New Carnival are Max Radford, Bertie Crawley and Billy Foster - and they're going to show you a good time.
Emerging onto the scene in 2012, New Carnival have built a strong reputation on the Bristol circuit thanks to their frenetic, high-energy performances and killer hooks.
"We've always had an interest in that perfect three-minute pop song," lead singer Max Radford admits, "but like any kid, it’s Rock and Roll that makes you want to play guitar”.
Radford began early, penning tunes at the tender age of 7 when he broke his finger and started singing in his guitar lessons instead. Forming a band with his brother - the mighty 'Storm' - he went on to record his first album (self-produced on a cassette recorder gifted to the brothers for Christmas), at 9 years old. It was never released, although Max's gran "still thinks it's the best work I've ever done."
Having been at school together, Max, Bertie and Billy began playing seriously as they moved through university: to-ing and fro-ing between Birmingham and Bristol. They gained some serious attention from blogs after the first track they shared - under no management, no PR or under any pretence other than getting their music heard - went to number 13 on the Hype Machine chart, no mean feat at such an early stage in their career. Unsurprisingly their second track went viral and led to big views on Soundcloud and Youtube (over 150,000 views combined), resulting in two sessions with The Mahogany Blog who have championed them ever since.
As Max and Billy moved to France for their year abroad, Radford found that this move away from home sparked inspiration and got to writing. It was during this time New Carnival took a hiatus despite recognition from record labels and multi-platinum selling music producer Alex Da Kid. "They wanted to push the electronic elements of our sound, which was cool, but not the direction we felt totally comfortable with at the time."
Realising that music was what he wanted to do, Max quit university and used his time to get back into writing more guitar-led tracks. "I was really getting into the electronic side of things but then I stepped back and thought, I play guitar and that's what I've always loved." With all this free time on his hands, Max began to work on the production of the tracks, trying to perfect the band's recorded sound.
"We had always liked the demos I had made at home, so we thought why not just do everything there? It was a project for me to learn how to produce." That do-it-yourself attitude which Max harnessed at a young age grew as he did.
A makeshift studio in the attic of Max's home in Stroud is the heartland of New Carnival, and with the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Hugh Padgham - who cropped up in conversation when Max's mum was getting her kitchen knives sharpened in town - Max has built a home studio authentic in both style and sound. Lending a hand setting up drum mics, Hugh was excited by how quick it was to achieve a good drum sound with such limited resources. The kit in question is coincidentally one of indie titans Foals': a chance meeting in Oxford led to New Carnival happily housing half of Jack Bevan's kit for a while in the studio.
Recording everything themselves in many ways defines New Carnival and their attitude towards music. A DIY approach has got them where they are, from self-producing to roping in friends and family for shoots and videos. Working with Bertie's cousin on two videos for songs off the new EP, New Carnival aren't about formulating complicated meta narratives. The videos depict the essence of the band - three boys having a good time making energetic music that people can groove to: that's the homespun magic of New Carnival.
"It's a sort of learn-as-you-go, ramshackle, trial and error kind of thing," Max says of it all. "We like to keep things fairly spontaneous. That's where the excitement comes from I think - not knowing how it's going to turn out."
Their debut EP's title track begs the question Where Do You Wanna Go? The answer is simple: wherever New Carnival may take you.