AFFAIRS are a five-piece band from Manchester. They play a blend of indie electro-pop with an 80s twist and distinctive vocals from lead singer James Robinson. At this point, I’d forgive you for reading that description and thinking, ‘what?!’ but honestly – listen to their music and you’ll see what I mean.
Aside from vocalist James, the rest of the band are: Liam Grindell (Guitar/Vocals), Dan Parker (Guitar, Synths) Jack Richards (Bass) and Michael Bradnam (Drums).
Earlier this week I talked to Liam about AFFAIRS and the recent release of their latest single Blood Science.
How did you first become interested in music?
We’ve all always had an interest in performing and writing music. Basically, we started writing music so we could hear music that we wanted to hear. It’s a selfish art and we have to enjoy what we’re writing. If we don’t believe in it, why would the fans?
So how did AFFAIRS come about?
AFFAIRS started when Dan and I started writing together at university. Dan had also been writing with Jack so it felt right for us three to start something together. Our singer was found at an open mic night singing Daniel by Bat For Lashes. Definite calling. We auditioned for a drummer and Mike fitted in both musically and with our warped sense of humour.
Who are your musical influences?
We have quite a variety of influences, none of which I think people would associate with us. Often our lyrics are inspired by literature or film narratives, but we don’t generally take conscious inspiration from any specific band. Obviously people draw comparisons but everyone has a different opinion of what something is or can be.
What’s your favourite song?
For me it’s Spanish Sahara by Foals. I love the way it builds from something quite delicate at the start and forces you to turn up your speakers before destroying your ear drums by the time it reaches the end because you forget to turn it back down. It takes you out of your own life and places you in a desolate fictional place.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
We’re constantly changing the playlist in the van on the way to shows. A few hot choices for us at the moment are Dutch Uncles, HONNE, Future Islands, Troves and JOY to name a few.
I struggled to find a way to accurately describe your music, so how would you do it?
Angular, Audible chocolate.
What’s it like to be in a band?
Being in a band can be a difficult balancing act. Trying to find the time to write whilst playing shows and rehearsing can be tough. The favourite part is easy. Playing a show and seeing a crowd in front of you on exactly the same page as us on stage.
What would you say was the best moment of your music career so far?
Supporting Dog Is Dead at Fruit in Hull was a real treat for us, we’ve been fans of those guys for a long time. The place was sold out and the atmosphere was insane. Another that springs to mind was Humber Street Sesh Festival. Again, the venue had people climbing up the walls. A lot of sweat was shared that afternoon.
Tell us about your songwriting process.
We only perform original material – James having such a unique voice instantly makes it our own. Inspiration can come from everything and anything. It’s not something we actively look for, but more a case of something striking a chord and sparking an idea.
So which of your songs is your favourite?
This changes from show to show. We often open the show with one of our previous singles Cressida, because it gets us fuelled up for the rest of the show. However, one of our new tracks, Brothers, which we’ve been showcasing over January, is becoming a strong favourite.
Talk to us about your new single Blood Science.
We worked on Blood Science with Ed Buller, which was a really eye-opening experience for us as we were able to take the track to a whole new level by working with him. The track is based on two brothers, one of which is excelling at life whilst the other is moving too slowly.
Have you got anything interesting in the pipeline for the next few months?
We’re returning to the studio with Ed Buller. We’ve been working on a ton of new material recently and we’re really keen to get into the studio to record it. Also we’re playing at Proud Gallery in London on 10th March, and Castle Hotel, Manchester on 18th March. We’re aiming to do some special shows in places that are a bit out of the ordinary as well. Keep your eyes peeled for those.
Blood Science is available now on iTunes, and to find out more about AFFAIRS check out their website.
Are you a fan of AFFAIRS? Let us know in the comments below!