Halfway To New York have been whipping up a storm on the live circuit both here in the UK as well as the U.S. and this week sees them release their debut EP Treading Water.
I caught up with the boys to talk about the new record, how the tracks have been going down with fans and what lies ahead for the rest of the year.
- You are about to release your EP Treading Water so what can Halfway To New York fans expect from the new collection of tracks?
We have picked five tracks, Going Home is brand new but the other four we have been gigging for a while and they are the four main tracks that our fans have been asking for.
So they can expect the expected I guess but for those who haven’t about Halfway To New York they can just expect a whole load of melody and songs that you can sing along to and get involved with, that’s what we focus on more than anything else.
- The album is rocky as well as indie-rock and a bit of soul in there as well so how would you describe the sound of the EP to people who are coming to your music for the first time?
I would probably go with pop-rock. We were reading a review that was talking about indie and what is indie?
And I don’t really know what we know about that as indie and indie sort of mean everything nowadays. I think that pop rock is a good way to describe it as there are elements of pop and elements of rock.
- You say that you have been gigging these tracks for a while now so how have you found the response from the fans?
Yeah it has been incredible really and just the idea of going out on stage, especially at the Barfly; April 20th we sold out the Barfly. Just going out on stage and seeing so many people singing the songs that you wrote is just such an incredible feeling.
We went out to LA in February and we played a couple of gigs there and it was the same sort of thing to travel so far and come out on stage and see people singing along to your songs is very special.
- What does this EP say about you guys as a band?
It says that we are here (laughs). I think that that is a difficult question to be for other people to make up their mind about what is says about is as we just want to write good songs and get people involved with what we are doing.
I think that we have tried to get across what it’s like seeing us live as well with the rockier end of our stuff and the best live tracks and hopefully it is produced in a way that replicates how we sound live.
It’s a pretty full on selection of songs as there are no acoustic songs on there so yeah it’s pretty full on.
- Treading Water is just a taster of what you boys are all about so is there a full album in the pipeline? If so down which sort of path with you take the sound of the album?
There is definitely a full album in the pipeline and we are currently still working on more and more tunes to put on the album.
We haven’t quite decided the direction we want to take but we feel that after the EP we have stamped our mark and with the album we are looking to expand from that really.
- Your single Out of Time was mixed by Simon Gogerly so how did that collaboration come about? And how did you find working with him?
Simon has been awesome. He heard about what we were doing as we had sent him a few tracks and he had been to see us at a couple of gigs and he started off the first four tracks and Going Home was the first time that we had worked with him as a producer.
He was just brilliant, you don’t win a Grammy Award unless you are really good at what you do, he has taught us a lot and it has been great working with him.
- You have slightly touched on my next question really he has worked with the likes of U2 so how did you find working with and did his experience influence the tracks?
We certainly found, especially with Going Home as he produced it and we did all the recording with him, just how east everything is.
He just makes everything so easy for you and he gets results very very quickly and that left of comfort and expertise is amazing to watch.
It’s always good to have a different set of ears on what you do as well because we write the songs, practice them and gig them so when it comes to recording it’s good to have someone who is not involved in any of that and can just have an objective opinion and tidy the song up or take it in another direction than you have been going - that’s what really worked with Going Home.
- Have you given any thought to the type of producer you would like when you come to record your debut album?
We have started to and we have been talking about different options however we are fairly opening minded.
We want to work with someone who will bring something different to the table for us but we are still playing with demoing tracks and working with what sort of direction we want to go in so it’s all a bit up in the air at the moment.
I think putting together an album requires a lot more thought than an EP because it’s more of a concept I guess.
We have got loads of songs and so we are going to have to pick the tracks that suit that concept or the overarching ideas that we want to get across - from that comes the production of how to use those songs to achieve what we want to achieve.
So when we do our album it is going to take a lot more thought than putting out an EP which is a little bit more forgiving, put that is good for the first thing that you put out.
- You have penned all of the tracks on the EP so how does the writing process work within the band is there one main writer or is it very much a collaborative process?
I (Sam) write most of the songs, mainly on piano, then I bring the bare bones of the song to these guys and we workshop it and they change it all and it sounds great (laughs).
- As you mentioned you have been taking your music over to America as well so how has it been going over there?
Yeah we are still in talks at the moment and we are hoping to get back over there in September/October time for a U.S. support tour, so we are just in talks for that at the moment.
But everything was great over there and everywhere we went we were well received so hopefully we will be back over there soon.
- So where did you passion for music start and when did you make that decision to make it more than just a hobby?
I think for all of us it was quite early on as we have all been doing this in some form or other quite seriously since school or college and that sort of thing.
I don’t know about anybody else but I never thought that there was any other option as I am not good at anything else (laughs), I can cook a bit I suppose.
I don’t know where the initial impulse comes to do anything but I think we were all pretty set on doing music from a very early age.
- How did the band form?
We have known each other for quite a few years in and out of bands and other projects that we have been doing. Although London is a big city it’s actually quite a small music scene, and by small I mean that everyone knows each other.
We were all at a place where we wanted to stop playing other people’s music and starting to create and do our own stuff. So we got together and started writing and that is how it happened really.
- You have an every growing fanbase so for any of the fans reading this interview do you have a message for them?
Keep on supporting us (laughs). Tell your friends to come and find us on Facebook and Twitter come and follow us we are @HTNYband or check us out on Facebook.
I always say this at gigs we can’t underestimate how important and how grateful we are to everyone who supports us.
- Where can we see you perform live over the next few months?
We have got a couple of gigs booked in London; June 29th we are at The Garage in Islington and we are just in the process of confirming some other London things. We are also playing Hyde Rock Calling in Hyde Park on 14th July, which is very exciting.
We are also looking to get around the UK a little bit more. Check out our Facebook page as we are always announcing stuff on there.
- Finally what’s coming up for you after the release of the EP?
After the release of the EP we are definitely looking forward to getting going on a full tour and we are looking at some artists and who is right for us to go away with. I think more and more HTNY.
We are also looking to get back to the States and we are currently talking to a major U.S. agent so hopefully we will be getting back out there which would be great.
Halfway To New York - Treading Water EP is out now. Read our review of the EP here
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw