Gola Interviews… Circa Waves

Since launching debut album ‘Young Chasers’ in 2015, Liverpudlian-born band, Circa Waves, has made an incredible impact on the music scene. From sell-out tours to performances at Glastonbury, the band has grown both lyrically and musically to become one of the most respected bands on the circuit.

Currently on a UK tour and enjoying massive success with newly-released second album ‘Different Creatures’, we caught up with Circa Waves’ guitarist, songwriter and lead singer, Kieran Shundall, to find out more about the roots, present and future of Circa Waves.

Circa Waves

There’s a significant change in sound between ‘Different Creatures’ and your first record ‘Young Chasers’. It’s a bit grittier and your lyrics are about darker themes, like alcoholism and depression. Was this shift a conscious decision with this record or was it something that came naturally from growing as part of Circa Waves?

KS: It was just what came out naturally when I started writing in early 2016. Our first record was more about looking back, but the lyrics in ‘Different Creatures’ are very present. It all came out of its own accord, really.



You worked with Alan Moulder on this album, who is the producer that worked with The Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine. These bands have quite a distinctively raw, distorted sound. Did you seek him out because you wanted that sound, was it something he just created organically, or was it a bit of both?

KS: A bit of both, really. Alan has made every legendary rock record and the great thing is that he has all the knowledge. If you want that specific sound, he’s usually got the pedal that did that sound.

I think we asked one time: “How do you get the snare sound from that record?” and he just texted Butch Vig and got whatever snare it was, whatever mic was used, and within two hours had them both there ready to go. He’s got such a wealth of knowledge and information to get what you need. He’s also really patient and able to reach inside an artist’s brain and pull out the best, which is great for us because we don’t speak fluent musical language.

It seems like you knew exactly how you wanted each instrument to sound in every song. When you were writing, did you have a clear idea of how you wanted the album to turn out?

KS: Yeah. A lot of the demos did sound quite similar to the end result you heard. I’ve got a meticulous ‘demo-ing’ obsession. I think it’s a good foundation to have for an artist to go into the studio and say: “Let’s just make this but do it better”. Obviously, Alan is very gifted at doing that.

As much as you seem to have a specific idea in mind with ‘Different Creatures’, it sounds completely natural and doesn’t come across as over-polished. For example, I noticed you chose to keep in a comment you make about someone texting you at the end of one of the songs on the album…

KS: That was actually all orchestrated! We did loads of fake overdubs.

Really?! So did Alan try to get the right mics for how you wanted that to come across?

KS: Nah, in all seriousness, it’s something that we’ve all always loved. Like when you listen to old Beatles records and you can hear them all talking to each other. As a listener, it sucks you in straight away, which is what you want. For me, I always remember being able to hear when the Arctic Monkeys click the distortion pedal off at the end of their first record.

It’s immersive, isn’t it? It takes you right into the studio.

KS: Yeah, you’re in the studio with them. I’ve always wanted that. No matter how big the production — and it’s big on some of these songs — I still want it to feel personal to everyone listening to us.

Circa Waves

The album has been very successful so far. Do you feel you’ve now reached a place as a band, commercially or artistically, where you’re happy with where you are?

KS: No, I don’t think we’re content at all, really. We are really proud of what we have achieved and what we’ve done, but I don’t think we will ever think we have made it. Even when we’re headlining festivals, we’ll want to headline two festivals.

Any musician who is content should probably give up. You’ll stop making music that means something to you. We’ve got that drive and just want to keep moving up and up. We’re really happy with the album, but we want to keep pushing it as far as we can take it.

I think that takes a lot of confidence as a band. Is that how you feel?

KS: Yeah. I think when we first started we were just happy to actually be in a band. You get a record deal and take everything with a pinch of salt. You go: “Well, we’re just glad we’re here!”.

But over the last few years, we’ve seen the reactions that we’ve had and we’ve watched ourselves getting bigger and better. That alone makes you more confident. It’s hard not to be when you see 10,000 people singing your songs back to you! It’s such a massive boost. We want more of that.

It seems like Circa Waves is a band that has worked from the ground up. Do you think it’s harder, particularly as quite a working-class group, to take that path?

KS: I think we pride ourselves on being a live band that have toured continuously. Since we were all about 14 years old, we’ve been playing live and honing our craft, and we’re definitely happy to have made our name that way and not through some awful TV show.

