Brighton based indie pop/rock act, After Arden, burst onto the scene last year when they released ‘We Are On Fire’. We at Indie Top 39 instantly fell in love with the tune and waited patiently for the band to release a follow-up. And last month, that’s exactly what they did! ‘Dance Floor’ is another cracking tune and we knew we just had to know more about the talented trio. We were thrilled when they agreed to be interviewed by us, so without further ado, please give a warm welcome to After Arden.
Hello and welcome After Arden! We’re thrilled to reintroduce you to our ever-growing audience. So, as you know, I fell pretty hard for your debut single ‘We Are On Fire’, but I was wondering if you could tell us about how the three of you met before the song was released? I know that you’re all from different countries originally.
Indeed, we are all from different countries. Jess came from France, Flo from Germany and Hedda from Norway to attend The British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Brighton. We started working together over zoom during lockdown after being put together by Grammy-award winning Pete Smith who advised us and coached us along the way. We clicked right away and found that our different musical and cultural backgrounds created a very interesting and fun musical result.
Now based in Brighton, the seaside resort has a pretty incredible history of producing some amazing bands. Acts like Royal Blood, The Kooks, British Sea Power, and The Electric Soft Parade just to name a few. Do you feel lucky to be based there? And what do you think it is about the place that produces such fine musicians?
We feel so lucky to be in Brighton, it’s a city that always inspires us to write and create. There is music happening everywhere in Brighton. From buskers on every street corner to the countless live music venues, we’re constantly surrounded by new influences and inspiration. It’s really wonderful to be living in such a lively city, so full of talent and culture. On top of that, we’re right by the seafront with nature close by. Brighton has got it all.
Sticking with ‘We Are On Fire’, the track now has over 15,000 plays on Spotify! How does it make you feel to know that so many people have been listening to and enjoying your music?
We feel outstandingly blessed that our music has reached so many people and that the song was received with such kindness and positive energies. It was a very surreal experience for us back in June when the song came out because it was the first time any of us released a song! I think we can all agree that we have a newfound respect for independent musicians.
“Independent” doesn’t just mean to write, record, play and produce yourself. It’s about branding, marketing, social media activity, PR, and all these tasks that you can easily forget when you’re listening to a track on Spotify.after arden
We feel very lucky that our first ever released song did well and that we’ve been able to build a loyal Brighton-based following. We’re also very thankful to the independent blogs and curators who’ve been giving us a shot and supporting us with both singles.
Just a few days ago, you released your second single called ‘Dance Floor’, and I have to say…You’ve done it again! It’s another cracking tune that I’ve had on repeat since its release. Do you remember its “birth” so to speak?
First of all; thank you so much! Secondly; yes, of course, we do! We remember sitting in Flo’s bedroom (which also works as our studio). This is where all our songs seem to pour out of us. We wanted to write a story about how everything is there. The love, the chemistry, it’s reciprocal and nothing should stand between two people, but they never confess to their feelings, and they end up parting ways. A very unsatisfying end to a story, enhanced by the fact that we full on dropped the last chorus after the bridge. Unsatisfying! The lyrics were rewritten countless times, but the story remained the same. We are very happy with how the song turned out, it went on a journey of its own.
‘Dance Floor’ is about two people who have loved each other for years but have never expressed this love for fear of losing what they have. I know many listeners will be able to relate to this scenario, but who do you hope the song resonates with the most?
We hope that this song resonates with everybody and anybody who is still grieving a relationship and struggling with many “what if” questions. We hope we can help those people find closure in the “what if’s” of their past, and move on. But maybe even more importantly, we hope it can inspire someone to seize the day and speak their truth. I think we all agree with the saying “in the end you only regret the chances you didn’t take”. Let’s not miss out on something good due to self-doubt or fear.
A hint of nostalgia is perfect for a little emotional warmth.after arden
Every band obviously has a different creative process than the next, and we love finding out more about how bands take an idea and turn it into a finished product. Could you tell our readers a bit about your overall creative process?
Our creative process is very much the same every time we write an After Arden song! It usually starts with us three in a room, jamming out ideas. Flo creates some nice chords, Hedda will improvise a melody over and Jess will make the ideas into a story. Flo produces all our music and will get cracking on with a demo while the girls work on the lyrics. An essential part of our creative process and the After Arden brand is Hedda and Jess’ “there can always be more backing vocals”.
Who are some of the band’s biggest musical influences? Who did you all grow up listening to? And would you say that your tastes have changed over the years?
We’ve all got very different musical backgrounds. Jess is with rock and blues, Flo has played with big jazz bands and produced country music, and Hedda is a classically trained vocalist who wanted to write pop music.
Together we used a bit of everything to create our sound. Especially since this last release, we’ve grown into a more of a “Modern ABBA sound”. Indeed, two female vocals work hand in hand accompanied by a strong airy instrumental track. The music we make is a pretty accurate description of who we are as writers, lyricists, producers, instrumentalists and so on.
What would being successful in the music industry look like to you as a band? And how much importance do you place on something like this?
Well, “successful” to us would mean to be able to work in music full time and still afford to buy avocados. Instead of numbers, we search for connection with the audience and success to us would be recognition.
We’ve never had any expectations about conquering the world. If one person can find any kind of joy in our music, we’d feel successful.after arden
OK After Arden, if you could, as a band, ‘steal’ one song in the world and claim it as your own, what would you go with?
What a question!. We’d for sure steal ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ by Bon Jovi. That song is our go-to cover song to spice up our set when we play live.
What is the best piece of musical (or general) advice that you’ve each been given that you’d like to pass on to others?
That sometimes, less is more! Think quality over quantity. And space in music is fundamental to a good track. We all need to breathe!
What do you love about being musicians? And on the flip side, what are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced so far?
We love working with our passion hand in hand, which is the real blessing. How every day is as different as the songs we write and how we get to be a part of something that feels bigger than us.
The challenge is that we can never really draw a line between work and end of day fun… Wonderful blessing in disguise I guess!
If you were allowed to collaborate with one musician or band, who would you choose and why?
We’d love to collaborate with Måneskin!! They’ve got their wild attitude on stage and their crazy stage outfits and we actually think we’d be such a good fit musically!!
What can we expect next from After Arden? Perhaps an EP? Or dare we dream of a full album?
Some dreams do come true! We’ve got a few singles coming out in 2022. You can expect more backing vocals, more acoustic guitars and more catchy pop hooks from After Arden. (Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve also got a twisted Halloween themed EP in the works. Think rockier, darker and crazier! But that’s hush-hush for now).
We added After Arden’s single ‘Dance Floor’ to the playlist of all the artists we interviewed so far.
Don’t be shy to give it a listen!