Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – The Zangwills

The Zangwills, a UK based indie rock band from Cheshire. The band members are (left to right, back row): Sam Davies (lead guitar), Adam Spence (drums), (left to right, front row): Jake Vickers (vocals & guitar), Ed Dowling (bass). Photo©Steve Forrest/Workers’ Photos

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Out to show that it’s never too late to get in the pool, Cheshire, United Kingdom-based alt-indie rock group The Zangwills showcased their first music release in 2021 with the recently dropped single “Never Looked Back,” described as a “song for the stagnant.”

The track was produced and engineered by Mark Winterburn (5 Seconds Of Summer, The Script, Plan B, James Arthur, Don Broco) and mastered by Ben Booker at BB Audio (Bob Dylan, Elton John, PJ Harvey, Scissor Sisters).

As the live music industry begins to slowly come back into the fray, The Zangwills look to regain their momentum that they had, when they were at one point, opening for artists such as Yungblud and The Charlatans. The band has been strongly influenced by 80’s synth sounds and the likes of The Rapture, Blossoms and The Stranglers.

The Zangwills are lead guitarist Sam Davies, drummer Adam Spence, vocalist/guitarist Jake Vickers and bassist Ed Dowling.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the band about what they’ve been up to lately and more.

Music Bugle – How did you guys decide on the band name? 

Sam Davies – The name comes from a road name in London. Jake was visiting a family member and saw the name and thought it looked really cool, so took a picture so he could remember it as a band name. This was before there was even a band. 

Music Bugle – How would you describe your newest material? 

Ed Dowling – Our latest single is very 80’s synth pop inspired, with a very strong Bowie influence.

Music Bugle – How has 2021 treated you? 

Jake Vickers – 2021 has been okay, to be honest. In the early part of the year, we were working towards the “Judas” video release and also spent time in the studio. It feels really good to be back doing at least some gigs and releasing new music. We are returning to headline Manchester Academy on September 17, which we’re really looking forward to. We played our last show there in Feb 2020, just before the world shifted, so it’ll feel like we’re starting where we left off before Covid.  

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music? 

Jake Vickers – The variation for sure. We try not to release songs that sound too similar and always end up floating through different sub-genres. We think we owe this to our range of music tastes as individual band members being so diverse.

Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Never Looked Back” as a single? 

Adam Spence – We think it has great single potential. Sometimes, songs can be lost within an EP or album and we wanted to give this one its own spotlight.

Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about performing live? 

Sam Davies – The crowd and the energy. Also, meeting new people and having that connection.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise? 

Jake Vickers – I’m listening to a lot of soul at the moment. Also, listening to David Bowie and Bob Dylan. 

Ed Dowling – I’m currently listening to all sorts! Quite a bit of folk at the mo, bands like Bonny Light Horseman and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. 

Adam Spence – Listening to ‘DONDA’ and the new Tyler.

Sam Davies – Interpol and The Cure.

Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians? 

Jake Vickers – As humans, we think it’s a little terrifying. Jake actually took almost a year off social media recently. However, as a band or a business, we realize that it’s crucial and an important way to keep in touch with friends and followers, as it has so many benefits in that area. This has been even more the case during the pandemic, when we couldn’t get together in-person. 

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Sam Davies – It has for sure changed us as people, as I’m sure it has everyone. It has made us much more grateful for most things. We’ll never take freedom for granted again, the chance to do simple things and especially, the opportunities to get out and play live in front of actual humans. 

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?

Jake Vickers – An abandoned, overgrown golf course near my home in Chester. It’s beautiful.

Ed Dowling – Usually the pub, or if I’m chilling, just at home with some music on.

Adam Spence – I go to my home studio and just play some drums or guitar, or I go for a walk and listen to a new album.

Sam Davies – The pub.

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