music mondays | escapists
One of the best parts about living in this city is the availability of incredible live music- any night, anywhere, any sound. Hailing from a country with unbelievable talent in the likes of Metric and Arcade Fire, this Canadian expat has high expectations for her sexy, indie rock crooners. But there is such an overabundance of phenomenal talent here that a girl just doesn’t know where to start. So I just dove in head first a couple weekends ago and discovered a new permanent staple on my go-to playlists.
Escapists are frontman Simon Glancy, guitarist Oli Court, bassist Max Perryment, and drummer Andrew Walsh. Delivering a hard hitting, soul rocking sound with affecting lyrics the band is nothing short of the kind of stop dead in your tracks talent you’d expect. Getting an unforgettable start, complete with offerings to record at Tottenham Court Road’s EMI Studios and possible dealings for Adele’s 21, together they built up “… the layered, emotive and urgent songs that would become Escapists sound. Walsh’s staccato beats set the tempo for Court’s chopping-then-swooning guitars. Perryment’s Carlos D-style bass and pitch perfect harmonies laid the platform for Glancy’s scratching Fender and unforgettable vocals. The lyrical content at times finding a chink of hope amongst themes of death, religion and the afterlife.” (Escapists biography, 2012).
Through some much appreciated strings I managed to get an exclusive with the band’s lead heartbreaker Simon Glancy to dig a little deeper into the world of Escapists. Read on for the interview!:
LBVO- what does the name ‘Escapists’ mean to the band and how was it chosen?
SG- We wanted something that sort of described our musical inclinations and aspirations. It was quite grandiose and otherworldly which struck a chord with me particularly having always been a bit of an outsider/spectator. We also thought that it would ring true to listeners as it has a few different interpretations and you could form your own connection with the band.
LBVO- How did you guys get your start?
SG- I lived with Oli at Uni and he opened me up to things like Arcade Fire and The Dears. Those bands massively influenced my songwriting and when I graduated a year after Oli I had a ton of songs that I wanted to record. He had been playing in a band since his early teens who I would watch a lot when I was in London. Max the bass player had a home studio so I hassled him to spend a couple of days recording my songs. In four days we had done four songs which we put online. Over the next six months I set about trying to play as many shows as I could rigging Max (playing an array of £5 Casio keyboards) and Oli (on acoustic) in when they were free. After a few shows one of the promoters had a hook up with the EMI studio in Tottenham Court Road and booked us 2 days for free! With only two weeks to go we didn’t have a drummer so Oli and Max called up an onld school friend Andy to fill in. We entered the studio having practiced once and wrote most of the drum parts in the live room, much to the annoyance of the Engineer! We then decided that it was a good fit and set about booking shows as a band. The name came about 8 months later.
LBVO- How would you describe your sound?
SG- Euphoric, I like to match quite dark lyrical themes with memorable melodic hooks.
LBVO- Who are some of your musical influences?
SG- Montreal and Brooklyn bands from the mid 00′s like Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Metric, The Dears, Stars, The National, TV on the Radio.
LBVO- What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?
SG- That’s not really an option. Songwriting is something that I can’t really not do as it’s the only way that I can express what I’m feeling, I’m not a very open person.
I’m hooked on them! Check out their full EP ‘Burial’ here, keep up to date on their facebook page here and for the London-based readers – you’re in luck because you can check them out live this Friday at Vibe Bar on Brick Lane! Get your tickets here and I’ll see you there!
Check out their brand new video for ‘Burial’
Images Courtesy of Escapists