Steve Rich and the Hills are a roots and Americana band based in London and signed to label The Animal Farm. With debut album ‘Rolling Thunder’ on it’s way in November, we decided to ask them a few questions:
1. How did you get your initial start in music?
I started to play folk music because it was a form of music that I felt I understood. I started to play at small pubs and clubs. It’s only recently I’ve started to play with a band behind me and have recorded professionally.
2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
My ultimate aim is that I can write, record and play my own music and to be able to do that as my living.
3. How long have you been writing your own music?
I borrowed a guitar when I was 18 and I learnt how to play Bob Dylan songs. As soon as I knew how to play and sing at the same time I started to write my own songs. So I’ve been writing songs for 15 years or so.
4. Who are your top three influences and why?
Bob Dylan. He’s always stayed true to himself, gone in the direction he wanted to, not the one that other’s wanted him to. And the fact that some of his songs that he’s written in the last 10 years are as good as any of the ones he wrote in the 1960’s. I’ve seen Bob Dylan play live 18 times. It’s like a pilgrimage to me.
Townes Van Zandt. An incredible songwriter. Discovering his music directly inspired me to write my last album.
Steve Earle. Another great songwriter. Another guy who goes in the direction he wants to. A guy that’s struggled at times in his life and made it through.
5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?
The current single I wrote on a mandolin I’d just bought. I only knew how to play 3 chords so they’re the ones I used. I still haven’t written anything else on it. It’s a dreamy song. Summer kind of thing about a girl.
6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?
We’re based in London. The scene is mostly full of young indie bands but there’s a lot of singer-songwriter types. The Troubadour is my favourite venue. Nice and intimate. And it’s a legendary place to play.
7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?
We played the other night on the same bill as a girl called Ilona. She was really good.
8. Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.