Sam Parkes is the lead singer of the up and coming Leeds band ‘The Finnlys’.
In this interview he explains what it is like to be in a band emerging out of Leeds, and his own trials and tribulations with the music industry to date.
Hailing from Leeds and formed by four boyhood friends Sam Parkes (Vocals & Bass), Tom Dart (Guitar), Johnny Leonard (Guitar) and Karl Rigby (Drums); The Finnlys have carved out a reputation as one of the most exciting live bands in the North of England.
The guys have spent the last year playing a host of sold out shows, as well as supporting the likes of Twisted Wheel, The Book Club, Ocean Colour Scene and The Rifles.
What motivated you to start a band?
Starting a band seemed like the next natural step from picking up a guitar and finding my way around that (i could only play the james bond theme for about 3 years) once that clicked I went onto finding I could play & sing at the same time. Writing things down was just a way to channel thoughts, thoughts became songs & i was ready to start the band
What’s your favourite song to perform?
My favourite song to play live is The Waiting Game, its a well crafted, true pop song, and we always throw in a surprise or two.
Who or what influences you to do what you do?
The Rifles, one of our favourites acts and who we had the pleasure of sharing the stage at Leeds in October last year. Milburn were our biggest influence, and although they are no longer, their records never stop playing in my house.
Any advice for young musicians looking to start a band of their own?
Be ready to put a lot of time & effort into the band & not get a lot back (for a long time). Apart from that, you’ll have the best times & memories you could wish for.
What’s the hardest thing about being in a band?
Being in a band is only difficult if you make it hard work. Its difficult when you start out to get good quality gigs. But you can only get the top support slots by playing rubbish gigs & packing them with all your mates & proving to top promoters you have the fan base & you are up to the job, because it’s their reputation on the line.
Where will you are you touring this year?
Supporting Reverend & The Makers In wakefield, The Rifles in Leeds, and more recently we supported Ocean Colour Scene. We played a big single launch at Bruntcliffe working mens club for the for ‘Love Nor Money’ single which was fun. Have beacons festival coming up in Skipton.
Do you have any warm up rituals before taking the stage?
I like a Brandy to loosen up the vocal chords. We like to listen to Deacon Blue – Real gone kid (This came from playing in Northampton & the cd player got stuck) so that is our song we like to enter the stage to.
You can catch the Finnly’s this year by checking out their website www.thefinnlys.com
The Finnlys – Falling In Lust