If you had to describe your music/style in a sentence, what would you say?
Punchy and powerful with nods to Fleetwood Mac and Sunflower Bean; nostalgic feels, soaring melodies and a smooth blend of male and female voices.
Have you always wanted to create music? How did you get into it?
Martha: I originally started writing songs as an angsty, confused teenager and I guess it really worked for me. It’s the only thing I’ve never quit! I was a very quiet kid, but I found singing and songwriting to be an empowering outlet. I had piano lessons as a child but I didn’t enjoy them that much until I started using it as a tool to write with. Of course, I didn’t move on to performing or even collaborating until I was about 21 (apart from a brief stint in a school band). I was so shy then but only a few years later and getting up on stage with my pals is literally my favourite thing in the world.
Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?
Joe: When I was 10 I heard In The Morning by The Coral and that was a big moment. Then Arctic Monkeys came onto the scene and that’s when I wanted to play guitar.
The same year I saw The Who live with my parents (with The Coral supporting) and it changed everything. I just knew after that there was only one thing I was ever going to really care about. Music had always been there, but that year I decided I would likely dedicate my life to it.
Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform? What does it say about you?
Caitlin: One of my favourite songs to play is Black Dog by Led Zeppelin. I learnt it when I was 16 and it was when I realised I was actually a decent bass player. I was totally into Zeppelin at the time and that riff is just great. It was one of the songs that really got me into playing the bass and made me want to progress.
Can you recommend an artist, band or album that Bido Lito! readers might not have heard?
Martha: I’m going to say The Wizards of Twiddly. They are a band my dad used to manage before I came along and they only play a few times a year now, but it’s always so much fun seeing them. They are incredibly talented musicians and their shows are always very theatrical and comedic. Their music is intricate and interesting, mad jazz with hints of Pink Floyd.
What do you think is the overriding influence on your songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture of all of these?
Mick: I think everything influences my songwriting. It’s a sort of a ritual of a few days passing and then thinking about how to summarise whatever took place. Everything from the music you’ve been listening to, watching the telly or conversations you’ve had, they all end up being part of the picture.
If you could support any artist in the future, who would it be?
Martha: I’d love to support Sunflower Bean of course, or The Big Moon. I saw them live at O2 Academy recently and I love their music, but also they seem like really nice people. Confident but not in an arrogant way.
Caitlin: Sir Macca! Supporting a legend from our home town would be a dream.
Joe: The Coral would be high on my list.
Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in? If so, what makes it special?
Martha: Jimmy’s was amazing because of its stage, and space. The lighting, atmosphere and sound made it one of our best shows to date. I used to go there when it was “The Cabin Club” for a stint of underage drinking, so the building has a special place in my heart. But the place most special to Hushtones is probably Sound Food And Drink. We’ve played some booming rock shows in there I think it will be the place we all reminisce about when we’re in our 60s: “Ar, remember the good old days when we’d see everyone we know in that one tiny bar.” Saying that, we’ll probably all still be going there ha!
Why is music important to you?
Martha: It has the power to transport you. There are endless combinations of lyrics and music and mood that have an ability to make you feel so many different emotions – that’s a pretty a special thing. It’s universal and kind of magical but also very human.
The Birds Are Coming and Keeping Running are available now via Manmade Soul.