Four-piece band As We Leave has just released their new sin­gle via Abbey Records called Sto­ries We Tell – it’s a shim­mery and nos­tal­gia-laden ode to sum­mer, replete with the feel­ings the sea­son can con­jure. The band’s mem­bers all grew up on the Isle of Wight where they formed their strong friend­ship bonds at school and it’s where they now cre­ate and pro­duce their music. 

On the cusp of the release of Sto­ries We Tell, I spoke to As We Leave’s vocal­ist and gui­tarist Caine Entwistle about music, friend­ships and island life… 

You all met at school – did you become friends through a mutu­al love of music? I under­stand you have all been in var­i­ous bands, so how did you all get togeth­er?
Kyle and Tom and myself have been friends since we were about 12–13 years old – we were like-mind­ed mis­fits and our mutu­al love of music devel­oped as we became clos­er friends. As We Leave start­ed about five years ago, me and Kyle just kept plug­ging away writ­ing tunes and mak­ing music for the sheer love of it. 

We realised that the songs were real­ly pret­ty good so we got Gards (Tom Gard­ner) in and things start­ed to move from there. Kit is the same age as us, he went to a dif­fer­ent school on the island but played in bands we knew grow­ing up. We heard he want­ed to leave his band Blond and come back home, so we asked him to join. It’s been great ever since.

How do you man­age the cre­ative process of writ­ing songs? Do you write your mate­r­i­al togeth­er or is that down to just one of you? Who writes the lyrics? 
That’s the best part about As We Leave… we are all just real­ly into writ­ing music. We write indi­vid­u­al­ly and col­lec­tive­ly but when it comes to flesh­ing out the ideas and record­ing them, every­one gets involved. Usu­al­ly who­ev­er comes up with the idea gets to put it down but there are no rules and egos… every­thing is done for the ben­e­fit of the song. On the whole, I write the lyrics because I’m the vocalist. 

What dri­ves you lyrics wise?
Every­thing real­ly: life, expe­ri­ence, frus­tra­tions, mem­o­ries, anger, love… I have a deep love of lit­er­a­ture (par­tic­u­lar­ly Russ­ian) so words and how you use them are impor­tant to me.

What is the sig­nif­i­cance of the band name ‘As We Leave’? 
Me and Kyle just want­ed some­thing dif­fer­ent real­ly. At the time every band or project seemed to be called ‘The Some­thing’. We kind of want­ed a state­ment rather than a name and so in the end ‘As We Leave’ was the one that stuck.

That’s inter­est­ing that your band is from the Isle of Wight. How would you describe the music scene there? And do you have a good sup­port net­work?
Yeah, it’s both a bless­ing and a bit of a curse. It is beau­ti­ful and iso­lat­ed which helps fos­ter the bonds we built as chil­dren grow­ing up but there is a real lack of oppor­tu­ni­ties and some crush­ing pover­ty. The music scene here is vibrant, it has always had a flour­ish­ing musi­cal under­bel­ly. Whether the world ever takes note is almost irrel­e­vant, you can always find some­thing. In the past we’ve had The Bees, Jack­son Ana­logue, Drew, Champs and now besides us there’s Fat Earth­ers, Kat Fight – lots of excit­ing new music to be discovered. 

There are some love­ly stu­dios here on the island as well like Hum­bug at Osborne, where we mixed and mas­tered the EP – Jim and Rob are great! Our label Abbey Stu­dios, have a beau­ti­ful live-in stu­dio in a glo­ri­ous loca­tion. Strings is a good lit­tle live venue (the only one that’s left!) and we have our own writ­ing stu­dio we call ‘The Store’. So in terms of sup­port to make music, if you know the right peo­ple, it’s great and even if you don’t, it’s still a won­der­ful place to make music.

Have you done much gig­ging or played at any fes­ti­vals?
We were hop­ing to do the lot this sum­mer but obvi­ous­ly that’s not hap­pened so fin­gers crossed for next year. Between us we have done a lot of gig­ging and fes­ti­vals but not as As We Leave, main­ly because it was just me and Kyle for the first two years and we pre­ferred the stu­dio. But the need to get out there and play again is strong, so expect us on a stage or at a fes­ti­val near you in 2021!

What bands/artists do you admire? Which artists have had an influ­ence on you musi­cal­ly?
We have many many musi­cal influ­ences, some col­lec­tive ones like Tom Waits, Radio­head, Gomez, The Bea­t­les, Beach House, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Tame Impala, and some more indi­vid­ual such as James Brown, Shostakovich, Mac DeMar­co, Bruce Spring­steen. Once a week we usu­al­ly meet up and just lis­ten to records with a few beers or a glass of wine. A song­writer should always be lis­ten­ing to music.

Your lat­est sin­gle Sto­ries We Tell feels very evoca­tive and con­jures up the feel of sum­mer. You have said of the lyrics it’s about “the jar­ring pos­si­bil­i­ty that the best things have passed”. Can you tell me more about this… hope­ful­ly you have some opti­mism for the future?
Sto­ries We Tell is an ode to nos­tal­gia, a flood of mem­o­ries and a bit­ter­sweet melan­cho­lia for bet­ter times… maybe not bet­ter but cer­tain­ly more carefree. 

The mem­o­ry of hear­ing your favourite album for the first time, the ener­gy and opti­mism of ado­les­cence… there’s a lit­tle bit of hope in there. We want­ed the sound of the track to be sim­i­lar to its nar­ra­tive, pret­ty, sun- soaked and bit­ter­sweet. Thank you for call­ing it sum­mery by the way, there’s the optimism.

This has been a tricky year for every­one and in par­tic­u­lar for musi­cians. How has it been for As We Leave?
Yeah its not been good for any­one… We should have been gig­ging, pro­mot­ing and hav­ing fun at fes­ti­vals but sad­ly, we aren’t. From a pos­i­tive per­spec­tive though it has been huge­ly ben­e­fi­cial for our song­writ­ing, we have an abun­dance of mate­r­i­al to work through for the next two releas­es! Don’t wor­ry though, we only have one lock­down song, no doubt there will be a lot of angsty songs next year about iso­la­tion and viruses.

What are your plans for the next six months / year or so… if every­thing goes to plan in these uncer­tain times?
The plan is to get this EP out in Sep­tem­ber. We’ve near­ly fin­ished the next one (out by the end of the year) and are start­ing work on an album as well. By next year there should be plen­ty of releas­es and we can get stuck into the gigs, tour bus­es, fes­ti­vals and lack of sleep! That’s the plan anyway.

Care to men­tion any names of peo­ple who have helped and guid­ed you?
Jim and Rob Homes at Hum­bug stu­dios, they have been great, Aude has been super and full of encour­age­ment, and I’m sort­ing the games night out! I’d also like to thank Trucks and TD in advance, they will prob­a­bly be join­ing us on the road for the gigs next year.

Stories We Tell illustration

Sto­ries We Tell, the lat­est
sin­gle by As We Leave is
out 20th August 2021. Video on 21st August 

As We Leave:
Caine Entwistle – Vocals, Gui­tars, Bass, Synths
Kyle Abram – Gui­tars, Bass, Drums, Keys, Synths, Per­cus­sion 
Tom Gard­ner – Gui­tars, Bass, Keys, Drums, Vocals
Kit Jol­liffe – Drums, Gui­tars, Percussion 

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