Since 1954, the famous Troubadour Club has been a hotbed of emerging talent and has led the way in showcasing the world’s finest live music. Musicians such as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon and more recently Adele, Paolo Nutini and Jamie T have played in this small exciting venue. In September, Whicha Mirrors, a curious but charming pair who sing heart-warming folk-rock songs, join this impressive roster of names to perform singles off their upcoming EP.
We meet Whicha Mirrors backstage to chat about what it’s like breaking into the music industry. With a name that sticks in mind’s eye long after being read, the duo, Michael Kilby and Joshua Field, explain where band name comes from. “We’ve played music together since the age of about five, ‘whicha’ was a part of our greeting handshake” Michael explains. Face to face or even on stage, the duo are like a reflection of one another, “We look quite symmetrical on stage, we’re kind of the same person”, even their performance is mirror-like. The two Hertfordshire bred lads are obviously close – the chemistry on stage and off is a paramount key to their act. They remind us of twins who finish off each other’s sentences and who clearly work well as an intimate team. Whicha Mirrors seem to agree, “the symmetry is there…” Joshua adds, “…we trust each other. It’s an interesting set up, two front men…it’s a complete collaboration.”
This summer has proved to be a busy one for these two, from travelling across the country to gaining an impressive nationwide fan base. With thousands of YouTube views, and a Twitter following that new musicians (and record labels for that matter) can only dream of, it looks like they aren’t stopping any time soon. Social media have been a real helping hand Joshua comments, “The big surprise is the reception on Twitter. It keeps us going. We never get tired of that!” Essentially it has been the crux of their success so far, at least for getting people to listen to the music and giving feedback. Their success has come leaps and bounds over the past few months already, earlier this summer they performed at Jamie Oliver’s ‘Feastival’, Michael goes on to describes how “a band dropped out and we were asked, it was overwhelming”, with more radio plays and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Pete Maher, (who has previously worked with the likes of Jack White and The Rolling Stones) let’s just say the path they are taking is certainly a positive one.
Breaking into the music industry is notoriously hard and making a stamp has brought forward new lessons: “There is so much to do. You’re arrangers. You’re producers. You’re booking agents. You do everything. It’s a 24/7 thing”, Michael says, “You have to love what you’re doing.” The band goes on to describe how it took a long time to get physical recording of their debut single Lightyears but that “the young One Direction fans seem to like it, but also the more hardened music critics too. It’s looking well.”
Unsurprisingly, like many musicians of their calibre, they find the industry tiresome, “there’s no soul, all of its manufactured… there’s hardly any beauty to it”. However, what makes this band stand out from other folk-rock duos is the fact that there is an outstanding visual and filmic element to the songs. Unlike other manufactured artists, they seem to want to bring a more distinctive and organic beauty to the forefront of our imaginations.
With such singles like Green Park and Lightyears, it’s easily to pick out these artistic landscape inspirations. With their lyrics focusing on nature and love, it’s questionable whether touring in urban areas will affect the musical and visual direction of their highly anticipated EP. Whicha Mirrors describe how they have around forty five tracks, “our brains are working overload all the time”, each melody and beat is thought-out carefully, “…we’ll spend hours until we get it perfect. That can be quite maddening. It’s not all rock and roll, glamour and fun” Joshua concludes laughing.
Despite the hard work, it is clear that Whicha Mirrors simply adore what they do. The future is anyone’s guess but it seems to be looking bright for both Michael and Joshua. In the next coming year their Lightyears EP is set to be released, but that’s not all. The band explain that what they’re doing now is only a small percentage of what they envision for the future “think rich harmonists…getting a band together…film and art. They say music is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”, and if one thing is certain, it’s that these artists are one of hardest working out there. We’re sure we’ll be seeing this curious band pop up again and again.
Photo credits to Wikipedia.