Interviews

This Is… Trip The Switch

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I haven’t been down to Bristol in a very long time but my sources (yes, shockingly I do know other people) tell me that it’s one of the best places to be to hear new music. One such band grafting away down in the South West are the incredibly ingenius Trip The Switch and they’ve got a self-titled album on the way on 1st April that’s worth wrapping your ears around. I spoke to lead singer Jack Skuse to get a little better acquainted with the band;

Some of us are a little uneducated when it comes to your musical stylings – can you let us know who you are, where you are and what you do?

Trip The Switch are a four piece band based in Bristol, we play a unique blend of Pop, Soul and Funk. Our songs are often inspired by love, life and politics.

The band is made up of Jack Skuse (Vocals, Keys and Guitar), Richard O’Brien (Bass) Miguel Andrews (Drums) and Toby Andrews (Guitar).

We all come from very musical backgrounds, and have played in various funk, soul, jazz and rock bands in the past. This influences the style of our music we create and gives us a diverse pallet in which to write our songs.

What sort of music are you making? Finish the sentence ‘I would recommend Trip The Switch for fans of…’.

We are making home grown pop music which draws influence on a number of genres. Undeniably there is a funkiness to everything we write which has always been a passion of mine. I would recommend Trip The Switch for fans of John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Jamiroquai and The Scissor Sisters.

When did you first take an interest in music? Who was your first great inspiration?

I decided to learn an instrument at school when I was 13 years of age, I remember having the choice of learning the Clarinet or Electric Guitar. I chose the guitar and was fortunate enough to have an incredible tutor by the name or ‘Alex Hutchings’. I spent most of my teenage years with a guitar in my hand, I remember being obsessed with becoming the best guitarist I could be and would find any opportunity I could to perform at school concerts or local pub gigs. My tastes have changed over the years, I became disillusioned with endless hours of guitar practice and found my way into singing around the age of 18. After recording my first song and playing it to some friends and family I realised that there was nothing as satisfying as other people enjoying music I had created form the ground up. I have since been addicted to playing, recording and producing and I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best musicians in my area.

You’ve got some rather lovely bass licks in your sound (particularly on Money), do you find that the bass drives a lot of your sound?

A huge part of what we create as a band is based around the bass and drum groove. It often sets the tone for the entire song, even the lyric. The great bass work of Richard O’Brien is a blessing and is always funky. The track Money was inspired from the bass line, and crafted into a song after many hours in the studio.

How similar are your live shows to what we can hear on the record? (Psssst, this is your chance to plug your tour dates too…)

Our live set is very similar to our recorded music, we have spent a great deal of time working on three part harmonies and incorporating samples from the album. But of course being live there is also scope for the band to showcase there playing even more. We love the energy we get on stage and the fact that no gig is ever the same makes it really special for us. We have a number of gigs coming up in the Southwest which we are really looking forward too. Next stop is The Louisiana, Bristol on the 15th March. Then a great little venue in the heart of Clifton village called The Coronation Tap on the 2nd of April, followed by No.1 Harbouside, Bristol on the 11th of April. For all upcoming shows check out our gigs page.

Where should we be looking to find new artists? Are there any unsigned artists you’d recommend?

There is a great deal of unsigned talent in Bristol, popping down to some of your local venues to support new bands is the best way to help your local music scene. The music is extremely diverse in Bristol, I love the sounds of The Duval Project, Zun Zun Egui, Mango Factory and The Will Edmunds Band.

What are you hoping to achieve with your music?

The biggest goal for Trip The Switch at the moment is getting the word out there and letting people hear the music that we have created. All we want is for people to enjoy our music for there own reasons and for us to stay creative and keep releases coming.

Which current artists are making the music that brings the biggest smile to your face?

I love the albums that The Roots create. The production is beautiful and something I am continually trying to replicate in our music. I have also only recently discovered James Blake, who’s voice is mesmerising. I also love what Alt-J are putting out there.

What do you think the biggest problem facing young musicians is? How would you recommend we go about fixing it?

The hardest thing for young musicians nowadays is earning money from their art. More venues that pay a decent rate would go a long way here.

What can we expect to hear from you in 2015? Any releases on the way?

We are about to release our first ever self titled album ‘Trip The Switch’. Due to go on sale at all major digital download sites such as iTunes on the 1st of April 2015. We are hugely proud of this album and it is the result of many hours work. Everything on the album has been recored in a DIY fashion using rehearsal rooms, borrowed microphones and just about anything we could get our hands on.

Anything you’d like to add?

We would really appreciate any support you could give us by finding us on various social networking sites. The links are below. Send us a personal message and I will get back to you. It would be great to have a chat with some new people.

Find out more about Trip The Switch via Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and their official website.

Ciaran Steward

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