What are your Full names?
Jacob Dennis Appleton and Sam Luke Watson are our full names.
How did you come up with the name ‘BREATHE’?
Jacob: When initially coming up with the name of the group, we took into account both the message and morals behind our music as well as the texture of the sound itself. We felt, since the music is very ambient and atmospheric, that we needed a natural theme; an artsy name really. I always liked the way ‘CHON’ had their name in bold on their tracks and thought the concept was fairly different and immediately noticeable, so in all fairness… I stole it. I paired the boldness with the themes of nature and thought of ‘BREATHE’ and hey-ho the name stuck. People liked the idea and we agreed on it pretty rapidly so here we are, BREATHE.
How old are you?
I’m 18 years of age and Sam is 17 turning 18 this August.
What is your genre of music?
Jacob: To many that is dependent on what elements you can identify from our tunes. We are ambient at heart with our music been classified ambient by the ‘Reverbnation’ charts. However, we have many sub genres influencing our tunes too. If I were to say what we are as a whole from a personal creative perspective I’d say: Ambient, Atmospheric, Electronic, Progressive, Vaporweave. A mouthful huh…
Give us a little bio about BREATHE as a band and individuals.
BREATHE are a two piece ambient, atmospheric group consisting of guitarist, sequencer, pianist and dual bassist Jacob Appleton and drummer, bassist and worldly percussionist Sam Watson. We are ex band members from various projects who have come together to form a very concept driven group that supplies music as an experience rather than a casual listen. Though our music fluctuates from smooth and soft to intense and technical, we aim to create emotionally relevant pieces that adapt to trends we want to send a message about. With influences ranging from Nordic Giants to The XX, we try to offer a unique blend of story and musicality in a very bold fashion.
How long have you been doing music?
Jacob: I’d say since I joined secondary school so from when I was about 11 or so. I started looking at music more passionately and seriously however when around 14 since that was when I started playing in ensembles more often.
What made you go in to music?
Jacob: The fun, the reward and the personal achievement you get from playing an instrument. Always a passionate music listener, I often played with the thought of being in the position I once worshipped, that of a musician. Nothing beats the buzz of wowing an audience with your capabilities and causing a crowd to feel emotions that you have always wanted to evoke. It is an art form that is both personal and relatable at the same time; it is the best art form.
You released two new videos, tell us more about them.
Jacob: They are two interlude videos we have for the first and ultimate tracks on the album. Though they contain none of our guest features or even vocals, they were made as a quick taster to people as to what the EP will be about. They are artsy and slightly over-dramatic in parts but hey they tell a story and they allow for a degree of connotations that people can decipher for themselves; we made the songs with a message and we are imploring you to find that message yourselves. ‘Seed Vol.I’ is much more uplifting and sappy if you would, but ‘Seed Vol.II’ is much more sinister with more disturbing themes expressed in the video; this is because we wanted to invert the progression in the first song and evoke different feelings the second time round with a more eerie tune… It will make more sense once the EP is released.
Tell us more about the process of making both the videos.
Jacob: Simple really. We dived deep into the royalty free clip database online, handpicked certain scenes that we would clip together to create a story. If you know your way around editing software and you have film already collected, then it’s simply a case of working that into a narrative and I think we achieved that.
You are also debuting your EP tell us about the background of it?
Jacob: Ah yes the EP will be called ‘Feather’ and we have big hopes running into this thing. We went with the ‘Feather’ idea since it looked bold on an album cover and is instantly recognisable. Also we want each EP and LP to have a particular theme, this one is nature and you can’t get much more natural than that. The background per say is just that we wanted to create something entirely personal and without interference from other studio mechanics etc. We wanted to test ourselves and test our young heads to see what we are actually capable of.
What will we expect from the EP?
Jacob: The EP will have 5 tracks including the 2 interludes everyone has already heard and should be around 20 to 30 minutes long. We want it to be a very emotionally and story driven experience with a concept that is as prominent as some of the great atmospheric albums. The next single drops as of the coming two weeks and we hope that will sum it up better.
Are you a signed?
Jacob: As of this moment no unfortunately up, but we are open for offers. We have a partnered network on YouTube now which is a positive and we will just have to see what state we are left in after this EP has dropped.
Who are your influences?
Jacob: I’d say as a group Nordic Giants, Cinematic Orchestra, CHON and Plini. If you combine all these acts and take particular aspects from them, I think you can create something pretty similar as to the sound we are going for. Personally I’d say ‘Black Sabbath’, ‘Animals as Leaders’ and ‘Alien Ant Farm’ are my influences as to why I create music.
How do you get inspiration to make songs?
Jacob: I find a couple chords on piano that represent how I’m feeling and my thought pattern. I then flesh them out and start adding some extra instrumentation that hopefully further delves into how I’m feeling as well as keeping our stylistic edge upon these chords. The inspiration is my day to day life, the ups, the downs and what I value and what hurts. The inspiration long story short is retrospective on how I am feeling.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Jacob: I’d like to see myself somewhere in the music industry. Whether that be writing music, performing music, commercialising music or writing about music, anywhere would be totally fulfilling for me. I like journalism and have tweaked and looked around that area too so as long as I’m still cracking along in this direction, then I will be happy.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Jacob: Well this a difficult one, but I’d say relaxing with friends and watching sports. Rugby in particular is a popular past time of mine and now I’m quite happy as to watch it rather than partake in it. It will always remain a very large aspect in my life so as a number one that would be it.
