In case you somehow didn’t know (but really folks, how, we’ve been banging on about it enough!), BORN MUSIC’s Blogotober event at The Finsbury in North London is getting rather close. 24/10/16 – go scribble it in your diaries! With Lulu James headlining and support from Salt Ashes and Born Stranger, it is set to be a killer night, so to prepare ourselves – and you – for what is in store, we decided it was high time we get to know BORN STRANGER that little bit better. We grabbed vocalist David Maddox-Jones for a chat…
We love some electronica here at Born! BORN STRANGER’s music just so happens to be the perfect blend of all the best bits – there’s definitely some Depeche Mode tucked in there! What drew you to electronic music? Have you always had a passion for it?
With electronic music, you can create pretty much any sound or rhythm that you hear in your head. That’s why it’s so popular now nowadays because producers and writers can sit in their bedrooms and can create a record, a finished record ready for release! 30 years ago that would have taken a big expensive studio etc. Electronic music is empowering. Personally, I love synths and electronic beats – I love the precise, crisp sound of it all.
‘Fire & the Flame’ sounds massive! Tell us a little bit about what inspired the track.
If I remember rightly I had this chord structure and the verse melody. Me and a writing partner of mine, Peter Marchant, jammed around it and came up with the chorus. I love the simplicity of the chorus melody! It’s basically a scale up on each chord -four notes! We love simple hooky melodies. Raife (Hacking, the other half of Born Stranger) then got his teeth into the production. It happened quite naturally and was a quick song to demo. When Yoad Nevo heard it he loved it and it was the first song we worked on when making the album, so it made sense to release it first.
Renowned producer Yoad Nevo has worked with the likes of Duran Duran, Goldfrapp and tonnes of pop acts. How did the chance to work with him come about?
One of our managers Kwame Kwatem sent him some of our demos and he loved it and we arranged a meeting and the rest is history…..
Did you find that Yoad Nevo influenced you in ways that you didn’t anticipate?
Yeah totally – it’s great to have a third person involved in the writing process whose almost impartial but still very much involved. He’s not afraid to tell us when we need to write a new chorus or if a certain song isn’t strong enough for the record. He also hears things differently and gives us the discipline to not add too many layers to the production. Simplicity is key!
How did Born Stranger start out? Were you and Raife both friends before making music together?
Raife was the drummer in my previous band. He became more and more interested in production so when Newislands came to an end we started Strangers which then became Born Stranger last year. It’s been a long road but we’ve learnt so much in terms of our songwriting craft and just getting better at what we do. Raife and I are ying and yang that’s why it works.
What did you bond over? Do you share the same vision for Born Stranger?
We bonded over great pop tunes and good ale! We definitely share the same vision. Raife is into house music and the more dancey side of production whilst I’m more I’m into classic songs, but this has helped us shape and define our sound.
You are playing BORN MUSIC’s Blogtober event at the Finsbury. How are you going to translate this massive sound into a live setting? Do you have a tour lined up?
Well, we played our first show at Koko a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome! Raife takes care of all the electronics and has a couple of synths and some electronic drum pads and triggers. We have a live guitarist as well called Sam Harvey. He’s very experienced and adds some epic bits. It’s fun, we’ll get you dancing, everyone should come and check us out!
Your latest single ‘Be Someone’ has really whetted our appetite for more. What is in store in the near future? Do you have an album up your sleeves?
We’ve made an album and so it will be winging its way to the world in due course! Another single is already chosen and the video for ‘Be Someone’ will be premiering over next couple of weeks.
Are there any new electronic artists that should be on our radar?
Atom Tree are cool. You guys probably know all the cool ones seeing as you’re a new music blog! Mmmm my mind’s gone blank right now. There’s so much cool, great music around at the moment isn’t there, though, standards are high!
Born Stranger play BORN MUSIC’s Blogtober event at The Finsbury 24/10/16. You can hear their singles ‘Be Someone’ and ‘Fire and the Flame’ on their Soundcloud.