It was a pleasure to sit down with The Empty Page
last month and ask them a few quickfire questions. We headed down to Gullivers in Manchester’s trendy NQ to catch them live before the festive period!
Photo Credit – Pete Zwanepoel
How did the band form?
Kel: We had known each other for years, we were all in various bands but our bands had all gone on a bit of hiatus so we got together to jam some covers because I wanted to learn to play bass. So we played like, Pixies, Weezer, Veruca Salt, Radiohead, Dinosaur Jr etc. for fun and then it just felt really nice so we started to work on some original stuff. It was pretty chilled out and organic and came from friendship first and foremost.
What’s been the highlight of the band’s career so far?
Kel: There have been a lot of really cool things that have happened in our short time together as a band, but recording our debut album in Vancouver with the legend that is Gggarth Richardson is still the highlight and a tough one to beat! He recorded some of our favourite artists, Rage Against the Machine, L7, Melvins, Biffy, Kerbdog… and we had such a short, intense session, we recorded and mixed in 9 days, but we hit it off right from the start and had a really beautiful experience. Plus the record sounds awesome.
Jim: Definitely that. And putting out the Deeply Unlovable video. That was a lot of hard work but SO worth it. There’s about 50 different women in it – some we knew, some we didn’t, who all volunteered to be in the vid after reading the words.
What festival would you love to headline in the future?
Kel: We’re not really arsed about headlining, to be honest, but we’d love to play Glastonbury or Reading and Leeds.
Jim; Or one that’d go on telly, like Emmerdale or something.
Which bands are you digging at the moment?
Kel: New(ish) bands that we have played with or hope to at some point, Esper Scout, Dream Nails, Desperate Journalist, Sweet Deals on Surgery, False Advertising, Witch Fever, Dream Wife, Menace Beach, Idles, Eagulls, Role Models, Calva Louise…
What’s the plan for the rest of the year and 2018
Kel: Well, the year’s nearly over so it’s mostly hibernation for the rest of 2017 and working on new material, these cold months are a better time for writing than touring. We’ve got a bunch of new songs which we’re very excited about so we’re fine tuning those and hoping to get in the studio again early 2018. We can’t afford to do a whole album at the moment so will probably do 4 or 5 songs this time and release them individually or in pairs or an EP over the next few months. We haven’t decided yet.
How’s 2017 treated you as a band and what’s been the highlight?
Kel: It’s been a really good year, we’ve played lots of shows, which was our main aim, and one of the highlights has to be getting invited to spend a week in Toronto to play some shows at a cool festival of new music called Indie Week, which was very unexpected. We seem to keep going back to Canada! We also got to play the Ritz this year thanks to John Robb from the Membranes asking us to join the bill. The Ritz, The Albert Hall and The Apollo are the dream big venues for us so let’s see if we can tick at the least one of those others off the list this year. C’mon universe!!!
Do you have any weird rituals before going on stage?
Jim: Not really. Kel and I will do some vocal warm-ups and some point and occasionally we’ll have a bit of tinned fish or we’ll kick a statue of Robert Trevithick. Some people go on about him being the father of locomotive haulage but we know what he was up to.
What’s been your biggest inspiration as an individual and as a band?
Jim: Personally I’m inspired by loads of stuff; good and bad gigs, other new bands. I always want to focus on what we can do rather than what we could have done.
Kel: I’m inspired by everything, other musicians of course but other art forms: painting, film, literature, and also just walking around town watching people, hearing snippets of conversation. I’m always writing things down that I see or hear.
What’s your favourite venue to play and why ?
Kel: We played the Ritz this year which was a really cool experience, we’d definitely like to play there again but we also love the Deaf Institute. Small venues are more fun really than huge ones, it’s all about the intimacy.
What album is the one album you listen to at least once a week?
Jim: Currently it’s Ullages by Eagulls and Brutalism by Idles.
Kel: ‘Feels Like’ by Bully and ‘Grow Up’ by Desperate Journalist for me right now. But there’s so much good music out there, new and old, I listen to all sorts, all the time.
Manchester we know it’s the centre of the universe, but what do you love about it?
Kel: The people! Mancs are funny, tenacious, generous and spit in the face of adversity. The people of Manchester have demonstrated that in a big way this year. We’ve written two songs about Manchester recently, both bittersweet love songs really, highlighting the dark side but also the beauty of the city and the people. They’re really going down well at shows and we can’t wait to record them.
Jim – Only Manchester could produce people like Emmeline Pankhurst and Les Dawson. We have to shout that little bit louder and fight that little bit harder but when we get things done, people take notice.
Our first shows of 2018 are:
Sat 13th Jan @ The Bell, Bath (With Hacksaw and more)
Fri 26th Jan @ The Salty Dog, Northwich (with Yur Mum)
Sat 27th Jan @ The Castle, Manchester (with All Hail Hyena)
Sat 17th Feb @ The Parish, Huddersfield (With Role Models etc. A fundraiser for our buddy Scott Sorry who had brain surgery for a tumour recently)