How did Miles and the Chain Gang come to be?
I'm Miles. I've been writing songs for years. I was married and we had two kids and I was focusing on being a Dad, other kinds of writing (novels, poetry) and I running an Arts Festival, which I did for 8 years. The marriage ended and I did a lot of thinking about what I wanted to do, and one of the big answers was music. I went out and played open mic nights around York, playing songs I'd written years ago. I met Billy Hickling (drums), Tim Bruce (bass) and Alan Dawson (guitar) and we played our first gig in February 2019.
Do you have any releases coming up or planned?
We just released our first single 'When It Comes To You' in February this year. There's a video online people can have a look at. We're hoping to record really soon and get more material online, with videos so people can see what we're about, hopefully build an audience.
What is something you want listeners to take away from your music?
Gig wise, great fun, emotive music, have a bit of laugh and enjoy the night. Otherwise, just good songs. It's not complicated. I'm learning not to overthink it!
With everything that is going on in our world what is one cause or organization that you are passionate about?
For me, Climate Change beats everything else, because of the long term impact it will have on the planet. It's a strange time. A time of crisis. But we have been here before. There's always something kicking off somewhere. I asked a poet once if we were at the end of the world and he said 'I think we always have been'. We're all mortal. We're all going to die. The crucial thing is to live well, I think. Be kind. Don't be a twat. Be honest. Be generous. Be authentic. Those things
are important. How we treat others matters.
What is Miles and the Chain Gang's writing process like?
It's still early days, but I write the songs and take them to Billy and Tim and they put in a lot of power to the rhythm and feel of the song. Sometimes it makes it more upbeat, which is no bad thing. They tend to push things along. 'When It Comes To You' has a slightly new wave feel to it, which is an era that me and Billy love. When we rehearse we tend to do things more organically, with everybody contributing ideas, but we need more time to do that in the future. On the recording we brought in some friends - Holly Taymar sang backing vocal, Simon Waggott played keyboards and Alan Dawson did some great lead guitar.
To follow up with the last question, what inspires your sound?
For me it's about good songs and a kick-ass band. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band are a good example. Thin Lizzy. ACDC. I'm a huge Del Amitri fan - they married brilliant songs with a superb band sound.
Any tours coming up soon?
I wish. I was hoping we would do a mini tour this autumn, but I can't see it happening now for a long time. Hopefully it will happen in the future. I would really love to tour. Tim and Billy have done a lot of international performing but I've never done it, so it is an ambition of mine. But the virus thing has killed touring - for now, at least. Maybe in a year or two. Miles and the Chain Gang's latest single 'When It Comes To You' is available on Spotify, GooglePlay, Apple Music and Amazon MP3. www.youtube.com/watch?v=V43RLsMBdWc
Anything you would like to tell our readers?
Pet a cat in the street. Laugh often. Look up. The sky is unfolding. The moon glows. It's amazing to be here. Be kind. It's better to be kind than right.