Waylayers Terry Tyldesley

Waylayers make passion-fuelled anthems, and their euphoric indie pop sound has captured hearts across the world. They effortlessly fuse dance, rock and pop to create memorable tunes that are getting championed by radio DJs, and new single Medicine is storming up the iTunes electronic charts. The trio - Harry Lee, Joe Andrew and Dave Norman - have played a huge number of festivals, are off to SXSW and are dab hands at brilliant DIY recording. Their debut Fault Lines EP featured in the Billboard charts. They told us how they make their music - it’s all about big sounds in a bedsit and getting people crying while dancing!

Dalston, London

The Waylayers sound

When we meet Waylayers in their rehearsal studio, they’re just back from the Isle of Wight festival and are in the middle of a big run of gigs - their sound is hugely festival-friendly and the bookings keep rolling in. Their songs really connect with the crowds, with their beats as well as their content - carefully-crafted lyrics.

“The lyrics come from love and loss and happiness”

Harry and his bandmates say that there is a strong personal element to the songs.

I guess the lyrics come from love and loss and happiness - the Fault Lines EP lots of it is all about that stuff. I guess it’s maybe cliche but we all feel it’s real. They’re all from individual experiences but I think people can relate to them. We all share similar experiences in life so you can draw upon your own.

Also if you listen to the songs at different times of the day they can mean different things, which I think is quite cool.

“We’re constantly listening to dance music”

Waylayers also put out a party vibe - there are big dance elements to their music.

I think we travel this weird middle ground between being a traditional band and being like a DJ, we do a bit of both.

We’re constantly listening to dance music like techno and electro and trying to recreate some of the techniques that they use and bringing it into our sound.

Recording in a bedsit

They write their music together, and recorded their Fault Lines EP in the unlikely setting of an East London bedsit!

We recorded the EP in a dingy little bedsit in Hackney. The drums were done in Abbey Road for one of the songs we had called S.O.S, but we mixed that ourselves. I think there’s an element of surprise when anthemic music is made in a room that’s probably about two metres by two metres wide without much electricity that works properly - the lights don’t really work in the room!

We all come at it from different angles really, we’ve all got different takes on the creative process and when they meet, they all mix quite well.

I think one thing I’d say that separates us from other bands - we tend to approach the songs with the production in mind because when we’re writing songs we’re writing on Logic and recording as well, so we always have in mind what sounds we want to use and what production techniques we want to employ, and gear.

Music to dance and cry to

The band say their music has to have soul.

We want to make music that you can kind of dance to but also cry to at the same time. The passion has to come from that really, from wanting to have people dancing and really being passionate about it, and kind of writing it with that in mind. It’s almost a bit too much sometimes we sort of reel it in a bit!

Waylayers Terry Tyldesley

“It’s about connecting people together”

Waylayers were quite taken by someone’s description of a sell out show at Koko in London - that there were lots of couples kissing passionately in the crowd.

We always get described as atmospheric pop music but that doesn’t really resonate with me. I want people to be emotionally connected to the songs rather than just describe the sound. We’re not sterile, it’s got to have that human aspect, it’s got to be warm, music’s about warmth. We want more people passionately kissing to our music!

It’s about connecting people together and in this time of electronic hyper production it’s easy to lose that humanity within a song, with the quantizing of everything, with the auto tuning of the soul, but you’ve got to keep that in, and that’s what we try and do. Keep that in there.