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Purple Revolver talks to The Travelling Band

by Faye Smith. Published Thu 16 Oct 2014 12:30

Last week, Purple Revolver went to The Travelling Band's gig at The Kaz.

The band - who love to travel - went off on tour around the rest of the UK.

We got the chance to question lead guitarist Steve Mullen whilst he was in between cities.

He answers our questions with eccentricity and doesn't disappoint in keeping it real.

We talk about touring, booze, Neil Young and the light-hearted rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester.

Describe your sound.

Our sound is forever changing.

If you listen to our first album 'Under The Pavement', you will hear a laid back approach to the songs. Some of the tracks were written whilst we were with the producer in the studio.

We've always had a classic sound going on though, but I would say our new album 'The Big Defreeze' is more in your face, with elements of being sixteen again and rocking out for the first time! We still tracked this album as a whole band because that's how we perform best. But there is a fresher, more solid sound to the new record.

Which is your favourite album that you’ve produced?

I really enjoyed making all the albums and there are different reasons for this but it's good to be in tune and stay positive with the present moment.

We have all developed as musicians over the last seven years and I think you can hear that throughout the production of our latest record.

What inspires your music?

Being alive for sure!!

We've spent a lot of time on the road together as a group playing festival shows and doing extensive tours. I can personally say that these hold some of the best times and the experiences will stick with me forever.

Also just listening to music. This is the strongest form of inspiration and you don't realise it's happening.

How did you all come together?

There was a period in Manchester around 2006 and I suppose you could say we had a bit of a "scene" going on.

I met around 20-30 musicians then who were kind of into similar music. We became fast friends and there were plenty of jams going on! There became an opportunity to head out to America and make a record which became 'Under The Pavement'.

We started The Travelling Band off the back of this trip and people started to dig our music!

Which are your favourite bands to travel with?

Bands that don't take themselves too seriously and love music for what it is.

Touring can bring out the best and worse in people. There are a lot of different personalities going on.

I think touring can be a personal thing too and you have to figure out for yourself how you are going to handle it.

We've toured with Ellen and The Escapades and Rook and The Ravens, who are all great people.

Do you like travelling a lot (‘cause of the name)?

Ha of course! Doesn't everyone? We don't like to be stuck in one place all the time, although after a long tour it's a pretty amazing feeling to lie in your own bed and think about what has just happened!

Which city has been the best to play whilst on tour? You can’t say Manchester!

We played in Freiburg in Germany it was so much fun and the crowd really got into our music.

The only problem was our lead singer Jo wasn't too happy that pretty much every punter in the venue lit up a ciggy at the same time. Rock and Roll hey!

What’s the typical day for The Travelling Band whilst on tour?

Wake up as fresh as humanly possible. Wink wink.

Then, figure out where will be best to intake some solids.

We like to get to our sound checks on time as we have a lot of gear these days. We usually use all our allotted time to get everything loaded in and checked for the show.

We try not to eat too close to the show so if everything is running smoothly and there are a good couple of us before stage we will sit down and eat together. No phones allowed at the table!

I like to have a couple of light cold beers before I play. I think we all do actually. It just loosens us up a bit.

Every night, we try our best to execute a performance that doesn't disappoint, altering the set list depending on the venue and vibe of the evening.

After the show each night is different and I'd be lying if I say that we had a peppermint tea and all went to bed!

What do you do in your spare time?

Watch Twin Peaks.

What's your drink?

I used to be hooked on Long Island Ice teas, I've not fancied one for a while but it's a majority of an ale drinking band. Some of the American imported IPA's are lovely. Our drummer Nick loves a frosty larger, bless him.

Best bar/pub to hang out at?

Adam and Jo from the band put on a night called Shut The Far Cupboard at Odd bar in Manchester. It's a brilliant night and a great bar! The Castle is also a great boozer.

Invite anyone dead or alive to one of your gigs, who would it be?

Neil Young. I might be horrible though if he didn't like us. He's one of the greats! A big group of us watched him live at Glastonbury a few years back and it was a real lesson on how to get the job done!

What’s your take on Manchester/Liverpool rivalry?

We adore [the Scousers].

Their banter is relentless! Snaff Ballinger (a former Travelling Band member) was from that way so yeah, nothing but love there from us.

Like football? Follow Manchester Utd/City?

Manchester Blue (City)

What would you be doing if you wasn't in The Travelling Band?

I'd be a solicitor (NOT).

Not sure really; something in the music industry I would like to think. Spenny our Bass player has just set up a guitar and amp repair shop so id probably ask him for a job if he'd have me!

For more information on The Travelling Band's tour, head to www.thetravellingband.co.uk


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