In the spotlight – The Days of Tomorrow

In the spotlight – The Days of Tomorrow

Nottingham (UK) based The Days of Tomorrow is about looking ahead to better times – looking for hope in a seemingly bleak future. The band consists of Gareth Peel (guitarist, producer, singer-songwriter), Matt Williams (bassist and vocalist) and Simon Miles (drums, keys and vocalist). Matt tells us his favourite thing about making music and walks us through the band’s songwriting process.

Please tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you got together?

“While Gareth (singer-songwriter, producer) and I met at work, the band didn’t really get going until lockdown – believe it or not! We realised we could make music – and videos – using phone messaging technology and free music software. Suddenly, the veil of isolation was lifted.”

What are some of the albums which first shaped your musical outlook?

“It started with The Beatles for both of us. The Rubber Soul/Revolver era of the mid-sixties was the sweet spot.”

Gareth: “Revolver – The Beatles, One Year – Colin Blunstone, Inner Visions – Stevie Wonder, Older – George Michael.”

Matt: “Rubber Soul – The Beatles, Hunky Dory – David Bowie, Songs From The Big Chair – Tears for Fears, I Should Coco – Supergrass.”

What drives you as musicians?

“We talk about this all the time! Music is a social thing for me – an excuse to meet, share common ideas and collaborate. I read an article about John Lennon. Apparently his auntie told him to share his talents because he would make good friends. I’ve always liked that.”

“For Gareth, it’s about centring yourself, being in the zone, connecting. We have the same passion but experience it differently. Apart from the fun – we’re laughing most of the time!”

How would you describe your sound to a first-time listener?

“Our music has an indie spine – from mid-nineties Britpop – a touch of 60s psychedelia and more than a little 70s soul in the melody.”

How have you found the response to your new single ‘Silver Moon’?

“Overwhelming! Prior to the release, we’d secured more radio play, interviews and download pre-saves than any of our previous four singles. It’s been such an exciting time – and we’re still less than a week in.”

What does it mean to you when you see your work resonating with fans?

“It means everything! You can write a song, like it and know that you’ve done it justice as a band – and that’s still a mark of success. But other people loving it as much you do is something else. We don’t write to please, but we aim to.”

You have several singles out currently, are you working towards an album?

“Yes absolutely, a tangible record will be our next big move. We have a huge number of songs out there in the ether but the ready-to-go shortlist is currently at four or five. So a studio EP with a launch party, live show and some limited-edition vinyl would be perfect.”

What themes would you say are most present in your music?

“Well, we’re an optimistic band, no question – but pain makes its presence known. Our previous single, ‘Anywhere’, was a cold stare down the barrel of public isolation and personal loss. We’ve all felt that, particularly since early 2020. ‘Silver Moon’ on the other hand is relentlessly positive. Inspiration, regret, longing to be free – these themes feature regularly.”

How important are lyrics to you?

“Despite his personality – which is anything but serious – Gareth takes lyric writing very seriously. He’s highly perceptive and has a deep soul. He’d be an equally great poet! There’s an as-yet unreleased song in which he sings about ‘panning for brass, letting go of gold’. What a line! There’s both wit and melancholy in there. Few writers can do that.”

Can you walk us through your songwriting process?

“Gareth is more than the creative spark – he’s our singer-songwriter and producer. He can land on a new riff out of nowhere. Almost immediately, a melody comes along with it, followed by the lyrics. It’s frenetic, very exciting. Once these elements are in place, we play it through, give it some basic form and arrangement, then share it with our drummer, Simon. A few takes later, we have the body of a song. Then it’s just a question of what “suit” it’s going to wear.”

What is your favourite thing about making new music?

“I’ve heard Stephen Fry talk about the creative process. About needing absolute confidence in what you’re doing without knowing exactly what’s going to happen. We enjoy being in that creative space!”

What do you look for in a good song?

“Anything memorable, different, with feeling. Sometimes a great song only needs one really great element. Think of the high, iconic bassline in Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. The song is way more than just a riff, of course, but that was a hit just waiting to happen. And sometimes the zeitgeist takes over. We were obsessed with Oasis in their heyday. Like them or not, they felt the pulse of the UK perfectly.”

If you could make a change in people’s state of mind through your music, what would it be?

“That ageing means slowing down. It doesn’t. Gareth and I are (just) in our forties. This is the most success we’ve had as musicians and we’re only just getting started. We don’t dwell on our mortality but we don’t ignore it either. It can be an incredible motivator!”

What has been one of your favourite moments together since forming the band?

“There’s been a few! Our debut on BBC Introducing with ‘Christmas Snow’. Our first print review in Leftlion magazine. Our first gig at The Bodega, a prized Nottingham venue.”

“A real standout moment was in January 2021 when our Spotify streaming page suddenly lit up, after an unexpected and more than welcome Twitter endorsement from actor Robert Carlyle. Turns out he’s a fierce champion of new music, although we didn’t believe it was real at first…”

What do the next few months look like for Days of Tomorrow?

“We have summertime gigs in our hometown of Nottingham City fast approaching. We’ll be looking to publish and promote new music in the Autumn once we’ve been back to the studio – with a tour to follow!”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?

“‘On The Walk From The Picture House’ by Camens. I’ve had it in my head since the very first listen!”

What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?

“The song ‘Believe’ by Feralman. We’ve never met, but he’s a good Twitter friend of the band: a role-model for how a gifted artist can give their support to others – and really mean it.”

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(Photo credits: The Days of Tomorros, Kirk Stevens & Dave Fairey)


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