A weekly feature here at The Great Divide Blog is our New Music Tuesday; introducing you to an artist or band you may not have heard of. We can’t guarantee that you won’t have heard of them, but if that’s the case, it might give you a little reminder to revisit them sometime soon.
Courts are a band very close to my hometown in Essex. That doesn’t make me biased though, I’ve heard enough local bands to know which ones I support, and which ones might be worth a miss, and honestly, Courts get the full backing. Sporting an addictively funky sound, almost a mixture Red Hot Chilli Peppers-esque without the cheese and Foals without the ambience, the band have just released their EP ‘The Game is Long’, available for free on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Combining their groove with quick-witted rap-esque vocals, almost in a Jamie T vibe, Courts are doing something different in comparison to the whitewash of so-called indie bands.
What started as a band I’d see every now and then down the pub has turned into a love for a constantly progressing, maturing band. I’m sure you’ll feel the same way. We interviewed Dan, the bassist from Courts, to gain some knowledge on the band and what makes them do what they do. Check the interview out below as well as some free music from the band themselves.
TGD: Can you introduce yourself and give us a little history of the band?
Dan: We're a five-piece band from Basildon, Essex made up of Chris Moody (vocals & guitar), Joe Choppen (drums) and brothers Reece (guitar), Luke (guitar & keyboard) and Dan Baker (me) on bass. Chris and I started making music together when we met at college when we were seventeen and for some reason, six years later, we are still at it. We spent a few years as a four piece messing about doing some gigs, writing tunes etc. One of our friends, Lewis, was in that line up but in the end, being in a band wasn't for him so he left at the end of 2011 and then we got in my youngest brother Luke to replace him. We spent a few months as a four piece and then my other brother Reece joined when his old band Raquels split up. Once Reece joined, everything clicked, and made the band what it is today. Sometimes we think we should grow up, put the guitars down and get jobs but we've all sold ourselves this dream of making a living from making music and it’s one of those things that you need to see through to the end, even if it doesn’t work out.
TGD: Coming from Essex myself, I can’t imagine that Basildon is a very inspirational town. From what sources do you find inspiration for your material?
Dan: Basildon is actually our main inspiration. It’s a shit town full of crackheads and scumbags and as cliché as it is; it’s what drives us to do this band. The thought of eventually moving away from here, seeing some of the world and making music together until we've had enough is what keeps us going. I can't speak about lyrics because Chris writes them all, but he's always said he'd just rather people listen to them and interpret them how they want. Some of them are pretty straight forward and others a bit deeper, just listen and work it out for yourself basically.
TGD: One of my favourite lines is “I wanna hear more flows like Old Dirty Bastard, I don’t wanna see the moshpit, I wanna see the dancers”. How much does rap influence your style compared to the more traditional bands influence?
Dan: To be honest, none of us really listen to your conventional bands. We've got a broad taste in music between us, which can probably be heard in our music. I think at the minute we probably sound/seem like a bit of a jukebox band because every track we've released so far sounds different to the other. Influence wise hip-hop and rap have a big influence on everything we do and vocally you can hear that as there isn’t too much singing on top of our music, it’s all more hip hop focused. We're all really into funk and disco at the minute too which is coming out in the newer stuff we've been working on. The stuff we've been writing lately is a lot more channeled and we really feel we've found our sound now, and hopefully people get to hear some new tracks soon.
TGD: Your new EP ‘The Game is Long’ just went up on Soundcloud. How do you feel the band has progressed since the last EP ‘No Knowledge, No Heart?’
Dan: 'The Game is Long' is a bit of a 'bridge' EP. What I mean by that is it acts like a link between the first EP and the newer stuff we've been working on. It’s still got that 'jukebox' thing going on that I mentioned earlier but I think in terms of song writing, it shows progression. Production wise, the first EP is completely processed and has cut up drum samples to form the beats. This time round we recorded everything live.
TGD: What’s next for the band?
Dan: We have five new tracks finished that we recorded with a guy called Alex Morris. He's a brilliant producer and we just click. He gets us, and our vision, for the project. He knows exactly how we want to sound which is something we've never experienced with a producer before. We have other stuff we've been working on and basically, we are writing towards an album now. How long until we release it is another thing all together, but that's where we are heading.
TGD: Finally, can you give us a few words to convince the readers to check you out?
Dan: It’s hard not to sound like a prick with these sorts of questions, but if you’re fed up with boring generic indie pop bands with no message & nothing to talk about other than love and girls (no names) then check us out.
Thank you to Dan Baker for the interview.