By Jordan Mooney.
There seems to be a trend lately in that apocalyptic wasteland of charting rock music…
Generic, pissy two-piece rock bands with meagre, uninspired sounds garbling on about some toss or another. There’s been so many of them that this article would be clocking up at 4,000+ words in no time.
However, thankfully, in the unlikely landscape of Kilmarnock, a rock-duo has approached us with some beauteous riffs, heavy, impassioned vocals and a bloody brilliant attitude.
Huxtable, a duo of Jordan Yates and Marc William Brown, are unique in that they feel like they understand what ‘proper rock’ actually is, and come up with a vibrant set up of impassioned vocals and incredibly sharp riffs that could cut glass.
They’ve had quite a 2014. Their shows have become impressively popular, and they’re holding their first headline show at the famous Admiral Bar on the 28th of February. They’ve also supported folk like Biffy Clyro, so, y’know, they’re doing alright for themselves.
Deservedly so, too. Huxtable are loud, but dignified. There’s a certain ‘class’ to their sound. They don’t sound like a duo – they sound bloody massive, and it’s not due to a metric ton of studio editing either.
This music is primed, polished and ready for anything. Charts, music videos, shows, it matters not. Huxtable are a special sort of duo that tips the tradition of generic duos on its head.
We were so taken with it that we decided to capture Jordan Yates for an interview.
Cat on the Wall: Hello there, and welcome to Cat on the Wall! How are you today? Please, introduce yourself!
Jordan Yates: Hello, Cat on the Wall! I’m Jordan. I’m 50% of a band called Huxtable! It is a pleasure to meet your acquaintance.
COTW: Let’s get down to business… how did Huxtable first come to be?
JY: Huxtable came into being during break times in practices with our old band. Broono and I would just riff out some nonsense. Then we started to refer to these… noisy little interludes as “Huxtable Practices.” The actual reason for which is lost in our collective memories somewhere. When the band we were in stopped being a band, we just kinda continued going to rehearsal and here we are!
COTW: Since your first debut release last year, you’ve had quite a journey in a very short space of time. You’ve supported the likes of Biffy Clyro, performed in venues like The Grand Hall – and had a unanimously positive reaction from press and music fans alike. How has the experience been so far?
JY: It has been a crazy year hasn’t it? We’ve been humbled by the support our little two-man noise machine has garnered. It wasn’t expected, it truly is appreciated!
COTW: Of course, I’ve been told you’ve a lot more planned for 2015. A new release, your first headlining gig, world domination…
JY: World domination would be nice! But we will settle for people coming to our shows. We are very huggable men, so, if anyone wants a hug.. they can have one. The caveat is you need to come to a show! (Evil laugh)
COTW: Your new release is yet unannounced, but I believe we’ve only just caught you after popping off to the studio. Do you have it all set out and ready to go? What can you tell us about it?
JY: It’s in the can, as they say! People should expect riffs and sing-along-good-vibes with a dark edge. We’ve got the un-mixed, un-mastered tracks at the moment and it already sounds HUGE! Our engineer, James Mackenzie at Soundshape, in Greenock, has worked magic on these.
It’s the second time we’ve chosen to work with him – he just ‘got it’ straight away. Now that he’s had a good few months to hone a technique for recording us, it’s really worked a treat.
Most of what you will hear was done in one take. We’re not mad into being a band that can’t perform what is on the record on stage – so we keep it as natural as possible!
COTW: Are your future releases to follow a similar sort of vein to your previous releases, or should listeners expect something completely different from Huxtable in the future?
JY: We don’t tend to write off any ideas. So if something that’s completely left of field comes out- that wouldn’t be considered to be the ‘Huxtable sound’- we wouldn’t shy away from it. As long as it sounds good and we enjoy it, it’ll get played! Obviously though, as a starting point, we tend to write rock songs. But if we had a banging idea for some Berlin inspired techno or Icelandic folk pop… then that would be equally as viable! (We don’t. And we probably won’t…)
COTW: You’re also due for your first Headline gig on the 28th of February. This is always quite a large step in a band’s career – with this in mind, do you have plans for a much larger tour?
JY: We were lucky enough to get picked up by a booking agent on a non-exclusive deal (which means we are free to book outside of them, too!). They’ve been hard at work putting together a tour for later on in the year. So that will be announced soon!
COTW: What do feel is the ‘best’ representation of the band – on stage, or in the studio? As an addendum…which is your favourite environment of the two?
JY: I think that, in order to know what we are about, you really need to see us live. As far as the recordings go…well, they’re an accurate representation of us on the day we recorded it. I prefer live shows as it really gets the blood pumping and the heart going. Not to say I don’t enjoy the studio – it can be a lot of fun too!
COTW: It’s becoming a pressing issue for many bands who have found themselves lost in a sea of alternative musicians. With such a hefty ‘indie’ market, how easy have you found it to be ‘noticed’ online? Do you have tips for younger groups who are still clamouring for the world to see them?
JY: I would say focus on the songs – focus on getting tight as a band.
Get together with like minded people and have fun. If you love the people you’re collaborating with and you love the music you ‘re creating then, frankly, nothing else matters. Write music, have fun, play shows: repeat. Do this for years! Do it for well over a decade.
Bands will come and go. But all those years of experience will be with you: that time you got royally fucked by a pay to play promoter, that absolute heart ache when you get kicked out a band (worse than your first break up with a significant other, trust me!). Along the road, you’ll also learn about promotion, how to advertise and how to get people interested without pissing them off. You’ll also have made lifelong friendships – and some of those people just may be able to help you out one day.
The whole industry is basically run on favours. So don’t clamour to get noticed at all. If you’re writing stuff you like with people you like, you’re on the right track.
COTW: Thank you very much to you both for taking the time to talk to us today. Any parting words for friends, family…even us?!
JY: Thank you for giving us questions to answer! Much love x x x
I’m going to leave you with my favourite Huxtable track, ‘Attack’…
Their Facebook page…
And tickets for their headlining show on the 28th. Get there.