Claire Thorne chatted with Britain's most exciting new indie band, Asylums, talking Southend, Britney and Wayne's World.
Social issues covered with tongue in cheek Asylums combine this with rock with an underlying pop structure to make one hell of a sound.
Southend-On-Sea based band Asylums formed of; Luke Branch, voice and guitar, Jazz Miell, guitar, Michael Webster, bass and Henry Tyler drums and voice were formed in 2014 releasing the single ‘The death of television’. Luke and Jazz launched a label, Cool Thing then soon after created the band Asylums. Now touring from Southend to London to Aldershot on their Killer Brain Waves tour, from the 16th October to the 29th. The boys have a lot in store to absolutely destroy everyones brain waves with sweet sweet rock.
How did ‘Asylums’ form? and how did you all meet?
I was friends with each member of the band before we started Asylums, me and Jazz used to (and still do) go record shopping and see gigs together as we have very similar taste in music. I've known Mike and his twin brother since my early teens and Henry and I met in London about 8 years ago through mutual friends in music. – Luke
What genre of music is listened to the most collectively as a band?
We like all sorts, punk, hip hop, ambient music.....we are all just mega record collectors. – Luke
When we’re touring you never know what music you’re gonna get in the van, we’ve had John Williams, Whitney Houston, Kendrick Lamar, Badbadnotgood, Queen, Eminem, Metallica and most recently the Grandstand theme... – Jazz
Favourite artist at the moment?
Clipping. – Luke
Warpaint – Jazz
Favourite all time artist/band? A band that inspires you?
On a day to day basis it changes, that's the great thing about music.....it’s a personal journey that never ends. The next good record is always around the corner. At the moment I'm really enjoying Carseat Headrest, Blood Orange and Brian Eno's Apollo – Luke
I’ve always been personally inspired by The Brian Jonestown Massacre, completely original, in complete control of their art and always unrelenting, their back catalogue has stood the test of time and crossed over into a new generation of listeners who are picking up their records which were once so scarce and collectable. - Jazz
Who would be absolutely starstruck/ speechless meeting?
Francis Bacon – Luke
David Lynch – Jazz
Best and worst trait of each member?
Luke – Crowdsurfs and always makes it back onstage in time for the vocal part/always loses phone at gigs
Jazz – Never forgets a plethora of dvd’s and albums for long journeys/often behaves like a diva
Mike – Always seeks out the ultimate food and drink establishments/gets hangry when we can’t find one
Henry – Can play the flute with his thumb/gets the grandstand theme stuck in your head for weeks
Do you think being a Southend based band made it harder/restricting to grow?
I've never felt that way, we set out with modest aspirations and so we feel good. – Luke
There’s such a strong sense of community in this town and always has been, if anything it makes it easier to grow because you’re being constantly supported locally. – Jazz
First gig you ever played? How did it go? How did it feel?
Nervous, excited, therapeutic – Luke
Covered Britney spears. Immediately regretted it. Drummer did a solo for 10 minutes and removed his shirt, that gigs going in the vault. - Jazz
Best gig you’ve played so far?
I really enjoyed our album launch for John Kennedy at Radio X, it was so emotional and there was so much love in the room. – Luke
Main stage at Village Green Festival, lots of crowdsurfing, great fun. - Jazz
Favourite song to play live?
Slacker Shopper – Luke
Monosyllabic Saliva – Jazz
Who does most of the song writing?
For the album I normally started on piano or guitar, made a demo with vocals, then me and jazz would meet up and play with guitars and sounds.....then over to the rhythm section to finish. Its our own bizarre factory line style, one rehearsal then we record it. - Luke
Dream venue to play?
One Eyed Jacks from Twin Peaks – Luke
That venue in Wayne’s World, Gasworks? – Jazz
How was playing at South Records? I managed to have a quick listen and my ears were thoroughly blessed!
Totally love that record shop, Richard Onslow the owner is the best. We started Asylums and our very own Cool Thing Records the same time as South opened, it felt good to all bedoing something new and vibrant. I thoroughly enjoyed crowd surfing during our in store! - Luke
You guys are playing Southend's Chinnerys next month, how pumped are you about the gig?
We are so excited, the people who run Chinnerys have been instrumental in our lives.....from teenagers to now, we can’t wait to play for them and all the lovely people who have brought tickets! – Luke
It’s gonna be great to play to our hometown crowd again, they’re always the best shows! – Jazz