Interview with Reminders

Reminders are a cool af three piece beach punk band from the Isle of Wight who are beginning to make waves beyond the island with their Beach Boys meets the Ramones kinda vibe, most definitely not to be confused with hip hop band The Reminders from Colorado Springs U.S.A.

I was introduced to the band via the power of social media  when they sent me a link to their anthemic single Purple Stripes, which I listened to immediately and was struck by how bloody good it was (particularly considering that the band are only 16, 17 and 20 years old) and wanted to know more so I caught up with their frontman, Leo Dyke, and talked about their inspiration and hopes and dreams for the future.

Hi Leo, it was great to meet you this morning through the awesome medium of twitter and thanks for introducing me to your music because I’m definitely a new fan
Talking of social media how important is social media when trying to develop a fan base and get known these days?

L. Social media is crucial these days. It’s definitely a blessing and a curse, but having grown up with it always around us works in our favour a lot of the time. Because of social media we are all so demanding about knowing things instantly. If anything happens with my favourite bands I expect a video about it instantly. But being DIY, it’s hard to make sure all of your gear doesn’t get broken, stolen, organise yourselves and tweet about it all at the same time. We know that better than anyone.

Yeah I feel you, it can be pretty full on and time consuming. Which social media sites do you use and what’s your favourite?

L. We are on most social medias all under @ukreminders. I like them all for different reasons, but I really love Instagram and YouTube. I guess it must be the visual side of them, but I think video tour diaries are so sick, and that’s something we are trying to work on. I also think with bands on Instagram, if you can get someone willing to follow you around with a camera or their phone just to take pictures of you all the time, you capture some amazing moments. Some bands I follow I don’t even know their music but there are some cool pictures up there.

Im exactly the same I honestly don’t know how difficult it must have been to discover new music before the advent of social media, well I’m grateful for it anyway, I wouldn’t be talking to you now without it . I’m so glad you said YouTube as I’ve just been made a coordinator for LSradio’s YouTube account and I’m pretty excited about getting some new bands on there if I can ( watch this space ) so maybe we will get a video interview with you in the future, but Twitter is honestly the best for finding out what’s happening at grass roots level in music and to a certain extent Facebook but I reckon Twitter is the one these days 

L.Facebook is an almost perfect method of social media which has been ruined by their algorithm techniques, and I’m only just getting the hang of Twitter, but I think it’s a powerful thing!

I must admit when you first followed me on Twitter I mistakenly took you for a diary app or something ( sorry about that ) Can you tell me how you came about your band name?

L. That did make me laugh
Funnily enough, that is exactly where we got the name from. After recording a few demos with my friend, Dylan, (who does our artwork now) a few years ago, we had to think of a band name. We were totally stumped, and the only thing we could think of was after a Cure song, or something we’d been trying to steal ideas from for our demo. We were scrolling through his laptop, and were thinking “The Safaris” ? No. “PhotoShop”? No. and so on. “Google Chrome”? Maybe???, and then eventually we came across Reminders and it was a total eureka moment. It was obviously the best name and my total impatience prohibited probably a far cooler band name.

So can you tell me a bit more about Reminders, who are you and how did you meet?

