Sunday, 7 November 2010

Interview - The First

Norfolk’s The First are a melodic rock band who in their own words produce “classy rock”. They’ve recently signed to Small Town Records and guitarist Tim had a chat with Lights Go Out in anticipation of the release of their Debut album, Swimming With Sharks.
What are The First up to at the moment?
Well it’s been a busy year for us. We changed our singer earlier this year, we’ve done a few tours with bands like Blessed By A Broken Heart and Deaf Havana. Of course there's our debut album too. So at the moment it’s a lot of promo work, one off gigs and sorting out release stuff.

Describe your sound for anyone who hasn’t heard you.
We offer something a little different to the UK pop punk scene. We're much more aggressive than most of the current bands but we still keep the pop melodies, oh yeah and there's heaps of guitar solos too.

When is your new album out? And what can we expect from it?
Swimming With Sharks comes out on November 1st through Small Town Records, we're all dead stoked on how it turned out. It’s our most mature work to date I'd say, musically better, infinitely more classy and there are some huge hooks on the album.

How did The First form? Give us a bit of history!
Well we've been around for a long time. I started the band many years ago and since then it’s been a matter of finding the right guys to make the band work. We parted company with our old singer Matt Smith in January this year. Totally amicable split, he just couldn't devote the time to the band that it needed. We recruited our new singer a few months later and it’s been non-stop since. As soon as we confirmed his position in the band we started the album demo tracks and then five months later we'd completed the actual album.

Who are your influences?
We're all influenced by very different music. I think it’s what gives us a very different sound. Rob loves bands like Anberlin and Search the City, Benny Salter loves Young Guns & You Me at Six, Trev is into The Mars Volta and Protest The Hero, Ben Knowles only listens to 80's house wife metal like Def Leppard and me, I'm into stuff like Weezer. It’s a pretty varied blend of rock that we listen to.
What’s been your best moment as a band so far?

I think our first hometown show with Benny Salter on vocals. 250 people all turned out and made us feel very loved. It’s awesome to see people singing your songs.

Do you enjoy recording and what is it like in the studio with The First?

We all really enjoy the recording. It’s hard work and long hours but it’s a chance to play music all day so it’s got to be good. We recorded the album in evenings and weekends so it was pretty rare that we were all at the studio at the same time. But we all get on insanely well so it’s never too stressful when we hit the studio.

You’ve had quite a few line-up changes over the years. Are you finally settled?
Yeah I definitely think so now. with being from the area we're from you have to travel at least 30 minutes to get anywhere. It makes rehearsals long and expensive and after a while it takes its toll on everyone. Our previous guitarist Sam Wood used to travel an hour to get to rehearsal and it was more than that for Matt. It’s a serious drain on your resources and cash flow. The line-up now is very committed though, everyone is always there and working hard for the band.

You can check out The First at


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