We heard that a Cardiff based electro pop trio called XY&O were launching the Live Lounge event that will become a staple at Exeter's newest and most exclusive venue The Terrace, we thought it was an opportune time to chat to the guys and find out a little more about them, here's how we got on....
We know you're called XY&O, we know you're from Cardiff, tell us something about the band or a band member that NOT many people know....
Sure. Well, Tudor (beats) has a law degree which not many people know, or expect to be fair! I still can't believe it at times. He has to be the world's most off the wall lawyer.
You formed as a songwriting collaboration and you wrote songs for other artists, tell us a few of the artists that you have written for?
Yeah collectively we've written various bits for a few artists. I guess guys like Fred V & Grafix, Estrons, Fabian Luttenberger would be some of the most well known names recently. We also were supposed to write some tracks for The Chainsmokers back last year but circumstances meant we never got around to it. I'm pretty sure they've done alright since though..... whoops.
You've received some really positive praise from some really influential people for your EP 'Shimmer + Shade', how does it make you feel when you read these comments?
It feels good! It's always good to hear that people are into your music. Of course, praise from influential people is great, but at the same time, it's also great when people who are nothing to do with the music industry tell you they like your music. Then you know it's spread beyond just the industry.
Staying with Shimmer + Shade, it's received over 5 millions streams on Spotify to date, what has this done for you as a band?
It's given us a platform really more than anything. The vast majority of our streams come from the USA, so it's introduced us to other markets. So much so that a lot of people think we are an American band! Millions of streams are great, but we also realise that to forge a lasting career in the music industry, we need to achieve more than just high Spotify plays. Our streams gave us vindication that people like our music, and conviction to keep writing and playing.
If you could have written ANY song from the past and received ALL the credits and royalties for it, which song would that have been?
Financially, Happy Birthday!.... Creatively, that's difficult. Some of my favourite songs and the most iconic songs wouldn't be the same if they weren't written and performed by the artists who wrote them. Purple Rain for example. Sweet Little Mystery by John Martyn is my favourite song of all time, but if I'd written it, then it definitely wouldn't be! Maybe Thriller by Michael Jackson...that's a happy medium.
It's a well known fact that local music venues are closing all over the place due to lack of support, do you think that the internet has played a part in their demise?
Maybe, I'm not sure really. I think it's all part of a bigger economical issue that we can't solely blame the internet for. People still want to see and hear live music, just look at how big and expensive some festivals have become recently. I think it's more to do with property prices, running costs and legislation. Especially in places like London and New York etc.
What advice would you offer to a band just starting out on their own musical journey?
Develop a thick skin. The music industry is an industry of opinions. Be prepared to have your art constantly scrutinised. You need to learn to be open to feedback, even if you don't always agree with it.
We ALL have guilty pleasures, please tell us one from each member of the band....
Musically? Mine would be Girls Aloud - The Loving Kind (quality pop song).
Tudor - singing Arianne Grande, 'Into You' in the shower with more sassiness than Arianne herself.
Nick - Playing air guitar to Aerosmith in my dressing gown before my morning coffee. Its a start-of-day ritual.
You're all over social media, which channels would you say work best for you in getting your music out to fans?
For us Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud are the main channels we use. Depends what sort of artist you are though, if you're a good looking f**ker, get yourself on Instagram and Snapchat etc, it's shallow I know, but it's reality. Alternatively, if you're playing the mysterious, enigmatic thing, maybe just use one faceless social media channel like Twitter or something? Youtube is still king for exposure though. Sing a cover, try and get famous.
We're all about finding new artists and bands here at musicmuso, please tell us about 3 that you are really into at the moment....
Skip: He's not brand new but I'm really into Anderson Paak right now.
Nick: Tom Misch is one of my favourite new artists at the moment.
Tudor: I'm seriously obsessed with this hip new band called Coldplay. Haha, in terms of new artists Im a huge fan of Lapsley. Interesting lyrics, unique voice and great production.
You're performing at the opening night of The Terrace in Exeter on October 21st, are you planning any surprises or special guests?
Now, that would be telling. We plan special surprises at all our gigs, and everyone attending is a special guest as far as I'm concerned.
Tell us about your 'musical plans for the remainder of 2016 and early 2017?
We have our second EP scheduled for release in early 2017 so between now and then we are working on a load of additional content, some live sessions etc. We also have a few more dates lined up for the rest of this year with a view to hopefully get out touring in the UK and play some European dates early in 2017
We then decided it was time for a little fun, we used to have a quickfire question round but we thought it would be better to replace it with a game of 'Would you Rather'? - Here's how it went....
Would you rather eat a slug or a cockroach?
Well, cockroaches are hard as nails, so even if you did eat one, it would probably survive and thrive inside you. Then again, you might absorb some of it's resiliance.....it's a tough one. Let's say cockroach, if only for the texture.
Would you rather be 3 feet tall or 8 feet tall?
8 feet tall. Nick (guitar) already is...
Would you rather live with a gorilla that can do sign language or a dog that constantly sings lullabies?
That dog would just get annoying surely....Gorilla easy.
Would you rather fight one horse sized chicken or a hundred chicken sized horses?
People shouldn't hurt animals. They're more scared of us than we are of them.
Would you rather be stranded on a desert island by yourself or with someone that you cannot stand?
Would you rather be Donald Trump's personal hair stylist or listen to 'Agadoo' by Black Lace on constant repeat, 24x7 for the rest of your life?
Maybe Trump. I feel you could be more creative in that role.
Would you rather know HOW you'd die or WHEN you're going to die?
How I suppose. Dark....
Would you rather punch an angry shark or slap an elf?
It depends what either of them did to deserve it. Violence is never the answer, and like I said, I'd never want to hurt an animal. I feel like a shark could handle it though, and let's be honest, sometimes sharks need a punching.
We'd like to thank the guys for taking the time out of their busy schedules to chat to us and we're really looking forward to catching them at the launch night of the Live Lounge at The Terrace in Exeter, for more information and tickets, please click HERE
If you'd like to learn more about XY&O (and who wouldn't), please click on the links below....