VEINS are back with a new single, Blood On My Hands, out 23rd Feb. Before then, we have a chat with the rising alt-crew:
What is the full band line-up, who plays what?
Stephen Rees – Vocals / Guitar,
Scott Warner – Bass / Backing Vocals,
Dan Appleyard – Drums.
How and when did the band form?
All three members are originally from Corby in Northamptonshire but Stevie currently lives in London. Stevie and I tried to put a band together in early 2015 with a different drummer but for various reasons it never came together. In November 2015 we found ourselves in South Africa on the night of Stevie’s wedding having a drunken conversation about giving it another try. Stevie asked if I knew any good drummers and I said we should get Dan involved. Dan came on board in early 2016 and Veins was born.
When and how did the band really start gelling and solidifying?
We had been writing a few bits and had a couple of finished tracks under our belt but the first time we felt like we had found our sound was when we wrote Ambi (which went on to be our first single). It managed to encapsulate all the elements that make up the Veins sound; atmospheric guitar, great vocal melody, drum & bass driven, with a big chorus and epic outro.
Who are your musical influences?
As a songwriter Stevie is influenced by the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Swervedriver. Sound-wise we like anything that sounds a bit epic or atmospheric; Deftones, Sigur Ros, The XX to name a few. We also like The Cure and Joy Division who manage to be dark and moody but still have all the hooky melodies. Me and Dan both come from heavier backgrounds, so that shows through it the way we lock in together and the way we try to make everything sound massive.
When we were starting out and thinking about what sound we wanted, the only thing we agreed on was we wanted a ‘huge’ sound and all we could describe it as was ‘soundtrack music’. After our first gig someone described us as sounding like ‘the end of every film ever’ so we knew we were going in the right direction.
How far back does your history with each other (the band members) extend? are you friends from school or any family relations?
Me and Stevie have known each other for about 16 years. We just kind of got to know each other through being in bands and drinking in the same places in Kettering, which is just down the road from Corby and where he lived at the time. Our bands The Junket and Defenestration, who were both Kettering based, had the same manager for a while and we played a couple of gigs together. I was a fan of The Junket so when he was looking to start another band in around 2008 I jumped at the chance. So us two and our mate Ben (who now plays for Paul Weller) started Lux. That stuff was totally different to Veins, or anything we had ever done before. It was a lot more synth based. We played a few shows with some bands of that style; Ladyhawke, Friendly Fires and Pnau to name a few and had some major label interest but disagreements with our manager over the direction we wanted to go in kind of lead to the fun draining out of it and we sort of drifted apart.
Between Defenestration and Lux I was in Gunning For Goliath. When our drummer left and we needed a replacement I poached Dan from another band. I had never even spoken to him but had seen him play and knew he was really good, so I just got in contact with him and asked him if he fancied joining my band, which he did. He is a bit younger and so we didn’t really have any mutual friends. The only thing we had in common apart from the band was being massive fans of Alan Partridge, so that’s pretty much how we communicated for the first 6 months, via Alan Partridge quotes. After Goliath split up we didn’t see each other as much and then he moved to London for a bit. When he moved back we started hanging out again and became really close mates.
Apart from meeting Stevie at some Lux gigs, Dan and him didn’t really know each other but once we got him in the band it all just clicked and there was that chemistry you need to be a good band.
In your opinion, how is your band different from all the other bands out there?
I think we all have an individually distinct style of playing, which when combined is quite hard to pin down for comparison. Stevie comes up with the melodies and the initial song ideas, which we then all build upon. He often uses interesting harmonies and unusual structures, so it keeps it interesting sounding.
In order to achieve the big ‘soundtrack’ sound we layer everything up with synths, strings and textures to create a big wall of sound. We have to put the extra layers on a backing track to achieve this live, but it works really well and helps us to create a sound that outstretches the venues we play. We’ve been described as sounding like an arena band in a pub.
If a deaf person were to ask you to describe the sound of your music, how would you describe it?
We would describe it as intimate yet big and spacious at the same time. Consisting of hypnotic drums, gritty bass, atmospheric guitars and melodic vocals.
Do you have a tour on the horizon?
The immediate plan is to finish songs for a debut album and then get out playing more later in the year.
Where can we find your social media sites?