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Interview: Joe Symes and the Loving Kind



We recently caught up with Joe, Stef, and Colin of “Joe Symes and the Loving Kind” to talk music, their newest record, Things Get Better, the band’s penchant for silent films, and how the music industry has changed since their first album.


Who are the members of the band and what instruments do they play?

JOE: I’m Joe, I play guitar, harmonica and sing lead vocals.

STEF: Hi, I’m Stef, and I’m the bassist.

COLIN: I’m Colin, I play drums and percussion, sing backing vocals, and own a very nice collection of antique spoons.

Why did you name your band “JOE SYMES AND THE LOVING KIND?” What is the origin of that name?

JOE: Well, Joe Symes is my name, hello from me, and The Loving Kind came from Colin, our drummer, to which he can explain.

COLIN:Yeah, the first part of the band name Joe’s had all his life. The second is a line from the R.E.M. song “Get Up.” For me it just rolls off the tongue. Joe Symes and the Loving Kind: simple, memorable, classic.




What genre of music do you consider your work to be?

COLIN: Consistently versatile.

STEF: It’s got every genre in it whether it’s subtle or plain obvious all blended together.

JOE: I don’t think we fit into one genre; we have so many sides to the writing of the songs. I think they speak for themselves, so we let the audience make up their minds as to how we sound.

Who are your major musical influences/heroes?

STEF: The Doors, The Clash, Motown, The Smiths, The Beatles.

JOE: The Beatles, The Doors, The Who, my mum and my dad, family, Motown, Frank Sinatra, Cult TV. The list is endless.

COLIN: Drumming influences go right across the board. John Densmore from the Doors is the reason I play. Ringo’s there too, as well as people like Hall Blaine, all the Funk Brothers’ (Motown) drummers, John Bonham, Daru Jones, Buddy Rich, Art Blakey, Levon Helm, Dave Grohl, Phil Collins, Mitch Mitchell, Elvin Jones, Bill Ward, Earl Palmer, D.J Fontana, Nick Mason, it’s just goes on and on.

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What is a typical day of rehearsals like?

COLIN: Well, we’ve all been playing for a while, so I find we just breeze through it all, and whittle everything off like there’s nothing to it…but in a loud way.

STEF: Loud!

JOE: Very Loud, enjoyable and rewarding.

How do you handle stress and pressure as a band?

Joe: It’s not easy, writing songs, the band promotion that we do, the continued gigs, interviews, radio TV, but we do love it and think I can speak for us all on that question.

COLIN: We just get on with it. Our hunger gets us through it all.

STEF: Easy! It gets quite busy some weeks, though, but it’s all good for the band!




What was the first song you wrote and can you tell us what it’s about?

JOE: I have written tons of songs up to now, a lot of new songs have come into the band recently. The first song I wrote we don’t even have in the set. Who knows, maybe we will play it soon. It’s a nice little play on words called “All On Our Own.” I’ve never even played it to the band. LOL.

Are the songs a collaborative effort?

JOE: The end result is a collaborative effort, but most of the time I will present the band with the songs in full at the start, then they will contribute themselves to the song.

COLIN: We’ll kinda color it in.

STEF: I put my own style and feel into the song with a decent melody in the bass line that can be a tune in itself!




Does the band have a main songwriter?

JOE: Yes, me. But the band are writers also in the parts they put into the songs

STEF: I write the bass lines.

COLIN: Everyone gets fully acknowledged for what they bring to the table, no matter what it is.

How does the music effect the lyrics and vice versa?

JOE: It just comes in one for me, to be honest. The make up of the music and the end result is the exciting part for me.




How would you describe the evolution of the bands sound?

COLIN: The first album was a resume of what the band can do.

JOE: I think we are changing all the time, our debut album was so diverse that when people hear us now they cannot believe the transition. We can do all kinds of styles; that’s what makes up for the songwriting. Our new album is going to be very heavy, but really catchy pop songs yet again.

STEF: It’s got louder, more raw, and a lot tighter sounding.

Some of your music videos utilize footage from silent films. What made you choose to go that route instead of a typical “live performance” style video? Do you have a favorite silent film?

JOE: Yeah we like that, it’s different from what everyone else is doing for me. Our friend Stephen Brown who is a great video director put together the silent videos for us and I think it shows that we don’t want to do the ‘More Of The Same’ type of videos that everyone else does.

