Way back in the ’80s, two outstanding musical talents from Shropshire met and began creating music. The lads were Ritchie and Dovey and the band is The Rec. We speak with these unique singer-songwriters about their EP lads of summer, future plans and inspiration.
How did The Rec come about?
We met at school in Oswestry, Shropshire, a small market town on the England-Wales border in the very early ’80s. We grew up in a time when there was loads of amazing music around and we were probably the two biggest music geeks in our year, so it was kind of inevitable that we’d find each other and form a band. After school and art school in Shrewsbury, we went our separate ways but kept in touch. We now live on different continents (Dovey is in Los Angeles and Ritchie is in London) but the invention of the internet meant that we could trade ideas and actually make the music we’d wanted to make all those years ago.
What inspires you to make music?
We are both creative people so need to be creating something we can leave behind for our kids to enjoy long after we have gone. Making music is also a portal to escape from all the bad stuff going on in the world. We are inspired by great music but also memories of home, friends, family, TV shows, food and fine English footwear.
What can you tell us about your EP lads of summer?
It’s about those long and innocent summers of our childhood. Sagging off school to race twigs in the local brook, or to go scrumping for fruit in the fields and orchards that surrounded Oswestry. The first track ‘1982’ is about the summer after we left school when we wanted the world but were restricted to what was on offer in a small rural town in the austere early ’80s. Then finally in ‘illuminations’ how those memories of your childhood return to you later in life and call you back to when you were younger.
Do you have a favourite track?
Ritchie: ‘1982’ – a two-and-a-half-minute post-punk pop-art splatter-gun collage of teenage life in early ’80s small-town England.
Dovey: ‘lads of summer’ – the sound of bubbling brooks, wet feet, cow manure and close friends.
What about the least favourite?
None. We love all of them!!
If you could change one thing about lads of summer, what would it be?
The EP is drawn from a 7-track mini-album recorded a few years back. There were a couple of other tracks that were good tunes but were badly recorded and mixed. It would have been good to have had another go at those songs, but sometimes in life you just have to move on.
Your “roots as a band” stretch back to the 1980s. How do you feel you have grown or evolved since then and do you feel you bring a new sound to contemporary scenes?
We were 15 when we first started making music together and since then lots of things have happened to us and some great music has been made that influences us now. Back then it was all very tribal, we were divided into groups like mods, skins, punks, long-haired metal or prog rock fans, greasers and so on and that meant there were only certain types of music you could listen to. Punk and post-punk was the middle ground where our musical tastes met, but now we are a lot broader minded musically and open to a much wider range of influences. We are much more proficient songwriters too.
To answer the second question, we do have quite a unique sound that is quite difficult to define. We are too melodic to be post-punk and too abstract to be pop. We are somewhere in the middle in our own time and space.
What future plans are in store for The Rec?
We have just released five EPs and have run out of material, so we are starting work on some new songs that will hopefully take us to a few interesting new places.
Do you have a message for our readers?
Stay safe wherever you are and check out our music – it might change your life!