Neil Athey of Bibelots talks to Christopher Mundy of New Beats Media
Following the Bibelots’ EP– Devils Highway review, plus their success in the King of the Mountain competition NBM decided to get in touch with the band and find out what they stand for and what the future holds for this up and coming band.
NBM: Neil thank you for speaking with us today
Neil Athey: Thank you for having me Chris
NBM: I wanted to divide this interview into two sections — the first dealing with a rather important competition you have just won and the second focusing on you and the band and your influences — can you tell us a little about this competition. Personally I believe you will look back on it as a major event in your career. Do you agree?
NA: I do yeah. To be honest it hasn’t actually sunk in yet
NBM: Tell us what it is you’ve just won
NA: Well what we’ve actually won is a chance to appear in the Final of the King of The Mountain Festival. Gigwise hosted a three round competition to choose 20 bands out of hundreds from the U.K.. The public then voted on the top 20 and the best four get to play in Austria before another panel of music industry judges. The Final winner will get to play the main stage with the likes of Doves, The Enemy, Fat Boy Slim, Editors and 2 Many DJ’s. The festival takes place in Mayrhofen, Austria in the Tyrolian Alps between 5–10 April 2010 surrounded by popular skiing and snowboarding resorts
NBM: Anyone you’d like to thank for helping you get there?
NA: All the fans really. We pestered and badgered them through Facebook and emails. We started a Facebook event that sort of went viral and grew and grew until there were about 6,000 people on the event. We need to thank all those friends really as they did it for us. It’s given us a lot of new exposure and a lot of new people have now heard of us.
NBM: Some advice for new bands starting out please. You’ve mentioned Facebook. What other avenues did you personally use to gain exposure?
NA: Myspace, Twitter, a new website called ooizit.com which is like a U.K. MySpace
NBM: Which do you feel was the most effective for you?
NA: I would guess Facebook probably although we can’t really tell because we haven’t had any statistics from Gigwise
NBM: Do you guys have a manager at this time?
NA: Well that’s something we kind of arrange between ourselves quite well at the moment, but we’re at the point now where we could really use a dedicated manager with the right contacts and industry experience to push us to that next level. Somebody like Kit Lambert would be great
NBM: I want to talk about you and the band now. You play lead guitar and write most of the songs. Could you talk about some of your musical influences past and present
NA: Thanks to my dad I got into the 60’s rock and blues stuff early on. The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Who, Eric Clapton, BB King, Muddy Waters, Pink Floyd. You mentioned a Cult influence in one of our songs in a review. Well, I used to learn guitar playing along to The Cult, The Stone Roses, Oasis, Blur. That then led me into the dancier territory of The Happy Mondays, 808 State, Underworld, Orbital. I’ve come full circle now when I write songs. There’s dance influence, synthesizers, acidy baselines but along with the blues guitar and fairly upbeat drums. The lyrics and and melodies still hark back to the 60’s though and I think that gives us a fairly unique sound
NBM: Where do you guys record and what equipment do you use?
NA: We’ve been to a few different studios. I work with Cubase in my home studio and I’ve got a decent sound card that I can plug drums and things into. I sometimes bring that to our practice studio and we record things ourselves. Or sometimes it’s professional studios when we can afford it. It’s a trade off. Professional studios cost money and you’re rushed but you get a good production sound, but in our rehearsal studio we can take our time and get the ideas really worked out. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to recording, production, the levels of guitars, vocals and panning
NBM: Is there a dream producer, a Mark Ronson of sorts that you’d love to work with?
NA: Two I think. John Leckie because of his amazing work with so many amazing bands and albums, like the Stone Roses and maybe Brian Eno, he’s so creative and has such an amazing way of working I’d love to see his influence on our tracks
NBM: Let’s talk instruments. What’s your favorite axe?
NA: I’m loving my Fender Jaguar at the moment for it’s crunchy bluesy feel and sound played through a fender amp. A perfect combination. I love it. It’s not as clean as a Stratocaster. It’s got a bit of attitude and I love to play it loud and just strum away.
NBM: The Jag isn’t a commonly played guitar is it?
NA: Not at all. It’s a bit temperamental and has a bit of character but mine’s currently behaving and staying in tune perfectly. It’s matured a little bit now though I think. It’s given me a bit of trust. But I also play a Rickenbacker 360 which I’ve always loved. My newest purchase is a Gretsch Electromatic. It’s not a White Ghost or anything but sounds amazing. And our Drummer Tim Fielding plays Pearl drums. But we use studio drums when we rehearse
NBM: What’s your favorite live venue for acoustic quality?
NA: Well the Barfly in Camden is always a good venue for sound. The Islington Garage — The PA system is unbelievable. They’ve got a Pro Tools rig on the mixing desk and a sound engineer who’s really on it twiddling nobs passionately throughout the gig. Had some really good feedback on the sound. We’re playing there again in May.
NBM: Where would you like to play that you haven’t?
NBM: If you could play a dream gig with three other bands, past present or even no longer in existence who would you choose?
NA: I’d love to play on the same bill as The Who in their prime, The Small Faces and The Stone Roses
NBM: Where can people get a hold of your EP?
NA: Get in touch with us through Myspace or Facebook. Our music is self released at the moment. oozit.com has seven songs you can download as well. We’re also releasing a track called Weekend Government in Japan soon through a small distributer there.
NBM: Any advice for aspiring bands/artists?
NA: Just enjoy it. Don’t try so hard you lose the fun in what you’re actually trying to do. As soon as that happens you’ve blown it. I’ve done that in the past but now we’re enjoying it and that comes across in our music and live events
NBM: Where can people see you in the U.K. between now and the King of The Mountain Gig in April?
NA: The Barfly in Camden March 26th. Great sound, great venue. Maybe somewhere in Europe on the way to the Festival
NBM: Neil I want to thank you for your time and the interview and wish you luck in Austria
NA: Thanks for the interview. Nice chatting to you
An interview by Christopher Mundy of New Beats Media with Neil Athey,lead guitarist for Bibelots.
Read the full uncut interview between Christopher Mundy and Neil Athey
Short URL: http://newbeatsmedia.com/?p=627