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July 27, 2016
We spoke to singer and guitarist Andy Towse from rising Hull quartet Fronteers. Fronteers will release new single Nothing’s Ever That Simple on 19th August as part of their quadruple A side Streets We’re Born In. The band also play Hertfordshire’s Standon Calling on 29th-31st July.
What was your relationship with music like when you were growing up? Were there any certain bands, albums or gigs that particularly inspired you or shaped the way you approach your own music?
Our parents all loved music in all of our families growing up but we branched out into music ourselves as we got older and eventually me and James met at school in 2011 through being able to play guitar. We liked the duo singer thing of The Last Shadow Puppets and the charm of the Beatles so we started singing together with the aim of invading your heads with our voices. Ellis and Lloyd met at a different school and got together playing bass and drums loving Kings of Leon and soon moved to Wilberforce College where we all met.
You’re all pretty young; was there ever an alternative to music for you? What would you be doing now if you weren’t musicians?
We were all getting our first jobs in Hull; me and James went into offices, Lloyd to a local bar and Ellis to a factory, but we all just wanted to write songs too much.
What inspires your lyrics? How do you know when you’ve found something you want to write about?
So far I’d say people and places I’ve been to, either individually or with the band, have been the biggest inspiration for most songs so far. I don’t really know I’ve found something I wanna write about until I pick up the guitar and can’t get the thought out of my head, then James gets his head into the idea and we polish them off.
What’s your creative process like? How does an idea become a song?
We’ll be messing with a verse or part of an idea and then we’ll all just jump onto it with the earplugs in at the practice room and see where it takes us.
Do you think coming from Hull instead of London or another big city made it more difficult for you to get noticed?
Not really, we video recorded a live stripped down version of Youth and a cover, put it on Youtube, and started receiving emails for meetings in the weeks afterward.
Does Hull influence your music?
Yeah I think so; there are a lot of characters in Hull that affect you in different ways. It’s a crazy city and it’s home so it’s all we’ve ever really known. There’s a lot of history here too.
In a previous interview you described Arctic Monkeys as ‘just a northern band to relate to’. Is that the sort of band you’re trying to be?
We’re not trying to be like them creatively at all, we’ve got a huge range of music and genres we love and take inspiration from but we wanna be as successful as they are ‘cause they’re amazing and they’re from Sheffield.
What’s your live show like? Do you enjoy playing live?
Absolutely love it. Live shows are what it’s all about; get yourselves to ‘em folks.
You recently released your EP, Streets We’re Born In, what can you tell me about that? Is there an overall theme running through the EP?
It’s available on Spotify, iTunes, and in vinyl form from the Warren Records website. The cover is of a white phonebox taken on an iPhone 4s on Gillshill Road in Hull. It was all written at similar times so yeah there could be a theme.
How would you say your music has evolved from the first few tracks you released?
It’s got more exciting with more energy and more in the direction we were wanting it to go I think.
The track Streets We’re Born In is a bit slower and mellower than the rest of your stuff, why did you decide to name the EP after it?
We all thought it’d be cool to use with a cool photo from where we’re from to tie in nicely.
Finally, what have you got planned for the rest of 2016?
Finish these tunes we’ve got in the making, get them recorded and continue to gig up and down the country and hopefully see a lot more of your faces.
Words by Gemma Barnes