Pocket Men Interview (25/01/2016)

*** RE-UPLOAD ***

When Pocket Men originally contacted us about an ad we put up a while back on interviewing acts, we had no idea what these guys would be like musically. Personally I had heard nothing from them and it was a completely new experience for me. They amazed me with their style and how unafraid they were of their own originality; a trait which is more often rare than it is prominent in an act. They had that certain early brit rock swagger about them, a type of music that is more than due a comeback. Where there is fire, there are sparks too, those sparks being the catchy sound they produce. Perhaps like an early Blur we only got a snippet of what these guys could be, but that was more than enough to wholesomely impress me. Their sound was fresh, their rhythms tidy and overall their music was just well written in every sense. It’s something I can see them further growing on too since they managed to wet my appetite after the first song they showed me. As a fair-weather fan of Brit rock music I felt no pull into liking their music idealistically when I read the email just by genre alone, yet they still managed to do it and blast away my expectations with me loving each lyric and tapping to every beat. Some sequences in particular remained stuck in my head until this day; that’s always a sign of a great act. A very worth while listen and the newest feature on our site, we are glad to announce our interview with Pocket Men! The Q&A went as below.

Q. What would you say your particular music style/repertoire is; how would you describe your music?
A. Rock music, which is guitar driven. We think that our music has two styles at the moment, the first is a progressive melodic approach with big chorus’ and the other style is a stripped back approach with lots of riffs.
Q. Who are your biggest influences when making music and do you feel you take any aspects from their style and add it to your own?
A. Alex Jilg (vocalist/guitarist) – My biggest musical influence definitely comes from Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, everything I feel like I know about song writing is something that I have learnt from him and that band so the majority of credit goes to him. I feel like I take some structuralist ideas from the Foos but incorporate it with my use of abstract use of chords. But recently I have taken a lot of inspiration from Royal Blood as their mix of dark rock music and pop-like vocals is something that is extremely interesting for me and audiences. However my biggest influence as a guitar player would probably be Jim Root from Slipknot/ex Stone Sour, because his finesse and style is something which I look up to very much.
Yianni Panag (bassist) – My biggest musical influence is Mark Hoppus from Blink-182, this is because he was my main influence in the early learning stages of playing the bass and developing myself as a bassist and songwriter. I try to have a very melodic approach to writing bass which is similar to that Mark’s. As well as this another one of my biggest musical inspirations is Chris Batten from Enter Shikary.
Huw Buckley (drummer) – Taylor Hawkins, John Bonham and Stuart Copeland have all influenced me due to their individual approach to playing and I also try and have my own approach to playing the drums.
Dan Maundrill (guitarist) – Matt Bellamy is my biggest musical inspiration because he’s an amazing musician! and I take fast picking from his style and incorporate it into my own. Jimi Hendrix is also a big influence because his style of playing is extremely interesting and original.
Q. What album/albums would you put up there as your favourite of all time?
A. Alex – In Your Honour – Foo Fighters, III – Led Zeppelin
Yianni – Take Off Your Pants And Jacket – Blink-182, The Mindsweep – Enter Shikary, Made In Heaven – Queen
Huw – Songs For The Deaf – Queens Of The Stone Age, Wasting Light – Foo Fighters, Thriller – Michael Jackson
Dan – Mothership – Led Zeppelin, Come Of Age – The Vaccines, Nirvana – Nirvana
Q. Have you got any big plans for the near future in the recording process or touring?
A. We are currently in contact with a touring company so we will hopefully be touring summer of 2016 and from then on we’d love to play an extensive amount of shows throughout 2016/2017.
Recording wise we are also going to be getting in contact with a studio in Melksham, England, to capture a 30 minute live set and a full length album (11 tracks).
We are also going to be advertising in Stencil Magazine as they have recently been showing an interest in Pocket Men!
Q. Where did you guys all originally meet?
A. Huw and Alex met in primary school 9 years ago when Alex moved from Germany to start a new life in England, Huw and Alex had similar interests in music and humour so immediately became good friends,
Alex and Yianni met at a skatepark 6 years ago and became friends because Yianni was in a fight and from then on Alex introduced him to Blink-182 and Linkin Park and told him he should play the bass. Then Yianni bought his first bass and Yianni and Alex started playing pretty much every blink-182 song!
Pocket Men were a 3 piece for a long time with Huw being added on the drums due to Alex’s friendship, Dan was introduced to the band by Yianni because our old guitarist left so we had to replace him.
Q. Where did the name Pocket Men come from and was it due to spur of the moment, a cool sounding name or genuinely symbolic?
A. The name originally came from a song called Pocket Call which Alex had named due to an incident with a phone call where the caller did not know he was calling me so Alex was eavesdropping for some time! Alex took this idea but wanted it to be plural so it sounded like a band of people. Plus it doesn’t sound too bad! Well… that’s opinion I suppose.
Q. What has been your favourite experience together when in the band whether it be a gig or at a studio, we’d love to know?
A. Alex – The first session with new guitarist Dan, I did not know what to expect and he could improvise and he’s a shredder, blew me away! but also writing my very first song which I felt was a good piece of music (Witch Way)
Yianni – The very first gig ever in our secondary school in year 9 (5 years ago), the experience and fun of playing live was incredible!
Huw – Playing at The Thunderbolt in Bristol because it was our first show in a big city.
Dan – My first gig with Pocket Men because it was not more than 2 weeks after I joined the band and it.
Q. What was the last song you listened to and would you recommend it?
A. Alex – Down To Ride by Gary Clark Jr, absolutely amazing track, one of the best guitarists to break the industry in the last 5 years!
Yianni – Celebration Song by Unwritten Law, amazing bassline in the riff, go and check it out.
Huw – Hunger Of The Pine by Alt J, such a tune, recommend this!
Dan – We Could Be by The Hunna, really catchy!
So there we have it! It was great fun putting this segment up and it was really good getting to know the act too since they are such a great bunch of guys with such a massive sound. As always we implore you to send some love to their social media and add their tracks to your daily playlist, you won’t regret it!
Pocket Men Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pocketmen4/?fref=ts
Pocket Men YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHEKhRHLv6S1prAl–vRU3Q
Pocket Men Website: http://www.pocket-men.com
Pocket Men Twitter: twitter.com/pocket_men
Pocket Men SoundCloud:
soundcloud.com/pocketmen instagram.com/pocket_men
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