just seemed to make sense. Just seeing how phenomenally well other bands can do it just makes you more determined to continue. Hearing incredible musicians makes you want to give up immediately and go and cry somewhere, but also makes you want to carry on and do the same thing.
What have the band got coming up? Any new shows, a tour maybe?
At the moment we are working on some new material and concentrating on writing, so no tour just yet! We are playing Tentertainment festival in Tenterden on the 4th July which we’re really looking forward to.
When it comes to social media, what’s your outlook on using it as a promotional tool?
It’s a massively helpful tool, but it’s a steep learning curve when it comes to using it well. I think we still have a lot to learn but it certainly has a lot to offer.
If your music was a person, how would you describe it?
Probably quite upbeat and excitable, but likes to have a bit of a moan.
‘Make For An Exit’ is available to purchase from the band’s bandcamp here.