Nexus Meets... Artist

Nexus Meets … Artist – 'Quinn'

With the recent release of ‘Crush’, an EP by three piece band ‘Quinn’, we caught up with frontman Samuel Lambeth to have a chat about the inner workings of Quinn, the origins of Quinn and what the future holds. Additionally, we also featured the trio in an article which reviewed their latest EP and we concluded that ‘Crush’ gets our vote of confidence as being a fantastic body of work by the band. The review that we have done for ‘Crush’ can be found here.
The trio have donated all proceeds from their EP to the charity ‘MIND’ which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. And with all of this going on and the fantastic work done by the band to raise funds and put out a fantastic EP.

How did you get into music when you were growing up?

I was very lucky to grow up in a house where music was constantly on rotation. I was a Britpop baby, so in our house, there’d be lots of Pulp, Suede, OCS and Oasis, and even though I don’t cite the Gallaghers as an influence, I do feel unconsciously they’ve influenced my music, especially when it comes to writing choruses. My grandad gave me an education in The Beatles, Everly Brothers and Johnny Cash, and every Sunday I’d listen to the Top 40. In fact, I still check the Top 40 even now, but back then I was seriously obsessed – I’d leave my mates at 4 pm on a Sunday to run home and listen to the charts!
How did Quinn form and who gets the credit for the unique name?  20664914_1397945836920628_2477098410957906710_n
Quinn was a solo studio project, and our first EP, Seems Fine, was essentially just me and featured Samm on a few tracks. I was unsure if I wanted to dip my toe back into full-time gigging / band life, but after a few months we recruited Meg on bass and I felt the old dog twitching again. Now I’m addicted to playing live again. Quinn’s name comes from myself. Growing up I had a treasured guinea pig I called Quinn, so this is a little tribute to him.
Do you consider any one musical influence as being key to shaping your current sound? 
A very tough question, as Quinn are musical recyclers. We’re a composite of tons of different bands – one day we’ll get compared to Weezer, another day it’ll be R.E.M., then sometimes I’ll get bands like Green Day. I would say for me my favourite band is The Beatles, so they’re a good group to try and emulate.
What would you class as Quinn’s strongest quality? 
I think we know how to put on a show. We’re a fun, energetic live band and we thrive off having an audience. Some bands are more aloof and distant, which is fine, but we’re not that sort of band – we like to jump around, have plenty of stage banter and really take advantage of how fortunate we are to be able to get on a stage and perform. So I would say our strongest quality is we will give you a good time…with your clothes still on.
How do you as individuals come together as a collective during the songwriting process? E.g what is your process? Who does lyrics? Etc.
I write the songs…if you like them. It’s the way I’ve always worked. I would love to collaborate but songwriting, for me, is a deeply personal thing. I usually write by sitting down with the acoustic, and sometimes think up the lyrics first or sometimes I’ll get a melody come into my head. I’ll then take this to Samm and Andy, our latest bassist, and I’ll tell them what to play. But it’s not a dictatorship – if Samm and/or Andy have reservations or their own ideas of a part to play, I’ll always listen.
How was the live launch for ‘Crush’?

19396874_1346519398729939_7195684057614568366_nI have mixed feelings about it. Headlining a gig when you’re a local band isn’t as amazing as it seems, because you’re on around 10.15pm, and that means people are starting to fret about getting home. Our gig wasn’t as busy as I hoped because people had to leave during our set because of trains and things. I also don’t think we played very well, myself included. So I’m a little gutted. But a lot of my friends came, some new, some who’ve supported me from the start, and I’m so thankful for them. They all chanted my name, bought a record and offered words of support.
What track on ‘Crush’ are you most pleased with and why?
I’m pleased with all of them, for once. Usually, I’ll frown and realise track 5 shouldn’t have gone on, or track 3 needed more work. This is the first EP I’ve made, and it’s my sixth, where I’m happy with all the tracks. I had time on my side and a clear idea, and I really think it’s my best work yet. If I had to pick I would say ‘Imperfect Lovesong’ is my favourite one.
Talk to us a bit about the charity Mind and your decision to donate proceeds from ‘Crush’ to them?
Last year, we donated all proceeds from our first EP to Teenage Cancer Trust. I did it because we were given free studio time, a position not many other bands are lucky enough to find themselves in, and I would have felt guilty taking the money. Conversely, though, I didn’t want to give the EP away for free, because it means so much to me. Donating this EP to Mind felt right because they do a sterling job removing the stigma surrounding mental health, and a lot of my friends, whether they be creative or logically-minded, wrestle with this issue. I hope we can raise just a little bit to help the cause.
What are the plans going forward for Quinn? Festivals? Live dates? A tour? World domination?
I’d love us to reach a larger audience. I think there’s no shame in admitting that. I said before that even bands like Sonic Youth were on a major label. I don’t think it’s an elitist thing. I could envision Quinn as kind of a festival band, the type of group that would come on around 4 pm on an afternoon and get the energy levels up. I can’t see us ever being a headline band, but I’d love us to be a ‘middleweight’ band. But I can’t see it happening now. I’m getting on! Alex Kapranos was in his thirties and that was positively ancient for a new band, but I think I’ve had my chance. Now it’s just for the fun. But life goes on – thank effing God!
What advice would you give to up and coming bands?
Enjoy it. By all means, have ambition – being in a band requires a certain element of chest-beating – but don’t get lost in your drive. I would also recommend always being humble – listen to advice, appreciate people who’ve stayed to watch, always be friendly to promoters and sound guys, and always take the time to watch other bands in the area (and that goes for both when they’re on the same bill and when they’re not. It’s important that you’re all in it together). Lastly, listen to Quinn. Always listen to Quinn.
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