So, who are you anyway?
Well I am Gareth Howells, half of a duo called Bemis that are based in the South of England, playing outside our hometown as much as we play at home now. We”ve both been playing for decades, in other projects, but both feel that this is the biggest thing we”ve done musically.
Describe your sound for us then?
We both play acoustic guitars, although very differently. I tend to keep the rhythm going while Richie plays the clever bits on top with his twelve string. We both sing, usually in harmony, and both have quite different sounding voices. This is useful when we”re doing a whole night in a venue and can vary the vocal sound a bit.
So you rate yourself then?
Well I guess to be in the position where you feel comfortable playing in any situation you must have a degree of self-confidence and pride in what your doing. Whether or not you could “rate” yourself suggests putting yourself next to someone else or giving yourself a “rating” and I couldn”t do that – but I am proud of what we can do and will do in the future.
Who are your influences?
My influences are massively eclectic, but I guess the ones that are more obvious in the music I play would be the singer-songwriters or guitarists that I aspire to – so people like Bruce Cockburn, Richard Thompson, The Men They Couldn”t Hang, Barenaked Ladies, Ben Harper, Roy Harper, Michael Hedges, Crosby Stills and Nash, Simon and Garfunkel, REM, Loudon Wainwright 3, and Billy Bragg.
Those are the ones that are more immediately apparent when you hear our stuff, but I also can”t believe I can be THAT massively obsessed with Kate Bush, XTC, Adrian Belew and Oingo Boingo for them not to figure in the sub-conscious somewhere – I am a serious collector of these guys and assume they must figure in my writing as a result.
Tell us one of your musical secrets:
I guess our biggest secrets at the moment are the songs we have written for the next album but not played live yet – one called “Sisyphus” we are particularly excited about but won”t be putting that on myspace or anything until the album is finished.
What”s in the future?
Next year will be a good year, the 2nd album, some great festivals that have been offered, some other things that are on the boil that we haven”t done yet….past that, more long term I guess you never know how meeting different people and playing at different venues change your circumstances. Can”t wait though…
What is your claim to fame?
Claim to fame? One of the most talked about gigs we had amongst the people we know was our 5 week residency in Phuket, Thailand – that was a hell of an adventure and a big success. We were on telly over there too, and had huge posters of us up down the beach and beside the hotel we were staying at. Does that answer the question?
Musically where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Still doing what we”re doing, but with a bigger pool of experience and friends to create new experiences with – we feel that we”re always changing and improving, as writers and performers, so in 10 years time they may be something we”re doing that I have no idea about now….depends on opportunity too of course…
MySpace or Facebook?
Well I still prefer myspace, but use facebook for more photo uploading and for the chat facility – myspace is still better for getting your music heard and hearing other people”s stuff – myspace is simpler and more enjoying to browse through I think, but facebook is popular so you”d be a fool to not try and publicise your band on there too…