THE SPANISH INFANTA RELEASED THEIR LATEST EP BACK IN JANUARY, SALUTE CAUGHT UP WITH THEM IN BETWEEN RECORDING SESSIONS AT A BASEMENT STUDIO IN CANTERBURY. WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THEIR NEXT RECORD. FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT NOT KNOW, THE CANTERBURY MUSIC SCENE HAS NURTURED AMAZING BANDS AND INSPIRED MUSIC MAKERS AROUND THE WORLD. THE GUYS DESCRIBE THE CANTERBURY SCENE TODAY, NEW MUSICAL INSPIRATIONS, AND THE POWER OF PLANNING IN ADVANCE FOR TODAY’S MUSIC MAKERS.

 

From left: Solomon, Alastair, Misha, and Trent

  • SALUTE: What have you been up to since the EP came out in January?

Trent: Yeah bro, our release show was ****ing awesome, really cool. We worked with a local record label, but it was pretty good for the first try. We sold like 150 physical 7 inches – I only expected to sell like 20-30, but it was big, the venue was over capacity. It was crazy. And the supporting acts were awesome as well. Both local bands, so yeah it was a really good show. So recently we’ve just been getting our resources together to record.

We’re recording a full length LP. It’s a bit different to the EP. We’re really thinking about our sound and challenging ourselves musically on what we are doing more recently. The songwriting has changed and we’re working with a different producer and we have loads of different ideas, it’s a real mix now of musical influences.

  • SALUTE: So how did you guys meet and get together as a band? How long have you been together?

Alastair: So I think I met you first, right? So yeah I met Trent surfing in Folkestone Harbour, which is like, no one really surfs there…

Trent: Yeah, we met in the ocean

Alistair: Yeah we just practiced and had a few little jams with people.

Trent: It was kinda like a bedroom project and then we got different people involved…

Alistair: Soloman has been playing drums with us for most of the time, and Misha is a new addition to the band on bass…

Misha: Yeah, I’ve been with the band for like 3 months, I played the first show in April.

  • SALUTE: Can you tell me about where you’re from and how you got into music in the first place? Did you all grow up in Kent?

Alistair: Yeah I grew up in Kent

Solomon: Well I was born in Kent, spent a couple of years here before moving to America and then moved back to Kent and then to Norfolk. I was in London for university and then back to Kent and here I am now.

Trent: I didn’t, grow up in Kent, I grew in New York, Long Island.

Misha: I am originally from Latvia, I lived around south for a bit. I lived in Bristol and then in London and I’m in Kent for uni.

Trent: Yeah, Canterbury is a university town – there’s 3 universities in Canterbury so there’s a mass of students…

Misha: It’s great for the scene, there’s a lot of young people and a lot of us play music…

Trent: And it’s diverse, we’ve got friends from everywhere. It’s like a little metropolis here in terms of where people are from. More than people would think so. It’s nuts in September when all of the Freshers come. It’s pretty wild.

  • SALUTE: Was there exposure to a local music scene or did you find everything through the internet?

Solomon: Living in Canterbury for the last two years is the only time I have lived in Canterbury in my life but growing up in the area earlier in my life I never really went to gigs.

Misha: There were less gigs a few years ago. It has become more frequent now. It fluctuates. Like when I was 15 there was a serious Hardcore scene which has disappeared.

Trent: It’s just now coming back into play, there is a variety of different genres and stuff…

Solomon: It’s just a shame that there is no real well established venue, some well established pubs with decent equipment. Like some places aren’t that bad but there are a lot of bars. There’s no home for bands. Dover has one though. I’m seeing the Sugar hill Gang there (laughs). But this is Canterbury, it’s a city with a bigger population, and a lot more people who appreciate music. It’s strange.

Trent: There’s definitely a population here now of people who want to go out and see bands and the really good shows that we have had in Canterbury has been a local thing of people inviting their mates locally. and I guess we have been lucky because we have released a record through some guys who have the resources and mentality to get the world out there to the people who like the kind of music that we do in Canterbury. They’re called Easter Island Records and these guys are doing it outside of their full-time jobs and putting everything into it. They’re really nice guys and they sell out shows and have a good way of following up on momentum from the live shows. Working with them hasn’t meant that we are signed with them but we work together a lot, it’s great.

