Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Release Date: 11th June 2021
Genre: Indie rock, grunge
For fans of: Bob Dylan, Nirvana, The Beatles
Electrolyte is the first of a series of new releases from Cavern Club resident, Ambro River. This debut single is a raw and energetic track that is sure to be a floor-filler as soon as live gigs are back.
We had a chat to Richard, the man behind Ambro River, about getting creative in lockdown, inspirations, and how this latest project is the most real yet.
1. Tell us a bit about your musical journey so far, and the move to your latest project, Ambro River.
Ambro River is my first real musical statement. It’s the first time in my musical career that I feel totally happy and comfortable with the music I am making. I think the whole lockdown has also been an influence in my creative process. I have wanted to rebrand as an artist for a while, but I feel now reborn and ready to push what I am doing to the next level. I will be releasing one song per month over the next 6 months to build my fan base and give every track a life of it’s own. I will be creating a video for each song, and each track will have its own unique piece of artwork. Ambro River is a fictional sci-fi South American location, but it’s what we encounter along the way down the river that will be interesting.
2. Given the current situation, how does it feel to be creating and releasing new music?
I wrote a lot of material during the lockdown in 2020. I was as prolific during that 12 months as I have ever been. For me personally, it’s driven me to even deeper creative levels. I think it’s a great time for any artists releasing music. The whole situation that people have been through has created a blank canvas, and chance to start again, and there’s nothing more inspiring than that. It’s certainly done that for me.
3. How would you say Electrolyte fits into your music and releases as a whole, and the musical destination that you’re heading in?
The whole purpose of creating Ambro River was to start a fresh. I wanted to make the records that I always wanted to make. Capturing the song in its raw state, and making music that makes me feel like I am 16 or 17. Not all music I make is going to be easy to listen to. I don’t want to sugar coat anything anymore, whatever comes out comes out, even if it doesn’t sit easy.
4. What is the inspiration behind Electrolyte?
I am a Libra born on September 27th, but I read somewhere that star signs may not be as accurate as we think. That was the initial inspiration regarding the lyrics. The song also references bullies that we come across in every day life. Bad things happen, let’s deal with it and move forward. It’s a real lonely song too, I think, having to deal with a lot of stuff that you don’t feel you can discuss, there’s definitely a solitary vibe to it.
5. What is your process when it comes to writing songs?
My approach to writing varies these days. I try and write without instruments, getting the melody ideas first, I write a lot on my upright piano, and also electric guitar. I have my pedals and amp set up all the time, so will lean there for inspiration.
6. How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
The first set of recordings are heavily guitar driven, live raw, with a lot of emphasis on the first take. Lyrically it’s pretty dark and there’s a lot of pain in there.
7. Where would your dream venue be to play a gig?
Generally I prefer smaller venues, it’s great to have 30/50 people at a gig and get a great atmosphere. Having said that, one of my favourite places in the world is the Greek Island of Kefalonia. Perhaps an Amphitheatre in Kefalonia, or anchoring a boat somewhere in the South Of France and playing a gig on board as the sun sets.
8. Who are the artists you can never tire of listening to?
I love discovering new music all the time, but some artists continually inspire me and I always end up revisiting them. They are like friends to me. I bought Buffalo Springfield's box set when I was 19. It included the first two albums, but also a great selection of outtakes and acoustic demos. Very inspiring. I prefer to hear the early version of a song than the finished master. There is always more character in a demo recording for my personal taste. When I first listened to those demo records, it felt and sounded to my ears like those songs were created on the spot. It greatly inspires my writing to come up with ideas without over thinking the whole songwriting process.
All of the Big Star records continually inspire me, I really started taking songwriting seriously when I heard their first album. Nirvana’s In Utero, Pablo Honey by Radiohead, Television’s Marquee Moon. Also, a great band from the Devon area of the UK called Elliot Green, their album United States. Jeff Buckley’s Mystery White Boy, The Who's- Who's Next, John Lennon- The Bermuda Tapes are all records and artists I love to revisit.
9. What’s the best live gig you’ve been to?
When I was 15 and started going out watching local bands it was a an incredible experience. The smell of cigarettes mixed with stale beer filled the air, the booming of the kick as the drummer sound checked his drums. A really exciting and fascinating time. Any of those times and gigs would be my favourites. I saw Coldplay on their first Parachutes tour at The Royal Court in Liverpool in October 2000, when they were a small indie band. They were supported by another great band called Lowgold. That would be a favourite also. Big Star at Shepherds Bush Empire was an experience. Was nice to meet Alex Chilton briefly after the show.
10. What is next for Ambro River?
I’ll be spending the summer writing and recording new material, also working on some live dates, so we can take these songs on the road.
Stay tuned for our next '10 Questions With..' guest coming soon!
If you have an upcoming release you would like us to feature, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org