It may seem glamorous, but the life of an emerging band can be anything but. Bands form, gig, struggle…and sometimes come undone. It’s a game of survival of the fittest, in which the most hard-working, or the luckiest, keep on going. The members of HAiG are no strangers to the travels and travails of trying to carve out a career in the music industry.
HAiG frontman, Billy Bibby, began this trek in his teens as the co-founder of Catfish and the Bottlemen. Billy played hundreds of gigs, shaping the sound and writing the riffs that made The Balcony, the band’s Platinum debut–on which he plays lead guitar and harmonises–a lasting fan favourite. Continuing his journey as the frontman and songwriter of the eponymous Billy Bibby & the Wry Smiles, Billy zig-zagged across the UK with his four-piece, tallying up nearly 200 gigs and as many accolades in the media with enough single releases to populate a debut album. When the Wry Smiles went from four to two, friendships remained, but the rhythm section went missing.
And yet, one band’s hiatus can be another’s good luck. As Bibby was looking to rebuild, the phone began to ring. One of the incoming calls came from bassist Carl Rutherford of New York Tourists, an unsigned, Blackburn-based band with their own string of successes, including popular singles and an opportunity to support Kaiser Chiefs. “Hey Billy, do you and your guitarist fancy joining up with me and our drummer [Joe Mooney] because we both have half a band at the moment and unless you have Royal Blood-like powers we should meet up and do something together.” Billy consulted bandmate and lead guitar Tom Hill who loved the idea of collaborating with these fine musicians whose fondness for a proper rock song aligned with their own goals.
The math worked: 2+2=4. And thus the gentlemen from Llandudno via Accrington (Billy), Blackburn (Carl, Joe) and Spain (Tom) came together, ready to rock anew as HAiG. The band hit the touring circuit at full speed earlier this month with a headlining set at The Hawley Arms for Camden Rocks.
HAiG aims to present a vibrant new set of rock songs that speak from the heart to the soul, placing substance over style (but with style still being a close second!). If the world of bland indie bands has you questioning if guitar music still has a future and whether you should make the effort to come to a show, give HAiG a chance to make you dance with a setlist of anthemic, sing-along choruses that will lift you as high as your best mate’s shoulders can carry you. As Bibby sums it up: “pure rock ‘n’ roll with as many hooks as I can possibly drop in there!”
HAiG’s first single is called ‘All On Us’ which Billy explains, “Is about being in something that you believe in and it’s just you and your mates trying to conquer the world, staying persistent and consistent.”
HAiG is also opting to honour the tradition of B-sides with the simultaneous release of ‘Bide Your Time’, a song title that harkens back to the name of Bibby’s debut EP with his former band and, adds Billy, “Touches upon past experiences in bands.”
‘Bide Your Time’ is a slow burn with a build to a big chorus that lets the guitar solo soar and shine. It combines melancholy with optimism, providing the perfect prelude to the path that HAiG is about to blaze.
Watch the video for ‘All On Us’ – BELOW:
HAiG’s debut single ‘All On Us’ and B-side ‘Bide Your Time’ are available now on all major digital music platforms and a special vinyl release is available here.
Billy Bibby, guitar, lead vocals
Tom Hill, lead guitar
Carl Rutherford, bass
Joe Mooney, drums