  • SALUTE: When did you write your first song as a band? Did you guys write much music before the band?

Trent: To answer your first question, the first song I wrote, but I didn’t realise that it was going to turn into anything, I just wanted to write music. I was a drummer first before anything else, so the first song that I wrote is like a funky fast track that I played all of the instruments for because I didn’t have anybody to work with. I tossed the song around and eventually met these guys. Now I bring the basic cords and the lyrics and these guys fill in and make it what it is. That’s what it was like for the first record. It’s changed a lot more now because we’ve all got ideas and it’s like a melting pot. For the first record it was kinda like I was trying to start a band and now it. I’m a stronger believer in having more minds working on something now to make it more detailed and the songwriting evolves.

Alistair: For me, since I started playing guitar at like 13, just as everyone does, I started writing little bits but nothing like what we’ve done with the band. Before this I hadn’t written full songs or developed ideas further.

Misha: I haven’t written a song from start to finish but I have been in like 20 minute jams.

Trent: He’s like the intersector man!

Misha: Yea, I’m like the free jazz guy…

Solomon: I dabbled in the past writing songs…

  • SALUTE: What gear do you use for production?

Trent: Oh ****, it’s been changing a lot… I’ve been going through a synth phase right now…

Misha: I’m about to enter one…

Trent: We’re all into other instruments, like we all love the guitar. Soloman plays sax as well. It’s good, as many outlets as you have the more ideas you have…

Solomon: It affects the way you write songs, the instruments in your arsenal.

  • SALUTE: Have you ever worked on music that isn’t necessarily your own, or have you broken out from rock/surf?

Misha: I don’t.

Solomon: I don’t do anything outside of the two bands I’m in, apart from some film editing…

Trent: This is primarily my thing now, but before I played drums in a reggae band, I’ve played drums in jazz band, a Bossanova band. I played drums for a long period and did a lot of training in it in different genres. Which is nice now for our sound, having experienced those other sounds.

Misha: It definitely shows in your guitar playing as well… definitely.

  • SALUTE: Do you guys have your own studio?

Trent: We have friends who have a basement with recording equipment. We all have the recording equipment to do demos and things like that. We don’t have a lot of equipment as such but we do things through our friend who is a trained sound engineer and he has amazing mics and equipment where we record.

Misha: It’s like a mobile studio.

Trent: It’s amazing… We’re pretty lucky really. He’s another guy who is in the local music scene who has got his own band and stuff, he’s amazing. The most recent tracks were mixed and mastered by him.

Solomon: The stuff before it was quite early days for us. The first EP was a pretty clear statement of what our interests and influences were and the energy that was about. When people ask me about what genres we are I always say it’s grungey, punk surf, rock… with slight psychedelia as well…

Trent: Promoters struggle with us because we hit so many genres…

Misha: Part of Canterbury’s heritage. There used to be a really strong psychedelia scene in Canterbury…

Solomon: A bunch of good bands are from here…

  • SALUTE: How is it for you being an independent musician and balancing working on your music with working and making money?

Solomon: I have a full time job at a theatre in Canterbury…

Misha: It’s planning and knowing about stuff in advance…

Trent: We just want it so much that we make it work. Everybody works and is busy doing other things. I work two jobs, but you know we just make it work. We make sure that there is enough time and we set aside one day every week where we don’t do anything else so we can make it happen. It’s a priority for all of us, over making money it makes me fucking happy…

Misha: It’s what we would all rather be doing…

Solomon: You know, you gotta pay rent and try and save some money and be responsible, the time I have beside from that though, this is what I want to be doing… it’s just about doing things in advance. It’s been going well so far.

 

  • SALUTE: What do you think about the SALUTE initiative?

Trent: I kinda do the promotion and stuff for the band. I saw it on some music blog that I read. There was a drop about SALUTE and I thought ‘why not?’, at first I wasn’t sure if our kind of music would be accepted… we have been played on the radio but it’s not just that we’re trying to make radio friendly music, or pop so I was a little hesitant, but yeah, no stone unturned.

It’s an amazing competition, as there is no other real support for independent artists to gain real exposure or support.

 

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