Band Q&A – These Five Years

We spoke to Cardiff based band, ‘These Five Years’. They’re composed of;

  • Harry Morgan – Vocals
  • Joel Niersmans – Guitar/Vocals
  • Carl Sturdy – Guitar/Vocals
  • Adam Evans – Bass
  • Jason Keenan – Drums

1) Who are your top 3 influences?

  1. Trash Boat
  2. The Story So Far
  3. The Wonder Years

2) How did you get your band name?

Four of us (Jason, Adam, Carl, and Joel) were writing together for a few months under the name ‘A Year in Review’. After Harry joined in late 2016 we adopted our current name for a few reasons, mainly that it was five years since he had moved away from home, and a lot of our early songs were reflections on that. There’s also a super good film called ‘The Last Five Years’ which inspired the name, and it’s a general reflection on the whole ‘five year plan’ thing – that we’re supposed to know what we’re doing five years from now, and always be planning for that. It’s got a lot of different meanings!

3) How did you all meet?

Jason and Carl have been playing together for years, they used to be in a band called ‘Wilson’ who performed in Cardiff quite a lot. After Wilson broke up Adam and Joel began rehearsing together with Jason and Carl, going through a fair few singers before Harry joined. In terms of the specifics as to how we met – random conversations about wanting to be in bands, andjoinmyband.com, of all things!

4) What is your song writing process?

That’s a tricky one! Usually one of us will write/demo some ideas on guitar, sometimes a full song, sometimes say a verse and chorus, or even just a riff, then bring them to the rest of the band. We then tweak at those collectively for however long it takes until we’re happy. We write most of our music collectively.

5) What are your plans for a year from now?

So we recently signed with Stereo Brain Records as their first act, and we’ll be releasing our 2nd EP later in the year with them. We’d love to be touring far more, seeing places we’ve never seen, and getting our music to the widest possible market. The response to our recent single, ‘I Hope You Know‘, has been great so we’re really looking to build on that.

6) First gig experience?

Our first show was February 2017 in Cardiff – we had no songs out yet and it was a bit ropey! Was a special one for us though as for a number of us we hadn’t played live in some time before then, so it just felt great to be back on stage. We’ve certainly come a long way since.

7) What has been your biggest challenge so far?

We had probably our then-biggest show booked for O2 Academy Islington last August. We’d sorted a bus to take fans/family/friends from Cardiff (where we’re based) to London for the show, the bus company ended up arriving several hours late, causing both us and all those who’d bought tickets to miss the show. We were let down, and as a result felt like we’d let others down massively. It was hard to pick ourselves up from that, as opportunities to play venues like that don’t come around too often!

8) Favourite thing about performing?

It’s the best part of being a band. Just the energy and feeling you get being on stage, seeing people sing your words back, it’s amazing. For those 30 minutes or so, all our worries and fears in the world just fade into the background and we can immerse ourselves in the experience. It’s the thing that keeps us going, for sure!

9) Favourite song to perform live?

We still do love playing our first single ‘Persistence’, as it was a big milestone for us – a lot of us hadn’t played in bands in years/ever so the fact it still goes down well means a lot. We’ve recently been playing a newer track called ‘Landing Light’ too which is super refreshing to play live!

10) What inspired these recent songs?

Our first EP ‘How It’s Been’ was a bit of a love letter to the experience of being a student, and the difficulties transitioning into adult life. Our latest single ‘I Hope You Know’ is a bit of a bridge between this EP and our newer songs. It’s about moving beyond negativity, and people who seek to define you through their words. It’s about standing on your own two feet, and letting those who doubt you know you are more than able to make your own path.

11) What do you do when you’re not musically involved?

We all work full time – pretty mixed jobs to be honest, Harry works in education, Jason’s a graphic designer, Carl and Joel and have office jobs and Adam’s a window fitter. Luckily it’s all Mon – Fri, 9-5 stuff which helps with shows! Carl, Joel, and Harry are pretty big gamers, Adam’s into photography, and Jason’s a mean cook, which is always helpful! Other than that, just going to shows, chilling, and having time to unwind is nice as we’re pretty busy 95% of the time.

12) In your opinion, what’s your best song?

We’d probably have to say our latest single, ‘I Hope You Know’. It’s definitely the most ‘us’ we’ve ever sounded – Ian Sadler our producer (ROAM, Coast to Coast, Layover) made it sound absolutely huge, he’s a wizard when it comes to pop punk. The meaning behind it resonates with all of us differently, which is nice compared to some of our earlier songs which are perhaps more specifically about events in my life.

13) Who has the worst dress sense?

As Harry dresses 95% of the time in Nintendo merch – him!

14) Funniest show story?

Funniest show story would have to be when we played with Handguns & Forever Came Calling. Jason (drums) is a huge Handguns fan and basically went mad for the whole set, spending most of it stood on the monitors, tried to crowd surf, and let’s just say it didn’t quite go to plan!

15) Pizza! What do you all have?

Everything. But not pineapple, for obvious reasons.

16) Most annoying member?

Definitely me (Harry) – I’m usually the one organising the more boring stuff behind-the-scenes stuff so I have to bug the others the most.

17) Who has the worst tattoo?

I’m not sure to be honest! Don’t really have any regrets on that, we don’t all have them though.

18) Fast forward and you’re millionaires. What do you do with the money?

Well – we’d have a lot more time to spend on music that’s for sure! Think that’s the first thing we’d do, and then see where we go from there.

You can follow ‘These Five Years’ on Twitter and Facebook.

Listen on Spotify.

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