LEVANT is a collective of musicians who aim to continuously release new music and other content. We decided to start a project with the hope that we could write and record some tracks, which when released would raise enough funds to make even the smallest difference to someone’s life. We recorded a bunch of tunes at home and managed to recruit some amazingly talented musicians, singers and songwriters to get involved with the recording process. Initially, 5% of all the money made from this project will go to War Child UK. Once we reach a certain threshold that percentage will increase, so please do get involved!
In this interview spotlight, we chat about influences, the latest project, challenges and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I’m a solo artist who was born in Adelaide, Australia and I now live in the city of York in the UK. My primary genre of music is heavy metal however I also tend to experiment with other genres such as pop and electronic chillout.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
I started playing bass guitar at the age of 14 and joined a band called ‘Beyond All Reason’ who are still active today. We had a small level of success with our first full length release, an album titled ‘Words Of Betrayal’. After years of touring the UK circuit and playing shows at some major festivals (Download, Wickerman) and supporting some major acts (Coheed and Cambria, Funeral for a Friend, Bullet for my Valentine) we were head hunted by a German producer who flew us over to Germany to record the second album in Hamburg back in 2009. After much deliberation we decided that it wasn’t working out for us over there so came back to the UK to start recording the album again from scratch at home. The second album ‘The World Will Wake’ was eventually released in November 2016. Alongside Beyond All Reason I have been working on a solo album with some friends in York with the aim of releasing it in 2017. I’m giving 5% of all profits to Warchild UK to help support an excellent cause. I love nothing more than sitting at home in front of my laptop and writing and recording songs so it’s not really about what motivates me to stay the course, it’s just a thing that I love to do…if I ever achieve some success from it then that’s great but in this day and age it’s incredibly difficult to get noticed so I’m really just doing it as a hobby, for fun.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
Levant is the name I’ve given to this project which is actually not a band, but just me on my own writing and recording tracks and then because I can’t sing (haha) I’ve recruited various singers from other local bands to step in and do the vocals, so I don’t think that Levant will ever be a touring act as it is all studio based at home. Some of the singers I’ve recruited are exceptionally talented and have toured extensively in the UK, Europe and USA, some live locally and others abroad. With this release my main aim is to raise funds for the Warchild UK charity whilst having fun and providing some excellent songs for people to listen to and enjoy.
Do you face challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? How has technology helped you (assuming it helps)?
As an indie musician there are so many different challenges that it would take me forever to finish writing about them all. The main difficulties are funding the recordings and getting your music heard. Technology is a massive help with all this but without some proper funding it is quite simply impossible to achieve your highest potential. I have a Patreon page which is a great way to get family and friends to support your project financially but even that is a struggle as most people are simply too busy to take notice or care unless you are already an established artist with some sort of success. I’ve built mailing lists, set up a website, made videos and released various tracks as singles but still had no real recognition or outside support, but like I said, it is just a hobby so I’m not unhappy or annoyed about this, it’s just the way things are at the moment. I’ve recently discovered licencing websites such as pond5 and Audiojungle which allow you to licence your music and soundbites for a small fee which i hope brings some more sales in. I have a full time job which pays the bills and an amazing girlfriend who is also creative with artwork so we just support each other and keep moving forward with our dream goals.
Where can we connect with you online and discover more music?
Here’s a list of the main websites where you can discover more about Levant.
Anything else before we sign off?
I’d just like to say a massive thank you to all those who have downloaded our tracks so far! It means a lot and enables the project to stay alive 🙂