An interview with Access All Areas
We caught up with Access All Areas, a high octane rock covers band hailing from Abertridwr South Wales to talk about the life of a South Walian cover band, why independent pubs and clubs are closing and how that affects cover bands, Geraint's "Wall of Doom" and Jason's favorite movie.
Musicngear: Let’s dive right in. What are you working on right now that we can look forward to?
James, Access All Areas, Vocalist: Right now we’re working hard behind the scene in getting our new drummer Jason Jenkins up to scratch with the current set. Integrating a new member can be hard sometimes due to the previous drummer putting his flavour to how he would approach the current crop of songs, and with Jason having his own influences, flavour and ideas. But it’s fair to say we’ve had a good laugh and were buzzing to get back out there!
Gazz, Access All Areas, Guitar: We have some great festival appearances coming up so were doing all we can now to enable us to be the best AAA we can be on the day! And we can’t wait!
Musicngear: So what music gear do you normally use? Is there any other music gear you dream of having?
Geraint, Access All Areas, Guitar: I have become the very person I’ve said I’d never become. Up until just recently I used to play with the pointiest and obscure looking axes and rigs. I’ve had B.C Rich Mockingbirds and warlocks, Dean ML time capsules like the first Dime guitar (in sunburst too!), Jackson dinky’s and the rig….. I had this massive, what I called “wall o’ doom” from Genz Benz Amplification which consisted of two 4x12’s and two 2X12’s along with not one but two El Diablo 100watt Tube head which lit up all neon blue. Dang that thing was sexy!!……
But these days you won’t see me without the tried and tested Gibson Les Paul Standard and Marshall stack.
Chris, Access All Areas, Bass Guitar: I’m I’ve had the same LINE 6 amp for over a decade and have no plans on changing that anytime soon. As for my choice of weapon, Fender basses give me all I need and more!
Musicngear: What is your vision as an artist and how do you convey it?
Jason, Access All Areas, Drums: Our goal is to become the best cover band we can be first and foremost. We all have that common goal. We certainly have the whole package, although my package is bigger than these lads ;)
James, Access All Areas: We might add a drum machine to the previous question if you carry on!
Geraint, Access All Areas: Like most bands in today’s day and age, we utilize all that we can on the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc…. It’s a great way to connect with your audience and also keep them in the loop with our goings on’s. May that be from doing a Facebook Live post from a show of ours, Dropping a tweet about some new dates that we’ve just announced or Jason checking out all the hot girls on our Insta account and hassling them. Pest.
Jason, Access All Areas: In fairness, I am a bit of a pest.
Musicngear: What are the biggest problems you had to overcome as an artist and what is your advice for artists facing similar problems?
Gazz: I’d say the biggest problem us musicians have in the UK at the moment, is the sheer volume of independent pubs and clubs closing due to the current state of UK retail. You could blame Brexit, our economy or the fucking idiots in the house of parliament if you like!? , but I’m not going to get all political on your ass!!!
Chris: It’s a shame that we’ve lost the barfly chain of music venues. Those were very intimate venues but a personal favourite of mine.
Geraint: This has been an ongoing problem for maybe over a decade already. I remember back when I was doing my original stuff. To get a decent local show was nigh impossible. We used to travel 3 or 4 hours to London every weekend. Nightmare.
James: However, to put a positive spin on that. I’d say those experiences as original artists in travelling hundreds of miles to play 40 minutes of music in a half empty room has been a great learning curve not just for us but for any hard working musician out there looking to break through. We’ve definitely done our time in learning and honing this craft. We have just as much fun playing other peoples songs the way they should have written them ! hahaha
Gazz: Yeah, we definitely put our own flavour on the songs that we do cover!
Musicngear: How are you breaking through the noise? Live shows, image, music? How are new fans primarily discovering you?
Chris: Again, I think our activities on social media does all the hard work for us
James: Image is always important for any artist in music, more so now than ever before I’d say. The more marketable you are the better. It’s amazing how many bands that look amazing but then doesn’t necessarily sound all that great has had great success!
Chris: Yeah I’d have to agree with that. If you look good together as a unit that’s half the battle.
Musicngear: Ok, so the next one may sound irrelevant but it’s really not. What are your favorite movies?
Jason: That’s an easy one for me, Two Girls, One Cup. CLASSIC.
Geraint: For fuck sake Jas, lol. I’d have to go for Brave heart. Ace film, a bit long but what a soundtrack!!
Gazz: For me, its SpongeBob Movie, Sponge out of water ! I’m just a big kid!
Chris: Batman, The Dark Knght
James: All the Star wars films, it’s hard to just pick one!
Musicngear: How are you monetizing your music at the moment? Where do you believe music monetization is headed?
Gazz: It’s clear, the digital age is upon us.
Geraint: Yup, true. I can only see the likes of spotify and Dezzer etc getting stronger and stronger.
James: Man, I still love my fucking vinyl.
Musicngear: What would greatly benefit your music career right now?
Jason: I’d say some Cocaine and some hooker’s right about now.
Chris: Being in a covers band, regardless of success or not. Things are a bit more relaxed. We play when we want, for how long as we want, where we want and when! We're not told to write “x” amount of albums in “X” amount of years, nor are we committed to doing a certain amount of dates per tour. I guess we could do with some more studio time and document some of these songs that were having so much playing at the moment!
Geraint: For sure, studio time would enable us to put out more music and videos which always get a great reception from our fans.
Musicngear: Would you like to recommend any other local artists that we should be definitely checking out?
James: I’d highly recommend a three piece punk pop band called One Track Mind. I’ve heard the bassist is pretty sexy.
Chris: You know he is! (One track mind is Chris’ original band)
Musicngear: Last but not least, any closing messages for your fans and readers?
AAA: Thank you all for your continued support, we love you and see you at show soon ! Stay sexy
Find out more about the band at www.facebook.com/AAACaerphilly