We’ve played the toilet circuit (a network of small music venues that hosts rising rock, indie and metal bands) many times over to get to this point. Hopefully, people will see how we did it and it’ll inspire them to grow their own band that way and not look for the easy way into it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who think you just have to go on ‘The Voice’, or whatever, to make it.

But, is it hard to support yourself when you’re starting out and not seeing that kind of success?

KS: When we were first in bands, we all had jobs and would practice at night. With Circa Waves, we got signed really early which gives you a foundation of cash to live on. Not much, but enough to get by and just concentrate on being a band and making music. So, I don’t know, sometimes you’ve just got to put yourself out there and do it.

Circa Waves

You said you pride yourself on being a live band, as it’s where you built character and honed your craft. Is there any particular way you approach performing live? Is it an entirely different performance or do you go out and play with the same energy and enthusiasm that you did in the studio?

KS: I suppose it is a bit of a performance. I don’t walk around the way I do on stage in real life. You have to have a bit of swagger when you’re in front of people.

Yeah, I’m sure Nick Cave doesn’t walk around on stage the way he does in real life, either. You are playing a bit of a role, aren’t you?

KS: It is a bit of a role. I think we are very aware of our fans and they’ve all paid £15 to come and see us, so we owe them that amount of entertainment. We do put everything into it and at the end of each gig, we’re sweating and our hands are bleeding. I don’t know any other bands at the moment who are as active as us in our genre. We do absolutely give it everything.

Are there any other bands right now that inspire you?

KS: The Vryll Society. They’re really cool, sort of like early The Verve. I’ve always loved the singer, Mike Ellis. He’s such a confident guy and actually reminds me of a young Mick Jagger. He’s a brilliant songwriter, too, so I’m really intrigued to see what he does next. I also heard Zuzu on Huw Stephens recently, who’s really cool, and Clean Cut Kid are doing well at the moment, I think.

Do you put much thought into your fashion when you’re on stage? Is there an image you aspire to when you’re performing?

KS: Elvis. We all try to be Elvis… As a band, we try to put a bit of effort into our look but we don’t wear guy-liner. Yet.

So, when you talked about ambition, you meant glam rock?

KS: Yeah. Flares and guy-liner.

That could be the next stage for Circa Waves.

KS: That’s the next level.

Circa Waves are made up of bandmates Kieran Shudall, Sam Rourke, Colin Jones, and Joe Falconer. The boys are currently touring across the UK, supported by INHEAVEN and The Magic Gang, and their latest album is available to buy now.

Gola Ridgerunner ‘National Parks’ Pack

golaridge

It is hard to deny the sheer beauty of some of the landscapes which we are lucky to be blessed with here in Britain. In order to celebrate these national treasures we have developed the hiking-inspired ‘National Parks’ pack Gola Ridgerunner. Inspired by the great outdoors Ridgerunner is packed full of autumnal colours reminiscent of our stunning countryside.

Gola Ridgerunner ‘Yorkshire Dales’

gola york

The Yorkshire Dales is situated in an upland area of the Pennines in Northern England. This historic area is famous for its Three Peak treks which take on Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside, with many people attempting and succeeding to tackle all three in one day. Our Yorkshire Dales Ridgerunner trainer is made up of dark, earthy tones including tan, brown and black. It is also available in both low and high-top silhouettes with each featuring a tweed-look inner and cleated hiking style sole.

Gola Ridgerunner ‘Cairngorms’

gola cairn

The Cairngorms is a national park in the eastern Highlands of Scotland which is home to a mountain of the same name. The area is well known for its Caledonian pine forests and some of the best cycling trails available on our shores. The Cairngorm Ridgerunner is inspired by this beautiful location and features brown and tan set upon a background of navy blue with a red and tartan inner and cleated hiking style sole for extra grip.

Gola Classics Comet & Seeker back to life for AW15!

The weather is getting colder and greyer, the nights are getting darker earlier and the inevitable ring of people proclaiming ‘”it’s only (insert number here) days until Christmas!” is very much a reality… Autumn is here! And while this may be painstaking to any summer-lovers out there, it is the perfect time to up your shoe game and embrace the new season.

The dawn of this new season has brought with it the Gola Classics AW15 collection, which is now officially available in our online store and on retailers’ shelves. This new range is jam packed with hot and exciting new designs that are sure to help you through the colder months with lashings of style.

