South Manchester’s Châteaux have been making a big impression ever since uploading their first demo ‘It’s Magic’ six months ago, and continuing to deliver ever since with their reverb-heavy, melodic mix of soaring vocals and swirling guitar sounds. I talk to Henry Flint, one half of the Flint twins George and Henry that make up the core of the band.
Did you and George come from quite a musical family?
Well actually our family, our immediate family at least, isn’t that musical at all, it’s usually just been me and George that have played music. We’ve always just enjoyed messing about with anything really. My cousins play music as well, I’ve got a cousin who’s absolutely sick at guitar, but I wouldn’t say my father or mother are particularly open about any musical talents they have.
Are you hoping to fend off comparisons between you and maybe The Cribs, Oasis, other sibling heavy guitar bands?
Obviously Manchester is a breeding ground for guitar bands, but I think it’s important that everyone has their own sound, whether they’re from Manchester or London or wherever – obviously Manchester has its connections because there has been a definite sound from Manchester, whereas somewhere like London, everyone does different things.
Yeah, you describe yourselves as dream-pop?
Is there any big Manchester influence in that?
Well, the only influence people think we have… Well, people have described us as like The Cure, Beach Fossils, bands like that. I think it’s mostly because of the melodies, we’re not a very much ‘accompaniment and singing melody’ sort of band.
Your melodies are quite spread out across the whole range of instruments.
Yeah, we have a lot of melodies in the guitars, and occasionally the bass, we like to mix it up a bit.
Châteaux – where did that name come from?
Well, the name was from George, because the whole thing actually started from George writing some demos and putting them on soundcloud, under the name Châteaux , and that name kind of stuck really. He put up a few demos originally, and that was almost like his alter-ego – he didn’t really put any personal stuff on. Then about six months later he wrote more songs when we had more time, and that’s when people really started to like the ones he put up, so he took off the old ones and kept the recent ones as Châteaux .
Your first gig’s coming up, it’s taken quite a while between sending your first recordings out into the world and this gig – what took so long?
The reason it took us so long to do a gig is we wanted to pick the right one, with people we know we’ll fit in with, whoever we play with, and obviously make sure we play the best we can. There have been a few gigs where we thought we’d clash with people or that we weren’t ready. Well the best example is the gig we’re playing at the moment, the band we’re supporting Spring King, they’re absolutely fucking amazing, they write some really good songs. And the bassist is actually our producer – we’re so happy to know them because they’re some of the first people we got to meet from our songs, and it’s a great partnership we’ve got from thinking about production in the genre we’re in. We’re the only people we know in our area doing the same sort of stuff as we are, it’s nice to have someone to confide in in the genre we play.
Spring King and Châteaux play The Salutation in Manchester on Wednesday August 15th.