Interview: Miles and The Chain Gang

Ahead of their show at The Crescent on Sunday 22 December, we posed a few questions to local rock band Miles And The Chain Gang to find out a little more about them.

Interview by Jane Howkins

How has 2019 treated you?
It’s been a good year, thanks. I’ve worked on a few creative projects. Band-wise, we have made a lot of progress this year. Sorted a logo, started a Facebook page, did our first photo shoot, and played a few gigs around Yorkshire. We’ve picked up a bit of press and recorded our first song. 2019 has been good!

Are you working on any new music at the moment? What are you working on, and when will it be released?
We’ve just recorded a song called When It Comes To You. It’s soul-pop-rock, a bit of Van Morrison, a bit of an American vibe. I really like it. The band sound great, and we had a hand from a couple of friends. Simon Waggot, who played recently with Sad Cafe, on keyboards, and Holly Taymar-Bilton sang backing vocals. I’m really pleased with it.

Have you got any upcoming tours planned? If so, where are you playing and where are you looking forward to going most?
I’m hoping we will undertake some sort of tour in 2020. I have a couple of ideas. Nothing confirmed yet, sorry. But we want to get out there, yes. I think we’ll be focusing on Yorkshire, Newcastle, maybe Manchester and Nottingham.

Who/what has influenced you the most as musicians?
I like songwriters – Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young. People like that. Also infectious ’80s pop – the early years, before it all went wrong with The Pet Shop Boys and Stock Aitken and Waterman. The first few years of the ’80s were magic. Also new wave stuff like The Pretenders and The Police. There’s a mix of influences in the band. I’m not sure how original we are, but it feels good to me.

What have Miles and The Chain Gang been listening to recently that you can recommend to our readers?
The album I loved recently was Sam Fender’s. I really like that. Also, in 2019, a few of the old guys. Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars, Van Morrison’s Three Chords and The Truth, and Leonard Cohen’s Thanks For The Dance. Otherwise, Tim and I both loved Chris by Christine and The Queens. They did that ’80s thing really well. I thought Five Dollars was superb. I like hooks, good vocals, interesting lyrics. I don’t listen to extreme stuff very much – like death metal or bonkers jazz.

Why do you think people should pick up one of your releases or come and see you live, and what can people expect from one of your shows?
We do our best to put on a good show. We play with a lot of heart, we have a good time. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. We are good musicians and the songs are strong.

Any last words for the fans?
Keep on rocking in the free world. Reality is a stage set.