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A Conversation with Marble Tides

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Marble Tides

The members of Marble Tides (from left to right): Luke, Brandon, Gemma, Zac and Sam.

After months of waiting, we finally got to sit down with the guys from Marble Tides, a band born here in Bournemouth. Here’s what our conversation revealed…

To say the guys of local up-and-coming local band Marble Tides are very busy would be an understatement. It took a two-month advance booking to meet and chat with them all. At last, Humans of Bournemouth has its latest interview, speaking with all five band members. Vocalist Brandon Moss, drummer Sam Rawlings, bassist and backing vocalist Gemma Halliday, and electric guitarists Luke Green and Zac Thompson.

ARE YOU ALL LOCAL TO BOURNEMOUTH?

ZAC: Brandon, Luke and Sam are all Dorset locals.

GEMMA: I’m originally from Devon. I’m at uni here.

Z: And I’m from Blackpool.

HOW DID THE BAND COME TO FORM?

BRANDON: Sam and I were in a band before and when that finished we were on the lookout for a new project. We wanted the new band to kick off properly, to take things a bit more seriously.

Z: I saw an advert for a guitarist and got in touch with Brandon.

B: Yeah that’s how we found Zac. Gemma and Luke contacted me through a site called Joinmyband.co.uk – that’s a directory of people who are interested in joining bands. Sam and I had a couple of other people interested too but they didn’t get through the stages. But these guys auditioned; we thought they were the ones we wanted and here we are. A year later.

WHERE DOES THE NAME “MARBLE TIDES” COME FROM?

SAM: At the time, I found it difficult to find a name that wasn’t taken. I really wanted something that represented Bournemouth, because, if we were to be successful, I would want people to know about Bournemouth. At about that time, I had spent around £5,000 on a new drumkit. It’s a custom kit; the lacquer is marble-textured. It looks like a marble kit. So then I was thinking, “What can I add to that?”

I came to “tides”, from the sea, Bournemouth and the beach. The beach is one of the biggest locations and attractions in Bournemouth, after all. So “Marble” comes from my drumkit and “Tides” is from Bournemouth beach. “Marble Tides” comes from that.

WHICH BANDS OR ARTISTS INSPIRED YOU – EITHER INDIVIDUALLY OR AS A BAND?

G: I don’t think we could say collectively as we have such a wide range. Each of our influences are just so different.

LUKE: Our variety is ridiculous.

Z: As a band, it’s a range of all sorts. From pop music, rock music, indie. We think a lot about cinematic music. If you were to come and see us live, there are a lot of cinematics that go on in between songs. Fades and atmospheres that we put in to introduce each song. But in terms of a specific genre that inspires the band, it would be pretty hard to pin down.

B: We don’t like to label our band with a genre. If we come up with a ballad, we make a ballad. If we come up with a pop song, we make a pop song. Obviously, you will know it’s still us – we’re not at two ends of the spectrum to that extent. You will listen and be able to say, “Oh yeah, that’s Marble Tides.”

Z: People have compared us to The Smiths, but then also to Nirvana. It completely depends on who’s hearing it.

TELL US HOW YOUR FIRST GIG PLAYED OUT

B: I think if there’s one thing we all agree on, it’s how shocked we were by the turnout. For a band that nobody knew, and this was our first gig. We were playing at a 300-capacity venue; we hit capacity. The place was rammed with people. It was weird to walk out – we didn’t have any music out, we only had 150 likes on Facebook, just through inviting friends and family – and then see a full house. To come and watch a band they had never seen before. It was amazing.

Z: We had rehearsed everything to a tee. Even the bits between songs, what Brandon was going to say in between each song. Everything was really well-rehearsed, to the point where, before we went on, I think we were all concerned that we’d forget one of those little parts.

B: Ever since our first gig, the one thing we try and do – like Zac mentioned with the cinematics – we don’t stop and say, “Hi, how’s everyone doing? This is our next song…” Although I do talk over the top, we make sure the music doesn’t stop. So it just blends throughout the entire performance.

L: So, instead of it being a set of different songs, it’s like one big story of music.