Being the good people that we are, we have decided to round up two of the newest and exciting styles in our autumn / winter range to give a little background and further insight into each trainer. So without further ado, we bring you the Gola Classics Comet & Seeker in all their glory:

Gola Classics Comet

The Comet is back with a bang in our latest collection where you can find the plimsoll in no fewer than 11 new colourways. Choose from a variety of lace-up suede and canvas uppers, along with padded lining to bring you even more comfort. Stand outs in the collection of these quintessentially British fashion pumps are the men’s and women’s all white canvas Comets and the Navy suede Comet. Get them while you can because they won’t be around for long.

Gola Classics Seeker

For AW15, the Gola Classics Seeker comes in three easygoing styles – high top, plimsoll and slip-on.

The high top is our unique take on the classic chukka boot silhouette and this simple but effective design comes in five autumnal colour and material variations, which are: tan leather, black leather, brown suede, navy suede and blue suede. Each pair has a contrast heel tab, layered rand and would look perfect when teamed up with some casual jeans.

The Seeker plimsolls and slip-ons are available in blue or brown suede – subtle but effective!

Carla Lee Illustration

The word ‘illustration’ comes from the Latin word ‘illustra’tio, illustro’ meaning ‘enlighten’. True to its essence, Yorkshire-based Illustrator Carla Lee’s work is nothing short of enlightening.

Focusing on precise detail and intense observational skills, Carla shines a magnifying glass onto objects and animals and teases out intricacies so defined her images stray away from reality and approach the surreal.

Carla usually begins with the traditional Illustrator’s tools: sketchbook and pens. From here, her passionate imagination and desire to create are her ‘je ne sais quoi’, resulting in unique and striking images.

Carla is a self-confessed kitten lover, which is apparent in the feline, farmyard, feathered and four-legged motif that characterises her work (take a browse on her website). ‘The Fox and the Mask’ – a limited collection – brings out the wave-like tonality of her mammal’s fur, so detailed it could be a peacock’s tail. And it’s only too appropriate that Carla drew a collection of magical ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inspired illustrations in which animals and nature are recognisable, but somehow not quite right.

Talking stories, one of Carla’s proudest ventures was her first book for American company ‘New Adjustment Productions’ titled ‘Weevil & Nightshade’s Compendium of Farables and Tales’. This original piece treads somewhere between Aesop’s Fables and Grimm’s Fairytales. In seven tales written by Mark Roushe, the farables confront societal issues with a fantastical twist through characters Shannon Shee and her shadow Persephone, a living enslaved girl made out of chocolate. Carla’s poignant, imaginative and prickly style perfectly complements the lyrical yet dark tone of the farables, which interweave abstract and realistic themes with uncanny fluidity.

Check out Carla’s work on her website www.carlalee.co.uk and discover the wizadry for yourself.

Graduate Fashion collections

It is that time of year again, the weather is getting warmer (supposedly), nights are getting longer and Uni is finally finished for the summer.

Well except for those of us mad enough to study fashion, we have the last big event to go. Those of you in the loop will already know and for those who aren’t I am referring to Graduate Fashion Week.

Graduate fashion week is the culmination of the top fashion talent form all over the country. Each university putting forward their most promising students to exhibit and show. To give a representation of the best university has to offer prospective student. It also helps the students to make the next big steps into the fashion industry.

This year is no exception. With changes such as a change of venue this year is set to be one of the most exciting yet. Moving the location of Graduate Fashion week to The Truman Brewery, in the heart of east London has brought it bang up to date. East London is famously a hub of new talent and exciting business growth especially focused on the creative industries. It is a sponge waiting to soak up anything new and interesting, a great base for Graduate Fashion Week.

Before Graduate Fashion Week a lot of work goes on behind the scenes, visualizing and creating the collections that may be chosen to walk down the runway. I interviewed UCLAN fashion student Natalie Smith about her collection, inspiration and thoughts on this years graduate fashion week.

VP: What are your feelings towards Graduate Fashion Week?

NS: To be selected for Graduate Fashion Week is a great feeling. I hope showing my collection on the catwalk will open up exciting opportunities for my career, and as a student will help promote my name in the industry.

Natalie’s Collection is a menswear collection deeply rooted in tailoring with strong shapes and muted dull tones.
The beauty is in the detail, focus being paid to pockets and zips.

VP: What is the inspiration behind your collection?
NS: The inspiration for my collection is Brutalism. I looked at the structure and exposure of brutalism building in London, (Hayward Art Gallery & National Theatre) paying attention to how architects from the 1950’s and 1960’s used the inside functions as an outside feature. The buildings also helped to create my colour pallet as the grey tones were drawn out to develop an AW Collection.

