We are loving this month’s Tradiio band, and we recon you will too.
Meet Tourists; a five-piece gem from Torquay, Devon, who effortlessly combine indie pop with elements of electronica and folk.
We had a chat with the band about Torquay, support from the BBC, and what new music they are listening to at the moment.
For those who don’t know you, tell us a bit more about Tourists and how you all got into music.
The writing process actually began a few years ago when Scott (drums) was actively seeking out people to start a new band with. He stumbled on Jamie’s (vocals / guitar) Myspace page and connected with his songs immediately. Then by chance, they met in a local club and got things started. Tom (synth), Matt (bass) and Lloyd (guitar) were in other bands at the time which since split – Tom a psych-rock band, and Matt and Lloyd post-punk revival outfits.
The amalgamation of our styles and influences since coming together as a five-piece last year has been fantastic. It feels like we are a new band, yet we have loads of material in the bag and our sound is now richer and more expansive than ever. It’s exciting.
Describe your sound in three words.
“Dreamy, melodic bliss”.
That’s what BBC Introducing said about us recently. We’ll take it.
Your new single Quiet Room follows the popular release of previous single Cut and Run and is released on 17th June – Tell us more about it.
I think Quiet Room is a sign of where we’re at currently, showing how we’ve developed as a band in the last year. With Cut and Run we wanted to put something out that was going to be an instant hit, something catchy and infectious to engage people and get their attention – It had been over 6 months since our last release. Quiet Room has more depth. It has this weird contrast where the verse – and also lyrically – it has this solemn, melancholy tone, yet at the same time has this big, anthemic, feel-good chorus which people just love when we play it live. We actually had one guy in London come up to Jamie singing the lyrics to him after a gig – There’s no way he could have known them. It really resonates with people.
What is the music scene like in Torquay?
I personally think Devon is thriving with exciting young artists and bands (see Skeleton Frames, Peacock Affect, Sam Piper, Pattern Pusher, Martyn Crocker…).
Torquay itself is struggling to be honest – As I think are a lot of small towns. Sometimes I blame the venues for being short-sighted and not paying bands enough. Young bands need money to develop, buy better equipment, improve their sound. Then they get better, attract bigger crowds, inspire others, and before you know it you’ve started a bit of a scene. But then the venues have to make the money too… And if people aren’t turning up, its not worth them putting the bands on. It’s a vicious circle. I’m not sure what the answer is.
Do you consider yourself Tourists in Torquay?
Haha.. Definitely not. We all grew up here and have been here most of our lives. It’s a beautiful place to be (when the sun is out).
We discovered you on Tradiio. Do you think Tradiio has contributed to the immense response to your music from radio and blog tastemakers, as well as fans?
We like Tradiio a lot. It’s changing the way people discover and appreciate unsigned artists, which is important. The response to our music on Tradiio has been overwhelming from day one. Most of our tracks have reached the top 10 in their global charts which is cool. We actually got our first ever BBC Radio 1 play because of someone hearing our track All We Do Is Pretend on Tradiio. A few weeks ago we launched our Tradiio Circle, which allows our fans to directly support us each month as we try to fund our debut album. For example, if you subscribe for $5/month, you get exclusive access to new unreleased tracks prior to their release, old demos and ideas, and behind-the- scenes photos and videos of what we’re doing, new song ideas, etc. It’s allowing us to be more interactive with our fans, which is a good thing for both of us.
You’ve been working with producer James Bragg. How’s that process been?
Yeah, James is the man. He is the ‘6th Tourist’. Recording with him is always so exciting as he adds so much to the tracks. We go to him with ideas and he makes them happen x 100. He even cooks us bacon in the morning.
We had our biggest gig to date recently, playing a live showcase for BBC Radio 1’s The Academy. We were pretty nervous before, especially when we saw how many people were there but James turned up just before we played and was the calming presence we needed. He said he felt like a proud Dad after that show – Ironic considering he’s younger than a few of us.
Where do you cite your musical influences from?
We like to think we are influenced by everything we hear. I think it’s a mistake to get hooked on one or two bands too much as ultimately you’re going to end up sounding the same – And what’s the point in that.
Jamie loves a good 80’s pop song. That together with post punk and psych-pop/rock influences, it becomes quite an interesting mix.
We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?
Jamie – Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (“It’s a masterpiece”)
Scott – Ulrika Spacek (“I have a thing for a maze of dark sounding, chiming guitars.”)
Matt – Diiv – Is the Is Are (“Such simple riffs but total bliss”)
Lloyd – Deep Sea Diver (“I love the guitar work and the synth tones they use sound great. There’s a really good balance between the two”)
Tom – Lets Eat Grandma (“The depth and maturity of their songs for their age is mind-blowing. They have serious natural talent.”)
‘Quiet Room’ is out on 17th June.
We’ve invested in Tourists. Have you? Listen to more of their songs and support them at tradiio.com/tourists/circle.
Sounds like: Band of Horses, MOTHXR, Tuska, Honne, Tender, BLAJK, Youth Club, FAIRCHILD