We had the pleasure of interviewing Northwich four piece, The Zangwills after their explosive set at RivFest 2021. From performing at a number of festivals and touring with highly respectable indie giants, The Charlatans to collaborating with Game of Thrones star, Maisie Williams, there is no doubt that this band are making waves with their incredible singles and charismatic performances.
How does it feel to be back at gigs after not being able to perform for so long?
JV: Feels really good actually, especially one like this when there’s people we know from other bands. It’s like a big party.
When was the last gig before this one?
JV: We had one about two weeks ago at The Salty Dog in Northwich.
SD: Before then it was September the year before but that was a socially distanced one. It would have been like a year and a half [without restrictions].
What have you missed most during the pandemic?
All: Gigs! [and pints] and seeing people.
What have you been doing during the pandemic to survive as a band?
JV: Writing. We did some live streams as well earlier but we stopped that because it was just the same thing but writing mainly.
AS: There’s always been something creatively going on…It’s nice to give you something to look forward to even when there were like really long stretches [of lockdowns].
When restrictions were imposed, did it make you question the future of the band?
All: Yeah definitely.
SD: Closing all the venues in Manchester, we were like, “is there even going to be a music scene to come back to?” I think there were a lot of people who had it worse than us,
JV: We were quite lucky. We weren’t relying on it as a job.
SD: It is some people’s livelihoods at the end of the day so it was a lot worse for them.
What was it like to work alongside Maisie Williams when producing the music video to Judas On The Dancefloor?
JV: Amazing, next level. She’s so sound They really looked after us.
AS: We got face rubs…hair and makeup.
ED: It made the 6am start just about worth it.
AS: It was just like a spa day really and then shot a video afterwards!
Have you got any plans for an upcoming album?
ED: We were talking about it.
SD: Hopefully we will release something other than just singles.
AS: Every time we talk about an album, there’s a different idea for it.
ED: We’re just waiting for the stars to align.
AS: The earlier [singles] compared to the later ones change so much, we want to get a batch of songs that are stylistically cohesive.
Aside from the pandemic, what would you say has been the most challenging for you as a band?
All: Adam’s injured hand.
AS: I’ve been very lucky, we’ve had help. Danny from 32Tens has been filling in. It’s so weird watching them play and hearing all these songs that you’ve contributed to. It doesn’t feel right. It makes me appreciate how I play normally at live shows because I feel like hearing the songs and then seeing all of them together makes me appreciate how we all look individually on stage. Seeing them play makes me think about it quite a lot more and it makes me want to give it 110%, especially with Danny playing. He’s so good, it just makes me wanna up my game and come back even stronger.
How does it feel to be back at RivFest and what does this type of Festival mean to you?
JV: It’s really good to be back. It’s really interesting when you do the same sort of festival. A lot of other bands have played before as well, some of them we’ve not seen since we were last here and you get to see how they’ve changed. We’re all like changing together and it’s really good.
AS: That stage is just amazing, it’s just extra special.
ED: You see the same people every year, the same volunteers and it’s really nice.
As you know, the River Reeves Foundation aims to help young people with disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue their ambitions in the creative industry, what tips would you give to the next generation?
AS: Just keep grinding. Don’t lose sight of your vision and don’t let anyone put you off your vision.
SD: Just be sound and don’t be a dickhead.
AS: Think before you make any decisions. Criticism is a very good thing as well. Appreciate criticism, don’t be ashamed of it because it’s free feedback.
Continuously praised and attracting more fans with every stream, gig and share on social media, The Zangwills just released their much awaited new single, “Never Looked Back” on Friday (13th August.)