Interview : The Award Winning Pandora's Box

Proving that age knows no boundaries 4 teens from Bishops Stortford have been causing a storm in the music world with their Number 1 Project and their debut folk-pop EP. Pandora’s Box consists of sisters Chloe and Tabitha Tingey, Ben Cork and Ash Howarth. Despite being under 18’s they were picked by Rob Da Bank as the winners of the BRIT Class Act Camp Bestival award, features in the Metro and First TV. Recently they have just won a youtube award for their inspiring and different Number 1 project, where they add their own twists and turns to the current UK number 1 Single. Describing themselves as quirky, meaningful and original, they capture the creative hearts of their audience with the colourful use of keyboards, double bass, drums, and an accordion, just to name a few.

A quick fire question round with front girl Chloe, revealed the formation and future plans for the quirky quartet.

How long have you been together and how did you meet?

About two and a half years. Tabby & I are sisters so have been singing together for life! Ash was a good friend of ours and that musical relationship grew organically. We met Ben about a year later when he and Tabby were up against each other in a singing competition. He really stood out and we loved his style so we asked him to join.

What made you start a band?

I had been writing songs for ages and one day I realised they were ready to be performed. I’ve always found that watching the dynamics between a really tight band is far more engaging than watching a solo artist so I immediately got the others involved. It’s much more fun that way too, because everyone brings their own ideas to the songs. I think it’s the chemistry we create together that makes us special.

Who are your greatest influences?

We all come from different musical backgrounds, so have very different influences. A representative mixture would include the likes of
Bonobo, Tori Amos, Placebo, Joanna Newsom, Kate Walsh, Laura Marling, Mount Kimbie, Adele, Foals, Florence and the Machine, Kate Bush, Queens of the Stone Age, Mumford & Sons, Debussy, Beirut, Trifonic, and Fleetwood Mac.

What is it like being such young musicians? Is the music industry daunting?

I’d say being young makes the industry a little less daunting! It means we’re still adaptable and not set in our ways. This allows us to
cross genre boundaries as demonstrated in the Number 1 project. I think this is an important quality, especially seeing as the industry is changing so rapidly at the moment.

What are your greatest achievements?

Being picked by Rob Da Bank as the winners of the BRIT Class Act Camp Bestival award. And it also led to us being featured in Metro and First TV which was probably our proudest moment as a band.

What was it like recording your EP? Had you spent long planning it?

It was great recording Medusa’s Lullaby. We had done other recordings of original material before, but there was something extra special about selecting three songs to go together as a concept. It was also exciting to record two news songs alongside an older one. We didn’t spend too long planning it … it was quite an impulsive decision!

Did you have to fund it all yourselves?

Unfortunately yes! But at least that gave us all the artistic freedom we wanted.

Whats it been like touring?

It was fantastic. It gave us all valuable experiences of performing in a whole spectrum of different situations, from playing in a rowdy pub to busking on the street to performing on a huge out-door festival stage and to entertaining in a church!

Where has been your favourite place to play?

I’m torn between two! We played Hoxton Bar and Kitchen last September with Ben Sommers as part of his amazing conceptual project (Avocado Chip). The audience were incredibly attentive and really went mad for it, which felt great! The other favourite was Camp Bestival, because it gave us such a high hearing our music traveling so far around us! The atmosphere was magical and the stage was totally immense. Saying this, nothing compares to playing in the comfort of our Local Acoustic Club at the Half Moon.

Do you write the music together?

Usually I bring a song idea to a rehearsal, but then everyone contributes ideas which sometimes completely reshape the song! We basically all write our own parts. Everyone in the band writes their own music, so we’re always creating something, be it together or individually.

Do you have any summer festivals lined up already?

Not many this year, because we are all going travelling at different times this summer. We are hopefully playing Stortford Music Festival at the end of April and Cazfest in July. Festivals we would realy want to play again include the Strawberry Fair, Westmill Farm, Secret Garden Party and most of all Camp Bestival!

And lastly, where do you see yourselves going in the future?

Because we’re all at a very transitional stage of our lives, it’s hard to say what the future brings! I think we’d all like to extent our musical boundaries by doing stuff like playing with other people and experimenting with different styles, but for now we’ll just keep writing, keep gigging, and keep trying as hard as we can to get our music heard.

You can view the award winning and impressive Number 1 Project via Pandora’s Box Official youtube channel

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Posted on Sat 26th February 2011 and filed under Interviews.

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