Bleak Angel have just release their second album ‘Reborn’, a must listen for fans of folk rock and acoustic music. Over to Tim Balmford...
What are you currently up to?
Bleak Angel is planning a number of gigs early 2013. We are very pleased with the initial sales of the second album and will be playing those songs at gigs as well as new material that we are writing.
Brief history of Bleak Angel and how you met…
BA was born five years ago as a three-piece band comprising me, (guitar and vocals), Steve Morse (12-string guitar) and Lucy Potter (vocals). We signed a record contract with Casket Records and released our first album “Turn Right at the Moon”. We gigged locally with sell out gigs at the Crooked Billet Stoks Row and several folk festivals.
For the second album I want a different sound, so called upon 3 friends (Richard Clark, Al Meachin and Neil Chater) who were in my first band 23 years ago (called High Spirits). I had also found another female singer, Daisy O’Halloran and Steve continued to play 12 string guitar.
Could you take us through your new album ‘Reborn’? e.g. ideas behind the songs, recording process etc.
Dave Chang (who helped us on our first album) engineered the Reborn in 2 different studios: one owned by the record company and the second was the White House recording studio in Reading. It took us 5 days in total and was a mixture of acoustic and full band sounds.
We started off with the full band songs and recorded drums, bass and one lead guitar. We then added the 12-string and rhythm guitars. Vocals and harmonies then followed. With the acoustic songs we recorded the rhythm guitars and then the vocals.
I write all the songs, which are inspired by my life experiences. I sometimes write the melody first and then words. Sometimes it’s the other way round. I’ve been writing songs for 26 years, so I’ve got plenty of material to choose from for Bleak Angel.
The album is a mix of acoustic and full band songs. Was there a plan to have X amount of songs with a full band or was it more a case of that is how the songs developed?
Yes, there was at first. It took us 4 practises to get all the band songs up to scratch and recordable and the remaining songs just came together in the studio.
Has social media like Facebook and Twitter been a big boost in getting Bleak Angel’s music more widely known?
Yes, totally. We have a Facebook page and have several videos on YouTube, which is a great asset to us when booking gigs.
What have been the live highlights so far for the band and who ideally would you like to tour with & why?
We sold out at the Crooked Billet pub in Stoke Row, which was a real blast, and the Cherry Tree folk festival where we supported Carol Decker from T’Pau was also amazing. There must have been over 700 people there — I think we went down well.
I’d love to tour with Sting because he’s so talented. I’d like to think our target audiences overlap, but maybe I’m deluding myself ;-)
How do you view the current live scene in the UK? Is it hard to get a decent run of gigs together?
It is hard to find venues that do our type of music and are willing to pay for it. We can perform as a full 6-piece band or as a 4-, 3- or 2-piece, so can offer a very wide range of sounds. We don’t do covers (which is possibly a drawback) but have decided to add a few to our set list. The UK has a very diverse music scene with many talented people out there vying for few spots. Our vision is to get some management involvement in 2013 to boost our ability to get gigs.
Who have been influences on the band musically?
We have many influences within the band. I was classically trained to sing, so was brought up on classical and opera. I now have a very varied CD collection stemming form 30 Seconds to Mars to Cat Stevens/Bob Dylan. The band has been likened to The Lemonhead meets Dylan, so in a way the old style acoustic music has been a great influence.
Any good rock ‘n’ roll tales to tell?
Several but I am not sure which one to choose. We have supported such bands a 9 Below Zero and Mud to name two and have had many laughs along the way.
Where would the band like to be in a year’s time?
In a year’s time I would like to see us on stage earning money doing music. That would be lovely.
Message for your fans…
Thanks you for being there for us and I really hope you enjoy the next instalment in Bleak Angel’s on-going drive to take over the world — lol ;-)
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