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Nottingham Castle

Blues Singer Louis Antoniou Discusses His Latest Single And Playing In Nottingham

3 July 17 interview: Paul Klotschkow

Watch the music video for the song I Don't Want No More Woes...

Louis Antoniou Interview

You are originally from London. How did you end up in Nottingham?
I came to study at Nottingham Trent University, and for a year I completely dropped songwriting, which is one of my biggest regrets of my three years in Notts. But then again my music career did kickstart in Nottingham, but I had to move back home to London -  it’s a bit long-winded all of this, I know. I liked to be considered as Nottingham’s adopted son, if you’d let me be. Or maybe the f*cked up uncle you only see at big family parties, Dot To Dot or Hockley Hustle, for instance.
How long have you been playing and making music for?
I first started songwriting at 16, very Libertines / Arctic Monkeys / early Kings of Leon kind of tunes. Then I took a year off to destroy my liver as much as possible before turning my attention to blues music. I tried to mould myself into something of a blues beatnik (I wish) and formed Louis Antoniou & The BlueJayWays. Back in London now I have my own band and I’m writing music exactly how I want, so can’t complain. We get stronger as a unit and my songwriting has come a long way since 16, thank god.
Have you always been solo or have you played in bands?
When I was 16 I was the songwriter and guitarist in a band before eventually stepping into the blinding lights, testing the microphone and becoming a frontman. Since then I’ve never wanted to step away from the microphone; sounds narcissistic I know, but I love entertaining a crowd. Then I delved into solo performing. I guess with a band you really feel like you can have the audience in the palm of your hand, send them down a road they never dreamt of taking. Solo is fun, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it feels like you’re background noise; no-one’s truly absorbing your performance.
How would you describe the type of music that you make?
It’s alternative rock and post-modern blues.
You have recently released a couple of tracks - I Don’t Want No More Woes and Bad Apple. Can you tell me a bit about them?
Once I had my band assembled in London I started writing bigger and better tunes and Bad Apple was the first track of this new direction. I’m really into my vintage sound and look so I was keen to incorporate that impression in the tracks, like a 60’s kinda vibe. We recorded at Gizzard Recording Studios in London using analogue recording, cutting the tape and everything. It was the ultimate experience and makes you appreciate the craft of recording even more. I’d love to do it again.

Can you explain the idea behind the video for I Don’t Want No More Woes? 
My bass player, Will Finnerty, and I put this together. I was explaining to him how I want to go in a direction of this dystopian Britain we currently live in. I wanted to get across how no-one really knows what the s*it is going on right now, it’s chaos in abundance, but somehow we laugh off the hysteria through social media and memes etc. I made a list of all the weird and wonderful people and events from the last couple of years and mashed them into a video, with some bizarre clips thrown in too. He deserves the credit though, the editing behind it is amazing and I’m delighted with the outcome. 
What have been your favourite shows to play in Nottingham? 
Me and the lads recently played Dot To Dot which was a lot of fun. I’m trying to get on the bill at The Bodega or Stealth. I love playing JamCafe, Wax Bar is fun to play too. Done loads of acoustic shows in so many places I can’t remember half of them. Looking to get the band on at Hockley Hustle this year too. 
What other music coming out of Nottingham at the moment would you recommend? 
Stacey McMullen is smashing it right now. He doesn’t know this but he was the first local musician I watched in Nottingham. We both played on a bill together and I remember being like, “I’m nowhere up to the standard of this guy, what am I doing?!” He’s a friend and a beautiful soul, love his stuff. 
Where can we see you playing next? 
I’m playing YNot Festival end of the month, which isn’t far from Notts at all. Playing the Saloon Stage, get yourselves there! 
What do you like to get up to when not making music? 
I’m currently writing a series of poems with the theme ‘7 Deadly Sins in Modern Day Britain’. I’m looking to get it published or something, perform it, whatever. I also play football, long walks on the beach, and love watching films with Gosling…
Why should we check out your music? 
Because I’m the resurrection of rock n’ roll.

I Don't Want No More Blues is out now. Louis Antoniou performs at this year's YNot Festival.

Louis Antoniou Facebook

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