Eager to find out how a band’s second ever release could be as gorgeous as The Golden Age Of TV’s ‘Dust’, Bitter Sweet Symphonies’ Zoe Peck spoke to the Leeds-based art-rock newcomers ahead of their BBC Introducing Stage set at this year’s Leeds Festival.
Three festivals in three days, that’s impressive. Still feeling fresh?
Andrew: I’ve had some M&Ms, I’m feeling alright.
Sam: Yeah they’re like a festival essential now, like, equal to loo roll.
So you played Reading yesterday, how was the set?
Sam: Yeah it was wicked.
Ryan: We’ve been to festivals but it was the first time we’ve ever experienced anything like that…the first time we’d done a gig of that stature. So it was scary when we got there.
Andrew: Once we were on it was loads of fun…as fun as like, a fight to the death would be…like you’re really scrapping, trying to prove something, but you’re also trying to have as much fun as possible.
Ryan, mockingly: A fight to the death!? [laughs] What sort of comparison is that?
How did the band get started?
Andrew: Me and Sam started hanging out first year of uni, started writing tunes and stuff and it came to the point where we were like “We should probably start a band now.” So we both had this list of people that we’d always wanted to work with that we knew…course it happened to be this lot.
Ryan: We did the first rehearsal and we were just like “Yeah this works”. There’s always that initial period where you’re getting used to everybody’s different abilities and skill-sets and stuff but once we actually started writing it was really easy right off the bat. We knew it was good.
I love your song ‘Dust’.
All: Thanks!/Nice one!/Cheers!
As a listener you sort of don’t know how to feel…the mixture of the dour subject and beautiful, soaring vocals.
Ryan: I’ve never met anybody with a voice like Bea’s, so it’s a really positive thing to have her in the band…because it’s like we’ve got her and nobody else has [laughs].
Sam: She’s got kind of an incredible mind for it as well, like she’s not that musically trained but she’s got such an instinct for it.
Ryan: With Bea it’s all style really…She’s got a lot of really heavy influences and she draws from those but she’s definitely got her own thing going on. She did all the [Album] Artwork too!
Speaking of Art, I’ve seen you described a few times online as “Colourful”…
Andrew: There are so many bands that just wear black. It’s boring!
Sam: That being said, I did wear all black to that radio show the other day…there’s a photo online.
Andrew: [Laughs] Plug the leak!
[After being whisked away for a photo the band return with singer Bea and drummer Josh.]
How comfortable are you in front of a camera? Do you like that side of being in a band?
Andrew: I love it! We like to pick out interesting places instead of going for the brick wall photos.
Bea: We just have fuuun.
Ryan: You can’t take that kind of thing too seriously.
What sort of songs are you trying to make? How are you trying to make people feel?
Bea: For me, when we’re writing…the boys start the music off and I feel from that, I write the lyrics around that. I never really write the lyrics and think “What are people gonna get from this?”, I’m just telling stories. In the end, because we’re writing and we’re just doing stuff like, from our soul – not to be cheesy – it’s always going to be relatable in a way, whether it’s the sound or the lyrics.
Where does the name The Golden Age Of TV come from?
Sam: My old flatmate was trying to name his project and he was looking at Father John Misty lyrics. There’s a tune ‘Holy S***’ which has “The golden era of TV” as a lyric. [My flatmate] was like “I like it but I can’t really see it fitting” so I was like “Can I have it then?” We formed a lot of the ideas of the band around [that line], like the samples I use are old TV clips. I’ve got one from this old dating show that Arnold Schwarzenegger was on in the ’70s…but that completely was inspiration from the name. So it really has shaped what we do.
Bea: That name was meant to be because it really suits our aesthetic, like, the way we dress and everything and what we write. We’re influenced by 70’s/80’s/90’s music…The point is, like, what is the golden age of TV/music/radio? There isn’t one.
Ryan: I guess we all have a different idea of what it is and we all pick and choose the things we like from the past. Like we do, as Bea says, from 70’s/80’s/90’s music…Yeah, we get asked that all the time [mock reporter voice] “So what is the golden age of TV?”
Sam: I just say Game of Thrones.
The latest single ‘Dust’ is out now – and is available on iTunes here.