Black Rivers. A band recently formed by brothers Andy and Jez Williams – who you may recognise as being 2/3 of Cheshire indie-rock band Doves. Since their hiatus in 2010, the twin brothers had been working on individual projects before forming their new outfit. With their eponymous debut album due out this month (read our review here), as well as an upcoming tour, 2015 looks like its set to be a huge year for the pair. We had a chat with Andy about the album, their upcoming gig at The Leadmill and twin telepathy.
You’re dropping by Sheffield on February 9 for your headline tour. Are you familiar with our fair city?
I am! Especially The Leadmill! We’ve played a couple of times. My older brother went to Sheffield College and was in the band ‘The Junk’ when me and Jez were about 14 – they were apparently quite big around Sheffield. They used to play the Sheffield gig scene a lot, especially at The Leadmill, so I definitely feel I’ve got a connection with the place.
For those not in the know, you and Jez were formerly members of Doves. Obviously, Doves were very successful – with two number one albums and a loyal fan base. Is it difficult essentially starting again?
It is, yeah. The music industry is so different now; it’s a lot harder to sell records as everything is done online. I mean, the internet is a blessing as it allows anyone to put their music out there, however it makes the finances of building a band much harder. I feel sorry for younger bands just starting out – as you’ve got to be so committed. We’re just so blessed and lucky that Doves fans have stuck by us and are still interested in what we’re up to.
Your debut album as Black Rivers is due out in February. Can you try and describe your sound to us?
Well, it’s a bit more psychedelic than Doves, in my opinion. It’s more electronic. We wanted to write a record that you can listen to from start to finish – which is something that a lot of people are looking for now. Hopefully, we’ve done that.
When did you decide to put the band together?
We sort of drifted back together. The last Doves tour was in 2010 – and since then we’d just been focusing on our own projects. We didn’t decide suddenly we wanted to form a new band – it just happened naturally. Me and Jez started kicking a few ideas round and developing songs. There was no real structure to it. After we’d got a few songs penned, we went out looking for management, so it was essentially starting right at the beginning.
You and Jez are actually twin brothers. Positives and negatives of working with your twin?
There’s definitely more positives! A lot can get left unsaid, and we have the same reference points, so we can write material much more quickly. The negatives, I suppose, are the type of negatives you’d expect with a sibling – like the way he eats an apple for example.
A lot of scientific studies have shown links between twins and telepathy. Are there any telephatic communications between you and Jez?
I’ve read that – but I don’t think there’s anything like that between me and Jez. I can sometimes sense when he wants a drink or something, but I’m not sure that’s telepathy!
As well as the headline tour, you’re also going to be special guests for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Do you reckon you’ll get up to much mischief with Noel on tour?
Everyone’s been asking us that! I reckon Noel’s a bit quieter now, he’s a bloke in his 40’s after all, he’ll probably play the show, have a cuppa, and go to bed.
I’m not so sure about that! By the sounds of it, you guys have got a pretty busy year ahead, anything else we should know?
We’re really hoping to hit the UK festivals this year – we just can’t wait to get on the road and let people hear our songs.