Name: The Remedy
Formed: February 2012 (As ‘The Essentials’)
Genre: Rock ‘n’ Roll with ska, jazz and indie elements.
Line-up: Joel McCracken (Vox / Gtr) | Chris Hanna (Drums) | Gareth Davies (Bass) | Daniel Donaghy (Lead Gtr)
Similar to: The Stone Roses | Madness | Paul Weller
What They Say: “Funky, Indie Jazz”
What We Say: As intriguing as it is enjoyable; a unique sound guaranteed to leave you dancing.
◀ Q & A ▶
▶ How did The Remedy first come together? Was it a natural process built on friendship or simply luck?
Some us had previously been in bands together and we decided where we wanted to head musically so we started looking for a bassist, found Gareth who used to be a guitarist, lent him a bass, switched Chris to drums and just clicked instantly, so we started penning tunes for our debut demo EP. So aye, mostly luck.
▶ How would you personally describe your sound to anyone who hasn’t heard you before?
This ones always difficult to answer, we’re trying to break the mold of having to stick to one genre and the limitations that come along with that. We want to make our own style, but there’s definite elements of indie, ska, jazz and soul that come through. Fans tend to call it funky indie jazz, we’ll go along with that as your best bet.
▶ Last time we checked, you had the writing almost complete for you’re second EP, ‘Good Plan Roxanne’ – What inspired the new name and will this EP be any different from your debut?
The name came from a phrase our drummer Chris always uses when people suggest something, there’s also a track on there called ‘No Time’ that references Roxanne and its about following your dreams, which is always a good plan. It’ll be much more professional, we have strings and all written, it might be slightly darker too but it’ll still keep the grooves like our demos on ‘Death by Groove’.
▶ Your unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll has drawn comparisons as diverse as a ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ era Oasis, to the ska inspired grooves of The Police. How long did it take you to find this eclectic balance?
It came quite naturally to be honest, we listen to a range of music so a variety of styles tends to come through in everyone’s playing and writing. Sometimes the elements just don’t work together though but that’s what we’re trying to do is explore boundaries.
▶ Your dynamic live performances have helped to carve out a strong reputation for you now, particularly the inclusion of frontman Joel McCracken’s unusual choice of instrument. How did that make it into your set and how important is that to your unique sound?
Joel always played tenor horn and one day we just thought, “why’ve we never tried using it in a song?”. We wrote a James Bond inspired track called Casino Girl and since then its become integral in our sound, he also now plays trumpet too which gives more variety, it gives another level we can add to songs if appropriate and there aren’t many bands using brass in rock these days, everyone needs a bit of brass man.
▶ Can you pinpoint a Highlight and Low point of The Remedy’s musical journey so far?
I suppose lows would be times when we’re dry of gigs, the Belfast scene can be quite hard to break at times, sometimes it seems its just who you know that matters and it can be hard to get gigs. There’s a load of highlights, we played a house party and the atmosphere was just top, a wasted crowd grooving about in someone’s kitchen was just quality. Our gig in Shorts in June was great, over 150 turned up and some poor dance moves were pulled by all involved.
▶ On your own hypothetical world tour, if you could have any 3 bands/musicians (past or present) supporting you, who would you choose and why?
Rick Astley, Coldplay and The Scissor Sisters, to make us look good, and because ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ is the ultimate lads anthem. Seriously though, The Stone Roses because they’re our collective favourite band and I don’t think you’d ever be bored watching them, or going for a pint with The King Monkey. Oasis if they ever reformed because its a childhood dream for most bands like us to play with them, and probably Kasabian because their live shows the best of any going, and I’d quite like some of whatever Serge takes before he goes on stage, mad-man.
▶ Is there any local bands that you have either played with, or seen live that you have high hopes for/tip for big things?
We’ve played with the Echo Raptors and they’re one of the most talented upcoming bands about not only in Belfast but in the UK, it’d be an injustice if they don’t go far. We also love The Late Twos and The Couth and would love to play with either of them, some of the best bands in the UK are springing up around here now and its only a matter of time before people get on it.
▶ You’re debut EP, ‘Death By Groove’ got a wonderful reception, immediately adding your name to Belfast’s fast growing 90’s revival movement. How important is this movement for Belfast and what does it mean to you to be a part of it?
There’s some very talented bands coming up at the minute and its great to be listed alongside some of them. I’m not sure if we would class ourselves as 90’s revival, more so 90’s inspired music with a twist to make it a new thing. There’s definitely a thriving indie scene band wise though, although people seem slow to catch on to it. The talent’s immense and once people twig on I can see it being as big as the punk movement in the 80’s.
▶ Finally, what does success mean to The Remedy?
Success is everything for us: none of us want do to a mundane office job 9-5 every week, we want to wake up in Chicago with three lizards running around and only being dressed in a bag of wotsits. We’re all passionate about music and want people to get a buzz off our tunes, and to make a living out of doing something you love doing is the way life should be done.