Interview with White Clouds & Gunfire

We were lucky enough to catch up with Peterborough based pop punkers White Clouds & Gunfire when they played their first ever Welsh show at The Moon Club in Cardiff.

The band, who are Eveline Verdegaal – Vocals, Rob Woods – Bass & Vocals, Lewis Fountain – Drums, Byron Marr – Guitar & Vocals and Alex Cox – Guitar & Vocals were eager to talk about the tour and new album.

Day 5 of tour, hows it going so far?
Byron: Hard, it’s got the point where I’m starting to feel pretty tired, but good.

Lewis: It’s harder than last year…

Byron: It is yeah, which is weird, cos we did 7 days in a row last year.

Lewis: I think it’s the driving, today was 6 hours worth of driving, boredom, no space in the van, we literally get here, quickly rushed on, quick soundcheck, quickly played and get the gear out again, 6 hours driving and an hour and it’s done…

Byron: Another 2 hours and we’ll be driving again, its pretty full on, but good, I’ve had more fun this year.

Evey: I feel a lot more prepared this year about what to expect, because last year we were like we had no idea what we are doing, I don’t know what the protocol is or anything, if there is a protocol or anything, I just feel more prepared this year I reckon.

What’s the best thing about touring?
Evey: Gigging, and meeting people who you talk to on the internet face to face, definitely.

Rob: Yesterday was really surreal, because there were 2 fans who travelled for 2 hours and they had to get the train back so they didn’t even watch the full set, so Evey gave them a bit of a shout out and I think they coming to Manchester and they spent a load of money on merch, it’s brilliant.

Evey: It kinda makes it all feel like it’s worth while.

Alex: Also Temple Dawn have really made this tour so far…

Byron: Yeah, the first four dates with them and we clicked straight away, sometimes with bands it’s a bit awkward when you speak to each other, but these guys are brilliant.

Rob: Every night they’ve been sound.

Evey: We had to leave them last night, it was a little bit emotional.

So, whats the worst thing about touring?
Rob: Hanging around with Lewis!!

Byron: For Six hours, non stop!!

Alex: I second that!

Lewis: Its only because they try to give banter but they just cant take it!

Alex: I’ve owned everyone on this tour, bar Evey, cos you don’t own Evey.

Rob: I think in all seriousness, you visit cool cities, this is the first time we’ve come to Cardiff and looks like there is so much to do here but….

Evey:  I wanna go to the castle so bad , and it’s just over there…

Rob:  We’ve flown in, played the show and we’ll fly out again and it’ll be like “Well, Cardiff was nice…

Evey:  Brief, amazing…

Rob: …and thats the same with most cities. Glasgow last night, we’ve played there twice but visited just one small tiny area of the city, I think that for me is the worst part of touring, just spending every second of the day in the van and not in cool cities.

Whats the best thing to happen so far on the tour?
Alex: It’s gotta be Nottingham for me…

Evey: Oh God, yeah, Nottingham, we turn up at this venue, and we played third and there was hardly anybody there, it was really, really empty and the first 2 bands didn’t really play to hardly anyone…

Rob: …At one point the soundman even left the room, mid set…

Evey: So, I went downstairs bumped into a stag party, conned them all into coming upstairs for our set, so it turned out alright in the end, then I went ontsage with the Temple Dawn guys for one of their songs, they came onstage with us for one of ours…

Byron: ..It ended up a good night actually…

Evey: It could have been horrific, but sometimes you have these gigs, you have to just take it on the chin, the boys got the drinks in and it was all good.

So, you have a 6 dates left on this tour, which ones are you most looking forward to?
Byron: Milton Keynes for me, because that’s my home town show, the garage in London is gonna be a great one too.

Who’s got the most ‘Lad Points’ so far, and how do you get them?
Rob: Me, I’m actually in the lead so far. It can be anything, you do some sort of lad antic…

Byron: I got a lad point today for downing that beer at 11 in the morning in the van…

Rob: So, you’ll do an antic, like downing a beer, and I’ll bring my antic to the lad council, us four, and we’ll discuss it and have a vote and decide how many points…

It’s pretty serious then?
Evey: I’m losing really badly, mainly becouse I sit in the front and I’m not really engaged in the whole thing…

Rob: We’ve actually scrapped the forfeit at the end, were just playing for glory now…

Evey: I’m actually gonna buy a trophy or a medal and whoever wins I’m actually gonna present it.

This is your first time in Wales, what took you so long?
Lewis: I’ve always wanted to gig here and last year we had a thing where didnt think we were quite ready, because we know music is really big over here, and we wanted to be pretty spot on when we came over, but were all sorted now.

Evey: We definitely want to play more places..

Byron: When we were booking tour I did I do try really hard to get a gig in Wales, it seems to be quite difficult, not knowing where to contact.

Your debut album ‘For All The Non Believers’ Is out soon (Its out now!), are you excited?
All: Very excited!!

