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Interview: Dry The River

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Dry The River are one of the most talked about bands this year. TNS sat down with guitarist Matthew and drummer Jon ahead of a sell-out gig for the Energy Sessions, sponsored by Relentless Energy Drink.

Dry The River have emerged as the latest act bringing folk back into the mainstream alongside contemporaries such as Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes.

Explaining his thoughts about the latest rise of folk, Matthew said:  "I think its an anti X-Factor kind of thing, people want to buy into something real’ Jon added to this, stating: ‘I don’t think it went anywhere, I’ve always seen people playing folk, but people have started to want real songs".

Their belief that people want songs with substance has certainly been vindicated, with the band riding a wave of support that has taken the band by surprise, with Jon claiming, ‘it’s a surprise, because we don’t feel like we’ve been doing anything differently and we certainly don’t feel like the next big thing, but it’s very exciting’. Matthew echoed this sentiment, adding that ‘it feels like a reward for all the hard work we’ve done touring and with the album so we’re really pleased that it’s all being recognised’.

Despite the band’s modesty, with the BBC labeling them as one of the sounds of 2012, it’s difficult to see how Dry The River won’t achieve the success they deserve.

This year saw the release of the band’s debut album Shallow Bed to critical acclaim across the board. It appears the band’s sound is now fully realised, combining their dissonant influences to create a truly unique folk record.

When asked about the reaction to the album, Jon said: "It’s been amazing, really good. We were somewhat surprised about the reaction, as our live show is a lot louder and more rocky than the album, which is grander in scale, but much more folk driven so we weren’t sure how people would react."

Despite the toning down of the band’s rock elements for the album, their influence is still present, yet its diminished role has allowed the beauty and artistry of their tracks to truly shine through.

With the release of Shallow Bed, Dry The River made a significant step in the right direction with it the album reaching no.27 in the charts. When asked about the significance of this, Jon said: "It’s one of those childhood dreams, to get anywhere near the chart is amazing. It really shows that we have a fan base that like us enough to buy physical copies."

Part of the Dry The River’s success can certainly be put down to the band’s willingness to communicate with fans. Guitarist Matthew believes that a link to fans is essential, and stated: "We believe keeping in touch with fans is really important so we try to speak to as many people as we keen."

Jon added: "It also helps pass the time as we spend hours on end in the van, so Facebook and Twitter give us something to do’. Clearly their efforts to connect with fans has paid off, and already the band have a sizeable, loyal fan base singing their praises and importantly, buying their CDs."

The band cannot be accused of resting on their laurels this year, and have a very busy summer ahead playing an impressive 20 festivals, including Reading & Leeds and the Isle of White Festival as the band look to firmly grasp the new opportunities laid out for them.

When pressed about the bands plans for the festival season, Matthew said: "Hopefully we’ll have one or two new songs to play, as we’ve been playing the songs of Shallow Bed for two years now so obviously we’re very keen to get new material out."

Don’t expect a static, dull show as the band are planning to offer punters the ‘true folk experience."

Jon exclusively offered TNS a teaser of what to expect: 'We’ve got crazy costume changes, huge sets, trampolines in the floor and we’re giving Matthew his own paddling pool… the short answer is we haven’t thought about it yet!"

It’s already been a very promising year for Dry The River, and with everybody starting to take notice of them; the band will spend the rest of 2012 proving that they are a band that live up to the hype.

For more information on the energy sessions go to www.relentlessenergy.com




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