You may have or have not heard of him... but you certainly will have once you've checked the music video below. Rising singer-songwriter Ulysses Wells released his debut EP "Can't Take It Much Longer" back in September last year and has two more to come as part of his EP-collection. The Warwickshire guitarist has ripped the rulebook up and gone with his own genre-bending style of rock music, having received warm support and recognition from established rockers Bastille, there is nothing to prevent Ulysses Wells from reaching the upper echelons of the music industry, GMA spoke to him about his EP, the state of British rock and how he came up with his intriguing style of rock.
"The main objective of this EP was to showcase a side of me that I have not showcased before"
Ulysses, you must be excited to finally release your debut EP 'Cant Take It Much Longer'?
"So it is one of three, the 2nd one is called 'Contemplaton', the 3rd one is 'Freedom'. They're a body of work that I put together during lockdown and that's pretty much there is to know about it really."
What challenges alongside the lockdown did you face in creating the EP?
"The obvious challenges, but to be honest with you now with the internet and with what's available, it was pretty definitely doable. I think from a lot of people's points of view it changed the game a lot with big producers flying off to L.A., and with friends cancelling their flights and being like 'oh we can't do the work', but it turns out they've just a-good-a-job. So from that point of view no it didn't really affect us that much, if anything it just made me more hands on with the production, with the next one I did all the production myself and then worked with a guy called Paolo from Third Man Records, he mixed it and I just jumped on 3-4 chords with him and it was done.
It all came together pretty quickly, the main objective of this EP was to showcase a side of me that I have not showcased before, a bit more of gentler side; just to take it down a bit."
What were your emotions like when Woody from Bastille got in touch?
"I was pretty shocked to be honest but in a really lovely way, he fell in love with the project and showed a lot of enthusiasm... I was pretty blown over and then within a few weeks and months we were out touring (with Bastille); obviously he's a big fan of rock music and loved what we're all about. All the guys in Bastille are lovely and want to help as many people as they can e.g. Rag n Bone Man, they not only make great music, they also have the time to spend doing other things with people like myself."
So would you argue that is what the British music industry needs more of, more big-name artists and bands helping the up-and-coming artists?
"Yeah 100%, I think that the days of the egotistical rock star is over and I think David Bowie put it pretty well and I know that in an interview he said: 'the future does not involve the idea of big artists and supergroups', people know this and the more modest and humble you are, the better. It's brilliant to see more and more established bands and artists help nurture the fresh talent."
With that in mind would you say British Rock is going through a new wave?
"Yeah I think so, there's definitely a big resurgence in the punk rock scene with the likes of Idols, Shame, Big Honey and people like that, also Nothing But Thieves. I think it's definitely going through a bit of a change and for the better, it's good to see fresh blood coming out everyday, and quirky great music doing well commercially... people like Sam Fender, Declan McKenna and people like that, so yeah it's cool to see".
How did you first arrive at the electronic music / guitar crossover sound?
"It was a total happy accident, I just drove myself mental living in a shed and I started putting my guitar piece sets on the computer, and was just mucking around for 3-4 days writing really aggressive and weird tunes. I felt like I needed something crazy, a bit mad and then my mate came over and said 'this is no going to work, you sound like you're on crack', I was like 'great that's exactly what I want, this sounds perfect'. So yeah I rolled with it and joked in the beginning to be honest, making it as mad as possible. I tried to work out how I was going to do it all live, which was a wish in itself but I got there."
Did you always want to be a musician growing up? How did you get into playing music?
"From a really early age, I never really thought about becoming a musician as a job till I was around 14, 15, but it was always something I just did. I was quite an anxious child and I think I still have some element of anxiety like we all do, I think guitar playing or playing any musical instrument is a life-saver. For me it was just an obsession that allowed me to escape, continue to love it and enjoy it... I wasn't naturally gifted in it, I think I had a couple of guitar teachers in the beginning and they never thought I could pursue it as a career."
What are your plans for the rest of the year all things considered?
"Finishing the current EP, writing the next one and then hopefully taking it live when we can, maybe this or next year... 2022 maybe. The main thing is to try and top what has already been put out, I think that's what I want to be achieving."
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