AJQJ aiming to develop a new fan base across Lowestoft

AJQJ - a young alternative rock band hailing from Norwich - on stage. Picture: CHRIS BARKER

AJQJ - a young alternative rock band hailing from Norwich - on stage. Picture: CHRIS BARKER - Credit: Archant

In the latest of our In Tune features in The Guide, profiling the music scene, reporter SIMON WARD speaks to AJQJ – a young alternative rock band hailing from Norwich.

They recently released their debut EP 'Foundations' in September and are already planning future recordings for 2016, as they look to gain more fans and develop their exciting sound.

Question: Where does your name originate from?

Answer: We tried to think up a band name for a good few months when we first formed, but we couldn't agree on something that we all liked. Our first gig was coming up in May 2015 and we needed a name to go onto the bill, so we went with AJQJ – which is our first initials – Aaron, Joe, Quin and James.

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Q: Who's in the band and how did you meet?

A: Aaron Lambert, 18, Lead Vocals and Guitars; Joseph Burns, 17, Guitars and Backing Vocals; Quinlan Barker, 17, Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals; James Nichol, 18, Drums.

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Quin, Joe and James all knew each other from high school. When we got to college Quin put up an advert on the website 'Join My Band' in November 2014 and he got a response from Aaron, who goes to Lowestoft Sixth Form College – the rest of us go to East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston. We shared some demos between us and really liked what we heard, so Joe and Quin went to Aaron's house for a jam and instantly clicked.

Q: Best experience while part of the group?

A: Our most notable act we've gigged with so far is the indie band Racing Glaciers, supporting them on the Norwich gig of their UK Tour this year. In terms of best experience, this was no doubt our EP Launch on 25th September, where we got to headline the Waterfront Studio. Out of any gig we've played in our lives this was by far the most well received!

Q: How would you describe your sound?

A: We play alternative rock with influences coming from all angles of the rock genre.

Q: Who are you biggest influences and how have these directly influenced your sound?

A: A big influence to our sound is the rock band Biffy Clyro, who we take a lot of influence from when it comes to our more 'prog' rock sounds i.e. odd time signatures etc; this is particularly noticeable in the song 'The Culprit'.

Q: What can people expect at an AJQJ gig?

A: Lots of energy and movement from all of us and lots of crowd involvement – we like to make sure we engage the crowd as much as possible!

Q: You recently released your debut EP 'Foundations'. Tell me about it and why did you choose to record it yourselves?

A: We decided to record the EP ourselves mainly for logistical and financial reasons, which collectively made it nigh on impossible to go into a studio and record with a producer. The final result of the project far surpassed our expectations, we're all really happy with how the songs came out.

Q: Who is the main songwriter in the band?

A: The finished product of any of our songs is always written as a collective, but mainly the base ideas for songs come from Aaron.

Q: Any gigs/tours coming up?

A: Our only confirmed gig so far in 2016 is at the Lady of The Lake in Oulton Broad on January 27 as a co-headliner with Painted Soul. We've also entered into Future Radio's 'Next Big Thing' competition, and will find out if we have reached the semi-finals of this soon. If we do, then this will be held at the OPEN in Norwich on either January 30/31.

Q: Ambitions and aims for the future?

A; We aim to gig as much as possible in the next couple of years, growing a substantial local fan base as well as growing nationally. We also plan to release either a new single or EP in the next six months or so. In terms of long term plans, we all feel like this band is what we'd like to make a career out of eventually!

Q: Where are people able to download your new material?

A: People can stream our music both on Soundcloud www.soundcloud.com/ajqjband and YouTube.

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