By Chris Patmore, London Correspondent
Venue: Clit Rock All-Dayer, Hoxton, London–August 16, 2015
Power trios strip rock down to its most basic components – guitar, bass and drums – and make a huge sound with them. Some of rock history’s greatest exponents of this combo include Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience and Grand Funk Railroad, and their legacy is still very much alive today, with some of its strongest proponents being female-fronted. Echo Boom Generation – Linda Buratto on lead guitar and vocals, Emma Hughes on bass and Callum Green on drums – make great noise with driving riffs, a grooving back line and excellent musicianship. Seeing them live, it is obvious they love what they do. RAN’s London correspondent Chris Patmore caught up with them briefly following a storming set at the recent Clit Rock All-dayer in Hoxton.
How did the band get together?
Linda: The project started three years ago. Callum saw me playing at this jam, and I was throwing guitars everywhere, and I thought Callum was a jazz player, and he was like, “Oh no, I love rock and roll”, so he joined the band. Emma and I have been playing together for years, so we said, let’s do this and write some noise together.
So are you all fans of power-trio rock?
Emma: We just love power music.
Linda: It can be two, three, four or five.
Emma: Two is a bit undecided at the moment.
There are a lot of great power trios around at the moment, especially with two girls up front and a guy hidden away at the back on the drums; Bones and Bleech immediately spring to mind.
Linda: We’re still not really sure if he’s in the band.
Emma: It’s a nice balance.
How would you describe your sound, because it is very powerful?
Linda: The best way to describe us is classic rock with a 2015 edge to it. We all have our classic influences like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Cream.
Emma: All the stuff I grew up on, like The Ramones from my dad, who was well into that, but modern bands that we also love, like Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Muse. There’s so many.
Linda: It’s sort of taken that sound back from the ’70s and reinvented for now. It kind of sounds fresh because we take all these insane trippy things they did, and then take the power of bands like Foo Fighters and merge them all together.
Emma: The thing is, the riffs from the older bands of the ’70s, those hooks are so important to us, but with the vocal delivery of more modern bands like Royal Blood, whose sound I really like.
Does being female fronted give the band an extra edge that similar male-fronted bands don’t have?
Linda: It does. It’s funny because a lot of people see us walking in and go, “Oh, it’s a girl-fronted band, so they’re going to play like girls”, but a lot of people are shocked by the power that comes through it. Sometimes it’s quite tricky because people just expect you to be a certain way, especially when you have to deal with professionals. There is a bit of this sexist thing in the industry but it’s actually really fun because it’s really good to see people shocked by, “My God, they have the same energy of a male band”.
Emma: It does give us that edge because there aren’t that many bands where girls get all sweaty and shouty on stage and get all total messes, but we don’t see it like that; we’re just a band. The fact that we’re girls doesn’t mean anything.
Well, you do look better than sweaty blokes…
Linda: And we smell better.
Emma: There was one show where I ended up looking like Alice Cooper. It really is just something we don’t think about. The way we see it is, we’re mates and we get to play music together, and do what we love.
Linda: Callum, how is it to be in a band with two girls?
Callum: It’s fine. We’re all a bit spazzy. There are things wrong with us.
Emma: We’re special characters. It’s more of a family vibe.
Linda: We’re just mates who happen to be two girls and a guy. We don’t see it as “Grr. We’re female-fronted”.
Emma: We’re just loud.
The London music scene is notoriously over saturated. Do you find it hard to get good gigs?
Linda: Yeah, London is over saturated in everything you do. Even getting a cab is impossible. Getting gigs is even harder. I think the beautiful thing about London is that there are so many people around, I think that where we are finding our space is gigging with our friends – Gelato and Bones. There are many more and we are growing together, and creating a scene with our friends. In the beginning there were 20 friends, then there are 50, then 100. It spreads out.
Emma: It’s kind of working with each other. What we don’t have is that competitiveness. When you turn up to a gig and everyone’s awkward because you’re another band. We’ve been lucky enough to meet loads of bands that have become friends, that are willing to give us support, and we’re always up for helping them. We think that’s the key thing. You’re all trying to do what you love, so you might as well help each other.
Linda: It’s just creating a bit of a buzz and chaos around.
Emma: If people see that your two or three bands are a bit of a community and you’re all friends, so all their friends come together and everyone has something in common, which is a way of starting that hype and that buzz, which is really nice.
And the bands are different enough not to clash.
Linda: Exactly. They draw the same fanbase but have a different sound, so it doesn’t get boring with two hours of the same three chords.
Callum, you also play jazz?
Callum: Yes. That was part of the misconception Linda had. At the time I was playing lots of jazz, so we have this phrase that Linda started, “release the beast”
Does that jazz background influence the way you play and the sound of the band?
Callum: I don’t know. I think it all adds something, as does all of our musical backgrounds, so it is going to have an effect. It’s maybe a bit different, a bit groovier.
You can see little time signatures and fill patterns that you don’t get with normal rock drummers.
Callum: Yeah, that’s kind of it. My dad gave me loads of records when I was younger, like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, so I’ve always had that, but it’s bringing new, different things to the table.
You guys are lucky in that you come from a generation where your parents grew up with really good music.
Callum: Oh yes.
Emma: Every Sunday I will go to my dad’s for Sunday lunch or something, and he’s got Planet Rock on, so there will always be Iron Maiden blasting, Ramones, Hendrix, anything like that, which is what I was brought up on from my dad, and from my mum it was Fleetwood Mac and The Bangles, so I got the best of both, in a way, which is why it all merges together.
Where does the name came from? Is it that you are from the generation of the echo boom, or is it that the sound is so powerful it generates an echo boom?
Linda: It’s both. I am obsessed with… people will realise that I say “Boom” a lot, and that became my thing, so we had to find something that had “Boom” in it. Callum was like, “Did you know our generation is called echo boom – the echo boom generation?” That was kind of great. It’s like we are the echo of the boom generation, the second generation since the boomers. It kind of worked both ways, and the name has got that power to it so it’s ECHO BOOM Generation. It also represents this generation that is in this new world of technology.
Callum: But people don’t know what they’re doing.
Linda: So it’s about speaking up and being who you want to be.
That’s what we need is more people to shout about how we are being fucked over.
You have a new single coming out…
Linda: It’s our first official single. It’s called The Voice and it was recorded with Larry Hibbitt, who produced Marmozets and Hundred Reasons, and he’s kind of taken us under his wing. He was like, “You guys are a living riot”, so we went in the studio and he made us sound super huge. We’re releasing it on the 10th of September and we’re doing a show at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch on 30th September, and we’re going to make it a big party.
Emma: We want to celebrate that we’re getting the music out there now. The fact that we found a producer that gets us is really nice, and understands that it’s loud. It’s going to be a great party, and it’s free entry. So no excuses.
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