Article prep: Looked into current music-based articles. Articles/reviews/interviews with Littlemores to get an idea, or starting point, for some questions to ask him.
Article: Interview with Littlemores lead singer Conor Hirons
I was invited to Conors house to interview him exclusively face-to-face. I took along my camera, iPhone (used as dictaphone) and my notebook filled with scribbled down questions. I interviewed him and after each question I ruled them off to make sure I hadn’t missed any. As this was my first ever interview I learnt the technical process needed to record this conversation and also the process of an interview. This has opened my eyes to what this kind of journalism is like. The interview recording spanned a lengthy 39 mins, which I uploaded onto iTunes. I listened to it and quoted word for word the questions and answers, this took a lot of patience and around 2 hours of listening and typing until I was 21:00 minutes in, realising enough was enough of this. I decided to use the questions and answers from this span within my article as I had gathered enough quotes and informations to write the article.
Originally, I intended to use the questions and answers as a Q+A based article- when this was put into a Word document, I realised I would have far too many words with their being nearly 3000 from the cut 21 minutes of interview. Instead I have written a factual quote-based article, writing limitedly (due to word count) about the interview and the direct quotes taken from what Conor had told me.
The 800 word count proved to be very short for what I was trying to achieve as a final article, so I had to sift and sort, make a decision and stick to it. Keeping the online pyramid structure in mind throughout. Overall, I found the whole process a learning curve as this is the first article I have written that’s been music-based. I am happy with the interview I conducted as it left me with plenty of information and quotes at my disposal.
I found the cutting down and editing of my article for completion quite hard, as I felt shortening sentences and deleting entire parts including good quotes lost some of the articles value. I am pleased with the layout, and words within the final article, I have learnt that I am far too critical of my writing to the point of it stalling production, this has taught me to trust my initial wording and go with it.
Interview (21:00 mins ish of 39:00) written in a word document: Conor Littlemores Interview
Up close and personal: A cosy chat with Littlemores front man Conor Hirons
I met up with lead singer of Littlemores, Conor Hirons, 20 for an exclusive interview in his mum’s conservatory in Holgate, York. We spoke: music.
Littlemores, an unsigned York-born band formed in 2008 with three original members: Conor Hirons, Kai West and Jack Williams. The band has expanded and reformed in ways over the past few years to create current four-piece consisting of Conor, Kai, Jack and new addition, Tom Moreton. A group of friends who make ‘guitar music’ about realist life.
Armed with 3 pages of an A3 notebook filled with roughly scribbled down questions, my camera and iPhone (Dictaphone)- I entered the hospitable home of the Hirons.
Sat comfortably, aside a cup of tea and surrounded by trailing fairy lights, I pressed record. These were the only light source emitted inside the room, highlighting numerous pieces of bustling memorabilia. Conor expressed openly of this space being his “favourite room in the house”.
It was clear to see Conors territorial mark in this area, laidened with the odd bit of kit. The intricate, interesting and musical objects scattering this relaxed space gave insight to the relationship he holds with both music and life.
From firing the first question, Conor reeled off naturally, venting his thoughts, following on from each basic question.
Littlemores? “Erm, it is a mental hospital, basically, in Oxford. And the day before our gig, I don’t even know how I got on it, but the day before our first gig I had to come up with a name, and I was looking at mental institutions (laughs) for some reason, and saw that, and I ‘were like, I thought, right.”
Labelled with the genre “skindie” by the media- a mixture of Ska and Indie. When questioned on their genre, Conor said: “we’re not really doing Ska anymore, well we are a bit but not. It’s just one of the few things, I just don’t wanna be lumped into that category anymore…We’re just guitar driven sort of, I don’t like the word indie, people dismiss you straight away if you call it indie.”
I was interested in finding out how Littlemores had expanded since the old days of 2008 “Learning how to write songs really, becoming better songwriters, and all of us, learning dynamically how things work. It’s evolved in the sense that we’ve become more guitar based, its become more driven, and more like, sounds more like a proper band, I think.”
Informal, yet informative
Throughout the interview, amid the atmosphere I felt harmonious in this idyllic musical wonderland around me. Their hard-hitting lyrics use social commentary; this interested me as basis for finding out inspiration behind them.
“Femme Fagin is about a girl who uses everyone, I was watching The Bill and I saw a woman who did it, but used whoever to get where she wanted. Not necessarily in a sexual way, just whatever way. That’s where that came from. And I really like Oliver, so I called her Femme Fagin.”
The characters Conor re-create, reuse in these short stories are cleverly evolved, transformed into catchy ‘real’ lyrics in Littlemores songs. These memories are turned into songs influenced by normal everyday life. This gives Littlemores the grasp of their audiences as they contain scenarios that every single one of us can relate to.
“the one I enjoyed writing the most was Idle Street because our first EP is all linked together, it’s four characters and they all live on one street, and it links them all together.”
On the subject of gigs, Conor listed: London, Hull, York, Leeds, Sheffield and told me they were doing Manchester next month for the first time. “York 800 was really good. We played a festival in the centre of York, we got asked to headline it which was really nice ‘cos there was loads of really good bands on… and this Galtres, actually, just gone, was insane. We had more, apparently, according to the festival owner, we had more people than the band after us who were one of the headline bands, and it felt mental.”
Talking to Conor, he told me of difficulties gig outside of York, and how it’s a struggle as an unsigned Yorkshire band. “cos like I said before people, promoters are not as keen as putting bands on who aren’t from their city because how do they know you’ve got a crowd there, y’know, and it’s their living, so I understand it, its not them being bad with it.” He seemed grateful to places they had already gigged, but I noticed a desire to break the constraints of the North, branch out their audience, understandably.
Cool, Calm, Collected
Witnessing Conor speak so openly about his sheer love of music, combined with conveying a realist outlook on life, was admirable. He was genuinely content with just actively pursuing his own, and their sharing of collaborative passions: making music, story telling, playing guitars. These obsessions hold the band together that is, Littlemores.
“We didn’t have any set goal when we started, I still don’t think we do, so, well we have aspirations of not even being massive, just being able to make a living out of it; whether that be a load of money, or just enough to have a decent house and y’know- be comfortable.”