If there’s one thing you can’t accuse Sheffield band The Hosts of, it’s being a here today, gone tomorrow band.
The Sheffield five-piece have been working as a band since 2008 but it’s the last 12 months that have been the most transformative for the wall-of sound pop rockers.
Frontman Tom Hogg explains.
“We believe that if you continue to quietly work away at something you love it will eventually pay off. You don’t have to shout about it, just keep at it.”
So it’s for this reason that the title of the band’s album, Softly Softly, is entirely appropriate.
“That’s the approach we took,” says Hogg. “It was softly, softly.”
And it’s paid off.
Last year The Hosts - who always perform wearing suits - played at festivals in New York and San Francisco. And their latest single, September Song, has been played on BBC Radio 6 and BBC Radio 2 - coverage that’s catapulted the band into new and exciting territory, as Tom Hogg explains.
“It has really kicked off in the past 12 months. We released September Song last year and it was picked up by a lot of people.”
Among those people were the organisers of Club Fandango - a live night held across London that supports and promotes independent music.
Playing at Club Fandango certainly helped The Hosts. It was at this event the band attracted the attention of independent label Fierce Panda.
“They’ve been brilliant and through them we re-released the single. They have a great team and have really put the record out there.”
Hogg wrote September Song on the 50th anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death, and though the song is not directly about the rock and roll pioneer, it is about the legacy of song.
“It’s about falling in love with a song and about how a track can transport you back to how you felt at the time you first heard that song.”
Love, in all its guises, is the linchpin of Softly Softly.
“It’s all quite heartfelt. It’s about stuff that’s happened to me mainly but when you’re writing about personal subject matter you do make yourself see yourself in the third person.
“Love is something that most people have experienced - both the joyful part of it and the heartache.”
And Softly Softly certainly explores love’s extremes.
Give Your Love to her, according to Hogg, was conceived after a trip to New York. “It pays tribute to the old adage ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’. It’s joyfully doomed and it’s a love song with a twist, a bittersweet sentiment with a huge chorus.”
Then there’s Would You Be Blue, which, Hogg explains, is a song about monogamy. “That song was my first waltz and a song about monogamy and how words don’t build trust with the line ‘When I Say I’ll Be True, Why On Earth Would You Be Blue?’.
But there’s also a song about love that never happened. “Where The Cold Wind Blows is about missed opportunity and romances that never were,” he says.
Hogg’s inspiration for a song can strike at any time. “I can be walking along or driving and suddenly something will pop in my head. I have so many lines recorded on my IPhone. We have about 40 songs that we can build on already.”
The band record at Tesla Studios in Heeley. “It’s great because it’s our bass player’s studio so we can rehearse there as well. The band is now taking up all of our time, which is brilliant, and we have really intense rehearsals before a show.”
And to that end, the band have a busy week, with shows in London and a very special performance at the Leadmill on Friday, March 14.