Z: In terms of that first gig, I would say it was brilliant. The feedback was really great.

B: We were hidden backstage most of the time, so when we walked out and we saw the crowd, it was really quite a shock. But we loved it.

Z: And that was at Mr. Kyps in Ashley Cross. It’s now gone, so we were some of the last people to play there.

YOU ARE ONE OF THE BIGGEST UP-AND-COMING ACTS IN BOURNEMOUTH, IF NOT DORSET AND HAMPSHIRE. WHAT HAS BEEN THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS?

L: I think we’ve been quite lucky because we all have these different influences and we all have our individual inputs. Brandon always comes in with the melody. Zac tends to write the music most of the time. Gemma comes in with the bass parts’ melodies and I do my own parts. Sam does the lyrics and drums. I think we’re lucky to have all that, so that when we come to our writing stage, our individual inputs makes it easier to write the songs.

G: We also gig a lot. Pushing ourselves gig-wise, and with Brandon on social media. Just pushing ourselves out there; getting people to like the page, follow the music.

S: I would say, also, it’s a case of, “Do what you like. Don’t do what other people like.” I think, “This is a piece of art that I have made; I want other people to enjoy it.” It’s just about being creative. It’s no secret; it’s just doing what you love and putting it forward. And if other people love it, happy days!

Z: We tend not to listen when people tell us how well we’ve done so far. We are quite self-critical and hard on ourselves too. But that has pushed us even more. We’re always saying, “Right: what’s next?”

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE VENUES TO PLAY?

Z: In terms of local venues to play, Madding Crowd is probably my favourite. It’s a cool venue in terms of layout; it’s very slick. Also, the stage allows us to be really involved with the audience. It has intimacy but it can also fill up and be a high-capacity gig.

L: Yeah, it’s big enough to have a lot of people but small enough to still be able to connect. Without losing the stage audience. It’s more like we’re part of the audience. That’s what I like about Madding Crowd. But then, we played The Joiners in Southampton the other day.

G: That was amazing.

L: The Railway in Winchester.

G: And Chaplins.

Z: Chaplins is a fun gig, but the stage is so small we don’t all fit on it. I have to be stood almost in the audience, so it’s quite a unique experience.

S: The Joiners was definitely my favourite. The sound was really crisp. In some venues you play, you can’t always hear yourself. So the sound engineers there have done a really good job. And I liked it because people have played there. I think what makes a venue have character is experience and things that have gone on there. It’s a really old building – not necessarily nice to look at – but over the years it has just built this character.

G: Joiners was incredible but I also enjoyed Mr. Kyps. That’s always going to have a place here.

Z: Yeah, that’s got a special place.

L: I agree – I have to say Mr. Kyps. I used to go there a lot, but for a first gig it was amazing.

B: Like Zac said earlier, I love the intimacy of the Madding Crowd and the sound in there is really nice. The last gig we played, everyone was singing our music. We will be playing there again 5th December, where we’ll be doing our Christmas show (and we have an announcement too).

YOU HAVE RECENTLY RELEASED YOUR LATEST SINGLE, “HIRAETH”. TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS.

Z: It started as the marriage of two things. As I said earlier, I’m from Blackpool. And I was having a recurring dream where I was returning to my childhood home. Usually revolving around either my life falling apart, or the world falling apart. And the only way to save it is to move back to your childhood home.

Then I was reading an article about 25 Forgotten Words in the English Language. And one of them was Hiraeth, which is longing for a home you can’t go back to, or one that never was. Then the creative bug just took over and I wrote the music and put lyrics to that. There are some of those other forgotten words in there as extras, which people have asked, “What does that mean?” I wanted an element in there where people have got to go and do their homework. Find out what things mean and express things they have never heard of before.

From a musical standpoint, it’s quite a cinematic sound. There’s an atmospheric verse, a bridge that cuts out. Gemma and Brandon do a really nice harmony. It’s got a rocky chorus. It’s got something for everyone. That’s what we wanted to do for Marble Tides’ second single.

WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS OR END GOALS – EITHER INDIVIDUALLY OR AS MARBLE TIDES?

