Isle of Wight quartet As We Leave released their new EP 'Stop Making Plans' at the end of last month. The collection, created in the rustic style and posture with which they made their first, serves as an excellent introduction to those yet to discover the band while highlighting - through the songs featured on the collection - the idea/mantra they're all but living by now, given the past few years and their life experience in general.
XS Noize caught up with AWL to find out more about the EP, to learn whether fans can expect to see them live any time soon and to discover what advice they'd give to upcoming bands and artists.
What sets As We Leave apart from the other bands right now?
I think the fact that we are all good friends, live on an island and play mellow music sets us apart. We also don't follow trends really; we like what we like, and that's that.
Which two bands or artists would you say most influence your sound and style?
I'd probably have to say Gomez and The Beatles. They're both very eclectic, hard to pin down, good friends and very serious about songwriting.
Who or what is the inspiration behind your new EP 'Stop Making Plans'? Where did you get the idea for the title?
Disillusionment of the past few years have largely contributed to the new EP. Everyone deals with things in different ways; ours is to write songs. I got sick of making plans that didn't turn out that way or don't come to fruition. Plans open the doors of disappointment. Take everything as it comes, hence the title.
Is there one song on the EP that you're particularly proud of? If so, which is it and why?
We are proud of all the songs we create, but as a band, "Rarely Been so Long" has gone down well, and it was pretty good when we were playing live last summer. I think we are all very into "No Atlas" as well – it just feels good listening back to it, and it has sentimental value to us as well.
What was your main goal when writing and recording the EP? What did you want it to showcase about you as a band?
We had intended it to be an album, but it was such an eclectic mix of songs that they didn't all work well together as one unit. I hope the public will get to hear some of the other songs not on there, like "Itchy feet" - it's probably one of the best tunes we have ever written!
Are there any tour plans or performances lined up to support the release?
Unfortunately, due to some personal circumstances in the band, we have been unable to do any gigs, tours or festivals this summer to support the release. Hopefully, this is temporary.
How would you sum up an As We Leave show?
Fun, relaxed and ideally suited to a sunny day or dusk at a festival.
If you could share a stage with three other bands or artists, living or dead, who would they be and where would you play?
That's a really tricky question. Firstly, the Beatles because they are the Beatles!! For me, it would be Tim Waits but collectively, probably someone like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or Hendrix! Finally, probably Radiohead. I mean, why wouldn't you?! Best band of our generation growing up. If I could choose the setting, Red Square, Moscow 1991 or a natural alpine amphitheatre.
How do you feel about social media and the impact it can and does have on artistic careers such as your own?
As a band, and personally, we dislike it intensely! However, we realise that the modern world cannot do without it, and so we reluctantly partake but minimally. Perhaps we would have more success if we cared more for it or paid it more attention, but mostly it's just full of crap that irritates.
Finally, you're still a fairly new band in regards to many of your artistic counterparts. With that in mind, what advice would you give to other upcoming bands and artists, and how do you plan to ensure you stay a staple of this ever-changing industry for as long as you can?
No one can predict how long anything will last. We have been making music since we first met as schoolboys, so I can't see that changing unless we are subject to outside pressures or extreme circumstances. How long we might be in the public eye…that depends, like everything else, on time, a benefactor or the public themselves. I'm way too cynical and have seen too much to believe that hard work and talent alone gets you to where you want to go!
Listen to 'Stop Making Plans' EP - BELOW: