Belfast-based band Yes Cadets have spent the last few years slogging away on the UK/Irish music circuit. As their success grew the band ventured to Europe and along the way got signed to German label Humming Records.
With new Single/EP Le Mans set for release the time seemed perfect for Fame to catch up with the art-pop acts lead singer Alan Haslam to hear more about the band and their music.
Hi Alan, so let’s start off with your own description of Yes Cadets’ music style?
You know I love it when a reviewer takes random words and adds them into a review. Recently we got called a more glittery ‘Foals’ and a less tropical ‘Friendly Fires’. That was a German publication I believe, we liked that one.
Superb, I love that. You have a new Single/EP Le Mans due for release, what can you tell us about that?
Well, it has been a long time coming. We have spent the best part of a year working on it. We put a lot of effort into it, refining our style and we feel it is more introspective than anything we have done before.
What is the writing process with the Yes Cadets?
The way it works Phil is that I am the songwriter. I kind of get the bones of the songs together and then I take it to the other guys. (laughs, of course they may tell me it is rubbish) We then all mess about with it and its structure. The rest of the band are like our quality control department.
Do you blend old material with new at you live shows to test it out?
Yes we do. We just recently did a single launch (one in Belfast and one in Dublin). We mixed Le Mans EP material with older tunes and a few others. It is a great way to test your new songs.Do you tour regularly?
We do indeed. We have done the UK a few times now. Most recently we supported the band General Fiasco. We have toured Europe and of course done many Irish tours (North and South).
We do find our material goes down very well at home, in Belfast we of course see a lot of friends and family, due to a lot of radio play and gigs we find Dublin growing steadily too.
The UK can vary depending on the venue and town. We do see more and more people get into our songs, so that is very encouraging.
Have you any plans for a headline UK tour?
Actually we do have one lined up. Our headline UK tour will take place in October. We also have some European dates in November and some Irish gigs in place for December.You got signed to German Label Hummingbird how did that come about?
You know it was kind of strange really. These days a band cannot simply send their CD’s off to labels left, right and centre. That is not the way it works unfortunately.
But I was checking out the labels (Humming Records) website, as I liked a band they had signed. This site was one of the few who did say that they would accept links to your work if you submitted it to them.
So that is what we did. I met with them recently and they informed me that they never took on bands who submitted stuff to them. But here we are now and it is all working very well indeed.
Does having a label based in Europe assist you in getting those valuable European dates?
They do of course, but we do work with UK PR people too. This is after all a global release. It all works smoothly and we are in a great place right. Working with a really good label and have loads of support.
What advice would you give to bands from Belfast, who aspire to your level of UK/European success?
I must say the main thing is to get out of Belfast. You need to spread your wings and play elsewhere. It is important to push yourselves and it is possible to do it on your own. We went to Dublin, then progressed to Europe.
There are an awful lot of opportunities in The UK/Europe, you just need to work hard and go for them.
Your home town shows are always important and those fans are too, but you do need to plug away further afield too. It does mean you need to graft hard, but it will pay off in the end.
Finally Alan do you as band still produce physical CD’s or has it all moved on to online sales?
We do sell some CD’s these days. We always bring them to gigs, these days CD sales are more spontaneous buys rather than anything else.
I do see some people still wanting to buy them after they hear the songs live. However the bulk is now via online sales etc. It seems to be the way forward and people do look for you to have your material available that way.
Single Le Mans out August 24th/EP September 14th.
Photo by Jamie William Adamson