What are your names?
Liam Howie, Graeme Waterhouse, Joe Clark and Frederik Dahl Madsen.
What is the bands name?
How did you come up with the bands name?
After going through a few other ideas for names, we landed on “Better Halves” for a bunch of different reasons, but in large part because we thought it had a nice ring to it.
What is your genre of music?
Give us a little bio about you as a band and individuals.
The band came together in late 2018 and played our first gig in January 2019, and we’ve been gigging ever since as well as releasing three singles and an EP. Liam and Fred had been in a band together previously, as had Graeme and Joe, so those pairings fitted together quite neatly and it was a really quick process to gel as a group. We met at uni and we’re all Scottish apart from Fred, who’s Danish (sweet as pastry, edited by Freddie). We all have quite different musical tastes (though there’s some overlap) which means we all bring something different to the table, generating the sound we love to make.
What made you go into music?
Liam: I remember singing along to my dad’s records when I was really small, so I was always into music, but it started properly when I was slightly older. When I was about 12 my mum bought me this little guitar and encouraged me to play but at first I wasn’t having it, I had no interest. Then, by chance I saw “A Hard Day’s Night” on TV and the music was just fantastic but that image of all those fans running after them was burned into my mind, I thought it was brilliant. I played that little guitar every day after that – I knew I wanted to be a singer in a band, and years later here I am! Albeit with a *slightly* bigger guitar.
Joe: I’ve always really been into my music, being a singer from a young age in primary school choirs – and I still remember to this day the best present I ever received was an ipod shuffle as a kid. I remember being on a day out with my friends in Stirling when I was 14, when myself and one other were having a conversation about how cool it would be to be in a band… so we decided to form one on the spot! There I was the singer until our bass player left, so I learned how to play bass to perform as a 3 piece, and subsequently learned how to play guitar to fill in for gigs we couldn’t all play.
Fred: My granddad has always had an old piano in his house, I would play when I was younger. When I was about 10, I had one of those “one-of-a-kind” amazing school teachers, who offered to teach me piano for free. I think that is what sparked my initial interest. As I was growing older, music became an ingrained part of my social life, and it is through playing music I know 90% of my friends.
Graeme: My whole family are musical and play a range of instruments. My Gran was a music teacher, as was my aunt, so it was kind of inevitable I would go into it eventually. I was trained classically on piano and sent through a whole music school, all the grades/a diploma and university degree playing classical piano, and just sort of picked up other instruments along the way.
Are you a signed?
Yes – we are honoured and humbled to be working alongside ‘Vadana Records’ who we have signed a single release
Your set to release your new single ‘Surface Noise’, tell us more about the single.
It was written by Liam (though all the members added their own touch) last year and was one of the first songs we began playing live, and it’s stayed throughout all our gigs since then so it felt right to record it as our next release.
Describe the track in two words.
Will we see a music video for the track?
Right now we aren’t too sure, things are up in the air at the moment but anything’s possible. As long as it’s shot at home – stay inside, kids!
Will we see an EP or Album this year?
Hopefully an EP, as an album might be a bigger ask – but again, anything’s possible. It all depends what time of day we wake up at!
Do you have any shows coming up? If so, where will you be heading?
We had some stuff planned but everything’s been postponed due the End of the World, so we’ll keep everyone posted on how everything develops. We’d love to see the survivors there.
What else can we expect in Early 2020?
As we say, everything is a little up in the air – but we’re looking into doing more online-based stuff to keep up with our fans even if we can’t see them in person. We just released a cover of “Sunshine on Leith” which went down well, so we’re hoping to do more in the same vein.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
We haven’t done any collaborations so far, no. But if anybody has Taylor Swift’s number, tell her to get in touch.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Contact literally any of us, we’re the perfect combo of desperate and easy – always looking to expand!
Do you play any instruments?
Liam and Joe play guitar, Graeme plays bass and Fred plays drums. All of us play more than one instrument though, which only helps in the creative process!
Who are your influences?
Everyone has someone different, but if we were to combine them all the list would be something like: Simon & Garfunkel, David Bowie, Frank Turner, Anderson .Paak, SUNDAYS, the Velvet Underground, the Beatles, McFly, Jack Garratt, Lewis Capaldi, Bear’s Den, Wings, Ferris & Sylvester.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Writing songs is a good way of processing emotion, either in the moment or with hindsight – essentially things happen in life that might trigger a lyric to pop into your head, and then you build on that. It can come from anywhere and can be about anything. Equally though, just messing around on an instrument or as a band can lead to a little melody or a piece of a song that can be fleshed out and become something really great.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Wembley! Realistically though, we’ll hopefully be doing what we do now, just doing it more and with more people listening to us. We’d hope that we can find some success doing this, because we love it.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Joe: I’m super into sports! I used to play rugby to quite a high standard, but now just socially. I’m also a Barnsley FC superfan (I’m rarely not wearing the jersey, and was very upset when I was told I couldn’t wear it on stage!) Liam: Listening to it, usually – but completely aside from music, I’m well into films as well as TV, my favourites being anything by the Coen brothers (film) and Armando Iannucci (both film and TV). I also really enjoy photography, particularly using film cameras – I don’t usually do portraits or arty stuff, I mostly like taking photos of friends or the band when we’re out and about. I’m hardly professional at it but it’s good fun.
Graeme: My work is music as well, I’m a High School teacher which is a heap of fun, so my down time is often taken up by planning or creating resources. If I get time to read it’s awesome, if not then I’ll be binging Brooklyn 99.
Fred: As the band-grandfather, I enjoy reading a nice book. It comes in handy to bring a book when Graeme, Liam and Joe are arguing about chord progressions – sometimes being the “bangman” has its perks
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Tough question – it’s difficult to pin down one song when there’s so many that influenced us.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Liam: Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Graeme: Although it’s possible to wear socks two days in a row, it’s not advisable.
Joe: “Just don’t forget that it always boils down to the music”
Freddie: It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Liam: If you get the inspiration to write a song comes, try and get it all written there and then, while the inspiration is fresh. Don’t be too critical of what you write at this stage – you can edit later.
Graeme: Make sure you’ve got your songs copyrighted.
Joe: Listen to criticisms.
Freddie: If you are the best or smartest person in your group, find a new group
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Liam: “Time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted.”
Graeme: “I came here to drink milk and kick ass… and I just finished my milk.”
Joe: “Burst at the seams, be what you dream and then take to the road” – Frank Turner
Freddie: “Always trust your insects” – This was a message to my from a dear friend of mine, who is dyslexic
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
We all come from different places, but our resident city is Edinburgh, and is definitely the ‘home’ of the band – with such a varied city, it’s hard to pick, but Sneaky Pete’s is a great nightclub and venue, fantastic for bands to play or just for a night out.
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
Liam: Pub. (Shout-out to the Brass Monkey)
Graeme: OUT. Or home, it might be a school night.
Joe: Baba’s house
Freddie: Straight to hell – or back to my flat, whatever is closest
2/ Who do you see first?
Liam: Probably my mates, ‘cause they’ll be in the pub.
Graeme: Probably Liam, he’ll live with me next year
Freddie: I’ve got a framed nude of Graeme, which the band gave to me when I turned 22, hanging over my bed.
3/What do you eat first?
Liam: It’s got to be a curry from Station India. Either that, or a packet of crisps. With my pint. In the pub.
Graeme: Probably Liam, he’ll live with me next year.
Joe: healthy af meal, unless I’ve been to Baba’s
Freddie: Nothing beats a Haggis and Pulled Pork burrito from Bonnie Burrito on South Clerk street
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Clothes, instruments, the lyrics, setlist, and a drink to have onstage
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?