Page of Swords
How would you describe your music?
I think of the songs as folk songs, but there is definitely an Americana influence as well. It’s fairly macabre and dark, similar to what I wrote for Little Red.
What or who influences your sound?
Elliot Smith, Tom McRae, Mark Lanegan and PJ Harvey are big influences. Lee Switzer-Woolf’s recent solo record also really inspired me to start writing music again.
Tell us about the new EP and the tracks you chose for it.
‘Little Monsters’ is the first EP of three, all of which are kind of collections of short stories inspired by different people I have met over the years.
While the songs are all about real people, I’ve tried to colour each set of lyrics with different literary influences: Poe, Lovecraft and gothic fairytales all inspire me. The only respite is the final track - ‘Be Not Afraid’, which is intended to offer a little light relief.
How did you pick your band name?
I had a tarot reading for the first time a little while back and the Page of Swords was a reoccurring card I kept encountering. I don’t believe in the occult, but I do find that whole world fascinating and quite evocative.
Your other projects are Little Red and Master of None, where would you say this project is in terms of these past projects? It feels a lot more stripped back than other material you have released, was this a conscious decision?
It’s far more similar to Little Red lyrically, but is more stripped-back; there were six of us in Little Red for the second album, so as this is just me, it’s a more stark and direct sound. I like playing with that though - in fact, I have a song called ‘Well, Well’ (which is on the next EP) that is pretty much just voice and stomps/handclaps - bit nervous about that one!
I wanted to create a body of work that was quite simplistic at its core, so I would have more autonomy to create when I wanted. Everything on the records is now done by me, and I wanted a project that I could really manage on my own and not have to rely on others, although I do have a set of close friends that act as vetters and my wife, Alice, and good friend Michael Matthews create the artwork. That’s also really important to me as the songs are really visual, so the artwork really needs to work with what I do. The wonderful Stef at All Will Be Well Records has also helped me venture into the world of mastering.
It’s great to have Page of Swords to act as a channel for the more acoustic music I write - it allows me to tell my little fucked-up stories!
What are your plans for 2023?!
The second EP, ‘It Came For Them In Threes’, is out on January 6th and is the darkest of the three records coming out over the next 12 months or so. The third EP, ‘Goodbye Sadness, Goodbye Sorrow’, will be out in late spring. EP 3 will be a more upbeat affair, but will still retain the essence of the first two collections of songs.
The EP 'Little Monsters' is out now!