Interview with Charlie Says

Charlie Says have quite a history and after taking a 6 year hiatus they are back on the scene and eager to rock your socks off.

They describe their music as alternative, rock, punk, and dark whilst retaining their uniquely tight and indie sound.

You can check out the bands song’s on Soundcloud and you really should, especially ‘MDCCCXII’ which is available to download on iTunes.

We spoke to this seasoned band and they had some interesting things to say.

Who are you and whay do you do?  Jamie: I’m Jamie, and I keep this band in working order… and play bass.

Jimbob: Jimbob, and I’m the drummer

Dai: I’m Dai, and I do guitar stuff

Sarah: I’m Sarah and I’m the lead singer

Where did the bands name come from? Sarah: The name was already here when I joined so I’ll let the boys answer this one!

Jamie: The least rock and roll answer, but my mother made the suggestion while reminiscing about a freaky clumsy cat and a weird mouse that told kiddies about pervy old men etc.

How did you get started?  Jamie: When we first started we were jamming in tiny room and recording on a worn out karaoke machine

Dai:  Where we were about 13/14 years old, Jimbob invited me over his house to jam; Jamie joined us a couple weeks later. Sarah joined us several years after that!

Sarah: I’ve been in the band just over a year now, not sure how they’ve put up with me that long!

What have you got going on at the moment?  Sarah: Lots of gigs in Wales and the beyond. And also we’ve recorded our next single recently and hopefully it will be released soon.

Dai: Feeling our way about the unsigned music landscape at the moment. Trying to reach as many people as we can and develop our sound.

Favourite music and why? Jamie: That’s a hard one. I’d say we all are ridiculously eclectic; Sarah still lives in the eighties and Dai most recently was into some French anti folk, gladly we all meet in the middle on a rock common ground.

JimBob: I’ll listen to anything within the “Rock” genre really

Dai: I’m boring and will say I like anything – which isn’t true as there’s load of stuff I hate! But I like stuff from most genres. I’m most attracted to pieces of music with a strong melody.

Sarah: I do have an eclectic taste! I love Metal, Rock, Pop, Ska, Punk; I will listen to anything really. Oh and lots of 80’s hair metal and dad rock haha

Favourite book and why?  Dai: Walkthrough Guide to Final Fantasy 7. I’ve read it more than any other book.

JimBob: Paul Schole’s Biography, it’s class

Jamie: Definitely the magician by Raymond E Feist or Spike Milligan’s Dreams of a Scorpion. Definitely an influence on my dark sense.

Sarah: Either A spot of Bother by Mark Haddon or Scar Tissue by Anthony Keidis.

Favourite film and why? Sarah: Anything Horror. Japanese Horror mostly! Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is probably my favourite film. It just has that extra something that makes me want to watch it over and over again.

Dai: 2001: A Space Odyssey because it is genius

Jamie: Kiss kiss bang bang. Val Kilmer out performs Robert Downey jr as a gay guy, and the dark humour just resonates with me.

JimBob: The Warriors has to be my favourite

Best experience in the business?  Dai: I enjoy gigging but the best thing I think is the writing process – when we jam together all our separate bits and they eventually just click, and a new song emerges

Sarah: Playing gigs! And being on the road with these guys. We have fun

Jamie: Meeting genuine new fans, and the moment you know you’ve put on a great show and finish the set, there’s no greater high.

Why should Soundscape readers care?  Dai: Because they are charming, classy individuals and appreciate good music

Jamie: We are a band drowned in an environment dominated by hardcore and metal clicks, yet we’re still hitting hard and making a name for ourselves. Hard work and determination define this band and you should be expecting big things.

Sarah: Because we care about the music. It’s corny to say but if we didn’t love music then we wouldn’t be doing it right?

Tell our readers an interesting fact about yourselves?  JimBob: I’m ginger and I’m good at Jenga

Jamie: Literally every song is about Sarah’s love life, even the one about zombies (work that out)

Sarah: That’s not true, but it is a running joke that Jamie like to keep. Half interesting fact about me is that I have a phobia of butterflies. I have been known to faint and have panic attacks if I’m in the same room or area as them.

What’s the best and worst things about touring? Jamie: Best thing: the banter is never ending, four besties on the road rocking out, singing to Taylor swift and eating ridiculous amounts of fast food.

Sarah: And raving to pendulum whilst driving down the M4 at 3am ai Jamie? I think that would probably be the best thing. Oh wait and the gigs themselves. The crowds in England are amazing.

Dai: Best is stopping for a Burger King at the services and the worst is finding that it is shut.

Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band? Jamie: Maybe not embarrassing but definitely interesting! A private gig by a lake in Brecon consisting of KY jelly pools, Olympic medallists, collapsing tents and driving vans drunk in a field. It was surreal.

Sarah: Jamie’s trousers falling down on stage. Not sure if it was embarrassing or just hilarious. My friends know him as the one that was playing in his pants.

What’s your writing and recording process? Sarah: Quite simple really, the boys Jam out a new song whilst I sit in the corner writing some lyrics. They work out all the parts, I tell them what structure I need for the lyrics and boom, song finished.

Dai: What Sarah said

What inspires you?  Jamie: The sheer determination and effort that we all put in everyday.

Dai: Musically, anything I listen to that I like the sound of. I just want to keep developing our song writing skills and see where we end up

Sarah: Good music and seeing other bands get places and wanting to be where they are. Lyrically I’m inspired by anything that I think will be a good idea for a song. Despite what Jamie might say it’s not always about my love life!

Best thing about coming from/being/playing in Wales?  Dai: The mountains

Sarah: I think in all honesty the scene here isn’t what it used to be. We’ve been playing gigs for nearly 10 years now and I know I’ve watched it slowly die, in Cardiff especially. The crowds aren’t what the used to be and the spirit of going out and experiencing new music is all but gone. But when you get out of Wales and play else where, the English seem to love the fact we are Welsh!

Who are your role models/idols?  JimBob: Dave Grohl

Sarah: I LOVE JULLIETTE LEWIS. She is my idol.

Jamie: My Dad. No lie. That guy is my most genuine critic, a true rocker to the bone and always there to give you the kick you need.

Hardest thing about the current business?  Dai: While the internet/connected global world has made it in some ways a lot easier to get your music out there and
to get contacts/find gigs etc. It also has made it harder to stand out as there are just so many people making music. Getting noticed is hard.

Sarah: The lack of support you can get from other bands. Sometimes you find that there is no group spirit anymore. It’s sad that things have gone that way but it happens. But you do get the few who do keep in touch and help each other out which good. We are always up for helping other bands get noticed and hoping they return the favour!

Who is the best Batman?  JimBob: Chris Bale

Dai: Adam West!

Sarah: Got to be Christian Bale, he’s awesome and he was born in Wales!

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