The collection has three main focal points. A beautifully tailored grey two-piece suit. A crisp white shirt with a large black panel brazened across the front to make a bold statement. My personal favourite is the classic bomber jacket. This timeless classic has been given a modern twist by using fabric usually associated with suits to emphasize the smart casual feel of the collection.

VP: How were the concepts developed and who decided on them?
NS: My concept was developed through innovative moulage and creative pattern cutting. With help from my tutors we analyzed the shapes and construction lines and combined this with brutalism architecture.

When Viewing Natalie’s collection it is clear to see the strong influences that the Brutalism movement has made on her collection, from pallet through to construction and shape. Using the strong form Brutalism portrays while combining the concept of using inside function to create a pleasing outside aesthetic.

Klaus Pichler

‘Who hasn’t had the desire to be someone else for a while?’ asks Austrian photographer Klaus Pichler. His recent photo project ‘Just the Two of Us’ captures Austrians hidden behind the costume of their choice, on a very intimate level as the setting is their own home interior.

The Austrian born and bred photographer has been working on this project for more than two years, as he quickly realised that people were quite reluctant at the idea of letting a stranger into their home. It would seem that everyone has the desire to be someone else for a while, but only in a certain space, which, ultimately, says a lot about this project and people on a sociological dimension. There is something so intimate about revealing your own space, your own habits, that one could argue it can only be done if you cover your identity, so as to not be associated with it. Pichler’s series is an interesting rendition of how people step out of their own skin to create an alter ego/personae.

What then, is the motivation behind stepping out of one’s own skin? Pichler says that over the course of the shooting, he was able to see a pattern emerge; for a lot of people, dressing up is a way for them to cope with society’s pressures. Some had a boring or stressful job, or had issues in their everyday life. Either way, the act of dressing up allowed these people to inhabit a different world for while and feel more empowered. Pichler believes that costumes give people the excuse for a “temporary withdrawal from civil life.”

http://www.kpic.at

 

Sebastian Bieniek

The Berlin-based artist and photographer (and film director!), Sebastian Bieniek has recently released a ‘work in progress’ photo series titled ‘Doublefaced’, depicting the intimate day-to-day actions of a two-faced girl. The photographs show a normal girl – you see her in a bath, smoking a cigarette, in a car park… And then you realise that she has two faces; one half of her features drawn on with thick black lines. It is subtly frightening and slightly eerie, almost Picasso-esque (I like to imagine that this is what a modern real life Picasso would be).

A lot of people have criticised the photo series, saying it is a poorly executed project. I, on the other hand, believe that the power of these images rely on the fact that it is ‘self-applied’ makeup as opposed to ‘beauty makeup’, and the smudgeness of the lines only reflect the limits of our imagination. When does a face cease to be a face? What is the connection between our confusion and our imagination? Can a fragment of reality be just as valid as a reality in itself? From my point of view, these are questions that the series try to raise through the use of double dualities and merging realites. When does the ‘I’/’eye’ cease to exist by itself’?

Bieniek himself has said that he doesn’t know where the project is heading, or what is really consists of. It started when his son was really ill and sad, whereupon he drew a happy smile on the side of his face. From there, it has evolved into a project gaining  more than 73,000 followers around the world, with Bieniek uploading regular photographs on his Tumblr and Facebook page.

 

 

 

You can follow Sebastian Bieniek on his Tumblr or on his Facebook

 

 

 

OPENING CEREMONY

Opening Ceremony was founded in 2002 by two friends from UC Berkeley, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, as a place to share their passions for travel, art, and fashion. Inspired by a trip to Hong Kong, the two decided to leave their jobs in corporate fashion to realize their unique dream. What began as a single store on a quiet street in downtown New York is now a global community with outposts in New York, London, and Los Angeles, a department store in Tokyo, a wholesale showroom, an in-house clothing line, a blog, an e-commerce site, a TV channel, and an annual magazine.

Taking its name and mission statement from the modern Olympic Games, founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Opening Ceremony adopts a multinational approach to retail. In addition to stocking both iconic and emerging homegrown designers, every year Opening Ceremony showcases the spirit and merchandise of a visiting country, transforming each store into a marketplace for exotic souvenirs and international talent.

