Mark: Ok, tonight, we’re chatting with Grace and Aaron about the new album, We Fly Free, which will be released on the 20th of November this year. It’s a 12 track album released on CD Colored Vinyl and Digital Download. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us here on the Rock and Blues By Hughes show.
Aaron: Well, thank you for having us.
Grace: Thank you.
Mark: You’re more than welcome. Could you give us a little background on yourselves and how you started out in the music industry?
Grace: So we’ve both been involved in music right from Young. And I went through various bands, meatloaf, tribute bands and rock covers, bands and Aarons been in your fair share of rock bands. We got married about five years ago and that’s when we started taking our music together kind of more seriously. So we’ve been writing together and we put our first record the Uprising EP in September last year.
Mark: And so what were your early influences then?
Aaron: Well, my early influences were well. I grew up with Elvis and the Beatles through my mom and dad, and then from there my taste grew into my favorite band is Guns N Roses. So I love, like rock music Thunder and Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and things like that. But the very, very first CD I ever bought was John Lee Hooker, and it was Boom, Boom, Boom. But as soon as I heard that riff in his voice, I was like hooked on the blues and of course, with loving rock music as well. Yeah. So that’s my passion.
Grace: And I kind of started out my dad was very much into like the soul Motown. So I started out lovin Dusty Springfield and then went into kind of went through the country phase of like the modern country rock and then I found Bonnie Rait so the blues side. And then Aaron introduced me to the rock like Thunder classic rock stuff as well. I found Paul Rogers and made my life complete.
Aaron: Yeah. Yeah. You can’t beat a bit of Free.
Mark: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. I liked him in his Free days. I wasn’t so keen when he did the stuff with Queen to be honest, but that was just me.
Grace: Yeah. I agree Adam Lambert is filling them shoes quite well.
Mark: And big shoes to fill as well.
Aaron: For sure Sure.
Mark: So how would you guys describe your music for someone who’d not heard it before.
Grace: Well, I guess we are. We’ve rock blues, but we’ve got kind of a bit of an Americana vibe because I play mandolin and violin, so not your more normal instruments, for the standard kind of bluesy band. So I think that adds another flavor.
Aaron: So, yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Mark: Okay. And why did you choose to record the album at this point in time? I mean, we’re going through strange times at the moment with lockdown, not lockdown, whatever.
Aaron: Well, we were always planning to record the album this year after the EP last year, and we released it in September. Like I said, we then released another EP in May, which is always the plan,
Grace: Which was lucky because we were pretty locked down. So we had material to release. Yeah.
Aaron: And then during lockdown, we were going to be recording the album, but that got pushed back two or three months until we could go out and sort of record. We did actually social distance while we were doing it as well. So that was really cool.
Grace: Yeah, accessible and open space worked quite well.
Aaron: So we just so it’s always planned to do the album this year, but it just got pushed back a couple of months.
Grace: I think the first EP it was very much like a taster of let’s see what people think of it because it was different and it’s different to us. We were kinda feeling our feet with the first EP and with again, we even got a little bit more solid, especially working with Adam our producer on the next one. So it felt like the right time to then go for the album and in, you know, so.
Mark: Okay. And the album is called We Fly Free and it’s out on the 20th in November on the One Road record. So why the name We Fly Free?
Aaron: It’s simply a case of that’s how we feel in regard, we left the day jobs a couple of years ago, bought an old VW van, converted into a camper van, and that was the plan last year. And this year we were going to be gigging everywhere and just stayed in the van and gigging everywhere we could. And that was like our thing. We fly free.
Grace: And that’s kind of what we’re about. Like the music is making our life so much free’re and giving us so many more opportunities that we wouldn’t have, you know, we didn’t have before. So, yeah, freedom is like a big, big word for us.
Mark: Yeah, it’s twelve originals and you used a tube tape echo, reverb chambers. What was the idea behind that?
Aaron: Well, we want to record the album in, in very much an old fashioned way, like an old school way, like say the Beatles did and Led Zeppelin.
