Peter Balkus: I love your song “Going Places”. Can you tell us more what that song is about?
Itamar Starets: It’s about a relationship in which the girl has commitment issues. She can’t make up her mind on what she wants to do and the guy is tired of it all. It’s partly based on thigs I’ve been through.
– But watching the video, it looks like it’s the men in the video who have “commitment issues” and treat the lady as shit…
Firstly, the video doesn’t have to reflect the lyrics one by one. The last character (me) was actually nice to her. And she did date 4 guys who are friends, which isn’t very nice either. But anyway, the lyrics talk about a guy and a girl and they focus on the girl’s commitment issues.
– When and how has it all started as a band?
It started more than a year ago, when I found Kristian (our lead guitarist) on Gumtree. Kristian knew Dimitris (drummer) from a previous project and he was just looking for a new band. Then Sam the bass player and Dimitris came on the same place to my day and the band was formed.
– I hate this question but have to ask: Name of the band. Secret Cameras….
Basically, it’s almost impossible to find band names that haven’t been used. You think you got this great name and then you look it up and damn it, it’s already taken. Kristian, our guitarist, is good with names but every time he would find something, it was taken… We were sitting in my home studio discussing this, and he gave a few ideas until he said Secret Cameras. We looked it up and it wasn’t taken. That’s about it.
Secret Cameras are based in London. Do you like this city?
Yes, of course. Why would I be here if I didn’t like it? It took some adjusting though. The weather, new culture and having no money were issues at the beginning but it definitely grew on me and things are much better now.
– There are many new bands out there. What motivates you to keep going and play in the band?
Music is my passion and it’s all I wanted to do since I was about 14 so that keeps me going. I really enjoy the process of writing a song and then starting to arrange it, mess about with different sounds, effects and such. I can do this for hours and hours, the whole process fascinates me and when it’s starting to take shape, it’s magic. Being in a band is fun because you have other people around you to share the whole experience with. The music industry is incredibly tough, yes, but I like the challenge.
– What kind of audience your music is for?
I suppose people in their 20s-50s, who like something a bit alternative but with a commercial appeal. This is just a guess though.
– You said that music is your passion. What kind of music inspires you?
Lately I’m becoming more and more intrigued by all sorts of combinations of electronics and guitars. I find a different blend of sounds really interesting.
– Do you get annoyed that your music is not being played on the national radio?
Well, firstly, Going Places was played by Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music a couple of times and by Huey Morgan on BBC Radio 2 so we are getting a bit of national airplay. However, when you are an unsigned band that’s just started out, you should know that the amount of national plays you get will be very limited because it’s mainly specialist shows who play unsigned artists and those shows are usually at off peak hours. So I try not to get annoyed so that’s just the way it works.
– Congrats. Do you have any gigs lined up for 2017?
So far, we have our EP launch gig on March 17th at 229 The Venue Click here for Info, and Camden Rocks Festival on June 3rd. More gigs/festivals to be announced soon.
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In our guest corner Vanessa from House In The Sand blog presents her top songs of 2015. Enjoy! (More music fan from Vanessa on her blog www.houseinthesand.com)
“Sweet Nothing” by Gabrielle Aplin
“Don’t Tell Me” by Hudson Taylor
“Sometimes Things Just Happen” by Ryan O’Reilly
“Honest” by Kodaline
“Waiting For The Gods” by Jim Kroft
“Angel Of Small Death And The Codeine Scene” by Hozier
“Tractor” by Rachel Sermanni
“Honest” by Liam McClair
“When We Were On Fire” by James Bay
“Shame” by Ciaran Lavery
I chatted with an indie rock band Ocean Flaws from Essex, UK, about new EP, “making it”, Internet oceans, creating songs and few more things. Read whole interview below:
Peter Balkus: Your new EP “Dancing To The Fear” is out now. So let’s talk first about the fear… What kind of fear it is?
Alex Pattle (percussion): “I feel like there’s more of a notion of being driven by fear on this EP, as opposed to succumbing to it; ‘Mojo’ and ‘Silver Screen’ are about seeing people you know going in a certain direction and wanting to break away from that, perhaps out of fear of being lost in the vast field of bands out there, or getting sucked in to the modern, fame-hungry attitude that we see a lot of people around us enveloped by. The title track (“Dancing To The Fear”) sort of concerns fear in a relationship – not knowing where you’re headed or what’s right in that situation, but trying to confront it head on, as opposed to letting it consume you and best you. ‘Like a Fool’ is less directly linked, but it’s about being messed around by people – whether it’s a friend, a partner or even your boss at work, and so although thematically it’s slightly separate from the other songs, tonally there’s still a similar focus on disappointment, which also crops up in the others tracks to some degree.”
