With their new four track EP, 'In Your Name' just out, Ellie Hudson catches up with Electric River to get the lowdown on their new material and the highlights and lowlights of their recent festival appearances.
Introduce us to Electric River, who are you and where are you based in the UK?
"Electric River is the result of youthful energy and a healthy list of influences that culminate in all round catchy as hell numbers, fused with heavy handed melodies, social commentary and a lot of passion!
"Based in Ashford/London and where ever we're wanted."
For those not fully clued up on Electric River, introduce us to the band members, who plays what and where you're all from?
"Alex – Drums – Canterbury; Sponge – Bass and Vox – Ashford: Chris – Guitar – London/Ashford: Will – Guitar/Vox – London/Kent."
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You're gearing up for the release of your new EP 'In Your Name', why an EP and not a full album?
"There's a lot of material sitting here at the moment as we haven't put anything out in a while. We just felt it was right to give something back to the supporters who have been patient. We're putting the last few songs together for our follow up release, so it's almost like a present to keep everyone fed until the album comes out."
Is there a full album in the pipe line?
"Ultimately, yes - as we have so much material in the bag we want people to hear.
"We want to make sure it's a pretty special record as it would symbolize and define such a significant part of not only our own, but our generation's manic and uncertain lives.
"There's also so much 'Throw Away' music finding its way around the airwaves that for our own peace of mind we'd like to know our own input is a bit more integral."
So talk us through the EP's five tracks and what can listeners expect from you that may differ from previous material?
"This E.P. feels more mature both musically and lyrically. Where as previous material was a bit more direct, this collection of songs gives the listener a bit more freedom on a more personal level to decide exactly what the songs are or mean to them.
"It doesn't try too hard to scream for your attention, but does certainly have a voice/sound of reason worth taking the time out to listening to.
"Opening the E.P. is a track ironically entitled 'Happy' and deals with the harsh solitude of making life changing mistakes or decisions.
"Lyrically and vocally, it rides on a backing track that serves only one purpose – to carry that emotion.
"'Hold Your Nerve' is the first single/video to be taken from the E.P. thanks to its bouncy, very driving and melodic character.
"Lyrically it's kind of a double-edged sword in that it deals with addiction but also relates to the breakdown of a relationship because of it... after all - more often than not, we take things out on the ones we love most.
"'In Your Name' is the title track of the E.P. and is up there with some of the most integral songs we've written.
"We've lost a few extremely important people whilst being together as Electric River and I guess it's our way of making sure they are never forgotten.
"To us - It's a memorial to the hope, expectation, support and love our closest friends and family have given us over our eight years of music.
"To anyone else – all of the above should apply, only to your own background, journey, and life.
"The beauty of music and we hope this song, is that it caters to everyone.
"'Still' is a much more soulful sounding track, that is based around that human touch we all have when we try to reconnect with our closest influences in times of desperation. Some people never do, and all the song says is - surely it's worth trying if just a bit of love is what makes a difference in pulling through or easing pain.
"Finally we decided as a bit of a bonus to add a different arrangement of 'Hold Your Nerve' as a bonus track. We write on acoustics so it's cool for the listener to see/hear what the song is like in the nude, before we dressed it up in its guitar tone outfit. I can't decide whether I like it better this way or not but it definitely presents the song in a different way and shows another dynamic to the band.
How important are your lyrics to you, do you base your material on personal life experiences or just what's topical at the time?
"More often than not, what's topical at the time crosses over into our personal lives and finding a balance to combine the two is what makes us who we are as writers. If we only stuck to writing in one style or the other, we'd either be pigeonholed as emotional cynics or just sound like a bunch of punk audio newspaper cuttings.
"Lyrics are the heart of our songs but that's not say that everything has to be the next 'Clampdown' or 'Imagine.'
"Lyrics just reveal our personalities to whoever is interested, and confirms we're all on the same wavelength. If not, buy another record."
You're described as being at your best on stage. Describe what's so special about an Electric River live show?
"Energy, energy, energy and a lot of fun! It's all well and good talking about pretty heavy subjects sometimes but if there is no fun in it, we'd end up the most negative and skeptical people on the planet, spreading the virus to audiences at our shows. We're all about making people sense they're part of something special and do everything we can to make an audience feel that at the end of the night, we were their money and time.
You've done a few festival gigs lately, any highlights to share with us?
"Getting Hyde Park to slow motion run during the Olympics was so much fun! We played BT London Live and it was a great day, the sun was out, Team GB won a bunch of gold medals and we played a great gig - a memory that will stay with us all! Playing the Big Cheese stage at Guilfest was great too!"
And dare we ask, lowlights?
"Our van conking out on what had to be the last dates of our tour in June, and what had to be the final two miles to the venues, in what had to be the worst summer weather. That was pretty shit."
And lastly, what's the future hold for Electric River, what do you hope to achieve as a band over the next year or so?
"We'll continue to work hard and play harder, with more touring in the pipeline as well give birth to our next album in the operating room of a studio.
"Hopefully our travels in the near future will allow us to meet some of the people who are reading this, share a beer and talk music. At the end of the day - isn't that what it's all about?"