Grace: We were like very kind of scared about getting it getting too over produced. Yeah. We wanted it to be. Like raw elements
Aaron: Kinda Of a live feel to it
Grace: Some of this songs a lot of well the last song, are pretty much live
Aaron: The last three really.
Grace: And we want it because we like the energy and we did. We just didn’t want it to be too perfect. So even like the reverbs, it’s you know, it’s another it’s another microphone in the room, that’s created that reverb, if the if the guitar sounded better, being reamped in the bath, in them acoustics, then it was double bass is all played in the bathroom. Yes. There’s sound effects which is kind of strange, but it does work on the album and the sound of flies flying into some of the microphones. we’ve actually got the Album with different effects.
Aaron: We just love and we just love the energy of the live feel
Grace: To keep it spicy
Mark: And did the flies get credit on the album?
Grace: No sadly actually it’s on Did I Break The Law. The opening track, that intro is actually a fly
Mark: It’ll be after you for royalties. OK, speaking of Did I Break The Law, Was there kind of a concept to this album?because the reason I’m asking that is Did I Break The Law, Battle Ground, Breaker of Chains, I Will Fight. Kind of suggested an underlying message of some sort. Or was it just me?
Aaron: No, it’s very much a case of what we’re all going through this last year or so. And just in different contexts, people, can we like to write in a way where people can put their own Perspective
Grace: Perspective on it. Aaron’s very much like an abstract lyricist. So often we’ll find that, you know, Aaron will go away, write lyrics to something. And my idea of what this song is about is completely different to Aarons. And we really like that. The listeners hear the song is a completely different thing. Well, yeah. Yeah, that’s why we like that aspect.
Mark: But you’re obviously a husband and wife duo. How does the writing process work with? Do you have some words that come first or is a riff or do you just, like, bounce things backwards and forwards?
Grace: It’s a real mixture. Sometimes it will be a riff and a melody line, or sometimes Aaron will come up with a lyric. And we have found it took us a while to work out how to write together, to not argue. I say we tend to do the first bit quite separately and then we come together and see how it works. And then we quite ruthless. We like if we love it, we’ll carry on. If we don’t like, scrap it next , we have to kind of think this is now the new song, the only song we want to be playing on stage. so we’ve really feel it and it works. We’ve got a bit of a system now to.
Mark: I was going to say that. And do you actually, when you’ve written a song, is that the finished article or do you go back and revisit it and tweak it maybe or put it in a drawer and come back six months later?
Aaron: Oh, it just depends on whether we’re feeling it at the time like Grace was saying,if for some reason it’s not working or we have to really push it hard to try and get something out of it, we tend to just scrap it. We might revisit later on and things. But probably not. Not so much. No.It’s literally a case of we’re kind of writing at that time and then if it flows and it works well and whatever else we carry on with it and if we like we say if we love it, if we think, oh, I can really see ourselves playing this , live we just want to be playing out.
Mark: Okay. Um, do you write about personal experiences here. Perhaps I shouldn’t ask you that thinking Fleetwood Mac, now but over to you guys.
Aaron: Yeah. I mean everything that we write is about what we’ve experienced, what other people have experienced that we know or literally what is going on at the time. So yeah,
Grace: Yeah, yeah. It’s like there’s normally a topic on one of our EP’s. We’ve got some fire which was written around the time of the fire. We had the fires in Australia. Yeah. So there’s normally you don’t always, it’s not always that obvious. But the normally Aarons got some method to his madness.
Aaron: Yeah, there’s usually two or three meanings when we’re writing something.
Mark: Ok, and the first single Battleground, what was the thinking behind choosing that as the lead single then?
Aaron: Well, when we first wrote it, we were just like, oh, this is a great opener for the album, which was what the idea was. But in the end, when we put them all together and this was at the last minute, we decided to open with Did I Break The Law, but Battleground was because it was a bit heavier and rockier. We decided we,
Grace: it wasn’t his kind of intensity and we like that. That was going to be the first track on the album. And it’s always going to be, it’s just always going to be the first single, wasn’t it?
