Interview - Garrow Hill

Garrow Hill is a creative collaboration based in York, England. Stewart King and P.G. Branton, are lifelong friends who have cooperated on musical projects together for over 32 years

- Welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Depths.
Moments in life can be fleeting but in those same moments they can seem to last an eternity. We can all make more of a situation that perhaps may well overwhelm, you but then they’re gone again. In the blink of an eye. It is about the depths we go to in life which can either make us sink or swim. Lyrically we wanted to touch on themes of regret and letting go. Making the most of life as the present happens, even when the worst of experiences happen.

- How would you describe your sound? 
We have been described as a raw sonic conversation that keeps unfolding, we thought that was cool! Alternatively, we’ve been labelled as straight-up hard rock, with a punk rock attitude. You’ll hear big guitar riffs, strong vocals, and driving upbeat drumming. We call ourselves, alt-rock/hard rock, with a DIY/indie mindset.

- What do you write about? 
We always try to write content that resonates with people. A lot comes from fear; the unknown, existential thinking, what powers and motivates us as a human force. We like to play with religion a bit, or at least some of the ideology. There’s of course a lot of history, interesting past events and stories that grab our appetite as well as a good healthy slice of the spiritual world!! 

- What do you listen to when you are home?
At home, we have quite a varied pace. A lot of our influence comes from the 80’s and 90’s Rock/Hard Rock and Metal scenes. There’s also a classic rock influence, Grunge, Alternative and some punk in there too. If there is some Bass/Drums and Guitars with a bit of distortion on them, we’d probably like it to be honest!

- Your favourite live performance so far? 
We’d like to say that we have performed live more (in our current set up), but due to several issues, not just with the obligatory line-up changes and Covid etc, those experiences have been less than we wanted. Both Stew (Guitars/Vocals) and myself (drums) have been performing live in different projects for over 20 years so there’s a lot of history to reflect on, notably, there has been a dramatic change in live music. Most recently, however, playing our hometown with a packed venue full of friends and family is one that stands out for me.

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage. 
Everyone has the same story of a live situation where someone didn’t get the que, the count in and there was the obligatory, and hilarious, miss timed song intro. 
Instead, a particular evening in Leeds was played out to a comical one man and his dog routine, the other bands on the bill were the usual play and stand outside and bask in the glow of their most recent world tour like performance! I might add that this was in a situation a few years back, long before Covid. We were deep in the student bar crawl area of Leeds; it was also fresher’s week. The first two bands had played their sets, to us, their best mates and the odd random. Nothing out of the ordinary, MOTR kind of stuff. It was our time to play, we were a little disappointed to begin with a mediocre sprinkling of “Fans” and the courteous ones from the other bands that wanted to see what we had. During our third song we could hear (even over the straining PA) a crowd on the other side of the wall. All of a sudden, the doors burst open and around 50/60 very inebriated students joined in the remainder of our set. Arm in arm, pushing and shoving, spilling drink, lighters in hand, singing along (sort of) with pirates, garish Hawaiian shirts, beer goggles in plentiful supply. Someone even came dressed as banana, which was nice! Those photos turned out pretty well that night!

- Your favourite albums? 
I think this maybe a controversial part of the interview. Speaking for myself (PG Branton) I must put at least one Iron Maiden Album in there, being a huge fan. I would go for either one of The Number of the Beast or Powerslave. If I could choose any others, I would also put in Slipknot’s Subliminal Verses, Anthrax’s Attack of the Killer Bees’, BMTH’s That’s the Spirit and Avenged Sevenfold’s white album. I guess for Stew I would suggest GnR’s Appetite for Destruction, 7th Son (Iron Maiden) he’s also a Ghost fan so Opus Eponymous at a stab. Albums are so polarising!!!

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer? 
This is easy really. One definite is Steve Harris, cause why not? Stew would maybe get Slash for an insight into his genius. Bruce Dickinson would be cool; he loves Beer too!

- What would you ask for backstage if you were the most important band on earth? 
Not a question we’ve ever been asked before! Speaking personally, I’d need somewhere to watch Saturday’s/Sunday’s Premier league goals; I’m not going to embarrass myself with which team I support! Wensleydale cheese is high on my agenda, that and Marmite, so food really! IDK, what do people usually ask for, haha?? 

- What are your plans for the near future?
We are currently writing as a collaborative duo. We have signed up our friend who is a talented bass player to join us on some of live dates coming up and to join us in the recording studio. We are currently demoing some new stuff, which we feel is a more natural and comfortable in our own skin sort of vibe. We’ve thrown off the shackles that have maybe negatively influenced us in the past and we’re now beginning to feel what naturally comes out is us, and we’re proud of that. Hopefully some new music will be out in the autumn.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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