Behind the Music: Interview with Chasing Deer

‘Creating unforgettable experiences for an audience is the reason why we are in the music business.’

Following their gig at The Hope and Anchor on 23rd February and ahead of their performance for ‘Isle of Wight Festival – New Blood’ on 7th March, Listen to Discover spoke with Chasing Deer, while they were, you guessed it…… on their way to another gig!

Describe your music style in no more than 5 words: Energetic, upbeat, reminiscent, pop rock.

Who is involved in your music and what do they bring to the process? At the heart of Chasing Deer is a passion for performance, songwriting and bringing experiences to new audiences. The band is made up of Rob, Adam and Peter and we are all involved full time, seven days a week in making this happen.

Who or what influences your music? We take influences from our shared careers in music, starting from a young age along with a love for classic songs from the 1950’s right through to today.

Where is your go-to place for writing new music? Our songwriting room is where we write as a band as well as collaborate with other artists. We also have recording facilities and preview the tracks for the first time to potential producers. It’s a place full of memories from our travels around the world, specifically Kenya.

When can we expect new tracks to be released? After our debut album Hands On which was released in November of 2018, we were contacted by a number of people asking to remix our songs. A 80’s retrowave remix of Another World was released on Friday 22nd February and a remix of Miracle will be released on Friday 29th March. We have a number of new recording projects on the go already in London but we are also heading over to Tuscany in May to record the next major project.

‘From the second the first note of our music kicks in, we get an adrenaline rush that will last through the show.’

What would a Chasing Deer recording session look like? The key factor we look for in choosing our recording studio and producers is the experience of the entire process. We like to create memories whilst putting together the highest quality product we can achieve. Different studios and producers fit with different projects. You can get glimpse inside our studio recordings via our Social Media and our Deer Diaries video series released every Friday on our YouTube channel.

Do you prefer recording or performing live? It’s great to hear the songs we have written develop and improve with the help of an experienced producer in the studio. We love to travel as a band, and a number of the studios we work in require us to travel across the globe. However, the feeling of performing the music live to an appreciative audience and creating unforgettable experiences for them is the reason why we are in the business in the first place.

The energy level at The Hope and Anchor gig was immense. Being a full-time band, how do you keep this level up? From the second the first note of our music kicks in, we get an adrenaline rush that will last through the show. With so much experience between us in performance of all different kinds, we currently have the stamina to perform every day of the week and are extremely grateful to continue doing this. 

There’s quite a difference in the sound of Moving On (2017) and Hands On (2018). What are the reasons for this? Moving On was a four track EP which we recorded in analogue fashion. At the time, the band was heading towards a more acoustic style and we were taking our street performance show around Europe. As Hands On was our first major project with a theme and message, we wanted to make the debut album a representation of where we were at the time and our aspirations for the future.

The performance of ‘Hands On’ at Bush Hall sounds incredibly moving. How did the event come about? Releasing a single every month of 2018, the main goal behind our project was to raise awareness for British Sign Language. The next logical step seemed to be to implement British Sign Language into our show in a major way. When we get behind a project we like to give it everything we have, so we thought we would create the most accessible show there could possibly be.

So how was the show itself? The show was a big success. All the lyrics were interpreted on stage, whilst our deaf audience was welcomed at the entrance to the venue, at the merchandise table and the bar by additional interpreters. Two local companies were kind enough to aid the event. Marshall Amplifications provided us with their world-famous guitar amps – sufficient for our deaf audiences to feel the vibrations – and a new wardrobe for Chasing Deer was supplied by John Lewis. Additional support also came with features by the Metro Newspaper, Sky News, BBC Radio 2 and an upcoming documentary on BBC 2 television.

During the show, the entirety of the Hands On album was performed with the addition of a grand piano and harp, whilst people experienced the vibrations of the show through balloons we provided. We also threw in a few fan favourites from our previous EP releases. As people left Bush Hall at the end of the night, there were many comments from people who were inspired to learn basic sign language, as well as a number of young deaf children who had just experienced their first ever gig.

‘Celebrate your small victories knowing how far you have come.’

What was the reason for putting such an emphasis on BSL with the album? Initially our focus was on a timeless and stand out album cover image, which is sometimes overlooked in 2019. With our love for vinyl records, we wanted Hands On to be something people could easily display on their wall. The fingers crossed image – representing hope and luck – is something that has been really simple and effective to get audiences and crowds to join in with and remember for the entire project. The image crosses the boundaries of hearing and deaf communities, as well as across languages internationally. Adam’s mum was involved  in learning and teaching British Sign Language for many years and her experiences gave him a direct link and respect for the struggle deaf people have in every day life.

What is your first musical based memory? We have all been involved in music since a very young age and studied music through school, colleges and universities.

What is the purpose of music? The purpose of music is to give people a universal language to express their feelings and passion in a collective environment.

It was recently announced that you are in the quarter finals of ‘Isle of Wight Festival – New Blood’. What do you want to happen following this? Thousands of hopefuls entered the competition, so we were extremely grateful after many years of hard work to get shortlisted to the final groups. Being such an iconic festival with amazing acts, it would be a dream come true to perform at there and we could promise to shake the place up!

What are the three pieces of advice you would give to anyone wanting to make it in the music industry?

  • Stick to what you do well and despite what other people say, don’t try to be anyone else.
  • There is no right way to ‘make it’ so you have to make your own path and celebrate your small victories knowing how far you have come.
  • Understand you have to work extremely hard and be prepared for waiting around when both touring and in your overall career.

And finally….. You are told you can only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life. What are they and why should everyone else choose the same? Nobody should choose the same, music is best when it’s subjective. Our three albums would be Alchemy by Dire Straits, Rubber Soul the Beatles and Rumours by Pink Floyd.

Thanks Chasing Deer for chatting with Listen to Discover

Follow Chasing Deer on: Twitter and Facebook
Listen to and watch Chasing Deer on: Spotify and YouTube
Find out more about Chasing Deer at: Gig Review: Chasing Deer at The Hope and Anchor

All photos copyright of Listen to Discover. See more on: Twitter and Facebook.

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