Interview with A Tale Of Two Cities

I’m late to the A Tale Of Two Cities party, but I’m very glad I’m finally here. 

The band are one of the best new acts I’ve heard in some time and the ‘New Horizons’ EP is a cracker.

We recently spoke to guitarist Joe Marsh, the band are completed by Karl Ficarotta – Vocals, Paul Taylor-Clinch – Bass, Luke Chard-Maple – Guitar and Steve Elvin – Drums.

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?  I’m Joe and I play guitar and sing in A Tale of Two Cities.

Where did the bands name come from?  Well obviously A Tale of Two Cities is a famous novel by Charles Dickens, but the first time we thought about using it as a band name was when I was watching a re-run of an episode of Lost entitled A Tale of Two Cities! I suggested it to the guys at practice as we were looking to change the band name and we all really liked the idea.

How did you get started?  I (Joe) started something up with a couple of mates and they told me that Paul (Bass) was looking for a new band. He joined and we then added Steve on drums. I’ve been playing music in bands with Steve since we were 15 years old. We have gone through a couple of line up changes since then adding Karl on vocals and most recently Nick on guitar but we all knew each other from the local music scene. We’re really happy with the band dynamic we have now.

What have you got going on at the moment?  We’ve just finished recording our new single “I Plead Guilty” at Anemic Studios and recently shot a music video for that too. We’re releasing that very shortly and heading out on tour in April. We’re always writing new material as well so plenty going on all the time!

Favourite music and why?  My favourite band is Thrice. Their music is so full of emotion and I love listening to how they’ve evolved their sound over every album. Sadly they’re on an indefinite hiatus at the moment but Steve (dums) and I were lucky enough to see their last UK show in London last year. I’m really anticipating the debut album by Night Verses. They’re an amazing band. You can pick up their first EP for free from their facebook page so check them out!

Favourite book and why?  1984 by George Orwell is my favourite book. The story is brilliant and it’s quite freaky how a lot of it you can relate to todays society! I’m currently reading the first Game of Thrones book.

Favourite film and why?  There are too many great films to mention! I’ll go with Independence Day though! Go to love a bit of Will Smith shooting aliens.

Best experience in the business?  Playing live is always our favourite experience. We’ve been lucky enough to play with some great bands already like Deaf Havana and Exit Ten. We always get great crowds when we play in our home-town so I’d say the feeling you get when we can hear the crowd sing our songs back over how loud the PA is second to none.

Why should Soundscape readers care?  We write catchy, aggressive modern rock songs that hopefully should get stuck in your head and work really hard. If you like bands such as Saosin, 30 Seconds to Mars, Thrice etc you should definitely check us out. If you don’t like those bands you should check us out anyway!

Tell our readers an interesting fact about the band?  There’s nothing surprising about me, I’m pretty dull but Paul who plays Bass is a barber so if you need your hair cut give him a call!

What’s the best and worst things about touring?  Being able to play your songs to different people every night is a great feeling. We always meet some great people and bands along the way and have a wicked time. The worst thing is probably the food! We’re not at a level where we can command a big rider so when we do get food it’s usually pizza or chips. I’m a vegetarian and don’t eat cheese so that usually means chips or onion rings. Yum…..

Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band?  Nothing that bad really, whenever Paul (bass) gets a new piece of equipment it always breaks during the first show he uses it.

What’s your writing and recording process like?  Myself or Luke will come up with an initial riff or section on guitar. We record these at home, put a few drums behind it and show the others what we’re thinking. From there we take it to practice and we all shape it together into a song. We’ll work on a song for probably about 6 weeks before it’s ready to take into the studio.

Best thing about playing in Wales?  We’ve always enjoyed playing in Wales because there is always a good crowd. Everyone is really friendly and likes to hang out after the shows. There’s a great scene here.

Who are your role models/idols?  I don’t really have any idols, role models would be my parents who have always worked really hard to provide for me when I was growing up and have always been supportive in whatever I do.

Whats the hardest thing about the current business?  Breaking even! We invest a lot of our own money into equipment, recording, videos, PR etc and want to keep our merch prices as low as possible or even give our music away for free as people don’t have that much money to spend at the moment. We’re proud of what we do though and are happy to invest in what we love doing.

What are your future plans? We’re about to release a new single but we’re also writing more new material for another EP release later in the year.

Who is your favourite Batman actor?  Christian Bale, because it’s always fun to run around and shout in his batman voice “WHERE IS THE DETONATOR?!!”.

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