Rebecca Leighton-Cox

Interview: Tissue Culture go through many changes but will be back on stage soon

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Newcastle’s Tissue Culture have been quiet on the release front for a while, with their last EP being released back in 2012, but the lads are back in the studio, creating something new and different for their fans.

The five-piece band have had to come to terms with each other, moving away for university.

We caught up with Tissue Culture to chat about their influences, new sounds and how they made moving away work.

“Because we’ve had a bit of a shock to the system with Josh and Archie going to uni in London and spreading us all over the country a bit, we’ve had less time together, and that time is normally spent preparing for the next gig we have,” said guitarist Joe Henderson.

The band have faced difficulties with two members of the band moving to London.

“It was a bit difficult to begin with, but I think we’ve definitely made it work,” said frontman Archie Smith.

However, despite their time apart, they have stopped to write new material.

Guitarist Josh bell does not envy Archie Smith’s job to pen the band’s lyrics: “The lyrics are almost always left to Archie – he’s the one who has to sing them, so it’s important that they really mean something to him.

“We don’t really try to get in on the lyric writing, I mean, it sometimes even takes him a couple of practices until he’ll let us read the lyrics from his little notebook.

“We don’t really envy his job.”

Despite being away from each other, Tissue Culture still make time to meet in the Ouseburn to practice for gigs every two weeks.

Bassist Andrew Potter tells us the process of their music making.

He said: “We work best at night, usually starting to practice at midnight. That seems to work best for us.

“We primarily write through jamming an idea that one of us may have had during the week. It could be a drum beat, a riff or a bassline and we all just kind of put our own part to the piece.”

It has now been three years since Tissue Culture released their EP Saint Waleric.

However, in December 2014, the band released Rainbow Codes, showing that despite the large gap between releases, Tissue Culture still know how to pull off their shoegaze genre.

Drummer Dom Reed thinks now is the best time to come up with some new material.

He said: “We’ve been settled on the same lineup for a good three years now.

“Our music has definitely changed as we’ve grown older.

“When I hear stuff from the Saint Waleric EP, which is getting on a bit now, and then listen to our latest release, Rainbow Codes, it still sounds like the same band, which is good, I guess.”

“But, we like to think we’ve got more depth to our music now,” said Josh Bell, guitarist and backing vocalist.

Archie Smith, guitar and vocals, tells us how their music has become “louder”.

He said: “It’s just evolved from realising we really love playing live.

“The louder something is the more energy we seem to put into it – maybe, we’ve got a bit angrier too.”

Tissue Culture opened 2015 with a bang, having their own headline show at The Cluny with support from Kingsley Chapman, Apologies and Nadine Shah.

The Cluny has effectively become Tissue Culture’s second home, with many of their gigs taking place at the Ouseburn Valley venue.

Andrew Potter, bass and shouting, tells us about where the band have played in the past.

He said: “We’ve played all over, from tiny basement club venues, such as Head of Steam in Newcastle and Buffalo Bar in London, to the main room at the Newcastle O2 Academy.

“Stages are often quite small, so we struggle to fit on but sometimes that makes the show more intense.

“I think, I prefer playing in smaller venues, as they seem a bit more intimate and the crowd get more involved.

“Saying that, our last headline show at the Cluny was pretty special: we played with Nadine Shah, Kingsley Chapman and the Murder and Apologies and the venue was full, which felt really amazing to see such a full venue at a headline gig.”

Although frontman Archie Smith is putting all the lyrics together, the band like to take each others influences and put them into their songs.

He said: “Obviously, we each have our own influences that we bring to the table, and we’re all musicians, so we should enjoy writing music anyway.

“But we all love making music with each other, it wouldn’t be at all the same with anyone else.”

Tissue Culture are taking a break from playing live shows this summer.

The band want to focus on making new material and getting it right before they continue playing gigs.

Andrew Potter tells us not to worry because:

“We’re going through a lot of changes at the moment as a band, so we don’t have any gigs booked in at the moment but some will be coming very soon.”

We can’t wait to hear the new stuff lads.

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