Chasing Deer, made up of four incredible musicians born-and-raised in the West Midlands, chatted to our Content Editor about their upcoming projects, new music and life living in the Big Smoke. The talented quartet were eager to chat about their new material, some of which is currently being recorded at a studio in London, with the plan to release a new single every month of 2018 - talk about a huge project! Read the exclusive chat here...

Words by Evie Kissack

Blending melodies reminiscent of The Beatles, taking inspiration from artists such as Bowie and mastering stagecraft resembling The Lumineers, Chasing Deer's gigs are both upbeat and refreshing. Their music fuses elements of light indie and acoustic pop, influences of electronica and often has traditional, rockier edges - all creating a distinctive and intriguing sound. The band is made up of Rob Hodkinson on Vocals/Keyboard, Lead Guitarist Peter Hyams, Adam Biddlecombe on Drums and Bass Guitarist Pat Street. Having known each other for years, the guys originally formed Chasing Deer when living in their hometowns of Solihull, Leamington Spa and Stratford Upon Avon. Now based in London, the band cuts out the milage clocked up for practice, to instead focus on creating new sounds in the bustling hub of the capital city. Keen to perform live and play to their fans, Rob, Adam, Pat and Peter gig non-stop and are no strangers to busking. In a great interview, Chasing Deer gave an insight into what makes the band tick...

So, finally a chance to catch up! You’ve been super busy recently – what have you been getting up to?

We’ve had a summer of touring, lots of festivals and some fantastic private bookings. We’ve travelled over to Italy and France to play our music and collaborated with Kenyan Masai warriors on a project sung in Swahili! In between that we’ve been writing brand new material for an exciting 2018 project.


You played at Solihull Summer Fest back in August. Is playing local venues and events important to you?

Despite moving to London last year, we are still back in the Midlands at least every fortnight for shows in Birmingham (The Botanist as a regular venue for us), Solihull (Flute and Flagon, Missoula) and busking in Solihull Town Centre! You can see how much fun we had and a little behind the scenes footage over on our YouTube page


You’re now based in London - how does the 'London lifestyle' compare to your home cities?

Yeah we all live together in West London, so we get a lot more time to write and rehearse together. We meet a lot of contacts from all over the world and try to fit in as much networking as we can too! 


Where do you come up with the inspiration for your music?

We take inspiration from all over the place. Lots seems to come from being on the road half of our lives, but we can also find inspiration in characters we meet or things we see in the news or films.


You’ve supported UB40 and The Wonderstuff before – what a brilliant experience!

UB40 was at the first ever Solihull Summerfest, which we opened as the first act! The Wonderstuff have played two years in a row so we’ve had the chance to meet them twice now. We preferred year two as the sun was shining!


Do you have any musical inspirations?

We are heavily inspired by older music such as The Beatles and David Bowie, but listen to new music all the time such as The Lumineers via Spotify. We share our favourite songs and tour playlists for fans too - find us by searching Chasing Deer on Spotify!


Do you still frequently perform? I understand you sometimes gig up to five times a week?

We perform or original music at least five times a week, sometimes more! On more than one occasion we’ve played at two festivals and an evening show in one day in the summer. It’s a mix of being fantastic practice and us loving to play at every opportunity that comes our way.


When you’re creating music videos for your single, do you brainstorm and collaborate together?

We usually come up with the ideas for music videos whilst writing the music and lyrics for the song, and the video team refine that for us. We are yet to hand over a song to a director to take control, but it would be interesting to see how they interpret our music!

Chasing Deer performing at Solihull Summer Fest 2017

What’s your favourite thing about performing live?

We love to make a difference to somebody’s day, win over a crowd who may have not yet had a good night and really give life and energy to our songs. We have hundreds of memories of happy children joining us on tambourine, ninety year olds jiving along to Rock ’n Roll again with us or singing somebody’s First Dance at their wedding. 


How would you describe your sound?

We describe ourselves as a Rock/Pop band, though a huge variation in inspirations and styles can be heard throughout our back catalog. Our first release (Rewriting History EP 2015) is a full rock band sound, with our second release (Moving On EP 2017) being more of an acoustic pop, upbeat feel. We are hoping that everyone can find something they can connect with in our songs.


You have new music in the pipeline for 2018 – can you reveal anything about this for us?

We are working with a fantastic London producer and recording some new material next week, which we’re extremely excited about! We will be releasing a new single in every month of 2018, with accompanying shows, live streams and videos! We’re also hoping to go bigger and better with shows and festivals next year.

Any anything exciting plans for Christmas?

We're excited to announce that we will be performing at four local Christmas Lights switch-ons. Leamington on 19th November, Evesham on 23rd November, Warwick on 30th November and Kenilworth on 3rd December. We're also having a very special Christmas show at the Ealing Red Rooms on 15th December which you're all invited to!


When, and how, did you first start performing together as a band?

We started playing at the very end of 2014 when we were living between Solihull, Stratford upon Avon and Leamington Spa. We racked up hundreds of miles between them all practicing our craft and writing the first material. From then on we’ve increased our efforts into the band, ending up where we are now as full time musicians!


You’re also no strangers to busking! Is this a tradition you first began when the group originally started?

We took a few months to persuade everyone to come and stand outside in the cold, rain and snow for hours playing music, but started our first busk in Manchester in 2015. Over the many weeks and months since we’ve refined our busking into what you see today!


So the name for Chasing Deer came from a viral video (which is brilliant, by the way) – do you often get asked about the name of the band?

We always get asked about the name, but people seem to love it - so much so, we created a video to fill everybody in…you can find this in the ‘About’ section of our website.

Make sure to click Follow on the Chasing Deer Spotify page to be the first to hear the new songs as they arrive, and take a look behind the scenes on the official website.

Catch the guys performing at four local Christmas lights switch-ons - Leamington on 19th November, Evesham on 23rd November, Warwick on 30th November and Kenilworth on 3rd December. 

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