Interview: Abi Wade

abi wadeBrighton musician and audible purveyor Abi Wade has released a new single “Boxer” on Love Thy Neighbour. If you’ve heard it, you’ll undoubtedly already know: like most of her music, it’s a song that latches onto your brain and shakes it until it understands what on Earth’s going on.

Well known and loved for her approach to the stringed instrument, the cellist has created a name for herself as a musician to test the tide and fight against it. “Boxer” is no different: an enormously unique and stupendously inspired piece of work that has the hearts of her fans throbbing for more.

DrunkenWerewolf’s Tiffany Daniels speaks to Wade about touring with Patrick Wolf, adding a new electronic element, and possibly maybe releasing an album some day...

Hello Abi! You recently released your new single “Boxer”. What’s the story behind the song? When did you write it, and how did it come about?

It was a midnight doodle, I think I scribbled something like “it caught me left hook, but you'd never hurt me my love”.  I was musing over the idea of the fight within a relationship. The idea of sides within any social scenario really, and likening it to boxing, the imagery of opponents enclosed in a boxing ring with no escape.

The video for the song is quite dramatic! Who came up with the concept?

Another of my bedtime light bulb moments. I then took some simple sketches to the wonderful Kenny McCraken and he really helped me bring it to life, encouraged me and added a lot of ideas himself.

Since you started to release music under your own name, you’ve played the UK tour circuit regularly, and are about to launch into the festival season. Do you find your tact changes for different venues?

A gradual adding of elements, yes. As the venues have got bigger and I’m being asked to play longer sets I’ve started added things to create more diversity and dynamics and interest. Many of these have become permanent but I’m playing with a wonderful violinist [called] Eliza Jaye and I hope to arrange other parts for different instruments, but I aim to have this as an ad hoc so it still stands as a solo act too.

You supported Patrick Wolf at the end of 2012 and we saw you play in St George’s, Bristol. What did you take from the experience of touring with such a well known musician?

Insight I think!! It was the first tour I have ever done so it was an experience just to be a travelling artist! You live on hummous – it’s amazing - and to experience it with an artist who has been through a career in music was brilliant. It was a lot of fun but a lot of hard work too and I didn't get much sleep.

His tour was acoustic based, which obviously suits your music well. Have you ever considered or tried to ‘go electric’?

Well the new single “Boxer” is dabbling in the world of electrical wires. I’m enjoying the possibilities of it and the challenge.

You recently played a session for Amazing Radio and your songs are set up for the live stage. Do you find it difficult transposing your sound to record?

I’m getting into recording more and more. For me it’s an art form in itself: something you need to work at and develop. I'm working at it and developing it!! I think the electronic elements are working to enhance my experiments with recording.

Are you ever tempted to add more instruments to your recordings?

I do add layers to the recording but I still want to remain true to the idea of the song I'm recording.

Do you consider yourself a prolific writer? What generally inspires you to set pen to paper?

I think I can be prolific but things get busy so I’m planning to get my head down again and start pulling together an album (fingers crossed)!

You’ve worked closely with Daniel Copeman of Love Thy Neighbour, you label, and fellow Brighton band Esben & Witch. Is the family and vision close-knit, would you say?

Me and Dan get on well. The label are really supportive and let me get my way really which is nice! Sometimes we differ slightly in opinion of the specifics but it’s always amicable, you want there to be some friction, so you know they care about it.

Who would you like to work with in the future?

I go through phases but no burning desires at the moment. Who would you like to see me work with?

Your solo project has been nicely ticking along for a while now. Where do you expect yourself to be in a year’s time?

With an album of work that I can feel proud of. Something substantial, and more pedals many more pedals!

Find out more about Abi Wade here


One Response to “Interview: Abi Wade”

  1. Jon 05/08/2013 at 6:03 pm #

    I remember the first time, about eighteen months ago I saw Abi supporting at The Green Door Store here in Brighton, and thinking what on earth is going on here, that soon turns to wow! Seen her umpteen times since and she is getting better and better.

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