I was talking to Lisa-Marie Glover when she played at Youth Anthems and we were discussing other bands she knew that might work at our gigs. She mentioned in passing that she was playing in a new duo with her friend Satnam so after the gig I had a listen online and was really drawn in by the clips that were online. This project developed into Rising Ashes and as soon as I had a slot I booked them in. I think they’re going to go down very well (opening for punk and hip-hop bands at our next gig!) so have a read then make sure you’re down for 2pm on April 28th.
Can you tell us about how you formed as a band?
Lisa-Marie: We met at Music Inspirations in Chapel Town. I stepped in to play some guitar for Satnam and we realised we had a potentially interesting project to pursue.
Satnam: I’d would really love to say that it was all part of a great master plan, that we were brought together by a music svengali, but the truth is much more normal; we’re friends that have discovered we enjoy performing together. Last year Lisa performed at the Chemic. As it was an open mic night I did an impromptu couple of songs and Lisa accompanied in guitar, it was well received so in September I asked Lisa to accompany me with guitar for another performance. Some of my songs on that occasion were traditional Punjabi folk songs. We discussed whether there might be cross overs with English folk and Punjabi folk and decided that we’d like to explore this further and also combine both our styles of singing on other songs too. The first rising ashes performance was in December 2009. I cant always describe it but we both bring something unique to Rising Ashes and I’m not sure it would work with anyone else.
Top dessert options?
Lisa-Marie: Sticky toffee pudding, Cheesecake, anything which involves whipped cream. Very fond of baklava too. I have to admit I have a demonic sweet tooth. I’m possessed by pudding.
Satnam: Cake (although nothing white choc, coffee and raspberry flavoured). I also have a sweet tooth
What would your recommendations be for people wanting to explore more traditional Indian and British folk music?
Lisa-Marie: I think you just need to get online and chase the rabbit down the hole. Watch the clock though or you’ll be there all day.
Satnam: Both traditions have a wealth of material and it’s very easy to embark on an enjoyable and rewarding journey of discovery. I would suggest that one of the ways to start is to find an artist you like or one that has been recommended and journey outwards. Listen to artists they have collaborated with or influenced and widen your exposure. Listening to Surinder Kaur is a good a way to start with Punjabi folk. I’m still learning a great deal about British folk music and it’s great to have Lisa as a guide – so I guess it’s useful to surrender yourself with passionate people. Google and YouTube are also very helpful.
Have you had much feedback from people in either the Indian or British folk scene? How have they responded to your blending of the two?
Lisa-Marie: We just seem to get a positive response generally from a very wide range of people from different backgrounds. I don’t think there’s a lot of acts around like us so people enjoy something different. We don’t overthink what we do. We’re just two singers who came together to explore areas of music and songs we are interested in and to do something satisfying to ourselves primarily.
Satnam: Making music is generally a social process and musicians are usually very keen to offer feedback and support. We recently played a local event and one of the other performers was an an amazing lap slide guitar player. He played after we did and before he started he mentioned how much he enjoyed listening to us, that was very encouraging. We’re always asked questions by fellow musicians and the audience after each performance. There’s always a level of intrigue about our blending of traditions that we always welcome. We’ve not done any gigs on the folk scene as such but at the gigs that we have done we have had lots of positive feedback from other musicians and audiences regarding our blending of styles. We enjoy working and singing together.
As accomplished musicians what have you learnt from delving into a different musical form (or were you already familiar with each others styles?)
Lisa-Marie: I have always been interested in the Indian singing style because it’s so different to my own and I’m fascinated by areas of music I don’t understand. I met Satnam and heard her sing for the first time and I was captivated.
Satnam: Lisa is a fantastic singer, songwriter and musician, she had to teach me harmonies as traditionally Indian music is melodic, so that’s been a learning curve for me. We’re still experimenting and evolving, we work well together. I believe that music is a universal language which crosses cultural and social barriers. I think by mixing styles we are making music that is accessible to more people and we are reaching a wider audience
What next for the band? Any releases planned?
Lisa-Marie: Yes. We have an EP in the pipeline for later this year.
Satnam: We’re hoping to make an EP or CD soon and we’re always creating new music. We’re currently collaborating with a friend of mine who creates dubstep music. We plan to continue growing and learning and taking on new challenges, if we do those things I think we both will agree that we’re moving in the right direction whatever the future holds
What would your dream line up look like for Rising Ashes to play on?
Lisa-Marie: I guess we’d go quite nicely on the bill with worldy type projects. I love the Gotan Project. I’m also a big fan of a Brazilian songwriter called Joao Bosco but I doubt that gig’s ever going to happen. You can but hope.
Satnam: I would love to play at world music and folk festivals. I really like Agnes Obel, to share a stage with her would be amazing. As I had a long break from music, taking up my singing career again and being a part of any line up is like a dream for me.
Lisa-Marie: Be true to yourself, love what you do and do it to the best of your abilities.
Satnam: My teacher at uni once told me ‘Life is short, music is long’. With music you are always learning. Do what makes you happy, follow your instincts, listen to your soul.