L.We are Leo, Theo and Harry. Myself and Theo met through my brother probably over ten years ago now, when we were little kids. I really f***ing hated him when I first knew him. We’d make YouTube videos as a trio and I would always be forgotten about, or even in some cases playing an Ewok from Star Wars. (Yes that video exists). I’d see him every once in awhile, but in the summer of 2013, I was just picking up the bass guitar, and he came round, heard me play a couple notes, told me “you’re really f***ng sh*t” and left. That was the final straw. Little did we both know a few years later I’d be teaching him basslines I’d written for some songs and a band I was “just starting up”. It was weird, though. When we eventually became friends we’d always jam together. I could kind of play drums and he was a really good guitarist so we’d just play whatever, I never thought about starting a band with him, but he eventually taught me how to play guitar, that’s probably why I suck so bad. I learnt a barre chord and haven’t looked back or improved since. I still really f***ing hate him, though.
I’ve known Harry since the day he was born. Our mums used to work together way back when, and we’d just chill out together in our cots, being sick on each other or whatever babies do. I guess we properly met through a former band we were in. He was 12 and I was 14, and we played the world’s worst pop punk covers, and had a set list of about 2 songs. When I first knew him it was hard to separate him from his Foo Fighters t-shirt, and there was never anything for us to talk about because we secretly both hated each other too. Except from this one time we played Minecraft together for ages and ages. I always thought his parents were crazy hippie people, but after getting to know them better, I suppose I was right. I love them though, he is definitely the worst member of an amazing family.

Haha families are everything though, you really need the support of family and friends I think to survive the madness of the music industry.

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You come from the beautiful Isle of Wight which holds many fond childhood holiday memories for me. What’s the best thing about living on the island and what is the music scene like there?

L.I really hate to sound generic but I love the beaches on the Island. We all complain about how much we hate it here, (although I’m sure your childhood memories are great) but I think we take the beaches for granted. We all live in totally different areas of the Island but we are all still close to beaches. I guess you’d expect that from an Island. I think if I lived in a city I’d really miss it, and it totally affects my song writing.

I totally get that, I’m from a small boring seaside town but I really do miss the beach when I’m in Liverpool although I love living in a city.

L.The music scene here at the moment is actually really sick. We are signed to an Island based label called Chalkpit Records, and they’ve got some really cool stuff going on, and being signed to them is really helping the scene grow.
So many people are in cool bands and starting to break out of their bedrooms or garages which is really cool. There are mini island festivals that are set up by our friends which are now attracting loads of attention. A good friend of mine started a DIY magazine and promotions thing (I think he’d get annoyed if I called it a business) called “Rocket Fuel” and it’s gotten really big and is just so much fun to be involved with. We headlined there a few months ago and after watching the first band, Freazy play their first show we all looked at each other and said “we’ve really got to up our game tonight”. This is the standard now. It’s really f***ing awesome. There are loads of bands I am super into but I just heard the new Goo Lagoon EP, he’s from the Island and the tracks on there are super cool.

So which artists/bands influenced you growing up and which would you say have most influenced your own music?

L.When I first really got involved with music I can personally put it down to Green Day. Something about their songs and the writing especially really resonated with me, and they are the sole reason I wanted to start writing music. My dad’s music taste really affected mine too. He really loves The Beach Boys, The Beatles and a really cool relatively unknown band called BadFinger. I think he really helped me love music. I quickly started to love Ramones, and the simplicity of their songs was a major moment for me, it was kind of like

“I don’t even have to be that good at guitar to write these types of songs. And these types of songs are my favourite types of songs”.

Moments like that are really inspirational. My mum introduced me to The Jags, and they changed my songwriting loads, they have a song called “Back of My Hand”, and it’s pure pop but disguised, I think Ramones and Green Day did that too. Robert Smith and The Cure changed my approach too, they made me think it’s fine to go a bit weird at times with production and lyrics. He is an amazing songwriter and a total original. He changed the way I sing too, I was always afraid to sing in my actual accent, but he made it cool for me. “Wrong Number” is something that if you asked any of my friends if I’d like it they’d all say a definite “no” but it’s one of my favourite songs ever. I don’t know why. Our songs that we are releasing now kind of have a Beach Boys / Ramones love child kind of vibe. My favourite album of all time is “Stop Drop and Roll” by the Foxboro Hot Tubs. Recently I’ve been writing totally differently, and the new songs are showing a whole new lease of life. We can’t wait to get to re arranging them as a full band.

What about the other band members, do they have the same music taste/influences?

