by the partae

What is your name and role within the band?

W: Hello I’m Will and I play guitar and sing sometimes.

Z: Hi I’m Zia, I sing and play synth.

How did you start?

Z: Will and I met when we came to university in late 2015 and started going out. After a few months we decided to form a group and got our friend Olly to play drums. We’ve been a band for about a year now.

W: We spent a while getting songs together and recording something to go online, then in summer 2016 we ‘announced’ ourselves.

Where are you based?

W: The wondrous city of Leeds in the UK.


Please give an example of your music writing process?

Z: One of us will have a germ of an idea and then we’ll both develop it over a period of weeks or even months – we’re perfectionists. I’m always sort of reluctant to finish a song because I’m always thinking about what else could go into it, or what we could change. Some songs come more quickly than others, but we only spend a while finishing them because we want to be 100% happy. It feels like unleashing a child onto the world…

W: They’re slow burners.

What are you working on right now?

W: We’re just putting the finishing touches to our upcoming EP, set for release in early June. We’re also doing a little tour around the time we release that. We always have a few little song ideas floating around that are waiting to get developed when the time is right.


What is your gear setup?

W: I mainly use a Fender Coronado, but sometimes on recording I use a Modern Tele. I also have a load of pedals.

Z: I use my MicroKorg for everything but at the moment I’m also experimenting with a gorgeous old analogue synth (Jen SX1000 Synthetone) that I was given recently by a family friend. I really want to try out some pedals for vocal effects, too.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

W: We’re both huge fans of literature; literature tends to influence my lyric writing more than other songwriters as pretentious as that sounds…

Z: I’ve always been into creating art, and I still keep sketchbooks of drawings, paintings, collages etc. A lot of them are inspired by music. I’m also influenced by a lot of literature. I think all these influences subconsciously filter into our songs – we’re always reading, watching films, creating etc – they all go hand-in-hand. We design all our own artwork for the band, as well.

How would you describe your music genre?

W: Music for airports.

Z: It’s impossible to properly describe it because we never consciously write a song in a specific style. We just create music that we like – I hate the idea of being shoehorned into one genre, it feels restricting. Just because we released a couple of shoegaze-y songs to begin with, doesn’t mean we should be defined by that. Between us we have so many diverse influences which affect our songs that it’s difficult to describe!

W: There are a myriad of things going on in the songs. There’s krautrock, electronica, shoegaze (although that’s something we found ourselves moving away from), ambient, pop, everything! I suppose all of the songs are quite magnificent, fairly glorious, in a way.


Do you know any music theory?

W: Not an extensive amount, enough to know how to break the rules but not enough so we’re afraid of breaking them! I tend to explain things to Zi in a garbled semi-abstract way…

Z: … and I tend to interpret them in my own garbled way… We’ll just be like ‘oh yeah on that bit you should go duh duh duh on the guitar then stop then we come back in going la la la’ etc but because we both have an understanding of music, it’s easy to work together. I did music until Year 12 in school so I know enough theory to get by, but I like making it up as I go along. I never enjoyed theory aspect as much as the practical hands-on stuff. Will has never had a guitar lesson in his life but he’s the best guitarist I know.

What are your plans for the future?

Z: To try and play bigger venues and festivals. We’ve played a couple of metropolitan city festivals but we really want to one of the proper 3-day things in the summer.

W: It’d be great to support some more big names; doing that is a great experience. We’ve also got our ep coming out and that mini-tour in early June.

How did you get into music?

W: Mum and Dad kind of laid the groundwork, and me and my friends kind of got really into good stuff at the same time so we could influence each other… There was an amazing venue called the Stroud Valleys Artspace that we used to congregate at. There was always something going on there.

Z: My parents were both in bands during the punk / post-punk movement and they have such a massive music collection, so I’ve been raised on a lot of amazing stuff, and I’m so grateful for that. I’ve been singing all my life but I really started getting in to music when I was about 14, going to gigs, performing my own gigs, and discovering amazing new artists. Since coming to Leeds my music taste has expanded massively again thanks to all the fellow music nerds like Will that I’ve been lucky enough to meet.


What are you listening to at the moment?

W: The Monks because I’d forgotten about them for a bit and they are one of the best bands ever. The new Slowdive record is good. Joshua Dirk, who produces us sometimes, has some great electronic stuff out online. Brian Eno’s ‘Music for Airports’ has been on repeat.

Z: Always Goldfrapp, The Stooges, HMLTD, Roxy Music. I’ve been listening to a lot of classic electronic music like 808 State and The Grid, as well as this gorgeous 8-hour-long video of nature sounds (running streams, birds singing etc) while I’ve been working – really relaxing and would highly recommend if you need to de-stress.

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

W: Lou Reed, Kevin Shields, Lee Mavers, Saul Adamscewski, John Cale

Z: In no particular order: Goldfrapp, The Doors, The Shangri-Las (and basically all 60s groups), Patti Smith, Bowie, Liz Fraser, Ronnie Spector, I know that’s way more than 5 but I can’t stop…

When are you playing next?

28/05 – Tunbridge Wells, The Forum
01/06 – Leeds, Headrow House
06/06 – Manchester, Night & Day Café
08/06 – Sheffield, DINA

16/06 – Leeds, Temple of Boom

Please feel free to include any extra info.

We’re also on Spotify if you’re down with that sort of thing.

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