Face to face with Hey Bulldog

(c) Philip Heathcote

(c) Philip Heathcote

Teasingly dark, mysteriously psychedelic and irresistibly captivating, Hey Bulldog will leave you no chances of escaping from them. With EP ‘Numb’ under their belts, Hey Bulldog are ready to take over the UK. Vocalist and guitarist Rob Manton chats to Rock Britain about everything Hey Bulldog-wise.

– You’ve got the EP ‘Numb’ out. How would you introduce it to our readers?

– It’s a 5 track melting pot of blues influenced psychedelic rock. There’s lots of old and new influences and styles on there, each track definitely has it’s own unique character and feel to it so it should keep you entertained!

– What was the way of this EP from the very start to its final version? What were the standout moments of working at it?

– We recorded the title track ‘Numb’ at a studio in London which turned out really well so we went back to the same studio about 6 months later to record the other 4 tracks over two days. The most memorable moment of the recording would be for ‘Oh my soul’. It was the last song we recorded, very late at night and we did it all live in one take all 3 of us playing and singing in the same room together. The only bit we added to the recording was the handclaps and footstomps which we recorded together straight away afterwards. You always remember the happy accidents that occur while recording as well. During recording drums for one track the live room door was left open and it created an amazing echo in the corridor next to the studio so we got the engineer to put up a microphone in the corridor and we used that for the big sound we wanted on the handclaps and footstomps for ‘Oh my soul’.

– You’ve chosen a Beatles’ song to name your band after. Why this song? What was the role of The Beatles in your music life?

– Anything to do with guitar based music from pretty much 1964 onwards is directly influenced by the The Beatles in some way shape or form, the way the albums were recorded and the amazing quality of the songs still stands up and surpasses most of the things around today. Their progression in sound and song writing in such a short space of time is the benchmark for any musician. So as Hey Bulldog was one of the least well-known songs and I really liked the background info behind the song of when and how it was recorded, it just seemed to be a good fit. It has some great lyrics, a great riff and a nice little chord progression too which are all things i like to have in my songs.

– What’s the best thing about the band that we should know?

– Musically I’d like to think we have a lot in common with other guitar led bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream and Led Zeppelin we like to add little jams in between songs live to always keep it fresh and make each gig unique.

– As a band, what do you strive to achieve in music? What’s your biggest goal?

– To make some good unique rock music, over a period of time and continually try new and different things.
If you look at somebody like Neil young who continues to challenge himself and has a fanbase that follows him that has to be the goal for any musician, i think so anyway.

– What events do you consider the highlights of your career so far?

– Hearing yourself on the radio by accident it always a fantastic buzz, we’ve been lucky enough to play with some great bands in the past year, we really enjoyed playing with and hanging out with the guys from J Roddy Walston and The Business when they toured the UK. Probably the most memorable gig we have done was playing with The Family Rain in a 200-year-old church in Manchester, the natural acoustics of the building were amazing with a massive sound and the whole night had a great atmosphere.

– When you’re not making music or playing live, what can you be found doing?

– I guess like most people we all love films and catching up on good TV series on Netflix, aside from that we’ll probably be talking about music and have the odd conversation about football or joke about the latest episode of South park.

– Who are your favourite Manchester bands?

– We played a festival a couple of weeks ago with the Happy Monday’s and they were great live, obviously Oasis have to get a mention for the massive effect they had on music when we were growing up. I’m a big fan of Graham Nash and love listening to The Hollies, I also love some Bee Gees stuff but also you cannot forget to mention bands like The Stone Roses and Joy Division.

– Whilst discovering new music, what are you looking for in it?

– Just anything that is a little bit special or unique and has quality in it. It’s so hard for new bands these days not to sound exactly the same as their influences so anybody who has their own style and a few decent songs would definitely get a lot of respect from me.

– What kind of mark do you aim at leaving by means of your music?

– I just want to make good music and hope some people enjoy it. If people think of us as a good band of good musicians with some half decent songs I would take that.

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