Ahead of their new release Brother Jessie Hallett and Luke Searle of South Wales duo Remembering August chat to Andy Howells
What are your names and where are you both from?
Jessie Hallett (Cardiff) Luke Searle (Beddau)
How did Remembering August come together?
We met studying Music in Bridgend College. We were paired up by our tutor for our end of course project to sing a duet together, we really connected through that experience and it all went from there! We started to stay behind after College to mess around with some covers to see how well our voices blended together with harmonies. Then we started gigging in our local area and then went onto songwriting which has lead us to where we are today!
Where did you get your name from?
August was a month where we felt we had two very different paths to choose from. Both needing a lot of commitment and dedication. So we always look back to how we felt at that particular time, and how passionate we were to follow what we really wanted.
How would you describe your music?
Our lyrics are always very personal to us, they always tell a story of an experience that either one of us has been through. Our live gigs are always very intimate with a lot of chemistry when we perform.
How do you go about writing your songs, do you find it easy to work together and inspire each other?
As solo artists we were both song writers in our own right. So making the transition from being a solo artist to being part of a duo was always going to be difficult. Majority of the time Luke will come up with amazing one-liners or a really catchy hook. He’ll then call me over and we’ll start developing his ideas. Once we start writing a new song, we work on it intensely until we feel perfectly happy with the outcome. We tend to get more inspired whilst at different locations. A lot of our songs have been written at the beach or just somewhere with a nice view, we like experimenting by putting ourselves in various areas. We've been fortunate to sign a publishing deal with Seemonkeysongs Ltd so will continue to write new songs.
You have already released one EP how did that come about and how well was it received?
Our first EP was recorded and produced by Ed Sheeran's co writer Amy Wadge. We met Amy whilst participating in a songwriting workshop in The Muni, Pontypridd. We performed our single ‘Stay’ for her, and she then booked us into her studio a few weeks later. The EP was self-released and we really learned a lot by doing that. We worked extremely hard to do everything necessary that would make the release great. Working off our own backs was hard, but It was a great learning curve for us.
What's been your best live experience so far?
One of the highlights of our career so far was definitely performing on the Forum Live Stage at Birmingham LG Arena before the Katy Perry show. It was an amazing crowd, and a real honour to be asked to play. We also supported James Walsh (Starsailor) at Clwb Ifor Bach, which was actually our favourite audience to date. We also played in the Park & Dare Theatre (which was Sold out) supporting Only Boys Aloud. We've been really fortunate to have played these fantastic venues with appreciative audiences.
We've finished recording out next EP ‘Brother’. We recorded it in Monnow Valley studios where the likes of Oasis, Led Zepplin have recorded. The EP consists of 5 tracks, one of which is our next single ‘Stay’. ‘Stay’ will be released on the 20th October followed by the EP release on the 27th October. Everything will be available for download on all major distributors e.g. iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc.
We’re extremely excited to see our hard work come to life - a lot of blood, sweat and tears (literally - watch the music video!) went into this EP and we can’t wait to share it. Lee House (our producer) is doing an amazing job with our tracks so far so we hope you’ll all love them as much as we do!
Where can we see you live?
Our next gig is The Big Cwtch Festival in Camarthen on 13th September. We are currently booking live shows for the rest of the year, all of which will be released on our social media very soon - so keep your eyes peeled! We’re also happy to have announced our signing with booking agent Swb Artists!
Where can we find out more about the band?
Our official website is www.rememberingaugust.co.uk / facebook.com/rememberingaugustmusic / twitter.com/rememberingaug / youtube.com/rememberingaugustuk / soundcloud.com/rememberingaugustmusic
- A version of this Q&A with Andy Howells appeared in the South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide during September 2014