This week, I caught up with Front-man, Sam Watts from Southampton’s finest indie-rock four piece, Pioneers to discuss their musical influences, their hometown show next month and of course, their latest single, ‘What Can I Say?’ which will be released on Friday…
Firstly, introduce the band and tell me an interesting fact about each member?
Hi, we’re Pioneers, Sam, Charlie, Sam O and Toby. I’m Sam Guitar and Vocals and I’m scared of Pigeons, Charlie is our drummer and his first ever gig was Dizzie Rascal. Toby us our lead guitarist and he is a dog trainer and Sam O is our bassist and he’s only joined the band this past 6 months.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
We’ve always all loved indie music and grew up with it in the 2000’s. Some of us first made friends from being huge Arctic Monkeys fans. We are all into a diverse range of music, some preferring the more synth based indie bands like Blossoms, and others liking the heavier edges artists such as Slaves. I’d say collectively our biggest influences in terms of our sound is The Strokes, Jamie T and Cage the Elephant.
I saw you guys play 13th note in Glasgow last year, how would you describe a Scottish crowd?
We’ve always heard great things about Scottish crowds. The atmosphere is always insane, we can’t wait to get back as soon as possible. We’ve always felt our music resonates well up north.
You guys are from Southampton- how would describe the music scene there?
The Southampton music scene is currently changing. I think it went quiet for a while, but there’s now so many great artists coming through. I feel like south coast bands can often get overlooked, but there’s something bubbling underneath the surface which people won’t be able to ignore.
You release your latest single, ‘What Can I Say?’ on Friday… what was the influence behind it?
I think mainly I got stuck in a pattern of over thinking how we’re expected to sound, it almost felt like we had to conform to regulations. Instead, with this track we let go of that and instead wanted to make a stance that artists can be whoever they want to be, if you’ve got something to say, say it.
Is there a particular structure to writing your music or is it that just happens naturally?
I think normally for me, the music comes together before the lyrics. Ironically chorus’ are the last things I normally get down and from what I hear that’s what most people start with. But overall, it’s very natural, it normally starts with an idea, I like to write about other people I know and write as if I was them, which I always find really interesting.
What bands are you listening to at the moment that you would recommend?
There are loads of great bands out there at the moment. At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Cage the Elephant especially their new record. As a band we’re all really into Fontaines DC at the minute so they’re worth checking out if you haven’t.
You play a hometown gig on the 13th March, what can fans expect who are going?
We can’t wait for this. It’s our biggest show to date at 500 capacity. Expect a lively atmosphere and maybe a sing along or two. Gigs like this is what we do best.
What’s been the craziest thing that’s happened to you on stage?
When we played Common People Festival we had a woman climb onto the stage, she then started to dance and snatch at the microphone before being swiftly removed by security.
What are your aims and ambitions as a band for the rest of 2020?
Our main aim is to continue to grow. We want to get around the country as much as possible reaching a wider audience. Expect some more singles throughout the year, but let’s not put a limit on what could happen in 2020.
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