Spending a couple of weeks in Nashville did wonders for UK-based Billy LeRiff, Jonny Faires, Marc De Luca and Ian Wilson, and would go on to inspire a lot more than their band’s name.
Rising indie band, Two Weeks In Nashville had hit a brick wall in terms of musical inspiration, and a trip to Tennessee’s capital turned out to be just the ticket for the group, who came together through their shared love of the sounds, energy and extravagance of the great rock bands of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
“We were lucky enough to go to Nashville just to experience life,” begins aptly-named lead guitarist and vocalist, LeRiff. “It was incredible, and we hadn't experienced anything like it. It's just so full of positive, really welcoming people: it's music-city! It's literally the music capital in the world, with music going on 24-7 right down the main strip. It really opened our eyes and ears to the other side of the world and gave us a different way to look at things.
"It essentially changed our music; the whole sound and everything came from the experience we had there. We spent two weeks on our first trip there and fell in love with it. So we had to call the band Two Weeks In Nashville!”
The band’s time overseas was well spent, and saw them work with a number of different writers that inspired fresh, new material. Consisting of members LeRiff, bassist Faires, guitarist De Luca and drummer Wilson, Two Weeks In Nashville’s work ethic is second to none, and they embody a rawness coupled with a dynamism and attitude that sets them apart from their counterparts.
Although this electric onstage presence has admittedly been harder to capture during the lockdown period, which has seen the band holed up in a house together doing a lot of online gigs.
“To be honest, the timing was quite good for us,” says LeRiff a little guiltily. “Everyone had just moved in literally as lockdown was beginning, so it worked out quite well for us in that respect. It's obviously been a very strange time for everyone though – particularly for the music industry as we’ve not been able to play live shows and do what we had planned.
"But we've been very lucky in the way that we've been living together over lockdown, so we've been able to stay productive. We've got a little studio set up at home so we've been writing, recording and rehearsing a lot every day quite religiously, and we’ve been producing music videos for a few songs we put out at the beginning of lockdown which Jonny (the bassist) has been editing, which is pretty cool!”
And the productivity doesn’t just extend to their music:
“Marc and Ian have been doing a lot of fitness workouts every morning. Occasionally I've done my own little routine, but I'll let them be them...they're pretty intense! Marc fancies himself as a bit of a chef – being half French and half Italian – so it’s been Michelin star cooking throughout lockdown!”
The young indie rock collective spent the first part of 2020 honing their craft on stage with performances across the country, including sell out shows at the O2 Academy Islington and the Camden Assembly – both selling out within a day of going on sale. What’s it like to suddenly adapt to virtual gigs?
“It’s strange,” he admits. “We've done it a few times. It was weird at first, but we've got used to it. We've been teaming up with a few different venues because obviously you can't go out and play in the venues and play to new people, so we've had to find other ways of doing it. We managed to play in Prague, virtually, and we had another live stream for Hamburg TV in Germany. That was really cool and was a different way of reaching out to new audiences and new potential fans. Hopefully after lockdown people will want to come see an actual live show!”