L.Theo really loves heavy metal, but Green Day was a huge one for him too. When we first met, when he was like 10, he loved Guns n’ Roses and was an amazing guitar played because of it. He likes Metallica loads, and he saw them at Reading one year, but to be honest I’m not sure even he could do this question justice. He likes everything. When he was like 14 he loved Drake and would walk around with beats headphones around his neck and a onesie everywhere he’d go. We call it “Year 9 Theo”, and we’ve all agreed it’s not his finest hour. Nothing wrong with Drake, though. He’s open to most things which is really cool when it comes to songwriting, and I think the fusion of his likes is why he writes such badass bass lines. Everyone hears our basslines and asks me who he is, they’re just really cool.
F**k knows what Harry likes. Recently he’s been really into a band called PUP. Him and I saw Modern Baseball together recently which was a really cool show, and we both love their songwriting. If Harry likes something he will listen to it, he doesn’t really have any major tastes. Him and Theo really love the Filthy Frank album which I have learnt to hate because in every car journey I hear the whole thing. It’s lost it’s comedic touch for me now.
He used to love Foo Fighters as I said; we all agree dad rock is a bible and Dave Grohl is God. “Heaven Is a Half Pipe” is a song that I’d use to sum him up. It’s a cool song the first few times you hear it. It kind of gets tedious but you still love it. Also he loves skateboarding and is trying to train me and Theo up so we can truly meet every early 2000s stereotype. He might like Green Day too, but I’m not sure if that’s just because I forced him to cover them when we were younger.

I’m with you on the Dave Grohl rock God analogy, he’s such a legend, I always say how awesome it must be to be Dave Grohl because whenever anyone gave you sh*t you would be like, ‘Dude, I was in f***ing Nirvana

 I loved the song you sent me ‘Purple Stripes’ it was an unexpected bit of treasure on a dull Wednesday morning. Who wrote the song and what is the meaning behind it?

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L. Thank you! Really glad you loved it. I wrote the song, I was 14, and I really liked this girl. (Don’t lose interest just yet). She lived on the mainland and we met through a mutual friend on some group skype call. We got talking, hung out and we liked each other but the whole ferry commute thing was just a huge pain. The songs kind of just about that. I’m sure there are much more extreme cases of a long distance relationship but at 14 it was a big deal for me. We were hanging out one day at West Quay shopping centre in Southampton and I saw this jumper I liked but couldn’t afford and so she picked it up for me, and that’s where I got the idea for the chorus from. It was a really horrible looking jumper and was £7 from Primark, which is ethically wrong on so many levels. Also I just discovered the definition of the world “elope” and got trigger happy so forced it in there! It’s a funny song because it’s far more romantic than the situation – if my memory serves me right she had another boyfriend at the time who she was promising me she was going to start breaking it off with, and also it was one of the most abrupt endings to anything I’ve ever known. She’s a super nice girl though and she now knows the song is about her. She probably finds it super cringey but I think it’s cool, it’s one of the few songs I wrote at that age which I still think is good songwriting.

Your latest single is about to drop on May 10th and I’m going to be playing it on that day on my radio show (excited) Tell me a bit more about it and how it came about.

L. “If I Know You” is another song about a girl. I’m really sorry. My band mates hate me too. It’s one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written because, even though they are all true stories, I think this one is the most interesting. It’s all about a week we had at school where we were off timetable doing random activities. Me and this girl I’d known for like 10 years but never really spoken to were hanging out loads because we were in with a group of people we didn’t really like. So we did all these cool things together, like water sports and then we spent the day in London, went to a few museums and were in Hyde Park and all this cool stuff. The opening line of the song is “Water Sports and Major Cities”, which is one of my favourite lines I’ve ever written and is going to be the title of the EP we are releasing this summer. Hindsight really helped make that song so great, I wrote it the February after the summer it all happened, and so hindsight probably made the whole experience seem that much better than it was. The chorus seems like cheap songwriting but I meant it all. You’ll see what I mean when you hear the new track. I really love that song, for loads of different reasons, it was a great week and I’m so glad I wrote the song about it. She had a really bad habit of getting really drunk and kissing ugly men and that is addressed in the track, too. It’s all honest, and to me that’s what makes the greatest songs. You can’t sit down and think “today I’m going to be honest”, it just comes out when you need to vent.

