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An Interview with Blank Maps PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sam Lightle   
14 06 2013

ImageHaving been together three years their Fifa skills obviously haven't developed at all, after forming because of a University project the lads now believe it's time to step up their game within the music world. However, with no current aims for an album the band are keen to stress new material will be out by the end of the year which I'm sure will please fans after a fantastic EP entitled 'Everything Ends'. Interested to know more? Well we were fortunate enough to catch up with band members Thom Piddock and Jake Longley before their gig at The Cluny at this years Evolution Emerging. Enjoy...

Right, Hi lads first of all I'm interested to know where did the name come from 'Blank Maps'?

Thom: "Well even before Blank Maps I was recording acoustic stuff in my room and I just named a song 'Blank Maps'. I think I even saw a book called 'Blank Maps' and when we were trying to decide on a name for the band we all just went through our iTunes and tried to pick the coolest name we could find."

And you got together as a band when you were at University but where did the idea come from to form a band?

Jake: "I was doing a masters at Newcastle University and I needed a band to play in the end of year performance. And so eventually I found Thom and Ben (Trotter) guitarists and at the end of it we decided to try something proper; so we scrapped all our songs and started again. We left the singer behind and Thom took over the vocals and it just sort of all sprung from there; that was 2010."

Sounds cool. Would you say the band has developed in this time?

Thom: "Massive development!"

Jake: "I think the biggest thing is, we've learnt how to write with each other. When we started we used to come in with fully formed songs at one point which we'd have written with all  our own ideas and it was kind of hard to counter that to put in someone elses influences. But now we've become more aware of what everyone brings to the song. The bands almost got a sound of its own now whereas at the start we were trying to write songs that we wanted the band to sound like but now the band has a sound we know how to write songs which help us to move forward." 

I read this quote saying: "Their debut EP is a heady blend of beats, guitars and melody, ambience, tunes and glitter." Is that the aim you want to achieve with your music? Or are you going to change anything slightly when your are ready to start doing a debut album?

Thom: "The way we are going at the minute is that we've got a sound and we are trying to develop it every time we do something..."

Jake: "Oh yeah..."

Thom: "Trying new interesting things, I mean there are no plans for an album at the minute, which really we need someone to fund an album for us first. But at the minute we've got some new songs, that we think will be coming out towards the end of the year that we've got recorded. I mean being in a band you're usually a year ahead of everyone else in terms of what your doing so the songs youve got out at the moment we've already gone through another few cycles since then."

You've played  at 6music, you've been on the playlist of Amazing Radio which must have been great, I know you mentioned there are currently no plans for an album so what would you say the aims are for the summer and beyond that?

Jake: "When we got put on rotation on Amazing Radio that was a pretty big highlight that had never happened for us in this band, so you know being on the playlist for two or three months was pretty amazing. But in terms of moving forward I know it sounds a bit weird talking about bands being careerists but I think we need to take a step up and try and get more play on the likes of the BBC."

Thom: "But in terms of short terms goals we just need to keep bettering ourselves in whatever way that may be. Whether that be writing a better song or playing better at Fifa because we were playing that last night and we got smashed!!"

Jake: "Its just trying to improve ourselves, just becoming more business wise as well as writing songs."

That's really interesting to look at it in that way. I need to ask you this because despite coming from different places across the country, would you consider this a home gig for you because this is where you formed afterall...

Thom: "Yeah, I mean well in fact none of us come from Newcastle but our guitarist comes from Washington (Sunderland), I'm (Thom) from York and Jake is from Oxford but I've lived here for five years now so Newcastle is definitely our home gig."

So you've confirmed your a North East band, would you say bands from this area find it harder to get noticed?

Jake: "I would massively so, its both a positive and negative about the North East scene to be fair because it's so attached from everything else it hard to get gigs but also in financial terms to get a gig anywhere else it will cost a fortune but at the same time just trying to make contacts. I mean its not like promoters from Manchester might be inclinded to to Leeds and check bands out but they wouldn't come up here especially from London as well. But at the same time the way it's a positive is because the North East is so self sufficient which makes it special."

On behalf of Floatation Suite we'd like to thank Blank Maps for giving us their time and wish them all the best success in the future. 

 

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