Aquilo is the coming together of Tom and Ben, two musicians geographically located in what is perfectly exemplified in their music, the Lake District village of Silverdale.
For those unfamiliar with the Lake District, the vast and open expansive landscapes can’t help but evoke a visual element of solitude and delicacy, it’s these components that feel so evident in Aquilo’s sound.
Thanks to Ben and Tom from Aquilo
Ben: We lived in the same village in Silverdale which is past Manchester, in the Lake District. We lived in the same village and we both wrote music in different bands and Tom contacted me as he heard my music on SoundCloud.
Tom: Even though it’s hard for me to get in touch with bands on the Internet. It’s a little bit sad.
Ben: We lived across the road from each other. He invited me over and then we wrote some music.
Tom: Some acoustic stuff. And the we started to incorporate that AOA sounds, just experimenting with different sounds. And then we released our first song which was Calling Me.
When did you start?
Ben: About 2 years ago. It’s very early stages for us.
Tom: It’s our new project actually. And we’re pretty happy with how things are going.
Did you have projects with your previous respective bands?
Ben: We were both in different bands. I am quite young. We were quite young to do it properly if you know what I mean.
Tom: It was fun. It was all very different musically. I was in a sort of metal band.
Ben: I was in a grunge band.
Where does your name come from?
Tom: Basically my mom. (laughs) She was trying to find band names.
Ben: The band names we come up with were rubbish.
Tom: And she came up with « what about Aquilo? ». And we were like « I don’t know ». And the day after it sort of settled. I quite liked that name actually. I think that’s alright.
Ben: It’s Greek mythology.
Tom: We haven’t googled it again. Once a blog said it was Greek mythology but I don’t think it’s Greek mythology. It’s old name. I dont want to get it wrong basically. Maybe the blog does. (laugh) But [my mom] basically approached with that name and that’s pretty nice.
What’s your respective role in the band?
Ben: We both write and produce the music together. Tom sings and that’s that basically. Live we both play piano, guitar…
Tom: We both sing live and play piano. The setup is like 2 synths. We have 2 session musicians: one playing bass, one drums. For recording and writing, it’s like a 50% sort of thing. [Ben] might do the beat for one song, I might do the beat for the other song. It’s a really good collaboration. It’s healthy and it just works.
What are your influences?
Ben: It’s a funny one because we used to be in rock bands. I used to love Nirvana, Steely Dan. My family used to listen to Steely Dan all the time. Then I started to get into electronic sounds like Mount Kimbie, Active Child. It’s quite a transition.
Tom: That was a turning point actually when we got into electronic stuff. I was into like really heavy bands. I still like to listen to Tool and Oceansize. I love that obviously.
Ben: Our music slowly started to change.
Tom: It didn’t change everything. We just wanted to write like that. We were so into it. It’s like « this is where we wanna be and this what we wanna do ». That’s why we’re so lucky to be in the position we are now because we’re writing music we love writing.
Ben: We enjoy it and it feels right.
Have you tried to make music that sounded what you played before?
Ben: We’ve been doing this like so much. Since we’ve been putting our first song out, this has been all we do. We just focus really hard on what we do.
The track Human has been produced by SOHN. How did you guys meet?
Tom: SOHN is managed by our manager. That was the link. And he was like why don’t you try writing song for a couple of days and it’s just gone really well. He’s the most down-to-earth person you can possibly hope to meet.
Ben: It’s quite funny because before we got to write with him, we were big fans of SOHN so we were a bit scared going to write with him. After 5-10 minutes, it was really good. Off that we wrote 2 songs. Really good session. Great guy.
Will you produce other tracks with him?
Tom: There’s nothing being said about that but we’d love too. It was such an honour working with him. We are fans of his music and it was such a good work.
You released the music videos for I Gave It All and Losing You as a dyptic. Did you come up with the idea of these videos?
Ben: There was talk about that. We wrote the songs in the same sort of time period. And it just felt right it would go out together. And then someone suggested « why not put the videos together? » and we had a chat to the director called Eoin (Glaister) and he was up for making the video as a 2-part video. It just felt right to have them in the same storyline.
Tom: And it worked as well with the lyrics and the songs. It integrates quite well visually.
Any other music videos for this EP?
Ben: Not off the back of this EP. Maybe. At the moment we’ll just stick to those 2 videos. Maybe some live videos later.
Tom: I think thats’ what it would be. Sort of live. I think that’s just what we’re gonna do with the EP.
Are visuals important for you?
Tom: It’s important for people who watch you. We had a show in London. I was the first time we had a light engineer and everything like that. People come up to us « Oh great show! I love the lights » (laughs) People remember it. That’s what they’re paying for.
You’ve released some remixes for other artists. How did that happen?
Ben: Yeah. Their management emailed us. We just had a go and people seemed to enjoy them.
Do you like remixing?
Tom: It’s a break. We see it as a break. Every time we’re writing, it’s just writing songs and songs and songs… And then we get approached with a remix, it’s nice to work on something else.
Have you thought of doing some covers?
Tom: We do a cover in our live sets.
Ben: It was just a one off. We did one in London. It was Climax by Usher. We were sort of messing around. We were like « let’s do it » and people enjoyed it.
What about next? A new EP? An album?
Tom: The next step for us will be to release an album and that could be next year.
Ben: We started making music for the album. We’re not sure if we’re ready to say we have an album.
Tom: It’s a concept. (laughs)
What about touring?
Ben: We have a UK tour in March and we’re playing Eurosonic in Holland in January. Apart from that we have no tours planned. We just focus on making music and making the album. But we aim to be touring some time next year.
What was your best moment in 2014?
Ben: I have 2 actually. The first one is playing in Glastonbury.
Tom: It was our first festival as well.
Ben: And the second one was writing with SOHN. It was so exciting to do that.
What about 2015?
Ben: We think it’s just making the album and we’re half through it. With the 2 EPs we’ve made, we took our time and it felt right. We want the album to be something we can take our time over and make it a piece of work we want to share with everyone. That’s our goal at the moment.