I love your honesty it actually makes songs so much more interesting to listen to when you know the meaning behind the lyrics 

Do you enjoy the creative process and being in the studio or do you prefer playing to a live audience?

L.They’re both such different experiences it’s so hard to say. I really love the studio because I think production is like another style of songwriting in itself and I love writing songs. The studio is tense because you know you’re already losing because you’re always against the clock; and leading up to going in is nerve wracking because you’re trying to squeeze any last creativity out of your mind to make the songs complete. Some of the best moments in the songs from the EP came the day before. It’s cool to have someone else input on the songs too. Our producer is called Guy and he is a really nice guy and an amazing producer and songwriter. He has a cool little studio on the Island called studio 5a. We recorded the EP there, and I think we’ll be back many more times; I reckon they’re gonna make a huge record one day.
Playing live is amazing too, the best feeling is a group of people singing back your lyrics. It shows they understand the meaning of the song, or have put their own meaning on it. We’ve been having that happen to us a lot recently. And for me that’s what it’s all about – bringing people together. I know it doesn’t seem like it but I really do hate cliches. It’s really hard to get people to support smaller bands and so when you start to see yourselves achieving that it’s awesome. People singing back lyrics is just the best.

So, do you have any gigs coming up and will you be playing any festivals this summer?

We’ve got loads and loads of really cool gigs coming up. On May 4th we are opening for Grade 2 and the launch of their album, they come from the Island, but are getting a huge following in Europe.
May 6th we play Kashmir Fringe on the Isle of Wight
May 13th is our record label’s first birthday party gig. Free cake might be on the cards?
May 18th we play at Rob Da Bank’s new Isle of Wight night, which should be sick. Good food I hear.
we have loads more coming up in the summer, some that I’m probably not allowed to talk about just yet. It’s going to be good though – really really good.
Our next gig after May 18th brings us to the festivals, we are playing the Friday night at the Isle of Wight festival which is going to be sick. We played there last year, but this year is going to be crazy, loads more fans to come watch and a better band too.

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Wow I’m jealous, I’ve wanted to go to the Isle of Wight Festival since forever

So overall then what are your plans for the future?

L.Plans for the future are to just keep doing what we are doing. Non-stop gigging, and non stop writing. Squeezing in recording when we can afford it but really just keep trying to grow the band and reach more people; especially off the Island. We want to try land some opening spots on some UK tours so if you’re reading this and this is something you can offer hit us up. In the near future we really can’t wait to tour the EP this summer, and get it moving. But more of the same, but on a larger scale really.

Sounds busy! So, most important question, what’s your favourite biscuit? ( don’t say Oreos )

L.Oreos.

Dammit, everyone says that when Jaffa Cakes are clearly better

Anyway this has been a long, but I would like to think informative, interview so one last question. How would you like to be remembered when you die? (not that I’m saying that’s going to happen any time soon!)

L.This interview just got really heavy. F**k. I don’t know. I’ve always wanted to hold a world record of some sort, but nothing cool, just something really sh*t. In a more serious light, I don’t know how to say anything without sounding like a cliche on two legs. I guess it’s obvious really to me. Making people happier because of stuff I’ve done because the world is a f***ing sh*t place most of the time.

Awh that’s the best answer though, clichéd or not.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, I personally love what you’re doing and can’t wait to play your new single “If I Know You” on its release day May 10th on my radio show. I’m lucky enough to have heard a sneak preview and it’s a tune I’m going to be playing on repeat.

You can find out more by clicking here for the band’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram  and listen to them here on Spotify 

All photo credits band’s Facebook

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