Interview with Capitals

Neath based rockers Capitals, debut EP ‘Ask Questions, Don’t Get Answers’ is one of our favourite releases so far this year, a brilliant 6 track EP chock full of great tunes with soaring melodies and huge choruses. The band are hard at work playing lots of gigs and raising their profile and are definitely a band worth checking out if you get the chance.

We caught up with the band, who are Kieran Daniels – Vocals / Keys, Luke Roberts – Guitar, Mark Chesterfield – Guitar, Rhys Davies – Bass and Gregory Francis – Drums, to ask them lots of questions.

Who are you and what do you do?  Kieran Daniels, lead vocals and synth.

Mark Chesterfield, Guitarist & Backing Vocals.

Where did the bands name come from?  Kieran: I was listening to “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” by “Brand New” and there’s a line in the song “wasting words on lower cases and capitals”, that’s where the name comes from, a minor shout out to one of my favourite bands.

How did you get started?  Kieran: Myself and the bass player Rhys Davies, were in a band called The Committed before Capitals. When that band disbanded we knew we wanted to carry on making music together in a new, fresh direction. Luke Roberts(Lead guitar) was at our farewell gig and messaged me (that night, drunk I believe ha) saying that he would be interested in us making music together. The three of us then added Greg Francis (drums) and Mark Chesterfield (guitar) to the band who were already friends from other bands that had split.

Mark: Yeh, the boys were a 4-piece for a bit but Kieran wanted to concentrate more on vocals and add the synth element so I jumped in to play rhythm guitar thus making it a 5-piece.

What have you got going on at the moment?  Kieran: We have just released our EP “Ask Questions, Don’t Get Answers”, and are looking to play as many gigs as we can to spread our music as far as possible.

Mark: The EP is out now, available from us at gigs or you can purchase it via our Big Cartel for 5 pounds! free p&p also to the mainland UK. Also, big thank you to Nat Humphries who has reviewed it for Soundscape giving it a great review!

Favourite music and why?  Kieran: I like all and any music that is made and played with passion. Bands like Brand New, Manchester Orchestra and Jimmy Eat World that I can easily relate to, but even though I’m not religious, I love ‘Mewithoutyou’ who are a heavily religious band, purely because the passion they display is something so real, I can’t ignore it, even if I might not agree with the subject matter.

Mark : I’ve liked various genres – all within the rock genre itself but I always end up going back to my trusty pop-punk/alternative bands like Blink 182, New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World etc – I’d say outside of that my favourite bands are Alice In Chains and Alter Bridge.

Favourite book and why?  Kieran: My two favourite books are Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowsi and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. There’s something I find compelling about a classic anti hero. I oddly find it relatable too, even though I would say I am nothing like Henry Chinaski or Holden Caulfield. I actually thought of calling the band Holden, but the other boys weren’t too fond of the idea, probably rightly so!

Mark: The Woman In Black by Susan Hill – just because it scares me every time…chilling story that was with me from childhood.

Favourite film and why?  Kieran: I love movies and if I had to pick a favourite it would probably be The Shawshank Redemption. It’s just a brilliant story, so powerful and uplifting. I’ve seen it countless times and every time I see it, it makes me feel the same way as the very first time, amazing.

Mark: Back To The Future – timeless classic – never gets old.

Best experience in the business so far?  Kieran: Would probably be playing with Hawthorne Heights in Bridgend. It was really cool to be sharing the stage with a band I used to listen to, surreal but amazing. They were really nice too, which made it even better.

Mark: The Hawthorne Heights gig was cool actually, but I think so far i’d say having the chance to record at Monnow Valley Studios was a great experience – that place has so much history. I would love to spend a month there and get a full album done!

Why should Soundscape readers care?  Kieran: We love making music,  and we are so passionate about it. The lyrics are varied and everything I write is real, hopefully that comes across.

