INTERVIEWS// ORCHARDS

Neil Dowd met up with the Brightonbased four-piece, following their set at this year’s 2000 Trees Festival, to discuss their inception, the influences that inspire their genre-wielding, altpop sound, and their plans for the future.

So, you guys played The Axiom stage earlier today. How are you feeling about the set?

Lucy (Vocals): Amazing, yeah!
Sam (Guitar): So good!
Dan (Bass/BVs): I’d say it’s definitely the best festival set we’ve ever played, it was nuts!

That moment before the last song when the stage manager was trying to kick you off, but the audience cheered to keep you on was like something from a movie!

Dan: Yeah, the stage manager wasn’t too happy, but I’m so glad he let us play our last song.
Sam: It kind of made us look better, because everyone just started kicking off and cheering.
Dan: It was so dramatic, but you know, it was all staged [laughs].
Will (Drums): He’s on our payroll!

Is this your first time playing 2000 Trees?

Lucy: No, so we played Trees two years ago, but we did The Forest Stage. So we just did an acoustic set.
Sam: First proper time.
Lucy: Well yeah, first time doing a proper, full-band performance

How are you finding it in comparison to other festivals you’ve played?

Lucy: Well, we did Arctangent. I think out of all the festivals I’ve ever been to, Trees is one of my favourites. It just feels like a little family.
Dan: Yeah definitely, it’s kind of like that small festival with a big festival feel.
Lucy: Do you remember the last time we were here and there was that guy with the cat on his shoulders? He had a cat on a lead and it was just on his shoulders. [Everyone laughs]
Will: Another thing with these festivals is that we know so many of the people involved with them now, it’s like a proper ‘mates-fest’.

I also caught your set at the O2 Academy Islington on Sunday, it must have been a great feeling to know you had been handpicked by Jamie Lenman himself for both of these dates?

Dan: Handsome Jamie himself over there [points to Jamie].
Lucy: Look at that three piece suit! [Chuckles]
Dan: Yeah, personally I’ve been a massive Reuben fan and when he started releasing his own stuff, I was a huge fan. So when he asked us to play, I was just made up, and I know the rest of us were.
Will: We were hardcore fans of his and we had no idea he was a fan of us!

Dan: When he did ask us to play, I thought it was because we were on the same label. But then he told us that he didn’t even know we were on the same label. So he picked us, then our label boss messaged him like ‘thanks for picking Orchards’ [laughs]. It’s just nice to know he actually liked us.

Musically you guys are like nothing I’ve ever heard. Your sound kind of brings together elements of alt-pop and math rock, especially with the guitar work. Would you say that you all draw from the same influences or do you each bring something different to the table?

Sam: It’s totally random.
Lucy: Yeah, I think it’s because we all draw from different influences, that’s why it sounds like it does.

What would you each individually say your main influences were?

Will: I don’t know, I listen to a lot of hardcore and electronic music, hip-hop and just anything rhythmical.
Sam: It’s good for the drummer to like the rhythmical stuff! I’d say my main thing is like 2000’s indie, so bands like Bloc Party, The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, that kind of stuff. Then obviously bands like Foals and everything else.
Lucy: I was like a classic rock person.
Sam: And musical theatre.
Lucy: Oh, and musical theatre! So, I didn’t really know a lot of pop music growing up, I just listened to my dad’s record collection. But yeah, music theatre is where my allegiances lie. But obviously now it’s expanded to a lot more than that.
Dan: For me, I think I just listen to anything. But at the moment, it’s more old rock stuff, like Queens of The Stone Age and Biffy Clyro.

Oh nice. Is there anyone you guys are looking forward to seeing today?

Will: Conjurer. I really love Conjurer.
Dan: I think I can hear Yonaka playing right now, so I’m gonna try and run after this to see them [laughs].
Will: But yeah, with the whole styles thing. I think when we first got together our meeting place was math-rock. Because there was such a thriving scene in Brighton, we were all really into it.
Dan: We definitely started off trying to make our way into the math-rock scene.
Sam: It’s a kind of long story how we ended up playing together; me and Will. But it was totally through like mathrock.
Will: Yeah, through a shared love of Mars Volta.

With you all being influenced by such different styles of music, how does it all come together when you’re writing music?

Sam: We all write. That’s the thing.
Lucy: It’s like a stewing pot. This sounds so stupid but you like throw everything in and smush it all together, that’s usually what happens Sam: That’s why it can take a while though. Because we’re all songwriters, we’ve all got our own opinions on everything.
Dan: We’re a slow, slow song-writing band [chuckles]
Lucy: It’s because we’re perfectionists.
Sam: I hate that phrase, but it’s so true. Because everyone knows what they want and has a vision for a track.
Dan: When we all agree on something, it comes out like what you’ve seen.

It’s interesting to hear that because from listening to your set, it’s all very musically cohesive.

Dan: Well, we’ve all known each other for quite a while now. Like, we do spend a lot of time together.

How did you all meet?

Sam: I’m gonna tell this dead quick. Well, me and Dan have known each other since we were three. Then we started uni, started a band, and me and Will got put in a band together, totally randomly by our uni. We were in a rehearsal and he just started playing a Mars Volta drum beat and I was like ‘I need a drummer for a band’. Dan was a guitar player, but he can rock a bass. Then we had an old vocalist. She left. Lucy joined, she was our old photographer. Orchards!

Earlier in the year, you released the tracks Young and Mature Me. Can we be expecting these tracks to be part of a bigger EP, maybe a new album?

Dan: We actually don’t have an album out. We do get this a lot though. We released a 5-track EP, which is our first release with BSM. Our idea was that the three singles that we had before we signed with BSM were just going to be thrown along with the 5 track EP. So it’s like a long EP.
Sam: I guess it can easily be mistaken as an album. But technically it’s an EP. It’s not our debut album.
Lucy: We might be busy for a long time in August. That’s that!

Before I let you guys go, have you got any more shows coming up any time soon?

Lucy: We’ve got YNOT festival, and we’ve got a festival in Switzerland. And a couple of other inner city shows in October. But that seems to be it for the time being.
Dan: Yeah, we’re keeping the Summer busy for festivals. Then August we’re gonna be locked away somewhere.

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