In May 2013 Stephen Gardener, from Croxley Green, went to see one of his “musical heroes” play at the Assembly Hall in Islington.
On a whim, wishing to have a band like that of Chuck Prophet’s to bring his music to life, Stephen approached him about working together through his website. Chuck wrote back saying “I’m up for anything”.
Since then Stephen has been to San Francisco to see him twice, and created an album with him and Grammy-winning producer Matt Winegar.
The album, Bathed in Comfort, will launch this weekend at The LP Café on The Parade in Watford.
I spoke to him to find out more…
Describe your sound
Varied seems to be the most used description. The band is very versatile and producer, Chuck Prophet, let the songs dictate the style, so we ended up with quite a range. There’s power-pop, gothic rock, piano-lounge, one that sounds like 1978-era Stiff Records, even all-out country on one song. James Deprato, the guitarist on the record, calls it weird. That’ll do.
Tell me about the album
It’s really all about love and the comfort we get from people that love and support us. Even though, admittedly, that is mostly expressed in its absence. Perhaps it’s just a warning to not take things too seriously, to not be afraid.
Do you write your own music?
Yes, all the songs are my own. Mostly it comes from messing about on the guitar or piano - doodling, really. Then if something pops up that I like, I’ll latch onto it and keep playing with it until it’s interesting enough for a song.
Do you have any favourite venues to perform, or just to watch other bands in Watford?
There is a wonderfully supportive atmosphere at the Horns in Watford. I played the Open Mic there just before I went out to San Francisco for the first session - the encouragement I got there gave me all the confidence I needed. Same goes for the LP Cafe.