Mark: Yeh, I would just echo the same really – If you’re after good, catchy songs with meaningful lyrics and emotional delivery, then ‘Capitals’ are for you!

Tell our readers an interesting fact about the band?  Kieran: Luke likes to use reverse psychology on the rest of us. For example if one of us is holding a pint he’ll say “You wouldn’t down that on the ‘ed” haha. 60% of the time it works every time.

Mark: hahaha! yes apart from Luke’s Reverse psychology I can’t think of anything really interesting about us!

What’s the best and worst things about touring?  Kieran: The best thing about touring is just being constantly busy, having fun and obviously playing every night, which is what we love most. The worst thing is never feeling clean and you do miss your own bed.

Mark: again I will echo the same – great being busy, seeing new places, meeting new people/fans, but the worse part is the sleep, or lack there of you do get.

Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band?  Kieran: Probably spilling drinks on stage and then constantly slipping, haven’t hit the floor yet though, so could be worse I guess…haha

Mark: haha! YES! nothing really embarrassing (touch wood!) has happened to us yet – but the spilling of the drinks for Kieran is a recurring fact!

What’s your writing and recording process like?  Mark: Ki, I shall let you take this one!

Kieran: ok…I normally create the basics of a song. Like the starting chord structure and verse and chorus melody. If I like what I have come up with I take it to the boys and we will jam it out, if it feels good i’ll go back and write the lyrics, then next time we get together we’ll jam it out more, add parts, take parts away until we are convinced it is as good as it can be. That’s normally how the writing process works for us. we normally record everything separate in this order: Drums, Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Lead guitar, synth and samples, Lead vocals, backing vocals.

What inspires you?  Kieran: I get inspired mostly by people. I like to write songs about people I know, family members, friends, people who I haven’t seen for years, just to relate to their good times and their bad times.

Mark: The bands that are honest and doing what they do for the love of it. You can really tell when something is genuine and that’s what grips me and inspires me to be better.

Best thing about coming from Wales?  Kieran: Welsh people are very passionate about music, it almost seems ingrained in us, which makes playing here very fun indeed!

Mark: Again, all of the above. As us Welsh have so much passion, there will be a lot of great bands coming form this country – a great deal of them get overlooked too which is crying shame…

Who are your role models or idols?  Kieran: My role model i would say is Jesse Lacey from Brand New, great songwriter and lyricist. He has a way of constantly evolving and trying to better himself as well, rather than sticking to the tried and tested. I find that very inspirational, he’ll never stagnate and will call it a day before he writes music he doesn’t 100% believe in.

Mark: Tom Delonge for sure! He’s a great song writer, although there are a lot of jokey songs earlier on in his career – he’s grown so much over the years and i’ve liked everything he’s put out pretty much! His knack for that melody and hook is incredible…

Hardest thing about the current business?  Kieran: The business seems incredibly hard to crack these days. Music has become almost disposable. Someone might download a song for free, listen to it once, judge it and never give that band another chance. I would say the hardest thing about the current business is that there are no obvious steps to become successful.

Mark: Here we go! The current business – if you can call it that – it’s in tatters as far as I think. Bands (that get signed) don’t have time to grow anymore – music has become so disposal. So, I’d say the hardest thing about it is trying to get seen and heard and getting to the next level – how some stuff makes is as far as it does I will never know….maybe we should all get spray tans and use auto-tune on our vocals – stick a crappy 4/4 beat in the background and we will be global stars?

What are your future plans?  Kieran: Our future plans are genuinely to play as many shows as possible and have as much fun as we can doing it.

Mark: To keep writing, keep playing and keep doing what we do – having fun whilst doing the thing we love.

Favourite Batman actor?  Kieran: Christian Bale, no contest!

Mark: This is toughy! Michael Keaton I think – the Tim Burton produced Batman’s were classy. I do love the new ones though and Christian Bale is superb…its a tough choice and I cannot pick – i’m on the fence with that one haha!…

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