Stockton’s Abel Raise the Cain are set to play NE Volume Magazine Live in their hometown on September 9th, as part of our second-anniversary celebrations, so Chloe Waterhouse caught up with the band for a little chat.
How did your formation come about back in 2012?
From the ashes of a band called Our Secret Sins (who a few may remember), and it’s morphed along the way collecting members of other local bands as they’ve either came to a halt or branched out. We’ve had quite a few changes over the years, but we’re settled right now. Everyone is pulling in the same direction and there’s the drive to go forward, which is essential.
You played a BBC introducing Live Session back in April…what was that experience like?
It’s always a pleasure with Bob Fischer: he’s so at ease, it’s easy to forget you’re on the air. We had to change things up from the usual full band malarkey so we could fit in the studio, but we loved the stripped-back thing and we’ll be planning similar shows in more intimate venues somewhere down the line too.
After playing extensive gigs across the country, have there been any defining gigs which have resonated with you as a band?
We had a really good trip to Proud Galleries in Camden, and we’ve enjoyed playing shows like Festival 8 and more recently the Deep South Festival on the Isle of Man. But without a doubt, our favourite gigs have been those closer to home – especially Ku Bar which we see as a second home. Middlesbrough Empire was a great experience too and we had a taste of the stage at the ARC for Stockton Calling this year. We can’t wait to get back in there for NE Volume Magazine Live.
Your anticipated EP ‘For Strangers Only’ was released back in March. Can you tell me about the creative process that went into forming such an atmospheric piece?
We had a lot of fun with building the tracks to form a constant piece. It did take us a little longer than we’d hoped to get it finished, with a couple of members leaving during the process, and we wanted to give the tracks their best chance to breathe properly as single tracks, as well as selecting the best ones to fit the ebb and flow of the album as a whole. We played around with lots of layers, Belgian orchestras, and strings and tried to create that wall of sound we’ve become synonymous with. We think it worked out best for all involved. We did the songs justice, and the fans have only had good things to say so we’re happy with the outcome.
When I listen to your sound, I find myself comparing you to the likes of Arcade Fire and Coldplay. Who would you cite as your main influences?
There’s quite the mix of influences as I’m sure you’re well aware when so many members are involved in the mix. There’s everything in there from The Beatles to Radiohead and Sigur Ros, as far as the crafts and structures go, and we have the odd revolutionary speech or classic/cult piece thrown in for good measure.
NE Volume Magazine Live is the biggest event the magazine has organised to date, so how does it feel to be part of it? And are you close with any of the other acts participating?
We’re not particularly close with any of the acts per se but we have a lot of love for the other bands in the same boat as us, slogging it out up and down the country trying to be heard and just having fun doing it. The North East has a lot of diverse talent to offer and I think that shows with the lineup here.
Abel Raise the Cain play NE Volume Magazine Live at ARC, Stockton on Saturday 9th September alongside Frankie & The Heartstrings, The Lake Poets, Boy Jumps Ship, Glass Caves, Velvoir and Talk Like Tigers. Tickets are available now from arconline.co.uk