Words:Nathan Hamer & the Rooves
Images: Lewis Roddis & Maddie Priest
Cut back to Easter bank holiday at the O2 Academy, Sheffield. Two friends and I went to see, possibly, the greatest band in all the seven kingdoms; The Rooves. Melodic indie riffs, perfectly blended with the unmistakable ‘Sheffield’ sound, with their ‘Jaws 2’ single being compared to the Arctic Monkeys, it’s clear these guys have the potential to go far and S40 & S41 Magazines are behind them all the way!
On the drums we have Brendon Potgieter, on guitar we have Dan Haines and Leyton Ramsdale, playing the bass is Ross Castledine and on lead vocal is Charlotte Henry.
Nathan: Firstly, thank you for taking the time to do this interview and congratulations on a great gig at the O2. So, where did you guys all meet and how long have you been together?
Charlotte: We’ve been together almost two years now. We all went to the same secondary school (Brookfield Community School in Chesterfield), but it wasn’t until Sixth Form when we formed the band. Brendon, Ross and I were at a friend’s house party and I was with a couple of my mates playing the guitar and singing, just as a joke. Brendon sent Dan a video of me singing ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears and it kind of all just took off from there. I remember him showing me a demo of ‘Games Without the Fun’ without vocals, I wrote the lyrics to it the next day and brought it to rehearsals, and that was the first song we ever wrote together!
BBC introducing have asked us to play YNOT for them on the Friday which we’re all very excited about.
Nathan: Hope we get to see a Toxic cover at your next gig! I like it though, and where did the name ‘The Rooves’ come from?
Dan: We needed a name for ages and our old bass player was talking to Jon McClure from Reverend and the Makers about our band, it was on the roof of The Avenue Club (Chesterfield). He suggested "The Rooves" as a name. None of us liked it at the time but it was better than just saying we had no name, so we went with it.
Nathan: That’s got to be up there in terms of most random band name stories! So, how would you describe your sound and who are your influences?
Dan: Indie rock kinda vibe but with funky guitar riffs thrown in every now and then.
Brendon: We started off covering a lot of songs by ‘The Strokes’ and ‘Arctic Monkeys’ at practice and ever since then we’ve enjoyed including them in our setlists. I would say they’re our main influences.
Charlotte: Or at least that’s where our sound is rooted.
Ross: Initially, we were strongly influenced by large indie rock bands as can be heard in songs like ‘Jaws II’ and ‘Nausea’. But as we began to explore our sound, we branched out becoming more individual, taking slightly jazzier inspiration from bands like ‘Boy Pablo’ and ‘Her’s’.
Nathan: You can definitely hear that in your songs. So who writes the songs and where do you get your inspiration from?
Charlotte: We don’t really have a set way of writing songs; our songs seem to stem from either little guitar riffs or melodies we think sound groovy. I’d say we all contribute to this too, it’s kinda difficult writing songs now with us all being at different universities but we’re constantly sending voice memos into the group chat with new ideas. Lyrically speaking, Brendon and I wrote all the songs on our first EP together. On our more recent EP I wrote a song called ‘Blue, 1903’ which took inspiration from Picasso’s Blue Period amongst other things.
Leyton: We began writing Nausea with a riff that I made about 6 months prior to finishing it. Me and Brendon weren’t fond of the song originally but decided to stick with it, luckily, as it’s one of our most popular songs to play live!
Nathan: So fortunately, there won’t be any disputes over who gets the royalties and an ‘Oasis’ style break up. Do you have any pre/post gig rituals?
Ross: During our recording sessions at 2Fly in Sheffield, we’d go to eat at Nando’s during the breaks, this eventually developed into the first choice for food after soundchecks for a large majority of our gigs.
Leyton: Eating at Nando’s has become an essential part to our pre-gig routine, I’m not sure we’d play the same without it. The free beer helps too.
Nathan: If you could date any musician past or present who would it be and why?
Dan: DJ Steves from Kurupt FM, he seems like a nice lad.
Ross: Gotta be Cal Chuchesta for me, best teeth in the game.
Who's the biggest diva in the band?
Brendon: Dan is the diva. Say no more.
Nathan: Who was your favourite teacher at Brookfield?
Leyton: It has to be Mr. Styles, he was actually in his own band called “The Recroots” and was the one who told us about 2Fly studios where we recorded our first 2 EPs.
Nathan: So, who's your tip to be the next big thing?
Dan: ‘Brown Lion Zoo’ and ‘Redfaces’ are worth checking out if you haven’t heard of them. I went to 'Brown Lion Zoo’s' “Lifeline” release show in Nottingham where both bands played, and it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to.
Ross: ‘SPINN’, while having made massive leaps recently, are definitely on the brink of something huge. Really nice group of guys, it was a pleasure to have supported them last year.
Nathan: Cheers, I’ll be sure to check them out. To finish off then, what have you got coming up and where can people keep up to date?
Brendon: In terms of new music, we’re releasing a new song called ‘Television’ soon. This is a track we’ve all put a lot of effort into, we spent a few days in Liverpool recording it at Sugarhouse productions, they have recorded with the likes of Pale Waves, Viola Beach, and more.
Charlotte: BBC introducing have asked us to play YNOT for them on the Friday which we’re all very excited about.
Leyton: We’re also planning to do a small tour in the summer. So far, we’re playing in Nottingham early June, Manchester on the 5 August and headlining the Leadmill in Sheffield on the 9 August. Hopefully, followed by a gig in London.
Brendon: Keep up to date by checking our social media and to listen to our music just search ‘The Rooves’ on all the major music platforms.