We are bringing you our Artist in Residence series. The series take an artist working in Trackd and makes them the resident artist in the studio. You can really get to know each artist, their work and collaborate with them to make cool new music throughout the residency!
Up first we have new wave, 8 bit UK punk rockers Shoes On Now as the first Trackd Artist In Residence! This month they are releasing tracks from their upcoming album ‘Backwards Compatible’. The band are also writing a Christmas song in Trackd and need your input to complete it! Get to know the band who are Rich, Fuzz and Adam and follow them on Trackd here. The Christmas song is called ‘Boxes Full of Dreams’ and they want to collaborate with you to complete it. Add some bass, keyboards, suggest lyrics, backing vocals or anything that you feel works…
We caught up with Shoes On Now and asked them a few questions, starting with what computers and the games inspired them, which of course explains how it winds up in the music they write! We also ask them what their kids think of the band and their favourite Christmas songs…
1. What’s your Favourite games console (individually) and why?
Rich: Predictably, I’m gonna say Mega Drive. It’s probably the last console I got ridiculously into and the one with the fondest memories attached.
Adam: I love them all, but I think I liked PC games the best. All the sim/theme/tycoon things.
Fuzz: There is something special about your first true love and for me that was the Sega Megadrive.
2. What computer game had the biggest impact on your life?
Rich: Depends what you mean by ‘impact…’ in terms of sheer hours put in, it’s probably this fuck awful PC game about Man Utd. I thought if I played it a lot, it would be a bit like playing for Man Utd. So I played it a lot.
Adam: Playing Final Fantasy VII start to finish with my little brother, at least 12 hours a day, every day for a couple of weeks in the school holidays.
Fuzz: A recent one, but Fallout 3. I’ve loved a lot of games but no game has come close to having the same emotional impact that Fallout 3 had on me. I think I completed that game 4 times in total.
3. What’s your instrument of choice to record a song idea?
Rich: It usually starts with a guitar or a vocal line. Quietly and foolishly into my phone.
Adam: I guess a pen? I start with words.
Fuzz: Mix of guitar and a free, online Chiptune creator called Beepbox.
4. Do you plan to perform these songs live as Shoes On, Now?
Rich: Never really planned on it before (in fact, specifically planned not to…) but kind of working on it now. It’d be good to play gigs, but in a mad, parallel universe where all gigs were good…
Adam: Yeah, I’m 100% keen to play gigs exactly not like the worst punk shows we used to play 15 years ago. Also, I want to build an arcade machine to put on stage, so I guess we need to play so I can do that.
Fuzz: I think if its on our terms it would suit us more. Play live can be amazing. We’ve spoken lots about how we’d like to aim to make our live performance an experience that we have curated more than just being shoehorned into some local genre night. I think I’m the far more pretentious band member judging by these answers.
5. As musical fathers what’s yours and your respective children’s favourite ‘Shoes On Now’ track?
Rich: My 4 year old daughter is something of a brutal critic! Listening to the tracks in the car has produced such gems as “…it’s very long, isn’t it?” and “why don’t we listen to something we all like?” She likes ‘Jump Sweep.’ Possibly because she thinks the lyrics are “jam cake, sweet cake.” Or possibly because it’s short.
I keep changing my mind, but I’m liking ‘Incredibly Brave’ at the minute.
Adam: My 4 and 6 year old have both taken a liking to the brash violent song about Road Rash. They’ve changed the lyrics to “I’m in worst place” which is funnier than we could ever hope to be.
I’m a fan of Commercial Opportunities and Running Away (those are song titles, but it works as a lifestyle too).
Fuzz: My 8 and 10 year old seem to change their minds every five minutes but ‘Japan Thailand’ I think is the current favourite. For a while it was ‘Following You’. My favourite song is also ‘Incredibly Brave’.
6. If you could collaborate with any recording artist who would it be and why?
Rich: They Might Be Giants. Criminally underrated band with incredible melodies and lyrics. Always doing something new and interesting too, even 35 years down the line.
Adam: The Postal Service. Mostly, because I’m watching Ben Gibbard on KEXP while answering this so I literally can’t really think of anyone else. But, also, they combined guitars and electronic music in ways we can only dream of replicating in our weird videogame driven way.
Fuzz: Probably Kiyoe Yoshioka from Ikimono-Gakari. She is by far my favourite female vocalist and I’m constantly watching live Ikimono-Gakari on Youtube because of the presence she has on such large stages.
7. As it’s Christmas what’s your go to Christmas song?
Rich: It changes every year, but I always come back to Shakey in the end…
Adam: I’m sticking with Fairytale of New York
Fuzz: White Christmas by Bing Crosby is the best and I will fight anybody who disagrees.