Pillbox, from Norfolk, are another of those young, but very talented bands who are waiting for their first chance to burst onto the music scene.

Finding the four-piece James Pearce (Vocals/Guitar), Stephen Douglas (Guitar), Phil Neal (Bass) and Tom Simington (Drums) who are all aged 16 and 17, in a talkative mood, I probed as deeply as possible for a Pennyblackmusic interview. It became quickly apparent, as the band spoke openly about their views on music, that a lot of effort goes into perfecting their music, and that they strive for quality in all their work.James admits that he is "happy playing the songs but doesn't like the recorded material" adding further that while "never disappointed", he can always "see all the faults" in their recordings.

The band officially formed in 1998 whilst jamming in Eccles-by-the-Sea, a seaside town in Norfolk, adopting their band name from the pillboxs that the town is identified by. In the two years since then Pillbox have spent a lot of time writing material and recorded at the end of last year their first four song demo 'New Era'. They have since then recorded another new demo, their biggest project to date, an 8 track mini album 'Ambition', which they began work on a few days after speaking to Pennyblackmusic.

Songwriting is shared almost equally between James and Stephen but Phil and Tom also have contributions to make and help to shape and to develop the band's sound . James, as the lead singer, also writes the lyrics. He writes primarily about "teenage angst" and often uses songs as a way of working things out. Looking back in reflection in many of them, he knows the answer now to many of the problems he describes, but feels, if it can help others who are still struggling to find a solution to them, that then the songs have a double effectiveness.

The band at the moment think that the music scene is all "r 'n' b and rap, it's all crap."Their aim is for people to enjoy their music, their main goal getting "Goths and Eminem fans to turn round and say it's not my style but still I like it."

The four members of the group each have different musical influences, and these range from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Metallica and Queen. With such a range of tastes , it is perhaps surprising that the band have been able to create any music at all , but they have an original sound that sits in the middle of all these influences and which demands to be listened to.

'Ambition' is very well-crafted, and a strong sense of melody pervades through all its songs and even on the heaviest tracks. It is a more mature work than 'New Era' and the band, as a result , have a clearer and more accessible sound. The music has been carefully layered and developed, and combines well with James's engaging vocals, which, while often short and sharp, linger on in the memory long after they have been heard.

In concluding the interview, Pillbox were firm in attitude about their reason for making music- that they do it because they enjoy playing and "would play anywhere without expecting to be paid ; being paid is just a bonus." They certainly already sound good and as they continue to mature and to become more accomplished, will doubtlessly continue to grow even better still.







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