Interview: Meet Alternative Rockers Weston Rd

Weston Rd are a Stafford based alternative-rock band whose music transcends boundaries. The band is a 3 piece made up of lead singer/guitarist Joe Blanks, Leon Philipsen on bass guitar, and Jake Brown on drums. Their name is derived from the street on which their home studio is situated.

Their sound can best be described as primal rock, with a whirlwind of pounding drums and growling, guttural vocals. With two of the band members having a background of training in both violin and classical piano, the continued evolution of their sound promises to be an interesting one. The result is a band that has strong technical knowledge in music and knows when to allow melodic elements to shine through.

Following the release of their debut single ‘Take You Down’, we got a chance to sit down and chat with the potential rock n roll legends.

Tell us about your band, how long have you guys been performing together? What did inspire you to start?

Leon: We have been playing collective as a band for two years now. Having been session musicians for all of our adult lives we decided that we were missing the creative release we all craved  – as musicians this is an important way of dealing with day to day life experiences. 

Myself and Joe were working on a project together and started writing a song. When that project came to an end we looked for a 3rd member to complete the lineup. Joe has known Jake, who literally lives down the Rd for many years and when we brought the project to him he was eager to be part of what he heard. Since then we get together every weekend to rehearse, write, record and of course play shows.

Music industry is super competitive these days, was there a moment in your life that you wanted to give up on music / band?  How did you manage to stay focused and achieve what you want?

Joe: As individuals, we were all at a turbulent point with music when the band started. 

Our music and the release that writing gives you reinstated all lost respect or appreciation for the omnipotent force that is music. If we hadn’t started doing what we did when we did it none of us know what relationship we would have with music today.   

How would you describe your creative processes? Who writes the lyrics to the songs? Are the music and lyrics written in conjunction, or separately?  Where the inspiration does come from?

 Joe: Songwriting varies with us. 

Sometimes a pre-written vocal line and lyrics are set to music, other times we are just messing about in soundcheck at a gig when something cool happens. The greatest tool for songwriting is definitely the voice memo app, we can’t imagine writing without it!

Jake: I would say Joe is our main writer but myself and Leon add our flare to every song and we all take a step back to fine-tune the sound once the track is written.

Joe: The songs are from an honest and analytical point of view about day to day experiences, its just as much therapy as it is creative. 

What’s your favourite track from the latest album and what other bands/artists are you listening to right now?

 Joe: My favourite is “The Measure of You” as there is so many things happening throughout there is always something new to keep you hooked in. 

 Jake: My favourite song is “Not Again”. The main riff and drum beat is really powerful with gets the crowd pumped as soon as we start playing it live. I also get to do a mini drum solo which I enjoy as you can imagine!

Leon: My favourite song changes on a day-to-day basis but today that is “Take You Down”. The groove, melody and overall punch of the song just sits so right!

What gig did you enjoy the most so far? Why?

Jake: We loved the first gig we ever did, which was at London’s Camden Assembly. It was a milestone in our careers and a very special moment and a great sense of achievement after all the hard work gone into the songs. 

We had friends and family travel hundreds of miles to be there. Knowing that we had their support from the beginning will never be forgotten.

What do you expect from the UK tour and what do you plan to visit while in UK?

Leon: We are now at the exciting stage of releasing music. This year and next year will see us put out an EP, shoot more music videos, fine tune our live performance and be gigging more in areas that we have yet to reach. Getting out and seeing people’s reactions to when you play is the best feeling in the world.

Jake: We hope to be able to connect with audiences and grow as a band.

Joe: Definitely more writing, lots of growth and for sure lots of loud honest rock music!