Interview: The Folk Remedy

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I think I have fell in love with “The Folk Remedy”. Its takes just one song to grip you, then you’re gripped for life. For me that song is “New York Skyline”. A folk alternative to the Alicia Keys song ‘New York’, this tune is beautiful, well toned, perfectly harmonised and shows an iconic musical landscape. Even the story that accompanies the song is so romantic. Whilst on honeymoon in New York, lead singer, Matt Whoriskey felt so compelled to write about the Big Apple that he whisked to a local music store, bought a new guitar, and more or less had the song finished in 30 minutes.  Lyrics such as “apple of your eye’ and metaphors such as ‘hole in the stomach that can’t be filled’  and ‘remember the embers” pay a beautiful homage to 9/11.  Quite a few more personified notions of New York follow, and within the perfectly contexted vocals, this song will win you over.  I was lucky to interview Matt to find about more about “The Folk Remedy”, how they formed, their musical influences and the forthcoming release of their EP “Sirens”.

SP: Hi guys!  How did this collaboration come about?  Did you all know each other before you decided to create the band?

MW: Yeah, Maria and I are friends from home and we’ve played music together in the past before we formalised things and got the band together.  Rob is married to a friend and colleague of mine and we’ve jammed a bit and it really grew from there!

SP: Your releasing your first EP ‘Sirens” shortly.  How did you find the process of collating the songs to be included within the EP?

MW: We had some older songs that we’ve had and when we started adding our own creativity to it, strings here, lead guitar there, it really started to shape the songs and create a sound for us.  We went into the studio then and our producer Jeffers applied the finishing touches then.

SP: Will you be going on a promotional tour with the EP?

MW: We’ll be mainly doing some gigs around Manchester and the North West, then some dates in Ireland.  In the summer we’ll be looking further afield and we’ve had some interest to go to the south-east and Holland too.

SP: Is there a favorite song that you’ve written, that you are particularly proud of?  Or one that took you a while to complete – you had the basis there, but it took a while to come together?

MW: I think there are certain songs when we click and New York Skyline is one of those.  Also, the EP title track too Sirens.  We’re starting to enjoy playing more, the more we are together and we’re adding more and more to our repertoire.  We’ve recently been working on more songs together as a three piece and this is starting to make a real difference.

SP: How do you go about composing a song? Do you use a situation you have been in or take inspiration from other situations/stories?  Do you start by chords or lyrics?

MW: Both is the answer to both questions.  Quite often it’s a personal experience as in ‘New York Skyline’ and other songs but sometimes songs  like “Sirens” and “Looks Are Deceiving” are about totally different things and other people’s lives.  Quite often it’s the melody that gets  things going and other times it’s a phrase.  Sometimes it’s both and in 2-3 minutes you could have a whole song composed, uploaded on SoundCloud for all to hear.

SP: New York Skyline is an amazing song and seems to have got noticed – and rightly so.  Were you in New York when 9/11 happened, or did you just feel compelled to write about it?

MW: I was there on honeymoon in 2008 and it was my first time there.  I’d bought a guitar on Ludlow Street and went back to the hotel and wrote there and then, looking out the window, looking at the, well, skyline.

SP: You’ve had some pretty impressive endorsements and radio play on BBC Radio.  Who else would you like The Folk Remedy to play to?  Any particular festivals in mind, seeing as festival season is approaching?

MW: Any festival, please.  Haha, no but we’re so keen to get out there.  It’s been amazing getting some play on BBC and Tom Robison’s playing our song “Jack And Mac” this weekend on BBC 6 Music, so that will be our first national radio play. I’ve been looking at some festivals, mainly folk ones that accommodate acoustic acts.  Although, we’re up for anything.  So, if you’re reading this, get in touch!

SP: Who designed the cover for ‘Sirens’?  Was there a particular brief?

MW: I took the photo in Moville, Ireland, and applied some effects to it.  I wanted the font to be quite relaxed and informal but still be consistent with the band and the website.  It’s trial and error at the moment but I hope it’s nice.

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SP: Aside from Bob Dylan, are there any other artists that influence your work?

MW: Ryan Adams is my main influence and we’re also influenced by Neil Young, Elbow.  I love Damien Jurado, The Postal Service and I’m starting to get into new bands like The Villagers and Sheffield’s Screaming Maldini.

SP: Some of your songs, like “Fool Fool”, are very Texan sounding with a bluesy fill before the last part of the song.  What/whom inspired you to come up with this sound?

MW: “Twenty Nine” by Ryan Adams and “Subterranean Homesick Blues” are bluesy songs that just hit me and “Fool Fool” was born out of them.  Rob then added some really nice lead that just changes it totally then!

SP: Tell us your plans for the next six-months? Where can we expect to find you playing or touring with next?

MW: Imminent tour dates and then after that we’re aiming to do some touring in the summer.  I’m looking at heading to the South-East of England and heading over into Holland and North Germany too.

SP: Any other EP’s in the pipeline?  If so, is there anyone you would like to work with?

MW: I’m back in the studio this week to get more tracks recorded.  I’m writing all the time and Rob has been  writing some new songs too.  So we’re keen to get them down and  start promoting.  We’re aiming to officially release ‘Sirens’ as a CD/iTunes release in April/May though still.

SP: Sum up The Folk Remedy in five words!

MW: Vintage, Folk, Strings, Modern, Songs

SP: Who are your favourite bands at the moment?

MW: The Strokes, Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, Jack White, Dylan, Neil Young, Fionn Regan and piles more!

The Folk Remedy tour dates are as follows:-

WED 27 MARCH

The Roadhouse Manchester, UK

SAT 30 MARCH

Rawdon’s Movile Donegal, Ireland

TUE 9 APRIL

Big Hands Manchester, UK

WED 10 APRIL

Gullivers Bar Manchester, UK

WED 17 APRIL

Bay Horse Manchester, UK

Find more about them here.

Twitter @thefolkremedy

Facebook: The Folk Remedy 

SoundCloud

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