HOT VOX POP QUIZ WITH ABQ
Who are ABQ? Where you’re from, how you met, how long have you been playing together etc
ABQ are Adam, James, Kit and Paul. We're all orginally from Ireland and we met on the first day of our Music Technology course at Queens University in Belfast. ABQ have been together properly for over 2 years now but we've all been playing in different bands with each other for years.
Who came up with the band name and does it have a story or any meaning behind it?
The name was suggested by Ben Langmaid - previously of La Roux - while we were discussing one of our favourite shows; Breaking Bad. The four of us used to live together in a house in Belfast and we religiously watched the final season of the show together. The show was set in a city in New Mexico called Albuquerque and Ben was amused at how we said the name in a Northern Irish accent, to the point that he asked us to keep saying it over and over. Albuquerque became our name and finally changed to ABQ to reflect the fact that no-one can spell it in its entirety. We think it was a wise choice.
If you had to describe the band using just five words, what would they be?
Honest, driven, anthemic, raw, melodic.
Who are your biggest influences musically?
Twenty-One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, FOALS, Biffy Clyro.
What’s the band's biggest claim to fame so far?
Recording for a couple of weeks at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth; using Freddie Mercury's grand piano to lay down some tracks. Surreal.
What’s your songwriting process?
Adam and Paul will write either separately or together, hash out an idea and hammer it down until it starts to take shape. We'll then take it into the rehearsal room and James and Kit will start arranging until the song starts to make sense. It can be quite a drawn out process at times.
If you could go on tour with any current band or artist, who would it be and why?
In terms of touring with someone close to our sound it'd have to be someone like Imagine Dragons. Their gigs are huge and elaborate so partaking in that would be great. We all absolutely adore Sigrid's music though so, while it might not be the best fit in the world, we'd jump at the chance to tour with her.
If you could put your dream team band together consisting of any musicians from the past or present who would the band members be?
Bowie sharing vocals with Lorde, Billy Joel on keys, George Harrison on lead guitar, Dave Grohl on rhythm guitar, Gail Ann Dorsey on bass and Stewart Copeland on drums.
How would you describe your live show to someone who has never seen you perform before?
Really big, well-crafted pop songs with a raw edge that sound like they could fill a stadium; performed by 4 Irish lads who have a passion for playing together.
Do any of you have any pre-gig or post gig rituals? If so, what and why?
Not so much. Our frontman Paul sometimes establishes a 'no-touch' rule before a big show. That includes back pats and hugs.
What would your ultimate rider be if you could have anything without being accused of being a diva?
A freshly prepared 3 course meal either before or after the show, depending on appetite. Finding time to eat good food while on the road can be difficult.
This question is for all band members. If we were to browse your music library what is the most embarrassing song we might find? Or who is your guilty pleasure artist?
Paul - Coldplay - It's sort of popular to hate on them but they have some bangers.
Kit - People tell me I shouldn't listen to Jack Johnson, but I do.
Adam - I don't feel guilty listening to anything. I actually like Enya. Maybe I should feel guilty about that.
James - I have a strange obsession/fascination with Chris De Burgh's A Spaceman Came Travelling. Even when it's not Christmas time.
Tell us one thing your fans would be really shocked or surprised to hear or learn about the band
3 of us have been in Game of Thrones.
If people want to check you out online where is the best place to go?
Finally, What does the future hold for the band?
We have another few singles ready to go out this year, a lot more gigs coming up in the next 6 months and some exciting developments in the pipeline.
The Old Queens Head,23 October
93 Feet East,01 November
HOXTON UNDERBELLY,16 November
The Old Queens Head,28 November
HOXTON UNDERBELLY,29 November
The Jazz Cafe,03 December
THE GRACE ,06 December