Interview with Smokin’ Aces

Cardiff’s Smokin’ Aces have been on the scene a while, playing clubs and rocking hundreds of people with a selection of rock classics but did you know they also have an EP of original material available?

It was recorded with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford ( Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium and many more) and Matt Bond (Guitarist for The Dirty Youth) and is 5 tracks of great, classic sounding rock. We spoke to the band and asked them to fill us in on all things Smokin’ Aces.

Who are you and what do you do?  
We are ‘Smokin Aces’, 4 piece cardiff based Rock band. We are Clare Cunningham (lead singer and rhythm guitar) Jamie Hiscox (electric guitar) Kris Gibbins (bass) and Sam Greetham (drums) and we love hot sweaty rock!

Where did the bands name come from?  
Whilst watching the film ‘Smokin Aces’ we thought ‘That’s a cool name’ and at the time we were writing a few poker based songs so it fit quite nicely! We may however need to change it one day 🙁

How did you get started?  
Myself (Clare) and Jamie started the band back in London when we lived there with 2 different members but decided to move to wales in 2009 and re-form and that’s when Jamie’s good friend Kris joined, and then Sam a year later after many failed drummers to form what is now ‘Smokin Aces’.

What have you got going on at the moment?  
Very exciting times at the minute! We have just had a contract through from the states so the plan is to get cracking with that and possibly take a trip over and see what comes of it. We just recently recorded our 5 track debut EP which generated a lot of local and international interest. We are in the very famous Wendy House Studios, London later this year.

Favourite music and why?  
I speak for us all when we say ROCK!! but all sorts of music including pop rock, blues, folk, country. Between us all we love Thin Lizzy, Halestorm, Train, Def Leppard, Journey, ACDC and many more

Favourite book and why?  
Fifty shades….need we say anymore!! ha!! The boys LOVE it!

Favourite film and why?  
‘Smokin Aces’ of course!! Na really ‘Inglorious Bastards’ , Quentin Tarantino is amazing and it’s a great watch.

Best experience in the business?  
Loads of different moments but you can’t beat the buzz of the crowds in a packed venue. Played a cool private festival inside a teepee once where there were real fires inside, deer skin rugs…v cool vibe!! Oh and free beer, all in the grounds of a castle!

Why should soundscape readers care?  
Coz we will rock your world!! We write great tunes and we want you all to experience our show so if you like what you’re reading come on down to see us live! We will make sure you won’t be disappointed.

Tell our readers an interesting fact about yourself?  
Kris – I was named after the lord mayor of Cardiff’s Rolls Royce numberplate!
Clare – I have 1 blue eye and 1 green eye
Jamie – I only drink milk and  sometimes water, so rock n roll!
Sam – I used to be a figure skater!

What’s the best and worst things about touring?  
Best – the fun and banter while on the road, the tailor made riders, seeing different parts of the country!
Worst – Travel-lodge mattresses! Sharing a room with 3 (smelly) boys!

Most embarrassing thing to happen to you while in the band?  
Clare – Just finished a gig to a PACKED out club and the DJ stuck on ‘The Irish Rover’ as a joke (as I’m Irish) and I started Irish dancing and fell right on my arse in front of EVERYONE!

Also had a stalker/pervert thrown out in front of a crowd for grinding up against speakers and taking videos of me while on stage (he had been stalking me for a while) and everyone put their cameras back in their pockets! Note… he was at least 55!

What’s your writing and recording process?  
Myself and Jamie are currently writing tracks for our debut album which will hopefully be recorded this year. There is usually lots of arguing, shouting and trying to kill each other but after blood sweat and tears we normally have a good outcome!! We recently recorded our 5 track debut self titled EP.

What inspires you?  
Various things really. Real life events either in the past or present. Sometimes we write in the shoes of another persons experiences. Written songs in the past based on films. Always like to throw in a poker song theme here and there!

Best thing about coming from Wales?  
There’s a great live music scene here in Wales. Being the front woman who doesn’t hail from Wales this leaves it more difficult in getting gigs in certain venues in town (no joke!) but outside of Wales it’s not much of a problem! Every band supports one another which is great also!

Who are your role models or idols? 
They would have to be the bands we mentioned in question 4!

What is the hardest thing about the current business?  
The fact is you don’t have to have actual talent to get very far in this current business (just listen to the charts) but you DO need to know the right people and that’s what’s hardest. We are working on it though!

Favourite Batman actor?  
Val Kilmer

You can generally catch the band playing a few different venues in Cardiff on most nights, either as a four piece, or a two piece acoustic duo. Thanks to the band for doing this for us.

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