Ahead of their London gig at 229 The Venue, we caught up with Liam Grindell and James Robinson from indie five-piece Affairs to find out more about their industry following, and the new EP ‘Stained Gold’.
We hear you guys were all at Hull Uni, tell us the story of how you met?
James: Affairs started life in the dark corridors of The Lawns – Hull University’s main halls of residence. Dan (guitar/keys) and Jack (bass) were block mates and started playing music together. Dan knew Liam (guitar/vocals) previously, and after auditioning a series of drummers, Michael joined the band.
After searching for a singer, Dan happened to catch me performing a cover of Bat For Lashes’ ‘Daniel’ at an open mic night and invited me to join thereafter. It was as if it was meant to be…
As you’re all from different places, what did you think the future of the band would be once you’d graduated?
Liam: We all knew that Affairs was something we wanted to move forward with after Uni so there was all the intention to continue from the start. We have grafted pretty hard over the years and things have picked up for us within the industry in all the right places.
You’ve got a great following and some seriously heavyweight industry support from the likes of Tom Robinson and Steve Lamacq. How did you get to this point?
L: Lots of effort! It’s great that the BBC have such a good ethos when it comes to highlighting new bands and we have just tried to be something new and unique that’s worth bringing to people’s attention.
It helped working with Ed Buller who took our tracks to that next broadcast level and I think subconsciously our writing developed into a more relatable radio style. A few of our older tracks were a bit ‘out there’ to be honest.
Tell us more about your EP ‘Stained Gold’
L: Stained Gold is our forthcoming EP release and marks a bit of a turning point with our writing and production quality. We felt the tracks had a new level of bright production but the tracks themselves still have elements of darkness.
Stained Gold was a working title we had previously had and felt it really lent itself to the imagery of the EP. The idea of gold being a precious object against the darker connotations of the word stained.
Will we get to hear some of the EP at your Discovery2 gig on March 31st?
J: Yes, we’ll be playing the EP tracks along with a nice mix of Affairs’ classics and some brand new stuff. It’s gonna be big.
You’ve been compared to everyone from Foals to Frank Sinatra, but who are your musical heroes?
J: We do get a lot of comparisons, and they’re often very flattering. Ultimately though, I think we strive to create something unique.
It’s difficult to say who our heroes are, as we all have our own individual influences. Personally, if I had to choose, I would probably go with David Bowie. A true one of a kind.
What is the most ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ highlight of your career so far?
L: This will probably be quite the boring answer as we are generally quite boring on our pre show antics. Eating crisps and sandwiches after sitting in the can for hours doesn’t really count as rock and roll does it. Ha.
Think the most rock and roll we have felt was a certain hull show were the crowd were particularly up for it, people clawing over the stage barriers for us. Not really throwing a TV out of a hotel window, but made us feel special.
What do you guys have planned for 2016?
L: We have a few things planned for 2016; obviously Stained Gold will be released and we are all excited to see what comes off the back of that. A tour will definitely be happening around the time of the EP release so keep yours peeled to see if we are in a city near you.
We have been working on a tonne of new material over the past few months so really excited to get back into the studio to start working the magic on them.
Find tickets for this Thursday’s gig here.