I first featured Welsh-wizards Adwaith on these pages back in 2016, and have spent most of the subsequent five years telling pretty much anyone who’ll listen just how wonderful they are, and increasingly an awful lot of people are getting on board. Since the release of their 2018 debut album, Melyn, the band have been on something of a wild ride, winning the Welsh Music Prize, sharing stages with everyone from The Manic Street Preachers to Charlotte Church (in her Late Night Pop Dungeon guise) and performing at pretty much every UK festival worth writing about.
Although the band’s initial musical love came with the folk-tinged sounds of bands like The Staves and Fleet Foxes, they’ve constantly shown themselves to be unafraid of experimentation, Melyn showcasing everything from perfect post-punk to ethereal soundscapes and swampy blasts of ravey psychedelia. Adwaith’s sound is a distinctly modern one, the sort of music made by artists who’ve grown up with the world of sounds that the internet now gives us all, one-minute dipping into the baggy sound of the Happy Monday’s, the next finding like-minded Welsh-language inspiration from the likes of Datblygu or Gwenno.
With plans already in place for a brand new record, and hitting the road, Adwaith’s next step looks like cementing their place at the forefront of creative alternative music and bringing Welsh music to the world at large. Recently I spoke to the band about the pressure success brings, future plans and their influences that go from, “folk to hip-hop to Turkish psychedelic music”.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Adwaith?
We’re a 3 piece, post-punk band from West Wales.
FTR: Somehow it’s three years since you released Melyn, were you pleased with the reaction that album got?
We were more than pleased! We wrote some of those songs when we were 16/17 so to know that people connected to the album is incredible.
FTR: Has that success changed how you’re approaching recording new music? Is there a pressure to follow-up on that record?
I think we did feel a bit of pressure but as soon as we got into the studio, we felt the weight lifting off. The songs sound huge and we’re really happy how they’ve turned out.
FTR: There’s a lot of very creative music coming out of Wales at the moment, so it must have been a real honour to win the Welsh music prize. How has that changed things for you as a band?
I don’t think it’s changed us much. If anything, I think it’s given us confidence in what we’re doing! It took us a while for it to sink in though.
FTR: Who are the influences on Adwaith’s music? Have these changed since you started making music?
Our first influences were definitely more folk orientated. We were really into The Staves and Fleet Foxes. Now, we’re into lots of different music. From folk to hip-hop to Turkish psychedelic music.
FTR: It’s obviously been a weird few years for bands, how has the pandemic affected your plans?
It definitely stopped us in our tracks a bit. We couldn’t go out to play SXSW which was a dream of ours. It delayed the album. But we have been so lucky to have been able to do lots of sessions and record the album during lock down so we can’t complain too much!
FTR: What’s the best way for people to support musicians at this time?
Buy merch, buy their records, go to their gigs! If you can’t afford to buy merch or their records, then stream the music and share their posts! It all helps.
FTR: You’ve got a huge live date coming up at The Lexington, what can people expect from the Adwaith live show?
You can expect old bangers and new tunes, good beer and a good time.
FTR: Why do you make music?
That’s a difficult question to answer! I think it’s always something we’ve done, it’s a way of expressing emotion. It’s a way of dealing with feelings you might not want to deal with! And it’s a lot of fun jamming with your friends.
FTR: What are your ambitions for Adwaith? Is music still a viable career?
It’s hard to see it as a viable career at the moment. It’s such an expensive job to be a musician. With recording, mastering, PR, travel, gear, music videos and photos costing thousands of pounds, there’s no money to pay ourselves. But hopefully we can in the future. That’s the Dream!
FTR: What’s next for Adwaith?
Well, we have a new album coming out next year and we’ll be touring that album too. So lots of new music and live shows!
Adwaith play for Scared To Dance at The Lexington in London this Saturday – tickets are available at https://dice.fm/promoter/scaredtodance. For more information on Adwaith visit https://twitter.com/adwaithband.