MancMuse & Sedici Promotions Present… Bathtub

 MancMuse & Sedici Promotions Present… Bathtub

You’ve probably heard by now, but just in case you didn’t… On December 10th (next week!), MancMuse will be presenting our first ever gig! In partnership with Sedici Promotions, we will be showcasing four amazing artists who are some of the best talents this city has to offer.

Opening the event is Sam Da Silva (aka Red Shakes), followed by The Stride and The Pine Jackets. Headlining this jam-packed night is BathTub – a new rock duet from Stoke-on-Trent. Comprised of childhood best friends Olly and Brandon, the pair were voted most likely to make it big in 2021 by BBC Music: Introducing and now are breaking out in the Manchester scene. I caught up with Olly to learn more about the duet and what we can expect from the headlining act.

What got you into music?

My dad used to be in bands growing up, and he wanted me to be a musician. So, he basically didn’t really give me a choice.

Got forced. Dad bought me a bass guitar when I was about 9 or 10, and I’ve been playing ever since.

How did BathTub start?

We were basically the only musicians in our high school. It was me, Brandon and another lad that played guitar called Alex. There was a tiny little music practice room in the art corridor of the high school. Us three used to go in there every lunchtime and jam together and play songs. We started off just learning a load of Nirvana and Metallica covers because that’s what we all had in common that we listened to, and then one day, we just started writing stuff of our own accidentally, really. Once we started having some songs that we thought were decent and good enough, we started releasing them.

How does being in BathTub compare to being in a cover band?

We never played any shows as a Nirvana cover band, but we made a very good point of learning nearly every song they’ve ever written and playing them at school plays and stuff like that.

We were writing stuff, and we were writing our songs since probably the ages of 16. I’m the songwriter in the band – now there’s only two of us. But even when there was three of us, I wrote everything. I’ve probably been writing my own music since I was about 15/16.

By the time we finally got our first gig – that wasn’t until 2019 – we had two years of playing to ourselves in bedrooms before we started playing live. Our first gig, we were very well prepared for it because we weren’t a new band by this point. Me and Brandon have played together since we were kids.

Who are your musical inspirations?

I’ve got a massive Nirvana In Utero tattoo down my chest. We’ve been listening to Nirvana since we were kids. But biggest influences in terms of our actual music that we create are bands like Royal Blood – obviously because we’re both duets.

When we lost our guitar player, and we wanted to be a duet, it took a lot of influence from the way they set their sound up, less than their actual sound, as a way of how we can make a bigger sound with only two instruments.

How would you describe your sound?

Our sound is really raw these days. We’re not polished at all, and we never have been. That’s kinda the point, I think. A lot of people still compare us to Royal Blood because we are probably the closest comparison you can draw. However, they whack out a different guitar for every song [and have a huge stage budget]. I think that morally wise, we’re the opposite of that. I think that takes away from the music.

I use the same guitar for the whole show, and I make sure of that.

As the times gone on, I’ve learnt my sound a lot more, and now I can pick it out of a thousand. It’s my sound; it’s unique to me.

How do you write your music?

I’m not the fastest or most productive songwriter, to be honest. I wish I was. I tend to sit in my bedroom with my little acoustic guitar and mess around with riffs, get a riff that I like, and then record it. I always write riffs first and lyrics second. Not because I don’t want to put as much time into writing the lyrics, because I do. But I’d prefer the lyrics to fit the riff rather than the riff fit with the lyrics. The music’s got a better feel to it.

Sometimes less is more. You don’t need to say too much these days to get a point across, and I’ve learnt that.

Once I’ve got a finished song – or a decent chunk of a song – that’s when I’d take it to Brandon and practice and teach it to him. And if it sounds good with Brandon, with both of us, then we start trying to play it live.

How does it feel to be headlining the first MancMuse & Sedici Promotions Present… gig?

This headline in Manchester is the second time we’ve ever headlined in Manchester, and it’s a really big show for us because we’re not from Manchester; we’re from Stoke-on-Trent. And it’s been a bit of a jaunt for us to try and break out of that city because there’s nothing in Stoke. We love it to bits, and that’s where we’re from, but there’s only two music venues really that you can play there as an originals band. There’s not a lot of opportunities there; there’s no labels based there.

We’re trying to break into this city and cities near here quite a bit more that have more opportunities. We take this band very seriously. It’s not a hobby for us, and it never has been. It’s all we’ve been wanting to do. Both of us have tattoos of our band logo. Both of us mean it. Everybody laughs at us, but we mean it. We have no reason to stop doing it, so we’re never going to.

It’s a much bigger venue, much bigger stage [than previously played venues]. We know it’s gonna be a great night. We’ve upped the branding, we’ve got a brand new banner, we’re bringing the Bathtub. We’ve got a bath if you didn’t know that. We’re bringing the huge inflatable rubber duck; it’s all coming to the show, we’re going all out for it.

And I like the opportunity to headline because everybody that’s gonna be there gets to see exactly what we want them to see. When you get to support people, you only get half an hour and six tracks to show people what you’re about and try and make at least one person in that crowd fall in love with you. When we play half an hour shows, sometimes we don’t get chance to put everything in that we wanted to get in. So now we get to play a long set of music with more dynamics in the song and a more thought-out setlist.

What’s next for BathTub?

I’ve just finished our second new song since the EP came out in September, and we’re really proud of them. But this time, we don’t wanna release anything until we’ve played it live for at least six months. So, we can get a feel of what the crowd like about it, what parts work live and what parts don’t work live. I think the more you play a song, the more you get to know it and get to understand it. Once we play it long enough, that’s when we realise what’s good about it, what’s no good about it, and that’s when it becomes finished.

We’ve got [more new] music coming, but it probably won’t be coming until the back end of summer next year.

Will there be any unreleased songs played at the MancMuse & Sedici Promotions Present… gig?

Oh, yeah. We’ve been debuting our latest track called ‘Sweet View’. We’ve played it about twice now, once in Stoke and once in Retro in Manchester about two weeks ago. The first time was a bit rough; the second time was pretty good. So, this time, about time we get to [the gig], we should be nailing it. We’re really proud of it. We think it has something about it that the older stuff doesn’t, but I’m always gonna say that – if I don’t back myself, who will?

MancMuse & Sedici Promotions Present…

If you want to see BathTub along with three incredible support acts, come down to Aatma on December 10th. It’s guaranteed to be a great night full of fantastic talent! The doors open at 7pm. We hope to see you there.

If you enjoyed my article, I’d appreciate it if you could buy me a coffee over on Ko-fi!

Jonna Rogers

Jonna is an entertainment journalism with a speciality in film and literature. When she’s not writing articles, she’s watching the latest blockbuster or obsessing over comic books.

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1 Comment

  • ahh i loved it, such an interesting interview !!🥰

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