We talk to a young band from Cornwall making massive steps towards being the biggest South Western export since the pasty.
Words: Alex Hurd, Subeditor: Karolina Zilenaite
Haunt The Woods are a four piece alternative folk band hailing from the South West that have been building up a big name for themselves. The hype keeps growing around after pulling off a main stage slot at Boardmasters festival, a support slot with Dry the River and a performance on TFI Friday alongside Mark Ronson and Stereophonics last Friday.
The four members Jonathan Stafford (Guitar/lead vocals) Phoenix Elleschild – (Lead guitar/vocals) Olly Bignell (Drums/vocals) and Alex Skinner (Bass guitar/vocals) are in the process of recording an album scheduled for next year, and they have just released a new song, “Architecture”. An epic, slow rising folksong that bursts into life, ending more in the realms of post rock, with a beautiful strings arrangement, technical lead guitar and powerful heartfelt lyrics.
There is no denying how talented this band are, and with an average age of just 21, it makes it more impressive how professional and polished their sound is. They are all close friends and that tightness reflects well in their music and the influences you can here vary from classic folk, new folk right across to post rock.
Speaking to VOL music, Jonathan said: “We all like different things. I like Damien Rice, Jeff Buckley, Dry the River, and Phoenix was a bit of a metal head when he was younger, but as he’s grown as a musician, his main influences have included progressive and post rock bands like Pink Floyd and This Will Destroy You.”
The picturesque and mellow surroundings of Cornwall almost go hand in hand with the rich folk sound Haunt The Woods have, and it seems their home has played as big part in crafting their sound just as much as the music they listened to. Jonathan added: “I think the Cornish shire and the beauty of the surroundings and way of life have definitely had an influence on us all as people, and, therefore, has naturally impacted our sound, in particular the lyrics and some of the imagery in them.”
The band’s buoyant rise has caught the ears of Sam Mumford, who’s CV includes being A&R manager for Imagem music, the publishers behind pink Floyd, Mark Ronson and Daft Punk, and he has been recruited as the bands manager. Commenting on what Sam will bring to the band, Jonathan said: “He has a wonderful knowledge of the industry and a whole lot of experience to draw upon too. He has been instrumental in preparing us for our careers and making sure we are all ready in every possible way to go ahead with the plan we have.”
Haunt The Woods clearly have a plan, the music speaks for itself and they know how to play live. That sounds like a combination that can mean only one thing, a bright musical future.
Haunt The Woods play The Barrel House, Totnes on December 11th and a debut album scheduled for release sometime in 2016