PB: You mentioned fear of “being lost in the vast field of bands out there”. That’s very true there is a LOADS of new bands available online. Competition is tight. Is a passion to make music bigger than the fear of being lost in the ocean of new bands?
Alex Pattle: “The passion definitely outweighs the fear, and anything else really – doubt and other difficulties that may arise. At the end of the day, we all harbour dreams of making it ‘big’, some of us since we were kids, but the more you play music (in our experience) the more you discover that there’s an insurmountable joy that comes from writing a song that you yourself actually like, and would buy and listen to as if it were any other artist. That, coupled with the unique feeling of playing with other musicians and particularly getting up on stage and playing in front of people – there’s nothing in the world like it – makes you realise, that’s why we do it; because we love music, and enjoy playing together. Of course we also have the drive to take this as far as it can go, wherever that may be, and we have belief that we can ‘make it’, but the passion for music will always be primary.”
PB: What do you understand by “making it”? Get signed by a major label?
Sean Heaney (guitars): “Everyone has their own idea or assumptions towards ‘making it’ in the music industry. Whether that be getting signed by a major label, going on constant world tours, playing arena / stadium shows or just simply having the luxury of recording and releasing music as and when they please. My idea of ‘making it’, and I’m just speaking on behalf of myself not the other 3, is to have this as a permanent career choice. Where we can wake up and not have the worries of having to make it in on time at an office. We’ll have the freedom to write, record and tour whenever we want without any problems or worries. Not everyone who’s signed to a record label can have this as a permanent career, there’s loads of cases where band members need second, even third jobs to get by. The band will seem like a hobby to them. I’d like this to stop being a hobby and start becoming a career.”
PB: Your music is interesting and songs are catchy, so sooner or later it should pay off. My favourite song of your at the moment is “Silver Screen”. That song especially, but also other from “Dancing To The Fear”, sounds so Brit-pop and at the same time it sounds so 2016. Is that your plan to combine tradition and freshness in your music? Or it’s not planned and when you create song you don’t know what’s gonna come out?
Callum Quirk (vocals/bass): “Thank you very much, that’s really nice of you to say! Whenever people mention their favourite song off the EP, ‘Silver Screen’ always pops up time and time again. It’s interesting you mention Brit-pop being an influence though, we never set out to sound like or be a Brit-pop band. We all grew up listening to the likes of Oasis, Blur and Pulp and we’ve always appreciated their ability to write huge, sing-a-long choruses, so that aspect of Brit-pop definitely comes into our music. We always try and write the biggest chorus we can for the song. Our main influence in ‘Silver Screen’ we feel came from Foals. When it comes to writing the actual song, we never really plan it out beforehand, typically never works out the way you want it to. We like to get an A section (chorus or intro), jam around on that for a while, then try and see how we can get a B section and so on. It’s always a lot more fun not knowing where you’re going to go in a song beforehand, makes you think more creatively.”
PB: Callum said: “When it comes to writing the actual song, we never really plan it out beforehand”. Does it mean next EP from Ocean Flaws might sound much different than “Dancing To The Fear”?
Hamish (guitars): Well I’d say the fact that we don’t plan it means that we don’t have a concrete idea of how it’ll sound. But, once we get there we’ll try to keep it similar to this EP, because after a few years together, we’ve finally found our sound, and maintaining consistency with that sound is one of the most important things now, in order to be taken seriously.
PB: You are from Essex, UK. Does your music sounds Essex in any way?
Alex Pattle: “I’d say that there’s a culture in Essex that is hard to describe if you don’t know the area, but we don’t really identify with that culture. Even lyrically, we sort of reject that culture to some degree. Maybe best not go in to it (laughs).”
PB: Are you planning to do more live shows or rather focus on working on a new music in studio?
Alex Pattle: “We’d like to balance it I suppose; summer will provide a number of gigs hopefully, we’ve already got one lined up that we can’t talk about yet, but we’re looking to start writing and recording the next song, or EP, whatever it may be, as soon as possible.”
Sean Heaney: “Writing a whole EP drains you creatively, so we’ve only just gotten to the point where we feel we can start writing again!”
Watch their new video to “Silver Screen”:
More on their Facebook: Facebook