Arcade Hearts together in matching white t-shirts

Interview: Arcade Hearts

Arcade Hearts consist of Daniel Surridge-Smith (vocals/guitar), Frankie Drain (guitar), Harrison Adams (bass) and Brandon Squibb (drums). The Gosport quartet began making music in their bedrooms, living rooms or any one of a number of friends and families makeshift rehearsal spaces. Fast forward a few years later and the band are preparing to release their debut EP and play a headline show at The Wedgewood Rooms. I recently caught up with Daniel to find out more about the band and what fans can expect from the show.

Could you tell me about how you initially got involved with music and who influenced you most?
My Brother-In-Law was in a local Portsmouth band when I was a fair bit younger, ‘The Fret’, I remember they played The Wedgewood Rooms and I couldn’t come (too young) but ended up driving past it regularly and dreaming about it. He used to tune a guitar I bought from the tip for £1 for me every morning, he sadly past away in 2008 at the age of 28. He was the reason I even picked up a guitar.

Could you tell me about how the band came to be formed? 
We all happened to be present at a gig in Gosport, and it was incredibly easy to allocate roles, and I think we knew that we all wanted to write and perform and just play it and see. So we started playing in front rooms and eventually into a rehearsal studio, and eventually we named ourselves and wrote a set list.

Can you describe how you felt after you’d released your first single? 
When we decided to upload ‘Honey’ onto all the digital streaming platforms and register it properly It felt like our first stepping stone, but a big one, like we were putting ourselves on a plate and serving us up. It could have gone horribly wrong, but we managed to secure a Clash Magazine premier for it and had press as far as Japan, it gave us some needed confidence to work harder.

For those who are new to your music which three tracks would you encourage them to check out first and why?
Well currently we only have 4 tracks available to listen to, so all of them, they’re all quite different but definitely tie in. Find what you like there if anything!

Could you tell me a little bit about your approach to writing songs? Are you someone who is always making notes or will you lock yourself away for a period of time to focus?
Can it be both? We never switch off, and we when get something going we spend quite a while deciding if we like it. We’ve finished songs and altered them right down to a desired length and tone, and then dropped it because we don’t vibe it. We’ve even recorded them and dropped them. We right on laptops, on paper and in our heads to remember for the next rehearsal.

How do you feel when you share your music for the first time? Do you prefer to share new music live where you can see the crowd’s reaction first hand or online perhaps? 
ALLLLWWWAAAAAYS LIVE. Live is key, we’re a live band through and through, we work really hard to get comfortable with our music. It’s ours, If we can’t play live with dedication, love and precision, then how can we recorded it and put online for everyone to hear.

What bands and artists are you currently listening to and how are they inspiring you to explore and implement new ideas with your music?
Fickle Friends pushed us to improve our live set, it has to be an energetic performance and sound perfect, no room for let downs. The production on the Pale Waves tracks is fantastic, as soon as you put them on it hits you, so when we record now we’re referencing them, Dua Lipa, Years & Years, Don Broco, The 1975, just to push what we can achieve recording in our own space (eg living room) and producing our own synths and edits. Have to aim high.

What can those fortunate enough to have tickets expect from your live show?
Hopefully a really polished show, and I want to call it a show, not a gig, that’s a personal thing. I think it needs to be a show, something that you’re fixated upon and supporting, not just a local or touring band in a venue.

Are you more nervous about playing your hometown or playing elsewhere? Does it help to see friendly/recognisable places in the crowd?
We have a headline show coming up at The Wedgewood Rooms and I’m nervous for it, its a big venue and it means a bit to me. Playing out of town throws up a lot of challenges, physically and mentally and its something we yearn to keep doing.

What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you?
September has our debut EP release and Wedgewood Rooms headline! October has a tour, and then I guess we’ll wait and see what the rest of the year has, I’m assuming more live shows and recordings, right?

Arcade Hearts will be supported by Jerry Williams and Hallan. You can pick up tickets for the show via the Wedgewood Rooms website for £7 each.


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