We interviewed York based Psychedelic Rock band Aloe Veras to discuss their sound, their secret show and future tour dates.
Interview by Jane Howkins
You describe your sound as ‘blending psychedelia with classic surf rock.’ It makes for a really interesting mix, and isn’t something you hear too often these days. What got you into those styles of music, and what artists from those styles do you enjoy?
I think we all came across the genre in different ways. A lot of our music tastes come from our parents, but I guess we’ve discovered a lot of it ourselves, and fell in love with the whole feeling straight away. We have massive love for Tame Impala and cover tracks from their first album at most of our shows, but we love older artists too, like Hendrix, The Doors and of course, The Beatles.
Those styles were more popular in the 50s & 60s. Is that an era you find appealing, both in musical and cultural terms? If so, what other musical styles or artists do you enjoy from the era? We’re quite partial to a bit of motown and some classic rock ‘n’ roll!
Definitely, we all feel like we were born in the wrong era sometimes. I guess both our look and sound is naturally formed around that of the late 60s, which can look odd on a bunch of 16 year olds. Yeah, we really love blues and soul, we vocally look up to the likes of Otis Redding and Marlena Shaw etc, especially when we’re trying to put across a specific emotion we were feeling at the time of writing.
What sort of stuff would you say most influences you as a band, and what music have you been listening to recently? Anything you recommend our readers check out?
As I say, we really like to pool all genres and eras into a modern sound that we hope sounds fresh and different to a lot of current music out there at the moment. We’ve been listening to a lot of old garage bands like The Seeds, and really been enjoying some Mac Demarco. We really recommend that readers check out Channel 100 and The Televangelists, two really awesome up and coming York bands.
You probably get asked this a lot, but where does your name come from? Are you fans of the product?
Hahaha, all the time. My mam and nanna always like to have an Aloe Vera plant around the house, and I was looking right at one when trying to come up with a name, and in all honesty, it was the only one out of two hundred that all four of us could agree on!
You played a secret show at Fibbers last Friday (3rd march). Why did you decide to do that, and did you manage to keep it a secret? Was it successful?
I guess it makes a gig really special if it’s spontaneous, and people can just decide to come down last minute with no hassle about tickets and arrangements. It actually worked really well, the venue was packed and all the bands played their hearts out. We were doing what we like most, and the crowd had a great time too, so we’d say it was successful!
We hear you only recently performed your first gig at the Fulford Arms, yet you seem to have gained quite a big fanbase in the area already. How did you manage that, and how nerve wracking was that first gig?
Yeah, about a month ago today. It was truly amazing, we were supporting Promised Land Sound (a great band from Nashville), it was a sell out, and a really sweaty evening. The reaction we’ve had from these first few gigs and the music video to Come On is absolutely mind blowing, and it definitely seems to be going really fast. We really utilise social media, and we find that if you put the music first and do what you want to do rather than what the market is demanding, people actually really dig it. The other lads were pretty calm and professional, but I was trembling, the positivity from the crowd sorted that out soon enough though.
Do you have any any other tour dates lined up, for York or elsewhere?
We sure do:
March 19th, Lendal Cellars, Charity Gig for SASH,
April 10th, Crescent Community Venue, an independent gig with Kino and The Regime,
April 22nd, Record Store Day Gig at the Inkwell (Gillygate),
June 24th, Fulford Arms, Behind the White Door.
We’re also in the process of booking a headline gig at a popular York venue, and some out of town shows, which will be announced on our Facebook page shortly!
You were also on the radio fairly recently, for BBC Radio York. Again – that’s fairly fast for a new band! How did that come about?
We just sent our track, Come On, to the Introducing Website, and we gave Jericho Keys a message on Facebook too. The feedback from the audience about the track was really positive, so they booked us in for a live session. It went really well and we’d like to give a massive thank you to Jericho and Emily for having us in.
We’ve noticed that you have a soundcloud, but do you have any plans to release anything officially anytime soon?
We haven’t actually officially announced this yet, so I guess this is an exclusive piece of info! But we’re about to begin recording our first electric E.P. We’re doing this completely D.I.Y. on an old 8-track, and it will hopefully be available on all platforms in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled!
Any last words for the fans?
We’d just like to say a massive thank you, we’ve got to where we are from the support of the people around us, and anywhere we end up in the future is down to them too. Carry on being positive and loving to those around you, treat the person to the side of you as your brother/sister, and keep dancing to the music!