HOT VOX POP QUIZ WITH SAGES OF THE SUBWAY
Today's HOT VOX Pop Quiz features Sages of The Subway!
Who are Sages of The Subway? Where you’re from, how you met, how long have you been playing together etc
We’d describe ourselves as an indie-rock band, but we’ve got some poppy elements in there too. We’ve got Dean on vocals, James on guitar, Nath on bass, and Pitch keeping us all together on drums. Location wise we’re from all over. Dean and James met at school in London, whereas Nath and Pitch grew up together in Cambridgeshire, it’s really like 2 couples going on holiday together. Dean met Nath during Uni in Nottingham last year which is where the band were brought together. It’s not always easy, James has been living in Paris this year so we’ve had to work around that, but we’ve still been managing to play a load of gigs and write a bunch of new tunes. We’ve been gigging for the last 6 months or so, and we’re buzzing to share our music with audiences in London.
Who came up with the band name and does it have a story or any meaning behind it?
‘Sages of the Subway’ is a lyric from “It’s hard to be a saint in the city” by Bruce Springsteen. Dean saw him live for the first time 10 years ago, and that was the moment that music clicked for him. There’s somewhat of a metaphor in there too, about being wise and knowing where we want to go as a band, it’s a journey. Although, I’m not sure anyone who knows us would describe us as being wise.
If you had to describe the band using just five words, what would they be?
Not that much like Coldplay.
Who are your biggest influences musically?
We all have different influences individually, our sound is a bit of a meeting point between all of them. James, the guitarist, is big into those Clapton-style classic rock guitarists. Pitch loves anything with loud drums and good harmonies, he’s got a great ear for how we can mix a tune up, so he’s good for keeping the songs sounding fresh and different. Bass-wise, Nath is right into The Cure, New Order and The Smiths, bassists that would try and make the instrument melodic as much as it is rhythmic. Dean’s still working out what he likes.
What’s the band's biggest claim to fame so far?
We had our tune 88 played in the ground during a Peterborough United game this season. We turned up to the ground early to make sure we didn’t miss it, but got in just as the final bends of James’ solo rung out. Playing at big venues like The Junction in the Cambridge Band Competition final, and topping the Cambridge Unsigned Chart over the past 4 months has been class too. We’ve had really great responses to our tunes so far.
What’s your songwriting process?
Most the tunes come from Dean, sometimes it’ll be a whole tune, but often we just start with a riff, a hook, a mistake, anything… we’ll jam it out until we get some more cool ideas and then the song usually forms naturally over time. There’s not a huge amount of method to the madness.
If you could go on tour with any current band or artist, who would it be and why?
Whoever’s playing stadiums! The dream would be U2, they’re doing what every guitar band aspires to be doing. However, going on tour with Kanye would be an interesting one.
If you could put your dream team band together consisting of any musicians from the past or present who would the band members be?
John, Paul, Ringo and George
How would you describe your live show to someone who has never seen you perform before?
Fair to say with only a bunch of gigs under our belt, there’s definitely still a hint of rawness there. But we have the mentality that our next gig has gotta be our best one, every time we play together we’re sounding better and better, we’re at a point now where the sets are sounding really good. We give every tune everything we’ve got and do as much as we can do give everyone there a great show, we want people going home with our tunes stuck in their head!
Do any of you have any pre-gig or post gig rituals? If so, what and why?
Not so much of a ritual, but James will often ask “so, what tunes are we playing again?”, just before we go on stage.
What would your ultimate rider be if you could have anything without being accused of being a diva?
Anything with hummus, a mezze platter would be ideal. Dips, a few breadsticks, gorgeous.
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?
Dean: Ed Sheeran
Nath: There’s nothing embarrassing about ABBA.
James: Gotta be “Can we Dance” by The Vamps
Pitch: I sing a great “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter
Tell us one thing your fans would be really shocked or surprised to hear or learn about the band
I don’t know if it’d be much of a surprise to the people who were there, but for the first few gigs Dean would make up the lyrics on the spot. It led to some interesting lines, “Come on Stamford, sing me a song” being a favourite. Thankfully we’ve got them sorted now.
If people want to check you out online where is the best place to go?
Twitter: @sages_subway, Facebook: Sages of the Subway, Instagram: @sagesofthesubway, we’re on Apple Music, Spotify and all those good places too. If you have a dig around on Soundcloud you might come across a bunch of old stuff. You can find Pitch on Tinder too.
Finally, What does the future hold for the band?
More gigs, more tunes, hopefully we’ll keep getting bigger and better. We’ve got a load of songs that are 90% finished, it’s just finessing those and deciding which ones people are gonna respond best to. We want to get to a point where we can play a gig and have everyone singing along, letting themselves get lost in the music, that’s what it’s all about for us.
Check out the bands newest single '88' here:
DON'T MISS SAGES OF THE SUBWAY PERFORMING LIVE AT THE CAMDEN ASSEMBLY ON FRIDAY 28TH JUNE 2019!
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
The Camden Assembly,28 June
The Borderline,13 July
The Camden Assembly,27 July
The Borderline,14 August
The Camden Assembly,06 September
The Borderline,07 September
The Jazz Cafe,03 December