Shows don’t always go to plan, and for many reasons.
Some people are not what they seem, and are out for themselves (yes, it was mentioned before, but it is an important one).
Don’t always think something can be done in one take in the studio, especially if you say it out loud (light-hearted, but true).
Some music venues are not there forever. Especially over the past year, we’ve sadly lost some great venues due to recent events in the world.
Overindulgence in any form is never good before going on stage. One of us can definitely vouch for that when we were 17 (again, light-hearted, but very true).
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Joe Symes.
Joe Symes and the Loving Kind are a three-piece band from Liverpool, UK Consisting of Joe Symes (Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica), Colin White (Drums/Percussion/Backing Vocals), and Alan Welsh (Bass Guitar).
The band has not long finished a two-and-a-half-year tour across the UK and parts of Europe in promotion of their critically acclaimed second album Phase II: an album that has gained airplay on radio stations all over the world and UK, as well as reviews, magazine interviews, and endorsed by celebrities from the world of show business around the world and UK.
The band is also currently finishing off a four-track EP, which is a follow up to Phase II, and will be released in late 2021.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?
JS&TLK — We (Joe Symes — Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica, Colin White –Drums/Percussion/Backing Vocals, Alan Welsh — Bass Guitar), were all brought up in Liverpool, which is in the northwest of England, surrounded by very loving and supportive families. Music of many different varieties was always around our houses, as well as classic films and TV shows, which we’re all still very fond of. The seeds of what we would all eventually do had definitely been planted at a very early age; it’s just we weren’t aware of it at the time.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
JS&TLK — Like what was said in the first question, music was always around our houses. For me (Colin), it must’ve been when I was 11 when my brother would play a lot of The Doors albums and videos. I remember seeing their Live at the Hollywood Bowl gig from 1968 and watching John Densmore in the middle of the stage on the drum riser, and thinking, “I can do that.” From then on there was no going back.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career? What was the lesson or take away that you took out of that story?
JS&TLK — Ha! During those initial years, I think we all individually witnessed a lot of funny things; too many to mention. Mainly a list of dos and don’ts when going to gigs, and seeing people who probably shouldn’t have been on a stage in the first place make fools of themselves. One that springs to mind was a band who were told exactly how long they had to play, went over when they knew, and eventually got turned off. Plus, let’s just say their on stage image left a lot to be desired.
What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?
JS&TLK — Hone your craft, whether it’s the instrument you play, and/or the songs that you write, and get it out there to as many people as possible. That is one of the advantages of social media at the moment. The more you share, the more people will know of you.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?
JS&TLK — “Villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged.”
That quote perfectly sums up some of the negative aspects of the business we’re in. While you will meet good, like-minded people, you may also come across some who are not what they seem, and attempt to take advantage or use you for their own personal gain. Believe me, we have.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
JS&TLK — To name one person would be impossible. As far as we’re concerned all the people who have believed in us from the start deserve that credit. Family, friends, all the people that have helped with our promotion in every way, and form. Those who read this will know who they are.
Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview, how are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting social impact causes you are working on right now?
JS&TLK — It’s all in the music. We’ve always taken pride in the fact that we write songs that appeal to a wide audience; songs that are uptempo, catchy, and lift people. That’s the main thing for us: that people walk away from listening to an album/single/EP, and from a gig in a good mood. Or if they weren’t beforehand, they will come away feeling better. Nothing in the world beats that thought of doing that.
Can you tell us the backstory about what originally inspired you to feel passionate about this cause and to do something about it?
JS&TLK — Probably when the band started, I suppose, and getting the songs together to record, and play live. Like what was said in the last question, There’s nothing better than people walking away from a show feel good. I don’t think we could live with ourselves if we heard that people left our gigs feeling miserable. Though we have heard about some bands doing that. Not our style.
Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and take action for this cause? What was that final trigger?
JS&TLK — Again, when we got that the band together; collectively, that is. Individually, I’d say when we started playing music; that time when we knew this is what we wanted to do with our lives, and never look back. And we can safely say when haven’t looked back ever.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
JS&TLK — There is no one person. It’s all the people who love our music, and what we do. All of them collectively.
Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?
JS&TLK — It’s simple really. Listen to our music, come and see us play, and spread the word to as many people as possible.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.
JS&TLK — Ah, you’ve put us right on the spot here.
- Shows don’t always go to plan, and for many reasons.
- Some people are not what they seem, and are out for themselves (yes, it was mentioned before, but it is an important one).
- Don’t always think something can be done in one take in the studio, especially if you say it out loud (light-hearted, but true).
- Some music venues are not there forever. Especially over the past year, we’ve sadly lost some great venues due to recent events in the world.
- Overindulgence in any form is never good before going on stage. One of us can definitely vouch for that when we were 17 (again, light-hearted, but very true).
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
JS&TLK — We’re not really into movements. We’re just a band who plays uptempo, catchy music that we think appeals to many people, and when those people take good things from it, that’s us spreading our influence, and bringing out the best in people.
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
JS&TLK — Wow! That’s a tough one. Just one person can’t be singled out, as it would be unfair. To those who discover the band through this interview, perhaps people could email in their own questions, and we could answer some in a follow interview to promote the new EP later this year. If that’s OK with you, of course.
Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!
JS&TLK — Thank you very much for having us again. It’s been a pleasure, and spread the word like butter.