How long have you been making music together and tell us the history of how you formed as a band.
The Dunwells have been making music since 2009. We all grew up together – Dave and Rob were best friends at school and me and Adam went to music college together. It was through playing shows at a London venue called the Bedford Balham we met Tony Moore the booker who provided us with an opportunity to fly to Memphis in America and play a festival called the Folk Alliance. In playing this festival at our first ever show in America we ended with a record contract and a management deal. We quickly released our first album in 2012 called Blindsighted Faith, and toured America extensively. This year we released a few EPs and single. Now we are on to album two, ‘Light Up The Sky‘, and I could not be more excited.
Where did your name come from?
The name of the band comes from mine and Dave’s family name. Given our Father is one of our biggest musical influences it felt important to have that as the name.
Tell us about your musical influences.
Growing up we always had music around the house. Rather than read us a book to send us to bed Dad would play the guitar.
I’m really in to singer songwriters like Damien Rice and Foy Vance. Currently I’m listening to Hozier and Jack Garrett. They both have a great sound. We take influences from bands like Elbow, Radiohead and The Killers, who can all put on a big show and make a massive sound and also can capture an audience where you can hear a pin drop.
Where has been your favourite place and venue to perform in?
We have been so lucky having the chance to tour all across America and dip into Europe, but I always love to come home to Leeds and play shows to a hometown audience. I think I’m a bit of a home bird – one of our songs ‘Hey Now’ talks a lot about home and family. ”I’m not ready to go home yet, leave me a light on.” To know I have family, friends and a hometown crowd to come back to makes touring all the easier.
What are you aiming towards musically?
This album for us was about making something that we love, I think that’s all you can do. I reckon if you’re writing music you love then I’m sure someone else has to as well. With this new album of songs I feel it’s something I’m proud to play in front of as many people as possible.
Tell us about your creative process, are you heavily involved in the album artwork and music videos?
We have such a good team and they listen to what we have to say. So we kind of spark the ideas for the music video and the artwork and they help to make it happen and make it better than I ever thought possible. For example for the artwork for our single ‘Hey Now’, Dave had an idea of using a picture of a pier and someone or something on the pier. So our manager went on the hunt and found this amazing young photographer on Instagram – Derrick Freske. We fell in love with his stuff and asked to use another picture for the album cover as well.
Tell us about your upcoming music and projects you are working on?
We have our second album ‘Light up The Sky’ coming out February 26th and I can’t wait for people to hear it. As a band we are constantly working on new material, I’m looking forward to album three, four and five.
What advice would you give to fellow bands starting out in the music industry?
My advice would be to play everywhere and anywhere possible, it opens up doors. We started that way and met so many people we are still friends with today. We still have the same ethos: if there’s a guitar and people who wanna listen, we want to play.
Who are your ones to watch in the music industry?
I think one of my favourite artists Foy Vance is one to watch next year – I think now he’s signed to Ed Sheeran’s label he is going to blow up. There’s a band from Leeds called City of Lights that are really good, plus another band called Seafret – you may not have heard of them yet but you will, they have some amazing songs.
And finally, what’s your favourite Madonna song?
I would have to say 4Minutes ft Justin Timberlake, it’s a class song – in fact I think The Dunwells should do a cover of it.
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