Gateshead-based three-piece rock band, Duchess, are set to release their debut single this month so Johnathan Ramsay caught up with the outfit to find out more.
First off, how did you get together as a band?
Duchess started in December 2013 but we all grew up together so we’ve known each other our whole lives really; Adam and I lived on the same street and Michael went to school with Adam. Michael and Adam had been in a band together for a while but things didn’t work out. Around that time, I had just got back in the country after having been away a while and was looking to start something up. Michael put an ad out online and I answered it not knowing it was him, then we got Adam on board. I think we knew we wanted to just stick as a three-piece from the start because our chemistry was already there. We wrote a song at our first practice together and we were excited about what else we could do and we’ve been going ever since.
Why the name Duchess?
I love history. Around the time we started the band I was reading and watching a lot of stuff about the War of the Roses and the Tudor period. I was reading something about Anne Boleyn and how her father was very ambitious, having high hopes for her to marry and become a Duchess, but she, of course, ended up being Queen. Obviously, Henry VIII wasn’t all there and it didn’t end well for her and her whole family, but I remember reading something about how she had wished she had just become a Duchess and, for whatever reason, that stuck with me.
You’re a three-piece band from Gateshead, but is that a Scottish accent we can hear on your tracks?
It’s a Geordie accent but we’ve had a few people mistake us for being Scottish and that’s probably because there aren’t many people singing with their Geordie accents! We’ve done this from the start as we never really understood why people sing with any other accent apart from their own. I understand some accents are easier to sing in or whatever, but to completely change your voice is a little bit alien to us.
You’ve played in a number of venues across the North East, but which venue stands out as your favourite so far?
We love a lot of venues for different reasons. In recent years, Little Buildings has been great for the intimacy of their shows. A bit of an obvious one is The Cluny but that’s because the sound there is typically really good. We supported Barry Hyde a few years ago before the release of our first EP at The Independent in Sunderland and that’s a cool place. It’s hard to pin down a particular venue because North East music has really taken off in recent years and the venues have popped up along the way to go with it.
Your new single ‘Rachael’ is due to be released soon, but who is Rachael?
‘Rachael’ is out on Friday 27th April and will be available across all platforms. We’re excited to finally get something out there again after a bit of a break. Rachael is a character from Blade Runner. The song isn’t about her so to speak though but it applies perfectly to her and so it’s a pretty fitting title for the song. I’m asking and trying to tackle some of the big questions in three and a half minutes: what is consciousness and how do we define it.
To keep up-to-date with Duchess, including their tour schedule and upcoming releases, please head to Facebook.com/weareduchess.