S: An end goal for me would be to make this a career. Aspire to be the best, push myself and don’t think, “This is it.” What’s the next thing over the hedge? What’s the next thing I can aspire to? I’d be quite happy just living my life and making music. That’s my dream – making myself happy and making other people happy.

Z: Being a little bit older than these guys, I have ended up doing corporate jobs that I hate. I have a music degree; I have put pretty much everything into music ever since I was thirteen and could play a guitar. With, maybe, the naïve thought of, “This is what I’m doing now”, and not really paying attention to anything else. For me, at this stage, I would be happy making Marble Tides my job. Make art from it, make money from it.

G: I came to university wanting to do Forensic Sciences, but that has taken a bit of a back seat to Marble Tides. I’m not thinking, “I need to do my assignments”; I’m thinking, “When’s band practice? When’s our next gig? What can we do musically?” I think, like Sam and Zac, the dream is living off music. Doing it every day, playing big festivals, touring the world – that would be the ultimate dream.

L: I’m completely in agreement with the others. It has always been something I have wanted to do and make a living out of. Like Zac, I work a corporate job, but I just want to make music my thing. One thing I have always personally wanted to do is play a major festival. Not necessarily to top the bill but just to play there.

B: For me, the career is a big thing – I think that’s why we’re all in this. But on a personal level, I want Marble Tides to be at a stage where I can turn around and make my family proud. Like an achievement. If I don’t make any money off it, then so be it. But I would like to be able to say, “Look at what I have done.” I had it tough in school as well, so it can be something to show the people who gave me a hard time as something I have achieved that they haven’t. Prove people wrong.

Find out more about Marble Tides and “Hiraeth” by checking out their pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Also have a listen on Spotify or watch the video for their latest single below.

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Hannah Elkins, Musician

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Musician Hannah Elkins
Photo courtesy of Hannah Elkins

Ahead of releasing her first single, we had a chat with musician Hannah Elkins. Where did her journey in music begin and what are her hopes for the future?

Dividing her time between the hustle-and-bustle of London and the Bournemouth music scene, we were lucky to have a few words with musician and singer Hannah Elkins. As she goes to release her first single, it seemed like a good time to hear about her beginnings in music…

ARE YOU FROM THE BOURNEMOUTH AREA?

Yeah – I grew up in Bournemouth. I studied at Leeds University, and then came back to Bournemouth, before moving to London last summer. But most of my life has been spent in the area.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DECIDE THAT MUSIC WAS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO?

My mum is a singer herself. She’s very musical and runs a choir in Bournemouth. So, in a way, I had no choice. I grew up singing and it was just what I knew to do. But it was really at secondary school that I realised that it was what I wanted to do for a career, and what I went to study at university.

DO YOU MODEL YOUR STYLE ON ANY ARTISTS IN PARTICULAR?

My favourite artist is Lianne La Havas. She has very delicate, beautiful vocals, with quite hard guitar sounds. For me, it was the first time I had heard that kind of contrast in music, which I fell in love with. Another one is Jessie Ware. I just found out that she was classically trained, and I studied classical singing at university. I think that’s why I love her stuff so much – you can hear she’s just got this amazing voice in there. She’s a huge inspiration to me.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FIRST GIG…

I started writing my own music probably quite late in comparison to others. A lot of them, you hear they started writing when they were 12. For me, that didn’t happen until I went to university. Because I studied classical singing, and then I went for a year abroad in the Netherlands to learn to play piano. And it really changed my perspective of music and how I wanted to approach it.

So I started sitting at the piano and writing my own stuff. And then when I went back for my final year at Leeds, I just thought, “I’ve got to do this!” Took a lot of courage, but I booked my first gig at Hyde Park Book Club. Lovely little intimate venue – it was actually quite terrifying because it was so intimate. We had about 70 people in this room. I just rocked up with my notepad (with my lyrics on it) in one hand and my little keyboard and sat in front of these people, who were the most attentive audience I’ve ever had. And that was it – I was hooked.

NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING FIRST SINGLE…

It’s called After the Midnight. I don’t have a set writing method with any of my music. Normally, I’ll find this idea, work around it and build the song, but with this one, I had just a chorus – two lines and two chords that I knew I loved. Had no idea where I was going with it. Even when I stepped into the studio, I didn’t have the song in full! Bit risky, I know, but I like a challenge. I don’t know if I’d recommend it…

So, I worked with my friends Elliot Wenman, who plays guitar, and Niko Battistini, who is a Bournemouth-based producer. With those two, I created this song.

When I started writing this, I had started a different mind state of how I wanted to write. So, it was included in a couple of other songs I had written. There was the theme of this midnight, the stars, the universe; it just fit into this collection that I was working on at the time.

WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO LAUNCH YOUR SINGLE SPECIFICALLY IN BOURNEMOUTH?

I am really excited to come back and do the launch here. That’s because After the Midnight has been a collaboration with a lot of Bournemouth musicians and artists. The artwork was done by a girl called Amy Leonard, who is studying at the Arts University. She’s done some brilliant artwork for me. Plus the photography has been done by Alice Parmenter, who’s also Bournemouth-based. And then, as I mentioned earlier, the production from Niko. There’s such talent in Bournemouth, and that’s where this single has come from.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THE BOURNEMOUTH MUSIC SCENE?

In Bournemouth, there is this real market of music-lovers. There is something called Sofar Sounds, which is run in Bournemouth. I performed for them a couple of years ago, and then I volunteered for their team afterwards. It’s a brilliant event where they basically get three acts and take them to an intimate venue. Audiences can apply for tickets, and they don’t know where the venue will be or what the lineup is until they’re emailed a few days before. They tell you at the beginning of the gig that they want you to pay attention to the artists and give them that respect, which I think can be lost in some of the bigger venues. London, for example, can be slightly saturated.

WHAT IS THE DREAM OR END GOAL FOR YOU AS A MUSICIAN

Ultimately, it’s to write music that people can relate to and want to listen to. As long as there’s someone there who is listening and says that they like it — that’s the dream, really.

Read more amazing and inspiring stories from the talent of Bournemouth in our Humans section. And find out more about Hannah on her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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Stephanie Wyatt, Miss Earth 2019

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Learn more about Stephanie Wyatt, 19, from Dorset, as she has been crowned the new Miss Earth 2019…

At the end of last month, Stephanie Wyatt was crowned Miss Earth England 2019 at the Arden Hotel in Birmingham, sponsored by Millennium Balti in Leamington Spa. She got in touch with Humans of Bournemouth with full details on her story and what it’s like to be “Miss Earth.”

WHAT ARE YOUR DUTIES AS MISS EARTH?

As Miss Earth, I will be representing England on an international platform of millions of people around the world. Since I have also been rewarded with the title of ‘Beauties of a Cause Eco-Ambassador’ for my accomplishments, my duties include working with environmental, eco-activities and other social causes.

WHAT’S YOUR ADVOCACY?

My main aim is to advocate the preservation and restoration of Mother Earth. From a young age, I remember being exposed to the harsh reality around me and knew I had to make a change. When I found out that I could make a difference, I knew I had to carry on doing what I was doing.

DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A STIGMA ON PAGEANTS?

Despite the stigmas, Miss Earth is different to your everyday beauty pageant. It is an environmentally-focused competition. A platform for change. For example, one of our challenges that was judged was to create an “eco-warrior” outfit. I decided to make mine completely out of real flowers. I believe that we are sending out a message here, showing the public that we all have a responsibility to preserve and attend to what the world we live in needs. Which fights against any stigmas.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GOING TO THE MISS EARTH FINAL?

I am extremely honoured to be put in the position to attend the final. Which is the third-most prestigious platform in the world to represent England. I’m also privileged to meet so many like-minded women. I’d like to thank the Miss Earth England organisation and I hope that I will do my country proud. This really is a dream come true for me.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PROJECTS BESIDES FROM MISS EARTH?