If you could collaborate with one UK Artist who would it be?
Jacob: Again another difficult one as I feel that the talent department has fluctuated profusely in the UK as of the last few years. But it would be between three artists/songwriters: Jon Gomm, Elvis Costello or Don Broco. Jon Gomm because his guitar playing is second to none and can create such massive sounds/intricate textures with just a guitar and his voice; the guy is an unbelievable talent. Elvis Costello because he’s one of those songwriters that I feel has written and performed some of the most underrated jams ever. He’s been a huge inspiration and a favourite listen of mine since I could walk and I feel he could enlighten me so much on the music industry as well as teach me how to create applicable yet varied music without losing any integrity as an artist. Lastly Don Broco because I think they are killing it at the moment. They’ve managed to change their entire style from album to album without selling out or creating watered down pieces. Their bass-lines are fresh and exciting, their guitar fluid with mouth-watering melodies and the twin vocals of Rob Damiani & Matt Donnelly are just excellent. They are completely opposite to our style too so could you imagine the collaboration? Would be fresh as hell if you ask me…
If you could collaborate with one USA Artist who would it be?
Jacob: Oh no question, it is between two… I would say CHON, because I think their style matched with ours could create one of the sweetest combinations I could ever imagine, and Alien Ant Farm because they are my favourite band hence meaning I would fan-boy everywhere. Would Alien Ant Farm work as a collaboration with BREATHE? God no, but it would be a stupid amount of fun attempting it anyway. CHON on the other hand would be the perfect band I can think of for a project like this.
Where is your dream venue or festival to perform in UK?
Jacob: Dream festival would be Download or Glastonbury for me. Download for the sheer lineup we’d be playing alongside which is the best in the world every year and Glastonbury because that this the pinnacle of a career for a British band to play there. Venue wise I have no preference, an arena is an arena and I think any arena would blow me way to play at.
Where is your dream venue or festival to perform in USA?
Jacob: The USA on the other hand I really have no preference whatsoever. Just to say I gigged in America would be enough for me to jump over the pond and still have support would be crazy
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Jacob: Fish Tanks debut EP ‘Henry’ and any/all tracks off of there really showed me the beauty of diving head first into the music industry. Seeing them live in a small pub only furthered that for me since it showed that no matter your public presence, you can still have great fun trying to make a name for youself.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Jacob: I was watching the cheesy talent show ‘Guitar Stars UK’ one day and Toni Iommi appeared as a guest judge; a guitarist who I’ve always idolised. In Layman’s terms he basically stated that you can do all the intricate stuff and have the best practical ability at playing an instrument in the world, but that doesn’t make you a good musician, that makes you a set on instructions. A good musician knows when to hold back, how to inject his personality into a song and how to connect with every audience member with each note. It showed me that these guitar whizzes may play unbelievable solos but how many do you actually remember? Guitar demands heart, passion and soul, without it your just playing sequentially and you might as well be a robot if you’re aiming for that.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry just as an artist?
Jacob: Never lose your individuality and be successful in the eyes of the people you want to impress. When you write music and you perform music that you have written because YOU liked it and YOU enjoy it, then the product is always better. So many bands commercialise to a trend and contrary to popular belief, only a select few make it anywhere. Any projects that I’ve seen have success or find rapid acclaim has had a certain sense of individuality and swagger in their attitudes to music. They know their music is good because THEY made it and THEIR target audience loves it, not because they made a song with the ideology of pleasing everyone. Be true to yourself as an artist and an artist doesn’t copy other artists, that’s for machines to do.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Jacob: ‘Don’t be the man catching up in second place, be the man making distance in first!’ Mr Mejabi 2014… Deep stuff from a math teacher huh?
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
One: Tune the crap out of your instruments, even if they are perfect, tune them some more. I’ve seen professional groups forget this trait and an entire set can fall flat if not concentrated upon properly.
Two: Have some confidence in your stage presence, no one likes staring at a wall. If you look like you’re having a great time and feeling the music, funnily enough the audience will do the same.
Three: Keep talking to the audience. Between songs you don’t have to rush and flurry everything out to the audience in one, we like being talked to and made special. We want you to connect with us on a personal basis and make us feel like you really want to be here.
Four: Outfits are more key to a great gig than what you might think. Music isn’t about fashion, we understand that, but an audience’s first impression of you will be your look as a group so don’t dress as multi-coloured conflicting fruit pastels, have some style in your aesthetics.
Five: Yeah that confidence thing? Don’t be over zealous… I can’t tell you how many openers I’ve seen at gigs that I’ve had immediate distaste for because they made the show all about them with unnecessary egos (for god sake be likeable). When you’re part of a line-up, work for each other, don’t steal a spotlight you know you haven’t earnt yet… Wait until you’re a headliner for that.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yeah we have a whole ton as listed down below: