New Artist Showcase: Himalayas
Ahead of their Manchester gig this Wednesday, we got the chance to catch up with Joseph (Vocals and Rhythm Guitar), Mike (Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals), Louis (Bass) and James (Drums) from Cardiff born band, Himalayas. Although headline band ‘Gang of Youths’ had to cancel their gig at Gullivers last minute, these guys had absolutely no problem snapping one up at Jimmy’s.
How did Himalayas form and where does your name come from?
We were sat around one of our favourite bars in Cardiff called Gassy Jacks and we were called The Drains before that which was just awful. We were going through a bunch of names and I came up with Pyramids which is now already a band but it was a bit lame. Then I randomly just suggested Himalayas and we were all ‘um’ing and ‘ar’ing but it kinda stuck.
So your first EP ‘ecstasy’ came out last year, for someone who’s never heard your music before, how would you describe your sound?
It’s sort of heavy, pop, indie.
We played this really weird gig on Leister last year and it was just a random night, and a metal band were playing with us and they described us as indie rock with balls which is quite a good way to put it.
Who would you say your influences are for that ep?
There’s a couple of people that we just all adore, like Queens of the stone age, arctic monkeys, Jack White and people like that. We just got in a room and started playing together and went ‘ah we like all these bands but we want to be our own’, but we’ve got to draw inspiration from somewhere. Queens of the stone age has been on repeat recently.
Your latest releases: “Thank god I’m not you” and “Sigh on a hurricane”, how do these differentiate from your first EP, how has your sound evolved from then.
I think we’ve just grown as a band, sound wise we’ve just spend time and time together and we’re just able to write better songs now.
We’ve managed to work out what is kind of our sound, and we’ve sort of just tried to polish that.
With the EP, the best thing about it was that up until that point we didn’t really know if there was one sound that was ours and once that was done we knew how to write songs in the future
You’ve been played on BBC Radio 1 recently and on the MCR Live New Music Spotlight. This is really quite big like how did you find this, did you expect it to get this big when you wrote it?
Well no not for the first song. I thought ‘Thank God I’m not you’ was a bit of a step up from what we’d done before, thinking maybe we could do well one day but I didn’t think it’d do as well as it did
It’s happened so fast as generic as it sounds. It came out in May and since then it’s been absolutely crazy. We played some of the biggest festivals we only dreamed of playing.
Which Festivals did you play?
We were lucky enough to be on Isle of wight festival, Why Not festival and Reading festival which has been a dream. But there’s also a little bit of pressure then to make sure you can keep going up. Which is a prime example of today like our show in manchester got cancelled, but we got hold of another one straight away.
The show must go on.
Going back to the song name “Thank god I’m not you” Is that about anybody? Is there anyone you’re just glad you’re not?
Oh god um, I’m glad I’m not the actress that played Heather Trott in Eastenders because she’s got no career now, so I’m glad I’m not an Eastenders actor, that’s all I’m going to say.
Or half the cast from love island who are doing those appearances at Poundland.
My recommendation would be to stick to the music guys, in all honesty. What are you working on right now?
We’ll be in the studio in mid november because we’ve got loads of gigs all over the Uk and then we’ll be recording pretty much all the music we have
Are these going to go into an album soon?
That’s the plan, we want some semblance of it but we haven’t written enough yet.
I think the album’s close to being there.
A lot of songs we’ve written but aren’t there yet we can revisit and go over. We’ve also got a backlog of riffs and drum beats and bass lines and whatever that we know we can use. So at the moment we’re focusing on making sure what we’re putting out is something we would want to listening to and something we enjoy.
Do you see yourself going into any other genres?
Well we’ve just splashed out on a fancy keyboard recently so we’ll have to make some use of it.
Speak to us in a few years and we won’t be an indie rock band anymore
It’s going to be a jazz fusion classical rock album
You’re on tour at the moment, what brings you to Manchester in particular?
I just love the city personally, it’s one of my favourite cities.
The response we’ve had from crowds in manchester have always been amazing
Sometimes it’s nice to pack out a smaller venue rather than have a sparse big venue, it’s nice to have the atmosphere in there isn’t it
I think there is a bit of fuss for us in Manchester because when we did This Feeling tour in September, there were a few tweets and Facebook posts asking for Manchester dates.
I think the cultures a massive part of Manchester
So many great bands have come from here, so we just love playing it
What I find is that everyone’s just enthusiastic for music, like you can speak to anyone in Manchester about music and you’ll always have a great chat.
I think it’s good there’s always things going on so there’s always something for you no matter what you’re into
There’s some cities you go to where the people just aren’t that into music and you go and there’s not many people there and they’re not really bothered so it’s always nice playing in places Manchester where people genuinely want to be there.
Would you see yourself going abroad anytime soon for a European tour maybe?
We’ve had an offer to but we just want to get this tour out of the way and then go onto the biggun’.
We went to Amsterdam about a year and a half ago and played in front of the bar staff. No honestly it was just us and the bar staff.
So you went for a drink and then gate crashed their work..
Pretty much, it was the most expensive band practice to date
Where do you see yourselves going in say 10 years time?
10 no.1 albums. Hopefully doing this but being able to afford a mortgage and stuff like that
Great! Guys it was nice speaking to you!