I want to be socially and environmentally responsible for our earth. That’s why I created my own project in 2017. I investigated how I could tackle the world’s second-largest polluting industry, which is clothing. I thought of several ways to reduce this problem and also need those in need at the same time. That’s why I decided to aid those whom are struggle with period poverty. My first steps to making a difference were deciding to set up workshops at my local library, where the public could donate their unwanted clothes. Once generous individuals had donated, I was then able to up-cycle them into re-usable sanitary wear for girls in Kenya. This can make a big transformation on a girl’s life in Kenya since they can go to school now in comfort and not have to worry about their period getting in the way of their education.

WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO DURING YOUR REIGN AS MISS EARTH?

I hope to set up a lot more like-minded projects, similar to what I have done before. I’m particularly interested in helping Third World countries; they are one of the main reasons why I put my heart and soul into the work I do.

Find out more about the Miss Earth pageant on their Facebook page. And for more inspiring stories about the locals of Bournemouth, Poole and surrounding areas, check out our Humans section.

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Jack Lenton, Personal Trainer

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Personal Trainer Jack Lenton

Meet Jack Lenton. His lifestyle is his career. As a personal trainer, he owns his own business and is able to train clients worldwide.

Learn more about how he decided to become a personal trainer and how his passion for fitness began. Jack also desires to help others develop their own career in the fitness industry…

ARE YOU ORIGINALLY FROM BOURNEMOUTH?

No, I grew up in the south of Somerset. Then I decided to go to Exeter University, so I lived there for a while. After that I lived in America for 18 months. I’ve lived in Bournemouth for the past year. My girlfriend lived here, so it made sense for me to move here with her.

WHAT DOES YOUR PROFESSION INVOLVE?

My day-to-day job is mainly online coaching and training. I also employ people to help with my business and coaching — I love being able to give people the chance to do what they love as a job. We mainly coach one-to-one sessions, giving the clients personal advice on themselves and how their body works and what suits them. Nevertheless, we also coach in groups as well; they don’t tend to be any more than 40 people. An individual’s ability determines what group they are put in. As a group, they will be supported as much as possibly needed.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO FITNESS?

Fitness was the only thing that kept my attention; I didn’t really enjoy school. All my efforts went into fitness and sports instead of education. Therefore, when choosing a university course, exercising science caught my eye. It was the only course that for fulfilled my desires at the time.

WERE YOU INTO SPORTS AT SCHOOL?

Of course! It wasn’t weightlifting or strength training — I was too young for any of that. I tended to play more standard sports such as football, basketball and I tried a bit of trampolining. As a kid, just being active was my priority. Fitness has always been a key aspect of my life.

WOULD YOU SAY YOU LIVE A STRICT LIFESTYLE IN TERMS OF FITNESS?

I have made my fitness lifestyle strict because that is the how I prefer it. My mental and physical health has improved by working out daily. Although it never limits me in terms of my lifestyle, since I enjoy it so much, it’s more of a hobby than a chore.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE FOR YOU TO START SEEING RESULTS ON YOUR OWN BODY?

I was looking at photos of myself the other day. From when I was about a year into my training and my body was so different. It took me about two years to see a massive progress. For a long while, I wasn’t very sure on what worked on my body type in terms on fitness wise. I found that, I noticed what I was doing wrong before finding what I was doing right. Over the years, I’ve increased how much I train. Before fitness and training was part of my daily routine, I was working out about five times a week. My personality is quite addictive, so that certainly helped keep myself on track.

IS SOCIAL MEDIA IMPORTANT TOWARDS YOUR CAREER AS A PERSONAL TRAINER?

Social media makes a significant impact on my career since it allows me to coach worldwide. My personal trainer career is no longer restricted to local people; because of social media, anyone can reach out to me. It also benefits me in terms of meeting like-minded individuals from anywhere and everywhere. Those who share the same passions as me and are part of the fitness community.

WHAT IS YOUR END GOAL?

Right now, I hope to carry on what I’m doing and making money from it. I also hope to keep employing more and more people for my business. This means I can help them gain experience and earn money from doing something they love as a career, just like me.

Don’t forget to check out Jack’s Instagram and website to learn more about his coaching!

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