 

Bryony Fripp

Bryony Fripp is a 26 year old emerging illustrator and artist who graduated from Bournemouth Arts Institute in illustration and is now based in London. She has already amassed an extensive and diverse list of important clients, including the likes of Sainsburys, Dorling Kindersley and Kate Spade, providing quirky and imaginative drawings that have appeal for food producers and vendors, educational projects and fashion designers. In addition to this, Fripp has produced her own greeting card collection commissioned by Camden Graphics entitled ‘Dream Little Dreams’.

Simplicity is a clear feature of Fripp’s illustrations, which see her using unfussy bold line drawings to create images of kitsch bicycles, fairy people, trinkets and animals. Her work sees an infusion of dream worlds with the everyday, and she has a unique ability to channel her creative and imaginative visions in a defined and original manner. Whilst on paper it may seem that her work is in danger of verging on nauseating, her trademark style ensures that her illustrations retain a unique charm; delicate yet forthright. There’s little wonder she’s caught the attention of some serious power players in the retail arena.

Fripp is also involved with In Your Dreams, a body painting company fronted by herself and Madeline Griffiths that has been prolific at various festivals throughout the summer. The basic premise is that the artists use paints, prints and embellishments on the face and body to create a fun and imaginative look, truly taking the tradition ‘face painting’ to a whole new and exciting level. After being met with such success, the team have created a Festival Collection that can be seen on their website and on Tumblr.

Find out more about Bryony Fripp’s work and clientele on Facebook, Twitter and on her website. She truly is a novel and interesting illustrator whose work, I am sure, we will come to be extremely familiar with in the future.

Rosemary Kirton

An artist and writer well known for her work which explores culture and trends in our following of celebrity and online communities, Rosemary Kirton writes in an effortless and critical manner via her blog Grossmary!

Titles of Rosemary’s texts include such gems as ‘Follow for More: Screenshots of Soft Culture.’ and ‘BRAND STINKIN NU’ creating her own musings on pop culture such as the character of the ‘Uncanny Valley Girl‘ a combination of the theory of the Uncanny Valley and the stereotype of the Valley Girl to create a figure who she defines as ‘girls who have developed their image/identity/personal brand to extremes of perfection at the cost of much anything else’ describing the point at which people manage to make themselves so unreally wonderful that they become vapid and distant.

Pictured are stills from Rosemary’s film ‘Follow for more soft Grunge’ which is captioned ‘Formal files and styles of performance being softened and corrupted.’ as if to talk about a sense of performativity that pervades every part of our life on an almost molecular level, as if soft grunge and other similar viral-feeling online trends compute some kind of physical take over.

Be sure to keep up with Rosemary’s work online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayesha Tan-Jones

Ayesha Tan-Jones is a student at Central Saint Martins and an installation and video artist who makes music as Brownie Promise. I have only ever been a spectator online but to me, her work (and whole online presence) acts like an invitation into her distinct own brand of the psychedelic, it is a wonderland and functions like a treasure trove. Ayesha seems to drift effortlessly through mediums in her music, gently reflecting the tenor of her cystaline and pretty bodily installation. The video work feels like it threads everything together into a totally multi-sensory experience which becomes almost other worldly!

Of course the best person to collaborate with is another version of yourself!

Ayesha uses her alter-ego Una X Jynx like another voice through which to make work, we see them video chatting and interacting online where they plan to make collaborative hypnosis videos and collaborations like software upd8 // version 2.∞ // STEP 1. For me their work function feels like two girls coming together over the web to voyage through it as a mystical entity, as if together they can begin to understand it.

 

Ayesha can be found onilne via her visual journal and website and specific art blog and Una at her very own website here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam Black

Adam Black is a happy-go-lucky 18-year-old, just starting art school but already reaching notoriety for his enlivening bold and poppy work which as featured on t-shirts he has designed, gig posters and much more! Definitely reminiscent of the Cape Town sunshine he grew up in and now Nottingham based, his work touches upon the clear political and socio-economic undercurrents in both the South African and the UK landscapes.

Think: ‘Whut!?’ ‘Arms’, ‘Life’ to name a few slogan-like texts which lie sprawled, in funky letters across drawings, paintings and increasingly digital and collage work. It is hard not to like. Like, it is hard not to like this scanned piece of ham. Adam works very quickly and points out various family members painted in his recognisable but perhaps unflattering style, seemingly always armed with drawing materials! Paintings are light hearted and slightly satyrical and the film photographs very sincere and documentary-like, collage work perhaps playing lightly between the two.

Check out Adam’s website at www.adamtblack.com, tumblr – letsadamblack.tumblr.com and follow him on Facebook at for new work and updates,

(All images copyright to Adam Black)