Continuing our series of interviews with unsigned and independent acts, we had the chance to chat to Dave Cooper from Brighton based Britrock band White Canvas. We ask him about the band’s music, gigging and the Brighton music scene.
- How did the band form?
Myself (David, bassist/main songwriter) and Sam (Lead singer) found each other through an online advert back in 2016. After a lot of long tough searching for the right members finally in May 2017 we found Rob (Lead Guitar) and Jordan (Drums.) With Sam and I already playing together for nearly a year plus with a strong catalogue of songs that I had already built up, once we all found each other it was an extremely quick progress and by August we were out gigging.
- How would you describe your music?
We describe ourselves as ‘Britrock’ and we are influenced hugely by Oasis, Rolling Stones, Beatles, The Jam, Arctic Monkeys etc. Pretty much all bands are trying to “reinvent the wheel” but we just want to make good decent music. We’re not trying to do anything complicated, if it sounds good we play it. Generally the process is I write the whole song, melody and lyrics included, usually on an acoustic. I’ll then take it to our guitarist Rob who learns it and then we play it as a band. It’s a pretty punk rock way of doing things as it really is just “right you play this, Sam this line goes like this”And then we are away. It’s a pretty quick process and I think it helps having one person handle the majority of the creative process and then fine tuning bits and pieces as a band. Otherwise you sit around for 6 months playing covers until someone goes “So shall we write a song then?” This way we are never short of material, by having one person constantly writing, if we go, right we need an extra 2 songs for our next set we can pull it out straight away.
- Have you any future releases in the works?
We are currently getting ready to release our first single, ‘Keeping The Faith’ this summer. An ep is fine if you’ve got millions of people to listen to it, but until then it will be single releases for the time being. We have plenty of other material that we are due to record, so it will be a case of releasing these as singles over the span of this year and early next year. We could even go retro and throw a couple of b-sides on the record as well.
- What are your gigs like?
I won’t give spoilers. Come to one and you will see!
- How would you describe the Brighton music scene?
Honestly. It’s terrible. The main problem with Brighton is there are just a handful of dedicated live music venues, but everyone wants to play them. It feels like there are just too many bands for what Brighton can offer gig and venue wise. In terms of the actual ‘scene’ I don’t think there is one. There’s a small section of people who are into their music, but it seems to be all this alternative new age, space experimental indie groove music. You go up north and your regular joes will be out at gigs watching solid rock and roll bands. Getting people to gigs for unsigned artists is a problem for everywhere in the UK not just Brighton, but it seems to be struggling the most. We’ve played gigs in other towns and cities all over the UK and there just seems to be a different atmosphere. There certainly is an alternative scene in Brighton, but we don’t quite fit into that. And don’t get me started on the number of 2 pieces that have sprung up since the emergence of Royal Blood. None of us are actually from or live in Brighton, we all live in surrounding towns, but Brighton is just our closest ‘base.’ So it doesn’t feel like we are a Brighton band anyway. Don’t get me wrong Brighton does have its good points and we have played some great gigs there. But in order to make it you can’t just play in Brighton. You’ve got to get yourself out there across the country. That’s what we are doing, we know that just playing here alone isn’t enough. No matter what anyone’s opinion is on the scene in Brighton, it won’t be the deciding factor in where our musical career takes us.