Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 58 - Interview with Your Army

YOUR ARMY: Interview with LUCY CAFFREY


Your Army is a new English hard rock band hailing from Brighton that originally formed in 2009. They have shown plenty of potential in their early days especially live. They have headlined the Unsigned Stage at the Isle Of Wight Festival in both 2009 and 2010. Their EP was also released in 2009. As well as playing IOW, they have Skunk Anansie guitarist Ace took the band under his wing and not only helped them with a record label but also produced their debut ‘Ignite’ which was released earlier this year. Dave Scott sent some questions over to singer Lucy Caffrey to find out more.


Many of our readers may be unfamiliar with Your Army, how would you describe the style of your music and how would you classify your sound?

Your Army is all about the live sound! As far as sound goes we would describe it as energetic and raw rock along with gritty, soulful vocals. Our music is quite intense and aggressive at times and certainly balls to the wall!

When it comes to music, who or what would you say are the influences behind the style of Your Army? Who or what inspires the band musically?

We take influence from the likes of Billy Talent as well as Juliette And The Licks. Muse is a big influence for their live performance where as Skin and Chris Cornell is as well for the vocals.

Is there a specific meaning behind the name of the band or a particular reason you choose the name Your Army?

Our name actually came from a Radiohead song ‘You And Whose Army’. We liked the idea of our name being relatable to our audience and thought it would be a strong and memorable one.

Can you introduce us to each member of the group and maybe tell our readers a little about how they came to be part of the band?

Andy is the drummer; he founded the band along with Chris the guitarist. Lucy then joined after meeting in college. We all moved to Brighton to study for our degrees and met Si our bassist there.

There is one name which, from the outside, appears pivotal in your history and that is Ace (guitarist for Skunk Anansie). How did your paths cross and what effect did meeting him have on Your Army?

We met Ace in Brighton; he was DJing at a local radio station and taught at the University we went to. We would go in for interviews and ask to play our music on the radio and he said that he would like to produce a record for us one day as he was a fan. We didn’t actually think this would happen until he called us one day to say "Hey I might have a record label interested, get some material together” which we did and the album happened! To have someone like him supporting our band is amazing and we wouldn’t have an album and be touring if it wasn’t for him! *bows down*!

Is there any significance behind the choice of ‘Ignite’ as your album title?

I think because of the energy in our live shows and the fact it’s our first album, the name ‘Ignite’ seemed appropriate. We didn’t want anything over the top, just something simple to capture the essence of the album.

Summing up the album in general, what can new potential listeners expect?

We wanted to basically take what we do on stage and put it on a record! We wanted to try and keep it as "us" as possible without adding too many extra instruments and without it sounding too over polished. Capturing the energy was our main aim which is hard to do but I think we did a pretty good job!

Is there any particular meaning behind any of the individual tracks on ‘Ignite’?

I try to make all our songs meaningful, I’d like people to relate to them and find something familiar in my writing. Plus it makes the performance side more interesting as opposed to singing vacuous songs about the weather. If I had to pick one, I think it would be ‘Liberate Yourself’ as I wrote it when the band was at a bit of a low point and we were struggling to find our niche.

How do you go about writing your music? I noted from the album sleeve you put “written by Your Army”. I assume that means you all contributed in different ways?

We usually write our own parts. We used to start out by writing the instrument parts first and then putting the melody and lyrics on top but we found that it didn't leave enough space/freedom for the vocals. We now try and write the backing around the vocal melody as opposed to the other way around as it makes for a better, more seamless and interesting song.

Where does your inspiration come from when the band writes a song?

We normally write after seeing a band live or hearing a great new track. It makes us want to become better songwriters. The subjects usually come from social situations that we've experienced or matters close to the heart. We want the tracks to be as authentic as possible. It's also quite therapeutic getting to say/scream what you feel on stage to a bunch of people without getting any shit back!

You have already released two singles in ‘One Last time’ and ‘No Good’. Are you planning to release any more singles?

We're not planning to release anymore singles, we just want to concentrate on promoting the album as much as possible as it’s our first one and we're not established enough. I think we can use our current videos to reach new people all the time.

You made a video for ‘No Good’, have you given any thought to recording a video for ‘One Last Time’ or any other future single releases?

We actually do have a video for ‘One Last Time’ on our YouTube and Facebook pages. It's pretty dark but it's fun to watch!

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You have been quite busy with live gigs in your short career. You headlined the Isle Of Wight Unsigned Stage two years running, how did you come about the opportunity to play such a prestigious event?

The Isle of Wight Festival was so good! We played at a venue on the island during a tour and there were loads of young people keen to see live music and just have fun so it kicked off with a pretty good mosh pit. I think the organizers liked our energy so they asked if we wanted to play the festival the following year which of course we did! It's a great festival; not too big but with great acts.

Have you any future UK live dates coming up to promote ‘Ignite’?

We've got our album release on Feb 23rd at Sticky Mikes Frog Bar in Brighton which will round up our tour. We've also got a date at the Bull & Gate in London on the 22nd Feb. Our album will be sold physically at both so it's a great chance to get hold of it!

For Lucy, how did you get into singing and how did your vocal style come about? Do you play any instruments?

I always sang as a kid listening to the records my parents used to play. This included the likes of Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin and Queen. I loved their power and gritty style and how they sang so passionately. The first album I ever bought was ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’ by Lauryn Hill which started my love for RnB and hip hop- artists like Destiny's Child who really inspired me. I like to mix RnB licks with a gritty tone. I don't play anything which is stupid as I have three musicians around me all the time who could easily teach me. I must admit I'd love to learn the drums lol.

It always seems the singer is in the spotlight for most bands. Do you feel that is the case with Your Army and if so how do you find being the focal point for the band?

I guess it's nearly always the case with the singer isn't it? If you meet me in person, I'm actually quite shy. I hate being the centre of attention and find it difficult talking to people I've just met. However on stage, I feel more at ease and I'm happy to front the band and be the focal point.

What is it like for you being the only female in the band and in a fairly male dominated industry?

I actually love being the only girl; I'm most comfortable around guys as I'm quite a tomboy. I'm not intimidated by being in a male dominated industry. In fact I'm more intimidated when I see an awesome female artist. We're currently touring with an all girl rock band from Germany called The Black Sheep who keep me on my toes! They're so talented it’s scary. But they are also the nicest people.

Are there any interesting stories or facts about any members of the band?

Lucy competed in the first series of the X-Factor in a girl band.

What would you say is the highlight moment for the band so far, and in contrast what has been the lowest moment?

Our lowest point I think was during the space of about a year in 2010. Andy our drummer moved away and we weren't writing or gigging or doing anything but working which was so frustrating. We were just about ready to give up being honest.  Our highlight is probably getting a deal a year later with our label Intono Records, they saved our ass! To have a group of people believe in what we do and support us is amazing and we're very lucky with the opportunities they've given us.

Have you given any thought to the future? For example, what does the next five years hold in store for Your Army in your mind? Have you found the sound you’re after or do you feel the band still has more evolving to do?

The future hopefully holds a lot more touring, we're currently touring around Germany and the UK which is great fun. We'll start writing for our next album this year which will be exciting as were starting from scratch. Our sound will definitely evolve and will hopefully mature the more we write/gig. There's a lot more we want to experiment with, ‘Ignite’ is only the beginning!

Is there anything you would like to add to the readers of Fireworks?

Our album Ignite is available to download to buy physically at any of our shows in February. The dates are on our Facebook page and our website ... www.facebook.com/yourarmyuk and www.yourarmy.net. We hope to see some of you there.

Your-Army-Interview

(photo by Guido Toelke)

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