Evey: I feel a lot less nervous, because it has felt like our baby, we put lots of time and effort into it, and we probably didn’t have as long to write it as most bands do, so were a little bit nervous because we’ve only ever done EP’s, but we’ve started getting some feedback now and its been postive so I feel less nervous now about letting it out there.

Lewis: I’m excited for people to hear it now, not nervous.

Rob: And we’ve been gigging at least the majority of the songs for a good few months and feels like its ready for poeple to have now..

Evey: We are looking forward to writing the next one.

Lewis: Have to decide what the next single is yet..

You going to do a video for the next single?
Yeah, hopefully we are gonna release two more singles off this album, so three in total (The first one was Poison, watch the video here) then get back in and start recording the next album.

Where did you record the album?
Rob: In Regal House studios, just north of Peterborough, with producer Lee Batiuk, he’s produced Deaf Havana, Young Guns, He’s really cool to work with, he did the first EP so it’s quite familiar and comfortable.

Was it all done in one session?
Rob: We went in for two different stints, the first three tracks were done before tour last year, it was initially gonna be an EP, but we had some more songs so we booked some more time, and made it into an album.

Whats the bands songwriting process like?
Rob: It really varies, one of us will come up a few chords perhaps, Byron will write riffs, bring them to practise and we’ll jam, sometimes I’ll come in with some chords, get the guys to tart them up a bit, put a roof on it and we lay the music down then me and Evey will work on the vocals, Evey will write the lyrics and we’ll pick a few we like and write a song around that.

Lewis: I think Evey’s had a lot more to write about as well…

Evey: Because I don’t like singing about stuff I don’t know anything about, how would I expect the listeners to relate to what I’m singing about if I don’t relate to it myself, so I think with the previous EP’s I’ve kept a little bit safe about what I wrote my songs about, but for the album I thought that if we are doing it I might as well go in full blast, so I’ve been a little bit braver, but I actually feel a lot more ready for the next album, I sit in the front of the tour van and write lyrics, I feel a lot braver now. This album is like armbands in the shallow eand, the next one will be armbands off and dive in the deep end, I’m really, really looking forward to it.

Lewis: This album definitely feels like we’ve grown, especially from Zero To Hero

Evey: It’ll also be really nice to write with A.C, as he’s only been with us a few months, it’ll be good to get his input to the songwriting process as well..

What do you think is the hardest thing about the current business?
Alex: I think a lot of it is money, you can see the most talented bands ever and they wont touch them because they wont buy to get on gigs and tours or pay to get in magazines and writing an album is expensive, you’ve got to get a PR campaign, everything has got to be paid for, we’ve all sacrificed a lot, after tour we’ve got a bit of a break and then we’ll have to save up and do it all over again for the next one.

Rob: I think a lot of it is keeping motivation, because the music business now, compared to five or ten years ago is completely different, you used to be able to book a show on a friday night and it would sell out, no matter who was playing, but now people only come out if you are a really known band, and they really want to see you, there are some many great musicians playing venues to not many people and it is very easy to get in the van at the end of the day and think “was that really worth spending the money to play in form of x amount of people”, it’s hard, but it means bands just have to work a bit harder on their promotion, get out into these towns and flyer…

Byron: I think you have to change how you approach it, we’ve done quite a lot of work on Facebook and Twitter, where before it would be all about the live show, and playing as many gigs as possible anywhere, where now a lot of it is online, you have to be smart with your promo.

Rob: Promoters are also putting a lot more responsibility on the bands to pull in the crowd, which of course they should do.

Whats the band future plans?
Lewis: After tour we are looking forward to working with Dave at the label (The band have recently signed to I Am Mighty Records

Rob: We are super excited about that but before Dave took us on we already had the album set out, and a PR campaign, a tour booked, a single and video all shot so there was very little for him to  actually do, so once all thats done and from the second of September when the album is out he’s gonna take over, it’s really exciting.

Evey: The original White Clouds was completely different to what you see here, me Lew and Woods have been together for 7 years now  and it feels like 7 years and finally signed, Wooo, it’s all been for someting.

Rob: I think it’s only the last year or so we feel we’ve finally found our feet as band and it’s all clicked…

Evey: I feel like we have a stable band now, like before, it’s always felt a little bit rocky, like I’m not quite sure wether it’s gonna last or not, I think its the first time in 7 years that I feel like we have a stable line up.

Any last words?
Evey: Buy the album!!!! Like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, come speak to us, buy some merch! I think thats everything!

We agree, The new album ‘For All The Non Believers in out now, available from all major digital outlets and on CD from the band, you can read our review of it here

White Clouds & Gunfire are also on tour with The Famous Class in October so make you check out the dates of that.

You still have a few days left to enter our competition to win some free merch, read about it here.

Check out the band on Facebook here and twitter here and buy the new album, tickets for the upcoming tour and other awesome band merch from here.

Photos by Andrew Appleton

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