Interview: Rory Asten Bell of Wildfowl

Medway blues rockers Wildfowl have had an exciting few months and it’s only going to get better.  We caught up with vocalist and guitarist Rory Asten Bell to see whats g’wanning.

How has 2013 started for Wildfowl?

2013 so far has started pretty well for us. Every Friday for the first 3 weeks of January we were playing, in Camden a lot which was great. We’ve been doing gig after gig after gig and we’ve been writing lots of new material so overall it’s been a great start to the year and hopefully it will be a big year for us too.

What inspired you to begin as a band and choose to play blues rock?

Blues has always been a genre that I was very fond of ever since I started playing guitar and writing songs.  I’ve always found people like Robert Johnson really inspiring.  He was such a brilliant guitarist and wrote about his life as it was without giving a rose tinted spectacle on it.  Another reason behind my love of blues is Howlin Wolf. He has this incredible rough and husky voice that anyone would die for.  Blues is one of them genres that matches my personality and also the whole mood of the band.  It’s just a genre where you can write about anything you want and express it in a million ways.  We’re not strictly a blues band but there are so many strong links it that it’s the closest thing we can compare our music to.

You got through it pretty quickly, what was it like recording the E.P?

The whole way we approached the E.P was mad.  We’d been together as a band for a little under 3 weeks when we recorded our E.P. We played one gig at an open mic night at the Barge in Gillingham and another at a small bar called Poco Loco in Chatham.  As I’m very picky with recording techniques and everything that comes along with recording I really wanted our E.P to sound how I feel it should. I got in touch with Jim Riley at Ranscombe studios in Rochester, I’d recorded with Jim and Brendan Esmonde in previous bands so it was the right thing to do this time. Jim’s studio is completely analog and is recorded on a tape reel just how they used to do it back in the day. It made making the E.P so much more fun. We recorded it all live and it feels like you’ve accomplished so much more doing it that way because it goes to show you have to be tight as a band otherwise you have to wind the tape reel back and start over. If anyone ever needs a recording done, YOU NEED TO GO TO JIM RILEY !

Rory Asten Bell, Wildfowl

It’s got you some interest from far and wide, a French music blog commented on your review and we saw an American label add you into a compilation. How far has word about you spread?

It’s been a bit strange how it’s reached France and America.  We’ve had a lot more American fans since they featured us on their winter compilation. It’s great to know someone’s keeping an eye on us from overseas. As far as we’re aware the furthest it’s gone out to is Oklahoma which is mad for a band based in Medway.
You’ve been gigging A LOT recently, whats been your favourite gig to date? How have the crowds received you?

Purple Turtle was a very good gig of ours. But then in terms of a crowd pleaser we all agree that Beacon Court on the 23rd of December was fantastic for us.  We were the band opening for the evening but we managed to pack out the whole room before 9 o clock.  Everyone there seemed so happy as it was 2 days before crimbo and all of our friends and family came down and to have a room full of people coming just to see you play cheer you on is the best feeling ever.  Every gig we’ve done we always get the best reaction from people afterwards.  The main comments are the harmonies between Genevieve and me.  We once got a comment saying we sounded like the beach boys with our harmonies.  It’s great to have comments like that.

What have been your funniest/weirdest experiences gigging?

I’m not going to lie but being in a band with our bassist Shaun Meaney is the funniest thing. He’s just mental and never ceases to amaze us. He’s so eccentric on stage and we now have a crowd pleaser called ‘The Meaney Bop’.   It’s one of them signature things that Shaun does on stage. It’s a joy to watch as he’s off in his own little world.


What are your plans for 2013?

GIG, GIG, GIG and also GIG !!!!  We’re going to be working on our album this year too which I will be recording myself in my home studio.  We aren’t in any rush to get it completed anytime soon and we aren’t in any rush to leak any details on it but we are going to keep this one very closely to our chests.

When 2013 goes off for you in a big way, what band big or small do you pick to tour with?

Crybaby Special and The Monsters.  They have been tweeted by The Libertines recently.  They’ve been asked to play with and support Pete Doherty and they are the most respected band out in Kent at the moment.  There’s no contest as to what band we want to gig with.  We’re already gigging with them all over our hometown and throughout London too.  They are the hardest working musicians about and they deserve everything they work for.  As a band we’ve had the amazing honour to follow them in their steps and we’ve learnt so much from them.  They’ve helped us out in more ways than I can thank them for.  Not only are they the best local band I’ve seen live before and they are three of the best people I’ve met. We gig with them what seems to be every gig these days but I wouldn’t change that. We always have such a laugh with Jason, Josh and Lewis.  They are the reason we’re so busy.  Seeing them do over 100 gigs last year made us all want it soo much as well. I have no fear in saying they’re going to be massive one day in the very near future !

And most importantly, whats your favourite kind of biscuit?

This is the hardest thing you’ve asked today. I’m going to have to say chocolate digestive. It’s sweet, it’s tasty and it’s got chocolate all over one side. It’s better than your average bourbon ! !

Wildfowl on Facebook

David Horn

Related Posts:

Release Review: Wildfowl – The Carousel E.P


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