Interview with St Albans’ newest indie rock three piece, Pages

St Albans has a surprisingly thriving music scene, particularly for new indie rock bands- just look at bands like Moon Blue, Echo Infirmary, and now new indie-rock three piece Pages. Made up of Matt, James and Danny, Pages have been a band for about 5 months now, with Danny becoming their final member in May this year after being told to just ‘pick up a bass, for fucks sake.’ Yet despite only being a group for less than half a year, they have already released a few tracks on Soundcloud, and played a variety of venues including St Albans’ indie hub The Horn as well as London’s Surya. Last Friday, I was able to interview Danny and Matt, talking about musical influences on the band, their writing process, and their thoughts on injustices in politics. The band are made up of Matt Kersey on lead vocals and guitar, Danny Cheeswright on bass guitar, and James Burwell on drums. The idea of a band had already been established before Danny joined, where James and Matt had written together for years, coming up with ‘cool grooves and song ideas.’

Three pieces are definitely becoming increasingly popular, just look at bands like MISS, Blaenavon and Yak, and we talked last week about the bands that have inspired Pages. Although not being a direct influence on the band’s music, Matt cited artists like Brian Eno (who ‘makes amazing music and stuff’) alongside bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The 1975 and Foals. ‘For me ‘Holy Fire’ was incredible’ Danny agrees, with Matt talking about how Foals are a ‘massive influence on the band.’ Danny also mentioned bands like the 1975 and Bombay Bicycle Club, who he saw at their last ever gig at London’s Earls Court. On the subject on big venues though, we talked about how ‘if you go to a big venue you can’t get the same enjoyment,’ with Matt claiming ‘everything’s overpriced- it just feels fake.’ For Danny, the aim is to headline some of London’s most intense exciting venues for indie rock music, like the O2 Brixton or London’s Roundhouse, which would be a ‘stepping stone’ for the band. Matt also expressed a wish to play Ally Pally, as well as the dream of Glastonbury festival. Talking about their own gigs, they describe to me what their headline gig at The Horn was like; ‘it was really a lot of fun’ I’m told, and having played a series of ‘really crap London gigs’ beforehand, the immense reaction they received from their St Albans show left them feeling ‘so hyped.’

This led me on to ask them about live music and the best gigs they’ve been to. For Matt, Slipknot and Marmozets were favourites; ‘Marmozets was one hell of a gig!’ I’m told. On the subject of their own gigs and recorded music, they’re definitely ‘more relaxed and laid back,’ with Matt telling me ‘I write a lot of music and want people to sit there and go “wow!”’ For Danny, there’s an element of ‘trying to move and get the audience going.’ ‘We like the set out of our set, it’s put out in the right way’ Danny tells me. They’ve covered ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers before, which led me to ask them about adding covers to their set. Whilst they are ‘fun to do,’ they tell me they ‘just wanna do our own stuff’ to get a ‘more unique’ sound. The interesting thing about the band is unlike your typical indie-rock band (who are mainly four pieces, just look at Arctic Monkeys or The Libertines), the band are made up of three people, meaning their sound can sometimes be more limited as opposed to what they want to sound like. But whilst Matt acknowledges (as lead guitarist and vocalist) ‘there’s a limitation to how much I can do at once,’ at the end of the day ‘we’re a friendship group, we were all friends before the band’ so it might be a bit of a risk to add someone else into the mix. Quite simply, ‘we’re three very relaxed guys.’ With regards to their writing process, Danny and Matt ‘kinda get together’ and it’s ‘all about adding our own little bits and pieces…that’s what makes it a Pages song.’ ‘We all know what sound we what’ Matt tells me, and the band have loads of demos too, around ‘four years’ worth of demos…shitloads of demos. Fuck, a lot.’ As the lead songwriter, Matt tells me ‘I’m forever fucking writing’ with ‘books written of absolute bollocks.’ Their lyrics ‘used to be about just girls, our relationships and stuff’ but they’re trying to write about more themes as the band have been ‘recently trying to think about writing an album.’ On the subject of lyrical influences, we did end up talking about politics, something which Matt was very keen to talk about; ‘we’re young people and the amount of violence…Syria, the police, injustices, just so much shit.’ On Theresa May, Matt claims it’s just ‘another load of bullshit’. ‘For me, writing is a release’ I’m told, and hopefully these new tracks will be ready soon. ‘We’ve got another EP written’ Danny tells me, with the recording of the EP being a ‘massive, massive project.’ For Danny, they want ‘to make the EP the fucking best it can be.’ We talked again at this point about their favourite new releases of the year; on Bon Iver, although Matt found ’22, A Million’ a ‘weird, weird album,’ Danny found it ‘beautiful.’ Other favourites of the year included The 1975’s ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It,’ which Danny claims is the ‘best album all year.’ I asked about Catfish and The Bottlemen’s ‘The Ride,’ but for them it’s all about the third album- ‘the third album tells you if they’re gonna make it properly’, and with Catfish and The Bottlemen, ‘unless they do a better third album they’re fucked.’ There’s definitely the pressure of a second album though, like with bands such as Oasis; to Matt and Danny, ‘getting big too early stifles how relatable you can be.’ With Royal Blood, for example, they simply got ‘famous too quickly.’ Knowing Danny is a huge fan of Wolf Alice, I asked them about their thought on the glittery grunge four piece, as their tour has finally come to a finish. ‘My Love Is Cool is an incredible album, and their shows are always thriving’ Danny tells me, but with their debut follow up, it’s definitely a wait and see situation. On Pages themselves, they tell me they ‘never want to be famous for the sake of being famous’, as ‘it’s not in our personality- it’s just bullshit.’ There’s such a vivid, thriving friendship and closeness in the band, and a great relationship which I picked up from the way Danny and Matt bounced off each other- something which shines through in their music too. And at the end of the day, ‘you can’t have a better time that being with your best mates in a band.’

For more on the band, check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Soundcloud


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