Recently I went to a gig at The Victoria, in London. Xockha were the second band to play. The Isle of Wight, based, four-piece are a great collaboration.
Online interview as follows:
LIH: When did you form your band?
LIH: How did you come up with the name of your ensemble?
It came from a song ‘Xhocka’ by Young Colossus, I just moved the ‘h’! I thought it made it easier to pronounce and spell, who knows, maybe not…
LIH: What genre would you identify your sound as?
LIH: Where do you hope to see your band in the next couple of years?
Touring the UK and releasing a debut album! Just playing in front of anyone, anywhere and vibeing out with the crowds would be rad, we just want to play shows.
LIH: Where has been your personal favourite place to gig at?
It’s hard to pinpoint just the one place, but supporting RAT BOY @ The Wedgwood Rooms was mad, the crowd were crazy, we’ve got so much love for that. The Joiners and Bestival have always been good to us too. It’s more the vibe/atmosphere than the venue that is important to us, the shows and venues that stand out are usually owed to the crowd. The Joiners has always been an important venue to me, and one I’ve wanted to play. Seeing Peace, Swim Deep and Jaws there in their early days was like ‘yeah, it’d be cool to do that here’.
LIH: Which one of you procrastinates the most during practice?
We all have our moments…
LIH: Is there any particular artist or ensemble that you would say have inspired your music?
I think we’ve all been inspired by different artists, and we’ve never discussed it in the context of the band or spoken about trying to emulate a specific artist or sound, so in terms of XOCKHA, I’m not sure there is! I mean, the project started as a solo thing and I was taking inspiration from Melody’s Echo Chamber, Youth Lagoon and Beach House at the time, but I wouldn’t say that’s had any influence on the releases, because the vibe changed when the other three came in!
LIH: Are you working on any new music currently?
Yes! Over the next two months we’ll be focusing on writing and recording an EP, ready to release early next year.
LIH: If you had to compare your sound to another band, who would it be?
That’s a hard one. We’ve had a wide range of bands thrown at us by others. Perhaps Peace are the band that are mentioned the most frequently. Probably their earlier stuff, I guess!
LIH: Have you done any emailed interviews before?
We’ve done a couple of smaller ones, but this one is the first ‘proper’ one, I reckon!
LIH: What are the music vibes like in Isle of Wight? Is there much going on?
The music vibe on the island is pretty cool in the summer with the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival, and a few other smaller festivals like Rhythm Tree. There are a few cool projects and bands around at the moment too. There’s a lack of venues and we don’t have touring bands come over here, which is disappointing, but it’s possible to put on shows despite that, and we have played a few organised by our management + will do in the future as well.
LIH: Which is your favourite song to perform?
It’s got to be the last tune we play. I think it’s almost 7 minutes long, but it’s always the best way to finish the set. There’s a few dancey parts and a few moshy parts + it’s the one where the crowd go the most mad, so we can always vibe and enjoy that. It has various names at the moment – Breaking Away, Break, so that’s still to be decided!
LIH: Have you always been interested in music?
We all have from a pretty young age, yes!
LIH: Who is your favourite artist/band?
For me, right now, Catfish and the Bottlemen and The 1975. They aren’t my two ‘all-time’ favourite bands, but I’m listening to them a lot and seeing them both over the next two months! The other three definitely won’t be agreeing with me on that one though… Frank has Soft Hair’s record on repeat constantly on Spotify at the moment, Jim is digging that too. Ellis is a pretty big fan of Bon Iver, so has been listening to their new record as well. I think we all have a love for Tame Impala, The Strokes, and Arctic Monkeys, stuff like that. Essentially, a fairly long, pretty unanswered response…
LIH: Who would you say is the most disorganised in the band?
Frankie 1000000% (sorry Frank).
LIH: Who is the main songwriter of the ensemble?
So far pretty much all the songs have been written together in a room. I remember writing the chorus and middle for Residence at home, and Frankie and I wrote the majority of Need It To Stay in the studio, but other than that it’s been as a band in a room. We’re currently getting a few ideas independently and both Frank and I have met up to start on new material, but we’ll definitely be taking the song ideas in to share, and work on them together.
Was a brilliant night at The Victoria, and was great to get in touch with the band! – Lav x