It's been a hectic year for the 101's, one of Aberdeen's hottest new acts. What you might not know is that the 101's are alumni of our Project Band Iniative, run by our Creative Learning Department.. Thanks to the 101's for their time in answering these questions. The 101 are playing at the Lemon Tree on Friday 07 September 2018.
Can you tell us a little about the band?
The 101 are a six piece indie-pop funk band from the heart of the North East of Scotland. Formed of Dexter Fawcett, Ross Buchan, Andrew Joseph, Matthew Read, Cameron Stephen and Nick Cameron, the band has only been on the go for a short while but has made a considerable name for themselves in Aberdeen and indeed Scotland-wide.
You’ve had a great start to 2018, being chosen as one of Jim Gellatly’s Starlets to Watch in 2018 in the Sun?
Totally! It was a complete shock and surprise but we were utterly overwhelmed to be named in Jim Gellatly’s Starlets to Watch article and especially in the presence of such good company including Lewis Capaldi, Callum Beattie and Dancing on Tables. Definitely one of the highlights of our year and it gave us a big kick of enthusiasm to keep the momentum going into 2018!
You guys were involved in the Lemon Tree’s Project Band, can you tell us a little about how that came about?
Myself (Dexter) and Ross had been in an out of the music idea for year. During secondary school we’d experiment playing covers, anything from Pink Floyd to Rascal Flatts, and eventually we got to the stage where we wanted to form a band and gig/release music etc and we were advised to give project band a shot. It was fantastic, as it was people exactly the same as us who wanted a bit of insight into if the whole ‘band thing’ was for them and so we went along and were totally blown away! Project band is the reason we’re now a band and gave us invaluable skills into recording, writing, performing and generally becoming more confident with music in general. It also allowed the opportunity to network to other musicians and indeed industry professionals and we got our first ever gig out of project band supporting Fatherson at the Lemon Tree in front of 500 odd people!
What do you think you gained from the Project Band experience?
Project band is completely unique in the sense that it doesn’t just give you tips exclusive to music performing or writing. It gives insight into every aspect about what the music industry itself really is! We learnt how to write, how to network, send our music to right people, and an abundance of more things. It truly is the main reason and probably the main responsibility for why we are the band, and indeed people, we are today. I would recommend it to any musician who seeks to pursue a career in music, or even to meet like-minded people to chat to and get to know! You wouldn’t regret it. You can read more about Project Band here.
What would you say to those thinking about giving Project Band a shot?
Speaking purely from experience here i would say that it’s just one of those things you have to just do! I was terribly nervous and shy and unconfident with my music before project band and so was really resilient to the idea at first but even after the first week, I was so glad i went along as everyone is as nervous as you. It really helps just getting a second opinion on your music too and even just to hear ‘hey that’s really good’, can be what you need to do what you’re doing and so I honestly cannot stress in words how much I recommend it.
Is there any one thing you learned which you feel has really helped your career since?
I definitely think project band helped me with self-confidence. Although we subconsciously ignore it when we’re watching our favourite bands live, a big part of why we enjoy watching bands is how the communicate to the audience and their overall stage presence and so i think project band allowed me to realise that I’m allowed to be confident and proud of my work and that performing to a small group of people you know (other people attending the course), goes a long way in building up your attitude and persona on stage. Even if it makes you uncomfortable at first, which believe me it did, it really went a long way in teaching me how to best communicate and act in front of an audience who are paying to see you!
You’ve returned to the Lemon Tree several times since Project Band, What was that like?
We were so lucky to have the chance to come back and perform numerous times at the Lemon Tree, including an acoustic session as well as a headline show there in April 2017. It really did take us back to project band and really highlighted personally how much we had grown as a band since the experience, now performing to 350 people too, there’s nothing better.
Do you have any advice to up and coming bands?
The best advice I was ever given was by Steven Milne of The Little Kicks and the organiser of project and when I attended the course. He told me that you should never be afraid/hesitant to ask for opportunities or advice. The worst thing someone can say is no if you ask a question and you never really know what someone will say until you ask and so I see that as the best advice I was ever given and so appropriately i would pass the same advice on. You never ever know what might happen!
What have you got planned for the next year?
We took some time over winter to write some more stuff and so a big part of our spring will be spent in the studio in Edinburgh working on some new material, hopefully with a brand new single to be released in June! Besides that we’ve been lucky enough to be asked into BBC Radio Scotland to play some songs and have a chat in February and we’re super excited to support one of our favourite bands ‘Fickle Friends’ at The Lemon Tree on March 4th! Other than that, we’ll be looking into booking our first tour after summer and hopefully have a few festivals to play in the summer, really excited and looking forward to the next 12 months.
A couple of fun ones – if you could support any band in any venue, who and where and why?
I think if we were talking realistically, at the moment, it would be a dream come true to play the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow. In terms of who, maybe indie bands we take inspiration from; The Kooks, Circa Waves, Saint Motel etc. I think we have actually discussed our ‘dream gig’ before and i think we all agreed that our lives would be somewhat complete if we got to support Two Door Cinema Club anywhere!
Do any of the band members have a guilty musical secret, a band/singer they like but really shouldn’t?
Surprisingly we’ve been asked this before and the answer is a big fat yes. As much as we hate admitting it, we are all avid fanboys of Leona Lewis. Our ‘band song’ that will always remind us of The 101 will always be ‘a moment like this’ by Leona Lewis. Why and How? We don’t really know.
Who are your favourite bands and biggest influences?
Two Door Cinema Club, Nile Rogers, Bad Suns, Jamie Cullum.
For those who haven’t heard of you sell your band to us !
We are a young six piece band from Aberdeen incorporating a classic funk element into upbeat pop music! We’ve released two singles, “Not you but me” and “Cliché”, which have attained attention from BBC Introducing, BBC Scotland and Amazing Radio and have just finished our Scottish tour in December of 2017!
Thanks to the 101 for answering these questions. If you're interested in Project Band, then we have more information here.
We are also pleased to announce that the 101 are coming back to the Lemon Tree on Friday 07 September 2018, tickets are available here.