Interview – Garrow Hill

I recently completed a round-up review based around songs containing elements of hard rock, with Garrow Hill’s Depths being one of my favourites. They’re a York band that are touring in York soon, so read on to find out more about those dates!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a song titled Depths, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about this song and where can it be purchased?

Hi – thanks for asking us to do this interview.

Depths is a not a downer moment but more a cathartic snapshot. Tough experiences can be intense and almost consuming, but in those same moments they are fleeting. Guilt can lead us to make more of a situation than perhaps is intentional, but as quickly as they’re gone again, so is the pain. In the blink of an eye. It is about the depths we go to in life which can either make us sink or swim. Lyrically, we wanted to touch on themes of regret and letting go. Making the most of life as the present happens, even when the worst of experiences happen.

The single can be downloaded/streamed from our Bandcamp site but also from Soundcloud/Apple Music/Spotify, etc.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

In a weird way the lockdowns have helped. On one hand we said goodbye to two band members who had worked with us on previous releases (of which Depths is the last one to feature them). On the other hand, we were able to sit down and re-evaluate what it was we were trying to achieve and what we wanted to do. As a collaborative duo we have total artistic freedom again and we can work on what naturally comes out without the fear of marginalising someone.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

We have tried several methods in the past, but we feel that our most productive way is to take time to write outside of the rehearsal room. I (PG Branton) may write some lyrics and have an idea; I would then sit down with Stew King (guitar/vocals) and we would map out a song on the guitar. Stew mostly writes his ideas on his own. We would then bring these skeletons into rehearsal, usually adding drums/bass at this stage. Then it’s a case of finalising parts and being happy with what we’ve written.

Have you started writing for a future EP/album yet?

At present, at least since the beginning of the year, we have been writing some new material. We have a few live dates to prepare for in June and July, so we have brought in a friend of ours, Paul Teasdale, to play bass and backing vocals, then we will pick up these songs again after. We are hoping to demo some of these at the end of the summer, all being well.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

We have been planning some recording sessions, we have been making sure we can work with the right producer for our upcoming tracks. We don’t have a definite date as yet, once we have got the favoured four or so songs on demo, we will go forward with these in the studio. An EP is the plan though.

You’re based in York, what do you think of the current music scene here?

As a York band, it must be said that it’s both a curse and a blessing.

We have been around a while, in different formats in different bands and we have seen some amazing talent in the city. From playing venues such as Stereo/Fibbers and The Duchess, a lot has come and gone. There are still some great venues in York of course, but also our great city is nowhere near the diverse and rich music scene that Leeds offers for example. We love York, it has some great artists but at times it feels quite small and on a loop. However, as a York musician it does mean there is a potential audience to tap into!

What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

I think most people are heavily influenced by a lot of the culture that they grew up with and we’re no different. Whether this is seen as retro or not I’m not sure, but we try to mix a tasteful palette of film, music, art, literature etc to what we experienced in the 80s and 90s. It may make us sound a little dated in some respects, but we’ve lived a life and have plenty of stories and life experiences to draw from that are authentic. That being said, music for us is quite simple, if it’s got overdriven guitars and drums, we probably like it. Stew would agree he’s been listening to new MCR or Ghost at the moment, I’ve been listening to Post Human: Survival Horror (BMTH) a lot recently.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

We have a couple in York that are coming up. We are playing at the Fulford Arms on the 16th of June and then we have Cop Carnival on the 2nd of July which we’re really looking forward to playing.

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

We’ve dropped into a power trio at present, but I actually really enjoy playing in Garrow Hill as a 3, it gives me an early Biffy Clyro vibe!

I think we offer something different to a lot of what’s going on out there now. We try to create an atmosphere and put a lot of effort in not only writing material that has something to say, but also a lot of thought into our presentation and art. We have yet to accomplish the ultimate goal of being captured on tape what we’re capable of but live I think we come into our own on the stage. Full of emotion, grit, and tenacity!

Any last words for the fans?

Go and support live music creators, bands, venues, bloggers, photographers, artists, reviewers, etc. We have a great vibrant music scene in the UK and it needs your continued support. As always, thank you!