STEF: Harold Lloyd is amazing, and Laurel and Hardy. The average life span for a piano wasn’t long in them days! They made strong clocks though!

COLIN: Silent film? Hmm. Probably Nosferatu.

Silent film star Harold Lloyd in “Safety Last,” the inspiration for the band’s recent music videos.


Where would you like to be in your music career five years from now?

JOE: Playing even bigger venues, more recording and making more music. I think you will find yourself doing it whether you want to or not.

COLIN: More albums, singles, EPs under our belt, and for the acknowledgment to keep on growing.

STEF: Still creating really cool bass lines!

Why is making music so important to you?

STEF: Its always going through my head 24 hours a day; I can’t escape it!

COLIN: It’s the main thing that’s given me confidence in life, and allowed me to express myself.

JOE: It’s my reason to get out of bed in the morning.



What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make as a band?

JOE: Just what songs we choose to play and it’s not really that difficult.

COLIN: What hat I need to wear.

STEF: Haircuts.

What do you know about the music industry today versus music 50 years ago (circa 1966)? How do you believe it has changed?

STEF: The gear: guitars, amps, etc. have got cheaper and more accessible to people, but other than that I’d rather be in 1966; my hair’s already there! Ha! Ha!

JOE: In my opinion there is no music industry today compared to what we know it was like 50 years ago. The Beatles released ‘Revolver’ 50 years ago this year and in that decade the greatest music on earth was made in my opinion. Nowadays we have so many different charts, genre’s of music and it seems like everyone want’s there fifteen minutes of fame and using music as a tool to achieve it and it meaning nothing to them. There is no real movement at the moment i feel, things seem to be plodding along, I can feel a change in the air and something happening soon.



Who are your all-time favorite artists to listen to?

JOE: The Beatles

COLIN: Oh, come on now. Ha! Ha! That changes from day to day. One day it could be Frank Sinatra, the next the Beatles, then Black Sabbath, then Burt Bacharach, then Hank Williams, then random TV/movie soundtracks; there’s so much.

STEF:The Doors.

How do you want to improve yourself as a band in the next year?

STEF:We wanna get over to the states! Give them a chance to witness the full live experience for themselves!

COLIN: Just see where our natural evolution individually and collectively takes us.

JOE: Even bigger gigs, support slots & touring.


What techniques and tools do you use when creating and writing music?

JOE: I just use my acoustic guitar for the writing of the songs, but I can play piano also and have written and played keyboard parts on our last release, “Things Get Better” and our debut album.

STEF: A good pair of ears, flexible fingers, and a sweet sounding bass is all I need.

COLIN: Feel and inspiration.

What’s different in the music industry today compared to when you first started and what would you do differently if you were just entering the industry today?

STEF:There’s way too much technology. You just need to strip everything back to the bare roots. That’s where the soul of the music is.

JOE: I would not do anything differently if I was starting a band now, I would do exactly what I do now, the only advantage that you have today is that we have the internet and social media and you can have sole control over your music, making your own video’s and don’t have to go begging to the record companies to do this and get your music heard to a world-wide audience.


In your opinion, what is the one thing that our world needs most?

JOE: More tea.

COLIN: Pleasure.

STEF: Love.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

JOE: Thanks for all your support. It means a lot to us, and keep spreading the word like butter.

COLIN: Keep jiving.

STEF: Thanks for listening. Cheers!







Joe Symes and the Loving Kind are a Trio band from Liverpool UK. The group has spent the last two years launching their explosive assault on UK clubs and festivals.
The band consists of JOE SYMES / Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica. STEF BUJAK / Bass Guitar. COLIN WHITE / Drums, Percussion.
‘Things Get Better’ was a three week BBC Introducing feature and BBC 6 music as tweeted by Cerys Matthews.
The band has recently been filmed by LFC TV  (Liverpool Football Club), The Arts Alive Show (on Virgin media Channel 159) all due to be aired soon. The band are about to start work on their follow up album from their debut album July 2016. Their debut album was voted “One Of The Best Indie Albums” of 2015 by Jammerzine.com in Canada.

Exclusive Interview Copyright 2016 XR VOLUME

Categories: Uncategorized
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