We interview Reading band Echoic

Published: 24 Mar 2014 07:300 comments

Despite forming less than a year ago, Reading band Echoic are already making waves on the local music scene and beyond, with plaudits from BBC Introducing, local promoters, and even a growing fanbase in Europe.

Photo: Jake Owens Photography

The four-piece, made up of vocalist Connor John Turner, guitarists Jack Ford and Aaron Iley, and drummer Kera Stewart, produce powerful alt-rock, fronted by Connor’s vocals which are tinged with more than a touch of Jeff Buckley’s downbeat passion.

The band play the final gig of their four-show residency at the Queens Arms in Reading town centre on Saturday, and are currently enjoying a warm response to the recent release of their homemade video for free download track, The Way You Are Made.

Love Life caught up with drummer Kera to talk gigs, tours and finding their sound.

“Connor and Jake were going round as a duo, and then Connor said ‘I think we should start a band’, and they asked me to be the drummer,” Kera explains of the band’s formation in July last year. Once Aaron joined the trio the band was complete and ready to start writing.

“Sometimes Connor will have little bits of material and he’ll say guys, ‘let’s make this work’, and sometimes we will have a jamming session and see if it comes together, and Connor will start singing some random lyrics over the top,” Kera says. “We all play guitar in the band so we are all able to work together. We are still trying to find our sound, trying out different things, although people say it still sounds like us because Connor’s vocals are so unique.”

With their fanbase steadily growing and a BBC radio interview already under their belts, the band are making a name for themselves at home and beyond. Kera says: “It’s really nice how supportive people are of the band. I jokingly sent our track to BBC Introducing, and the next thing we got an interview!

“We have been getting lots of local support, we have been very lucky. We are currently working on material, to get more tracks into our set and we are looking at festivals for the summer. We’re also planning on doing an acoustic tour around France and Belgium - we have got a fanbase there, I’m not sure how!”

Those who have seen the band live, or checked out the three tracks they have on their website and Soundcloud – Son, Testify and The Way You Are Made – might already have some idea, but we had to ask Kera how the band chose their memorable moniker.

“That’s a difficult question! At first when Connor was playing he was going under his own name, but then he wanted it to be about the band and not about him. We were going through some terrible names! I do not think there’s much meaning really, but Connor really likes reverb on his vocals, so that’s part of it.”

So, for anyone who has not caught them live and is planning on heading down on Saturday, what can they expect?

“We are very passionate and energetic,” Kera says. “Even though we have some slower heavy rock ballads there’s a lot of energy put into them. Connor’s vocals are really passionate, and we are just trying to provide the sound to go along with that.”

Echoic play the Queen’s Arms, Reading, on Saturday, and will be playing the Bowery District, on Friar Street, Reading, as part of Are You Listening? Festival on Saturday, April 26. Tickets for the Queens Arms are £5, over-16s only. Buy in advance at www.wegottickets.co.uk

Wristband passes for Are You Listening? Festival cost £10 from areyoulistening.org.uk/tickets

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