What is your name and role within the band?
Hey, my name is Chess (yes, like the game). I play the mandolin and we all sing.
How did you start?
I started singing when I was very young – before I could talk apparently. My music teacher noticed that I was musical so asked my parents if she could teach me piano. I had piano lessons for a few years then taught myself guitar when I was 16 and that’s when I started writing. The mandolin is a new addition! I’ve only been playing since December but I’m loving the challenge of a new instrument.
Where are you based?
I’m based in east London – I moved here recently and love it! I’ve lived all over the place, from Kent to St Lucia to Angel.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
It varies from song to song. It could start with a melody or riff or someone comes in with a lyric idea. We all know the sweet spots in our voices so we write songs around where we like to sing. A melody and lyric came to me in the shower recently (as you do) so I recorded it on my phone and sent it to the band. We got together and wrote some lyrics and we have just recorded it for our debut album! It’s all about truth in the lyric, storytelling and the harmonies, which seem to come naturally to us.
What are you working on right now?
We are just finishing up recording our debut album so have been in the studio a lot but festival season is upon us now so into rehearsals to prepare for what is going to be a busy summer for us!
What is your gear setup?
When we play live, Tim’s on acoustic guitar, kick drum and vocals, Tara’s on vocals and tambourine, I’m on mandolin and vocals and AJ’s on acoustic/electric guitar and vocals.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I love adventures and exploring new places. I love being outdoors! From exercising to finding new places to eat/drink to being spontaneous and just driving somewhere and exploring. I think it helps give my mind some space to think which helps the creative process but also, when things get busy, time to recharge.
How would you describe your music genre?
It’s folk-Americana with a whole lot of harmonies. There’s elements of rock, pop, blues and country which comes from all of our individual influences and makes The Wandering Hearts sound.
Do you know any music theory?
Yes, I studied music A Level and singing to a high standard but I can’t read music so as you can imagine, it wasn’t easy!
What are your plans for the future?
Releasing our debut record will be a massive deal for us all. We hope our music will inspire others and people will relate to it. It’s honest and truthful and that’s what is most important to us. We can’t wait to get out and tour and play our album to everyone.
How did you get into music?
I grew up listening to my uncles play and sing and was inspired by their songwriting from a young age. I knew I would be in music in some form but was never quite sure how. I just knew it was in my blood.
What are you listening to at the moment?
My most recent ‘all the way through’ record was Chris Stapleton’s new album
From A Room: Volume 1. I can’t get enough of his voice and his incredible songwriting. I love Sarah Jarosz – Undercurrent. She is a hugely talented multi-instrumentalist and her lyrics are stunning. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours, specifically The Chain – I wish I had written it..! I always go back to The Milk Carton Kids – Monterey and First Aid Kit – Stay Gold – two of my favourite records.
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
In no order..!
First Aid Kit
The Tallest Man On Earth
Simon and Garfunkel
When are you playing next?
We are playing The Great Escape on Thursday 18 May which we are really excited about! Red Rooster on 2nd June followed by
10th June – Bushstock
8th July – Cornbury
30 July – Standon Calling.
Please feel free to include any extra info.
We are very excited that our debut single Wish I Could is out now! Available on:
Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes to download/buy/stream and our debut album is due for release in September!
Follow us for all the backstage fun over the summer, news and how to get tickets to see us!