Interview With Emily Capell

SR: I was listening to Robert Elms last Friday and he mentioned a letter and disc you had sent him. He went on to say that he liked your EP and the fact that you were a QPR fan was a good start! I really like the track too. When did you record that Emily?

EC: The track that Robert Elms played on his show was recorded at the end of last year. It’s a track called ‘Brixton Prison’ and it’s featured on our ‘Joey’ EP. The EP was released at the beginning of this year and you can find that on our website: www.emilycapell.com! We were so pleased when it was played on the Robert Elms show, thank you so much for listening to it!

SR: Fair to say that particular song has a Johnny Cash influence, what others are there Emily?

EC: Yes! Johnny Cash was a huge influence when I was writing that song, we called it ‘Brixton Prison’ as we wanted to make it our version of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ one of Johnny Cash’s early songs.

I have loads of influences! The Clash are my favourite band of all time and Joe Strummer is a huge influence on me, I’d even call him my hero! But then I love Mod, Ska, Doo Wop, 60’s girl groups, Punk, Two-Tone, Country, Britpop, Indie, Madchester as well as 1980’s New Wave and Pop! Anything Paul Weller and Morrissey have ever written I think is fantastic.

Right now I’m really in to Aztec Camera and the Housemartins, and their guitar sounds. I think you should write about what you see and things you know so I can be influenced by all sorts of things really.
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SR: What did you grow up listening too?

EC: Well my mum was a Punk and my dad was a Mod and so they were always playing the Clash, the Jam, Secret Affair, the Specials and stuff like that as I was growing up.

I’ve never really liked current music, I prefer finding an old classic then a new hit record. So I spent a lot of time going through old record collections when I was growing up. I discovered people like the Stone Roses and Kirsty MacColl just going through my families CD collections.

When I was 5, I watched a Frank Sinatra film on the TV and spent about a year trying to be him and then when I was 10, Joe Strummer died and I became a massive Joe Strummer fan overnight!

I was always listening to really random music growing up and I’m so pleased I did, ’cause now I have such a big knowledge and varied taste!

SR: You’re from Harrow Emily, but does your family have any West London connections?

EC: Well Harrow is sort of West London, I know it’s not really, but I try and pretend it is! My mum’s family are from Shepherd’s Bush and my dad’s are from Notting Hill, so I have lots of family West London connections.

Before my mum and dad had me, they lived in Wembley, they moved further out to Harrow and then me and my brother were born!

SR: You mentioned in your letter to Robert Elms that you have a season ticket in JU Block. How did you get into the R’s? What are your memories of your first match?

EC: My mum’s family support QPR and my dad’s support Brentford. My dad used to take my brother to Brentford with him and I used to go with my mum to QPR.

I used to really love Arnie, the big football-headed mascot! I used to stand and wait in the Paddock for Arnie’s autograph with my mum. I remember Matthew Rose coming over so I could have a photo with him but my mum had to tell him I only wanted Arnie!

Embarrassingly, I can’t remember my first game, but it was probably around the time of Trevor Sinclair’s overhead bicycle kick goal in the FA Cup, so if anyone asks I tell them its that one! I love the JU Block, it’s the only place to be on a Saturday.

SR: The Wembley Play-Off Final will live forever in the hearts of all Rangers fans of course? What do you recall from that historic day?

EC: Bobby Zamora Day! What a fantastic day, I have never been so nervous! I had tickets to go and see the Artic Monkeys play Finsbury Park that night with my friends and they were waiting for me to meet them outside Finsbury Park Station.

I’d just rung my friend apologising and saying how it would probably go to penalties and they’d be waiting for ages for me. When Bobby scored I had to ring her back and tell her I’d be sooner rather than later! I couldn’t watch the rest of the game after the goal, I was too nervous! Amazing day!

SR: Have you come across Mick Jones, Glen Matlock or Pete Doherty at Loftus Road?

EC: I’ve seen Mick Jones, he comes out of the same gate as me and he always buys ‘A Kick Up The R’s’ but I haven’t seen the other two. I would be way too scared to go up and speak to Mick though and I would probably totally embarrass myself!

When me and my mum do see him though we get so excited! My mum sat behind him at an away game once though, but she didn’t say anything to him! A selfie with Mick in a QPR t-shirt would be amazing though!

SR: Apart from them, Andy Miller of ‘Dodgy’ is also a Rangers fan who I interviewed a while ago. Have you come across any other musicians who support the R’s?

EC: There is a great band called 12 Dirty Bullets and they support QPR, they’re a really great Indie band! Maybe we could all get together and do a cover of ‘Pigbag’ or something. That would be cool!

SR: Am I right in saying that one of your songs has been played at Loftus Road?

EC: ‘Joey’ was played at QPR at the end of the New Year. It was absolutely ridiculous, one of the best things that ever happened to me. It was half-time and Joey Barton had already gone down the tunnel so I don’t know if he heard it, but I like to think that he did!

SR: Did you write that song? Do you know what he thought about it and did you ever get to meet him?

EC: Yes I did. I follow him on Twitter and I sent him a tweet years ago about how he was my favourite QPR player and he replied! It was so random! He asked where he could hear my music and so I sent him a link to my YouTube page, then he asked if he could share my music with his 2.5 million followers on Twitter, so of course I said yes!

