After first meeting in the Cambridge-based band From the Sticks during their short lived 2019 reunion, musicians Bobby Jennings and Ricky Butcher soon found themselves with a strong bond to create fresh and exciting alt-rock anthems, and now return with their latest stunner 'Nebula Watching'.
Following up the release of their debut single 'She's The Sun' at the beginning of the year, 'Nebula Watching' makes for a vibrant and euphoric follow-up. Filled with sweeping guitars, soaring vocals, and powerful songwriting, their latest delight shows us that the best is still yet to come from the emerging duo.
So with their new single doing the rounds right now, we sat down with both of them to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them most over the years.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
Bobby: Electric guitar around 2005. I remember listening to a lot of my Mums old records, stuff like Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin etc. I just wanted to be able to pick up the guitar and rip a solo like the one from ‘The Number of the Beast’. Took a little while to get to that level of course.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Ricky: The biggest inspiration behind my music is that human desire to tell stories. When I write lyrics I think about personal influences from my life as well as those around me. I try to create a message that not only has you clinging to reality by your fingertips but takes a deeper tone to talk about real issues. For instance with Nebula Watching there’s an undertone of dealing with the passing of a loved one and how we are all connected, even in death we live on as what it’s essentially star dust the same as those dead stars we see in the night sky.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
Bobby: As a teenager, anything on Kerrang around 2006-2009. Enter Shikari, Biffy Clyro, Blink 182, Slipknot, Linkin Park are a few I remember them playing all the time. The emo days.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
Ricky: I’m not sure but I remember writing a song in the shower when I was like five about the moon and my mum got stoked about it and asked me to sing it to my Nan and stuff. Pretty sure it was an absolutely terrible song but even then I was trying to tell a story.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Bobby: It really depends on the mood I’m in. Could be anything from Miles Davis to Architects.
Ricky: I always wake up and go for a run so I tend to listen to upbeat instrumental music. It helps me start the day positive and I think if it was slow sad music it could have the opposite effect.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
Ricky: I couldn’t tell you how many songs I’ve written about people, definitely like 100 songs and about ten percent of those have never seen the light of day or been heard by other people at a gig.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Ricky: Playing Secret Garden Party on the BBC Introducing stage was pretty fun in a previous band.
Bobby: I don’t know about the most memorable, but I really loved playing Strawberry Fair last year. We were fortunate enough to play the headline slot on one of the alternative stages. It was a fun gig and I think it was probably the moment me and Ricky realised we had very good chemistry on stage. It wasn’t long after that we started ITBOAS.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
Ricky: I’m a freelance illustrator so I suppose telling stories through visual narrative and working with a lot of artists for their album artworks or posters as well as magazines / animations you name it.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Bobby: That’s a really hard question because I can’t honestly say I have ever felt passionate about anything else other than music. It would probably be something creative though.
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to start a career in music?
Bobby: Bukowski said; “Don’t try”. If you’re going to do anything, give it everything you’ve got.
In The Belly Of A Snake's new single 'Nebula Watching' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.