Hertfordshire rockers Chasing Cadence could be three days away from the biggest break in their three year career as a band. Currently sitting pretty in second place in the 2014 Red Bull Studios contest to play the Download Festival, all the band need to do is keep their place in the top six and a slot on the Download bill will be theirs. Rock Sins caught up with Chasing Cadence’s singer Jack Harris to see how the Hertfordshire natives have felt about being part of the contest and what they’ve learned, amongst other things. Read on for the details….
How does it feel to have made The Final 15 in Red Bull Studio’s Download Contest?
Jack: It’s incredible! The support we received in the first round was completely beyond what we had expected, so to be then chosen by the judges to be in the top 15 out of 100 bands was overwhelming to say the least. The Red Bull Live at Download project came at a good time in our, quite young, career – We’d just supported Taking Back Sunday in February and played our first festival in March, both of which were incredible, and so, although it felt like the right time to enter, we weren’t sure we would get this far at all.
How has it been spending the week at Red Bull Studios?
Jack: Red Bull Studios is such an iconic place! Some of the best emerging UK artists have recorded at the studio with the same producer we recorded with which for us is just amazing. It’s been quite a surreal experience but has been so much fun! Everyone at the studios were so friendly, approachable and helpful which made the time there that little bit better. It’s awesome to be involved in a competition where the prize is to play at a festival that is as prestigious as Download is! Besides all that, they’ve got a ping-pong table, table football and unlimited cans of Red Bull – what more do you need?!
Have you picked up any one piece of advice that you think is the most useful across the week?
Jack: Just being around the whole Red Bull Studios team gave us a real insight and it was fascinating to see how it all works. All advice we got was invaluable. I think for me, a couple of useful tips were to lean forward when having photos taken, finding out that the toilet was to the left of reception, and not to drink more than 4 cans of Red Bull in the space of a few hours!
Was it a good experience getting to record in the Red Bull Studio itself?
Jack: Definitely! Even better than we thought it would be. The producer was amazing. Such a talented, genuinely nice person. We certainly learnt a lot from it. We also got to check out the range of brand new Fender and Gibson guitars that were on show. Frank, Rob and Dan thought it was Christmas already.
Did you guys know any of the other finalist bands prior to this week at the studio? Was there much interaction with the other finalists?
Jack: We know the boys in Adelphia and Out For Tomorrow as they too are part of the Domino PR roster, so it was great to see that those made it into the top 15 as well. The other band that were in with us, Chinese Missy, were really cool lads as well. We hung out with them for a bit too on the day. There’s a real sense of ‘togetherness’ actually in the competition which is really refreshing to see. There’s always going to be fierce competition when the prize is as good as playing Download, just because all the bands have worked so hard to get here, but there’s no resentment whatsoever. Not that I’ve seen or heard anyway! Maybe behind our backs all the other bands are saying ‘Ah man, that Chasing Cadence band are a bunch of absolute t***s!’.
Has this experience made you even more determined to succeed as a band?
Jack: Absolutely. It’s given us more of a sense of what we could be achieving more regularly. It’s inspired us to continue pushing forward and constantly challenging/improving ourselves.
For those not local to the area, what’s the scene like in Hertfordshire where you guys come from?
Jack: I’d say it’s probably not the worst in the country but definitely not the best! It’s tricky for Hertfordshire I think because in places like Nottingham, for example, you have amazing venues like Rock City and Rescue Rooms. These venues give their local bands the chance to support incredible artists, or even headline their own shows in the venue if they have a good following and I think because the said venues are so well known, people go there and, probably inadvertently, support local bands. In Hertfordshire, we have a few good music pubs but nothing that really compares to the venues like Rock City. The Railway Club in Watford was an epic venue, especially for hardcore bands, but that’s closed down now.
It’s been a while since bands like Gallows and Enter Shikari graced the Herts scene with their presence. Having said that, there are a few promoters that are trying to bring back the Hertfordshire scene and there are some great intimate venues dotted around – The Horn, The Flag, Club 85, The Forum, to name a few. There are also some absolutely incredible bands that are based in Herts, too many to mention! People are missing out if they don’t get up off their sofa and get down to their local music venues. I think that principal goes for the whole of the UK! There’s a big list of reasons why the UK music scene isn’t quite what it used to be, but I think it’s slowly gaining it’s momentum again – We want to be at the forefront of that surge!
Have you ever played Club 85 in Hitchin? (You can tell the person writing these questions is a Herts local now can’t you?!)
Jack: We have indeed! We love Club 85. It’s such a great venue. The staff are amazing, the promoters are amazing and the sound is always good too. We’re playing there for the 2nd time on Friday 18 July!
Lastly, why should our readers and the viewing public vote for you guys to play Download 2014?
Jack: We put absolutely everything in to what we do. We thrive on playing live shows – that’s why we started the band. That will always be our main goal: to play live shows and make them as fun, energetic and loud as possible, as well as writing songs! We are honoured to be a part of this competition and are humbled to have got this far already. It’d honestly be a dream come true for us all to be able to show Download what we’re made of and represent Hertfordshire in the only way we know how.
The voting for Red Bull Studios Download 2014 contest closes on Friday 23th of May. You can vote on the official website https://download.redbullstudios.com/.
Rock Sins are backing Chasing Cadence to make the top six so get voting for the boys right now!