I thought I would pay him back by writing a song about him! I sent him a link to the video to ‘Joey’ when it was done and he said that he loved it and he shared it with all his followers on Twitter again! I was so pleased! I haven’t ever actually met him though, but I have got his email! Hahaha! I don’t know if that’s the same, but its close!

SR: I read on your Home Page that you tell ‘Blues inflected Indiepop tales of life’s frustrations and elations’ – which also fits in with supporting the R’s in a way!

EC: Oh yeah, is it?! I think I could write a whole album on the emotions I feel when watching QPR every week! But it would be boring to support a team that just wins every week…right?!

SR: I understand that the ‘Three Pete Suite’ members are really all called ‘Pete’. What is the make-up of the band?

EC: Yes they are all called Pete, so you can imagine how confusing emails can get! Hahaha! I have one trombone player, one drummer and one bass player and then I sing and play the guitar. They are the best and are really supportive, they’re also very talented musicians and I’m really lucky to work with them. The band name is a play on the phrase ‘three piece suite’. We went through hundreds of names before we settled on that one!

SR: How did that association come together?

EC: I put out an advert looking for a band in music magazines and websites and they came auditioned! My drummer and bass player came together as they already knew each other, and then my trombone player joined and we were complete!

SR: So the first full-band EP was recorded in the spring of last year. How did that materialise Emily?

EC: Well we’d been gigging together for a while and we had all these songs so we decided to get them recorded. We’d all been in studios before but my trombone player knew a guy he said was really good. We went to see this guy’s studio and he told me he’d been to school with Joe Strummer!

So after he got his school photos out and showed me pictures of him standing next to a very young Joe there was no turning back for me! We recorded it all over one week and mixed it the next! It was easy and so much fun!

SR: I read that you appeared last month at the Waterhole two-day festival in Amsterdam supporting Boney M. How did that go Emily, what did you think of them?

EC: Yeah it was great fun! We had never played abroad before as a band so it was all a bit scary, but it was great! Boney M were brilliant! I am totally waiting for a disco revival now, it needs to happen!

I told my band that if any of Boney M were called Pete we should try and recruit them as a dancer and backing singer! I didn’t ask, but I’m pretty sure none of their names are Pete!

Playing abroad is totally different to playing in London. There’s so much going on in London its harder to get people down to support. Amsterdam is a lot smaller and so the venues seem busier!

SR: Where else have you been performing Emily?

EC: We mainly play in London, you name a venue within the M25 and we’ve probably played it. We started 2015 with a residency at Proud Gallery in Camden Town, which was really cool. East London is pretty busy for gigs at the moment.

It’s such a shame that London is losing so many of its smaller venues. I have been playing on the circuit for just under four years and already loads of venues I used to play have gone. We have done a few festivals in Sheffield but that’s the furthest north I have ever played.

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SR: One EP and two singles so far, anything new planned for the near future?

EC: In the New Year we will go in the studio and record six new tracks and release a new EP. I am really, really excited about these six tracks. I’d like to do videos for them all and have them all up on YouTube. I don’t know what tracks I would pick as singles as I love them all so much!

When we play them live we get an amazing reaction and so I can’t wait to record them and get them out so people can buy them!

SR: Gary Crowley described your style as: “Sweet, soft vocals with hard hitting lyricism that really makes you sit up and listen Рone to watch.”

EC: Yeah I know that’s ridiculous that Gary Crowley even knows my name and talks about me, let alone such nice things about me! He played our song ‘The Strut’ a few times on his radio show, which was really nice of him!

And he’s got such a fantastic taste in music and he must listen to new bands all the time, so it’s a total honour that he’d listen to mine and say such nice things too!

SR: Someone else described you as: “Funny and Fierce”, how do you feel about that?

EC: Hahaha! Who said that? I don’t mind being called ‘funny and fierce’, its better than being called ‘short and fat’ right? I hope they’re just talking about my lyrics though, I promise you that I’m not particularly fierce! Hahaha!

SR: What gigs do you have coming up? What plans for you and the band for next year?

EC: We have a residency at Dublin Castle in Camden Town and so we’re playing there every Monday at the moment. In the New Year we just want to keep going and moving up, more gigs, more radio play, more songs and recordings! I’d also like Charlie Austin to stay‚Ķ.but we’ll have to wait and see!

SR: Many thanks for your time Emily, best wishes and good luck with your career.

EC: Thank you! Come on you R’ssss!!!

Steve Russell

(My thanks to Emily for the above pics, which are used with permission. For further news and info go to: http://emilycapellmusic.weebly.com/index.html)

4 thoughts on “Interview With Emily Capell

  1. Yes a great interview hopefully not driven on by numerous pies from the featured fridge!
    It’s great to see the younger performers being influenced by the greats of the past probably as a result of them growing up and as she says listening to the music of the time and on the parents playlist.

  2. Interesting interview Steve, with one of our own.

    You Tube does her nothing but credit… no doubt, a young talent with her feet on the ground, without fear… comes across as a very decent lady…. no surprise there then…… she‚Äôs West London… thankfully, what else can we expect?
    Wish her the very best for the future.

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