Interview: Idealistics

Idealistics have kindly agreed to be the first interviewees for Pillar Artists: Music Radar, thus launching our interview series! Here you can find out more about the band in their own words.

Your most recent EP, ‘The Rain In Our Eyes’, was released in January. What is the story behind the EP? And are there copies of it on CD or Vinyl format?
George: Most of the songs on the EP came about when we didn’t have a drummer and we never got the chance to trial them out at gigs as a full band so we weren’t exactly sure how they would sound as a final product. I think we were all quite surprised with the way it turned out – they aren’t exactly your typical Idealistics rock songs. There are elements we’d do differently now and it’s interesting to see the songs evolve as we play them live during our online gigs.
Ali: What George said, it was an interesting process and we’re pleased my sister, Dom, joined the band so we’ve now got a drummer. The EP is available in CD format as well as online on all of the usual streaming platforms.

What is the live music scene in and around Cambridge like? Is it equally accessible for all genres or are there preferences?
Ali: I’m not sure to be honest, we never got the chance to properly play around Cambridge due to it being inaccessible regarding my disability. There are basically a handful of venues that let me play so we always just end up playing there.

Idealistics – Photo Credit: Oscar & Carla Law

Having played various cities such as London and Cambridge, as well as appeared on live streams for venues based further afield like Birmingham, are there plans for a tour at some point (once it’s safe to do so)? Which cities or venues would you most like to play?
Ali: We had a tour planned for this summer but for obvious reasons it didn’t go ahead. So, we definitely want to plan something for when we can safely gig again, we really enjoyed playing Liverpool and Manchester last November, so I’d like to play there again.
George: I’m really keen to play a few venues in Derby and the surrounding towns. There are some brilliant music venues in the area that I know from growing up there and would really like to explore them more and get all my family out.
Dom: I’d love to play in Leeds, I’ve just finished my undergrad uni there and spent lots of time exploring the venues around the city. The Brudenell Social Club would be an absolute dream to play.

We heard that Idealistics may be looking a bass player. How should potential applicants get in contact with you to find out more?
Ali: It’s been hard to come to terms with the fact I can’t play bass anymore. I first joined the band just as the bassist and George was lead vocalist, I’m not quite sure what being on stage without a bass will be like, but it will all be new for all of us. The news hit the whole band and it was much harder for us than we thought it would be. We’ve received some lovely messages though and had interest but if anyone is interested in being our bassist please do email us on or message our Facebook page.

There has been a lot on social media encouraging people to embrace self-reflection and consider their own conscious or sub-conscious privilege. Are there any barriers you’ve experienced in relation to your music careers? How can the music industry be more open and supportive to artists that may otherwise feel excluded or overlooked?
Ali: It has been great to see so many people embrace self-reflection and we definitely encourage it. We had barriers the minute my disability became a lot more visible, which was mainly in the form of feeding tubes. My first few feeding tubes went up my nose and many promoters, managers and labels turned around and said that I would deter a crowd and I wouldn’t be able to work to a standard they wanted. We stopped getting gigs and for us the band was basically over. It was only when we got strong words of encouragement from another musician we decided to fight harder. When doctors changed the feeding tube to go into my heart via a vein in my arm, I thought people would be better, but it only got worse. Then lockdown happened and right at the beginning I had emergency surgery to move my tube so it goes to my heart via a vein in my chest but lockdown gave us an opportunity to play live-streams online and we have had so many promoters ask us to play. I just really hope the attitude we’ve received for the live-streams rolls onto our live shows when we can gig again.

Header image photography credit: Tomo Photography

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