We are putting a spotlight on the band or artist featured on YorkMix Radio‘s House Band Friday – next up we spoke to York-based band Small Screen!
Every Friday morning a different local artist is featured on the Breakfast Show with Ben and Laura. Want to know more? Check out the House Band Friday page here.
Archie Carr, the lead singer of Small Screen, spoke with Ben and Laura on YorkMix Radio last month.
Small Screen are a trio of 21-year-old friends, originally from Barnsley, who have spent the last few years gigging in York and throughout Yorkshire, at the same time as getting music degrees and releasing their own original songs.
The members of Small Screen are Archie Carr (lead singer, mandolin player), Thomas Thornton (vocals, guitar), and Katya Fox (vocals, drums).
Their latest EP ‘Live From The Same Place’, released September 2020, was recorded during lockdown in their third-year university house. It features original songs written by each of the members.
Here’s more about Small Screen from lead singer Archie Carr.
Q&A: Archie Carr from Small Screen
Describe your musical style
We’ve described ourselves as Americana before and although we have a lot in common with other bands in the genre, I’ve never really known what it means, it’s a bit vague. We’re about high energy acoustic music, full of catchy melodies and smashing our instruments until Tom snaps every string on his guitar.
Who are your musical influences?
We all come from pretty different backgrounds music-wise but when we became friends before the band we would share music with each other, put songs on in the cars they’d just passed their tests to drive and that set up the foundations for us starting a band. The Lumineers are a massive shared influence on our music, we actually considered starting as a cover band called ‘The LuminArchies’. Other bands we all love are The Lone Bellow, Fleetwood Mac, Lord Huron, Houndmouth. We’re actually counting down each of our own top ten influential albums on the Instagram right now through January so go check it out.
When did you first start writing original songs?
Personally, I’d been trying and failing to write songs of some kind since I was about 10, but when we had been together for a few months and had started gigging as a cover band we decided we would have to add some original stuff in. Since then it’s been a few years of workshopping songs and leaning on each other while we all became proper songwriters and gained that confidence, and for every Lucozade and Cheerios there was an original song bombing at an open mic never to be heard again.
What is your favourite song to cover?
Oooh that’s a tricky one, I bet you’d get a different answer out of each of us… I’m going to say our version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. I love the way we changed the song about to suit us and we’ve never played it without the room exploding.
What are you currently working on?
The three of us are out of uni, in a new year and gagging to get back out there into the world just like everybody else! So we’re currently working out all the exciting steps we want to take this year, like what music we want to release. Did someone say merch? Does anyone fancy a tour when we can? This period of time sat at home is giving us so much time to think, so we’re working on our music and our plans for what’s coming next.
What’s it been like trying to make and perform music during a pandemic?
It’s been interesting to say the least. We’ve spent so much of this year trying to come up with creative ways to adapt to and get music out there. We all spent the first lockdown in a student house in York and as we slowly lost our minds, we recorded anything and everything to fill the day. A series of covers called the bathroom sessions are up on our YouTube channel now, we did safely distanced gigs for the neighbours, and ended up recording and releasing our second ever EP ‘Live from the Same Place’ all from that house, and that’s something I’m really proud off. It’s been more challenging since we all went our separate ways but coming up with weird and creative solutions is what we love to do.
What do you miss most about performing to a live audience?
This past year has been a tough one for a lot of reasons but not playing live for an audience in almost 10 months has been brutal. I’m sure most performers would agree but the release of energy that a gig gives you is incredibly addictive and impossible to match if you ask me. The last time we played for an audience we had one of the best gigs of our life launching our first EP ‘The Bigger they are…’ and getting to hear people singing our words back to us was amazing, that moment was captured in a documentary we were filming at the time and I regularly go back and watch the clips of us playing there and miss it.