“‘Gig in a balloon’ has been the goal, since day.” – Frank Wright
If you google ‘Blaenavon’ you’ll either get the village in South East Wales or the British indie rock Band, from Hampshire, UK.
In this case we’re clearly talking about music and about a young, talented trio with an energetic rock sound mixed with fragile melodious parts.
The British indie rock band Blaenavon formed back in 2013, when all of the band members were only 14 years old. In the exact same year, Ben Gregory (vocals and lead guitar), Frank Wright (bass) and Harris McMillan (drums), released their first EP ‘KOSO’ via Transgressive Records, followed by ‘Miss World’ (EP, 2015) and ‘Prague ’99’ (EP, 2015).
We had a lil’ chat with Frank the other day, after a smashing set in Berlin, about their debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’, the colour yellow and about his childhood heroes.
Who are you?
Blaenavon, the rock band.
Where are you from?
All three of us are from deepest darkest Hampshire, in the leafy south of England.
Where have you met?
We met at school, where we founded this rock band on the adolescent principles of infinity, unfinity, unity and unpity.
Is there any specific story behind your name ‘Blaenavon’?
Yes, it came to us upon a t-shirt, in all it’s times-new-roman’d glory. We could relate it to the timeless, confused, epic music we were attempting.
What inspired you the most for your debut album ‘That’s your lot’?
The album was shaped by our teenage years, spent almost exclusively with iPods and heroic friends.
What’s your favourite song on your debut record?
Right now, I have some of the motifs from ‘Swans’ in my head. It’s one of our oldest songs – we wrote it on a Saturday afternoon in Frank’s bedroom in 2010. It hasn’t really changed over the years, we’ve just been hiding it, saving it for the album.
In which way are you influenced and inspired by other artists?
I like taking arrangement influences, like how bands split up the duties amongst each other. There’s loads of different approaches that can be taken for arranging a song in a rock band.
Have you ever wanted to become musicians when you were younger?
Yeah, but we didn’t end up doing what we first wanted to do! Ben went to see ‘School Of Rock’ when he was young (this is an incredibly important film in all of our lives), and told his Dad he wanted to be a drummer when they left the cinema. Dad was having none of that, his son had to be the frontman! Harris was always meant to be a Historian, but he ended up with a drum-kit and he lived next door to this future rock-god. And Frankie was a drummer that fell behind a bass when he met the other two. I think we have the right tools in our hands now…
Do you have any childhood heroes?
Zack Mooneyham, Freddy Huerta and Katie Brown from School Of Rock.
What’s on your MP3?
Steve Reich – Music for 18 musicians (slowed down 800%).
Is there anything on your list you’d really love to play one day (venue/festival)?
‘Gig in a balloon’ has been the goal, since day.
If you could pick another decade of music, fashion or lifestyle – would you go back in time, see what the future holds for you or are you fine with the present?
The ‘10s/teenies is definitely my favourite decade so far! Can’t wait to see what the ‘30s are like too, when everything will be referencing the ‘10s.
What means fashion to you?
The colour yellow.
How would you describe your style?
The colour yellow.
What influences you in the way you dress?
Charity shops’ supply of yellow clothes.
Your Facebook bio reveals interesting ‘band members’ and a band stylist, too. Tell us more about this talent named Serene and how did it come?
Queen Serene is a faceless bean that ghostwrites all of our songs, ghostdresses all of our bandmembers, and ghostcooks all of our pasta. She was the librarian at our secondary school, where we all met. Mad respec for what she do!
Indispensable piece of clothing for you?
White briefs (lost).
What did you pack in your suitcase – do you have any travel essentials?
Tabasco, tote bags, 100 pairs of socks, lemsip max pills, starbucks doubleshot expresso cans.
Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us, Frank! we’re pretty sure to hear a lot more from you in the near future and can’t wait for some new tunes as well. For tour dates and more check out Blaenavon’s website!
Stay tuned ..
xx smoke and echoes