Aaron: And because of what we’re all going through, it kind of like, you know, it really kind of sets the tone.
Mark: That’s exactly what I was going to say. It sets the tone for the album. And the way you go type of thing was recorded at the BoatHouse Studios in Suffolk and produced by Adam Bowers, who also played bass, drums and organ piano on the album. Why there and why Adam, I guess.
Aaron: Well, we were so lucky to find Adam weren’t we.
Grace: Yeah, he’s like a hidden gem in Suffolk Countryside
Aaron: If you can find it.
Grace: He’s just so (sorry the dogs whining). He’s so creative. And it was a big part. A big part of wanting to work with him is because Adam has very much got a producer mind. He’s thinking of the whole song as a whole and this whole song as a whole (laughs). Sorry, I know that because he’s a drummer and a bassist as well when he plays on the songs because you say he plays bass, drums on there, he is thinking of it as a whole song. He’s just thinking about it from his drummers perspective. So that was a huge, huge part of why we feel it works so well with him. and he totally gets the sound we want to make. And he loves the whole organic vibe and not not overproducing. And so he’s just he was such a find, and a big key part to everything working out for us now.
Mark: Excellent. You touched on it earlier before lockdown and you were touring around in your converted VW. Any plans for future dates at the moment?
Aaron: Well, we have got some irons in the fire for sure. But as we all know, nobody really knows what’s going to be happening in the next few months. But we certainly have got some things in mind.
Grace: So, yeah, we just we’re not allowed to announce anything yet. We have got a few bits in France kind of planned and. but just like everybody nothing like set in stone,yet.
Mark: From one minute to the next. Nobody knows. Yeah. It’s very difficult. So. I know the album is not out of the 20th of November, but have you started working on any new material yet?
Aaron: We haven’t actually, yet. We’re literally just concentrating on this album and getting it out there basically for the 20th and getting everything prepared, that’s all.
Grace: We didn’t we’ve never done like a proper big release like this
Aaron: Because we’re independent
Grace: We are fumbling our way through it.
Mark: You’re doing fine.
Grace: Thank you, It’s been a big learning curve and it’s going to be really nice. And we kind of like to work in sort of seasons. So in our minds, like winter is going to be like song writing, then in the spring, we’re going to go back into the studio. So we’re really looking forward to that whole process again.
Mark: Okay. And you do a live streamcast, Rock the lockdown on a Saturday evening, 8:00. Are you still going to continue with that?
Aaron: Yeah. for sure, yeah,
Grace: Just, you know, for the foreseeable and I think as well, it’s helped us get our music out there. And we’ve met so many nice people and built such a community
Aaron: And given us a gig every Saturday.
Grace: Yeah, it’s kept us sane really, it really has.
Aaron: So we’re thankful for everyone to come watch this and supporting us, it’s just amazing!
Grace: I think we’ll continue with it in one form or another. It might not always be able to be on a Saturday night, but, you know, we really kind of enjoy it. You started out being really painful singing to your phone but we now love it. So it will definitely continue it in one way or another.
Mark: That’s on your Facebook page When Rivers Meet.
Aaron: It is. Yeah.
Mark: So where can I listen to find out more about When Rivers Meet and where can they get a copy of the album more importantly.
Grace: So we have got our website WhenRiversMeet.co.uk, which has got links everywhere, and we’ve got a shop link on there too. So we’ve got to preorder up for the album. With that, buy vinyl, t-shirts and hoodies and also necklaces and things. So yeah, we can’t wait. We just we just counting down the days now to what can people can hear it properly.
Mark: So that’s when WhenRiversMeet.co.uk.
Grace: Right. Yeah.
Mark: Well thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and chatting to stay on the rock and blues by your show.
Aaron: Thank you so much. Thank you.