An Interview with Leigh Moyes

18921653_1073807456082853_1800668405170706154_n.jpgHello Leigh, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Hi there, I am originally from Perth in Scotland, but call Edinburgh my home now. A proud Scot through and through, but a citizen of the world too I feel.

You are the songwriter & frontman for Echo Arcadia singing – where does your love of music come from?
I have, like many singers will say, had it since I was very young; regaling my mum with Wings ‘Mull of Kintyre’ when I was about 5. I sang in a church choir in my following years, holding the heady heights of Head Chorister. My parents didn’t really furnish me with the extensive musical tastes that many people seem to enjoy, so mine came from random pop music I was exposed to in my teenage years. I kind of wish they had force fed me music, it would have saved the journey I had to make, with the Lighthouse Family being a favourite band for a while haha.

When do you know you have written a good song?
I guess its like when you make a good cake, or a chair, you eat it or sit in it (respectively, or not, i’m not here to tell you what you can sit on or eat). If my 6 year old listens to it and he’s singing the chorus later that day, then i’m usually pretty convinced. I am absolutely self taught, so I try and write what feels good to my ears, and if that song sounds good to me with just my voice and an acoustic guitar (as I record it on my phone to send to the guys fro critique) then I know it will sound good with all the bells and whistles **actual Bells and Whistles are optional

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Can you tell us how your band got together?
The story is long and… well, storied. I had written 4 songs with a friend of mine after I had been out of bands for a while. I wanted to form a band to play these and write some more as I went along. This band was called Brightside, and was great fun, though much sweeter pop music than Echo. As that band lost a member or two, I sought out new members but knew it wouldnt be the same band anymore. So, gumtree was used and abused and we managed to pull together some genuinely talented musicians to form Echo.

What’s the story behind the band name?
This is one I may get wrong, as I’ve retold it a few times and I’m sure I’ve made up some aspects haha. Our keyboard player as we reformed our band, had a girlfriend (now wife, but no longer our keyboard player) who worked in art. She had suggested a name based on the painting Ecce Arcadia, which is the entry to paradise that Pan guards (maybe). Now in Scotland an Ecce has drug connotations, and since we had been in the studio and using the infamous Space Echo, We substituted Ecce with Echo and bobs your uncle and fannys your Aunt.

Your sound is very indie-esque- what are your personal influences from this era?
Personally, and it will have to be as mine is the least diverse and interesting musical taste in the band, I love Radiohead, REM and my absolute favourites are The National.

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How do you present your songs to the band, do they have a say in what gets used?
Everyone gets a say, I foolishly encouraged a democracy in the band and it regularly bites me when i just want everyone to do what i want. The song writing dynamic has shifted musically with Dawid, our Guitarist, working with me to create the soundscapes, its really brought what i try and do onwards in leaps and bounds. The whole band will listen to my ideas and then inject their own take of it into everything we do. I feel this gives the songs a more unique vibe, as their musical tastes are wide and varied.

What does Leigh Moyes do when he’s not making music?
I have a beautiful Partner called Molly who has just given me a gorgeous daughter to keep my 6 year old little boy on his toes (that’s not the only reason of course, but its a pleasant side effect), so that keeps me very busy. Echo is a very family cebtric band, with both Euan and Dawid having children, Euan most recently had twins just a few months ago, and dawids lovely daughter is in our video for ghosts dancing with my son. I have actually just started blacksmithing and university studying Applied Pharmacology, because life wasn’t hectic enough

Your new album “Visions of Symmetry” is out now. Can you tell us about the recording process?
The process was a long one, as we recorded the full album, except the interludes and hidden track, in demo form first. We like to record it as if that is the finished article, so its tight and presentable. We lived with this for a few months before we had 2 weeks in the Slate room, part of the famous Castlesound studio complex, with Garry Boyle both engineering and Producing the album. Even with what, we considered, a final rendition of the album, Garry (who has worked with us for several years now) knew how to get the best out of each track. I spent every day there, with each member as they recorded and it was a genuinely fun, exciting, exhausting, rewarding experience.

What are your favorite songs on the album?
That’s a toughie, I honestly do love them all, but i must say that Cinderella is my favourite just now. We have just released a video for it, which is a short film made by Ryan Jon Amey Henderson to our little ditty and it has cemented it as my favourite (though Hurricanes still hold on tightly to second place).

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you & the band?
We are in the process of hopefully licensing the album to a North American label and getting out there to do some gigging, as well as putting more work into Visions Follow up album, which is already sounding strong. If you dont stop, they can never catch you!

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