Interview: Bosola

Your song, “Soil & Dust”, is your first release this year and hints at an upcoming EP. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
Soil & Dust is about that uncertain bit at the start of a relationship, where you’re really excited about what could come of it but also questioning whether you’re perceiving things correctly.  The title refers to whether something will grow from the relationship or just blow away in time.

I wrote the song a few years back and had always liked playing it when I got the chance. I’d been in bands when I lived in Cardiff and Bristol but had given up on releasing any new music. When I came to live in Newcastle, I met so many people who were enthusiastic about live music and I found myself in Ouseburn at Evolution Emerging a few years ago. I loved the atmosphere at the festival and thought I would give my songs another chance. I started playing around with ‘Soil & Dust’ again and the ideas just started to flow out. I had a full song ready to perform in a few days. It’s been an acoustic part of my live set ever since and it was the first song that I converted to a full electric song for the band.
It’s the lead single of my new EP, ‘How Sick I Became Running from Myself’, which is the first studio recording that Bosola have done.

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
If you mix Sixties guitar pop song writing, late 80s/ early 90s alt. rock style and melancholy lyricism you’ll pretty much have the bones of the Bosola sound.  
My songs usually start on an acoustic guitar in open tunings so as a song writer my influences start at John Lennon, Lee Mavers, Nick Drake, Tom Waits and Arthur Russell. I grew up on a steady diet of The Beatles, The Stone Roses, The La’s and Oasis so big guitars driven songs with catchy choruses which come in at around 3 minutes 30 is what I aim for. I’m also influenced by bands like The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Yuck, The Lemonheads, The Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead and Bob Mould.

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
I love playing live and can’t wait to get back out there as a band, with a bigger, more in your face sound. I always love playing at Bobiks in Jesmond as it’s got great character, sound and promoters. Career highlight so far has definitely been working alongside James Haselhurst (Grain Studios), the producer of the upcoming EP, to craft these little acoustic songs that I had into songs that feel more expressive, authentic and engaging. I can’t wait to play them live and develop the project as a band.

The aim for the band is to start playing at different venues around the North East over the next 12 months and establishing a reputation as an exciting and interesting band in the region. We also have some more EPs planned for the Winter and an Album for Summer 2022.

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
Ooh, good question. I’d love Bosola to be main support for Boy Azooga. I think they are an amazing band and Davey Newington seems to be just a lovely bloke. I saw them play Colbalt Studios a few years ago supported by Headclouds and both bands absolutely smashed it. Boy Azooga’s debut album ‘1,2, Kung Fu’ is certainly one of my favourite albums of the last 5 years

If I were to put on a dream show I’d book Kate Bush as headliner as my bassist Pete is a massive fan. Pete’s been a massive driver behind helping me develop as a songwriter so it would be as thanks to him really. I would have Big Thief as main support as I’ve barely gone a day in lockdown without listening to one of their records. Opening the show I would have Lanterns on the Lake. I remember chancing upon their debut ‘Gracious Tide, Take Me Home’ and just falling in love. I saw them about 8 years ago playing on a boat in Bristol and it was just majestic. Also, good to have a local band on the bill eh! I’d have Jon Hopkins playing the after party. Dreamy.

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
I guess my staples in the past few months have been: Big Thief/Adrianne Lenker, The La’s, Nick Drake, Bob Mould / Husker Du, John Lennon, and Tom Waits.

I’m always a bit uncomfortable giving prescribed listening as I think people’s relationship with music is so idiosyncratic, but if this was a Desert Island Discs situations I would recommend listening to the following tunes:
Our Last Night Together by Arthur Russell
Blue Valentines by Tom Waits
8 (Circle) by Bon Iver
There is a light that never goes out by The Smiths
Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles

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