Indieterria meets The Assist

Dear Readers,

Here`s a short message to everyone for 2020 – The Birmingham scene is rocking. We are in full swing and every band is gearing to release their best music yet. Nothing will stop us. We begin January interviewing one of the best local bands that have been on our radars for the last three years. In such a short period of time, they went from playing  tiny venues to being on big, renowned stages, from hanging out in tiny green rooms to travelling Europe and Russia.

Please meet The Assist – a band that you need to have in your lives. No need to thank us, we are just humble music scouts. It`s not our fault we know the best music around!

The Assist are:
Mikey Stanton
Ryan Stanton
Jorge Poole
Ben Faulkner
Luke Jones

Official bio: Formed between Walsall and Birmingham in 2014, The Assist quickly made themselves a staple of the Birmingham music scene, selling out shows at some of the city’s biggest and most iconic venues such as the O2 Academy and the O2 Institute. Their infectious energetic pop has led them to share the stage with NME Award winning act Rat Boy, Manchester chart toppers Blossoms, Happy Monday’s front-man Shaun Ryder and they’ve even ventured into Europe with Black Honey. The band have performed at a range of well-known festivals including Leeds & Reading, Isle of Wight, TRNSMT, YNot, Kendal Calling and even a special in store performance for Dr Martens at Live at Leeds. They even had an appearance on Sky’s Soccer AM and have been backed by the likes of Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson of BBC Radio 6.

The Assist are well known in the West Midlands, but Indieterria attracts readers from all over Europe. Please introduce yourselves to those who haven’t heard about you before.

Ryan Stanton: We’re The Assist, 5 lads from Walsall, who love playing music and having a laugh. We write indie/pop tunes about things going on around us and in our lives. We thrive on making friends and taking all our mates on the journey with us that’s so far taken us from our local pub to the biggest festivals in the country.

The name of the band is truly unique. Would you mind explaining the meaning behind it?

Ryan Stanton: The name sort of grew. We all love football so we started off thinking of football terms, nothing really fit (the free kicks or the penalties). The Assist is also about us helping everyone out with our music, we’ve always got open ears for people who need a chat and everyone can lose themselves and forget about their problems having a dance at our gigs.

The group formed in 2014 and within a year you were considered as one of the leading talents on the Birmingham music scene. Do you remember when you realised that there was something extraordinary in The Assist or were you just wanting to play music you wanted to hear?

Ryan Stanton:
It all happened quite fast we never knew a thing about the industry and we came into this with no expectations. We loved the early gigs so much we could never say no to a gig and ended up playing everywhere. It was definitely us just focusing on enjoying ourselves that attracted the attention, it’s so obvious when bands are manufactured and trying to be something.

For many years you existed as a quartet but recently you expanded into a five piece. Please introduce your newest member.

Ryan Stanton: Luke Jones has been our best mate forever. Hes been documenting the band the last few years as our photographer and videographer. The band was just as much his as it is ours so it was a perfect fit. He’d been helping us out with band decisions and guitar parts in the studio for ages so it was a natural progression. We think hes added loads to our sound and live show and we cant wait to show everyone.

The Assist have impressive CV: appearances at biggest festivals, being invited to Soccer Am, touring with This Feeling, sharing stages with Blossoms, Jaws and Shaun Ryder – you must be being stopped in the streets by now and asked for autographs! Jokes aside, but are there any goals or challenges that you still haven’t achieved?

Ryan Stanton: Its been amazing to play shows with some of our heroes but we still feel our music needs to achieve more. A massive goal and challenge for us is the debut album! (laughing)

2019 was a very special year for the band. You managed to accomplish something that no other band on the indie scene have done so far – a trip to Russia. The band appeared at several concerts entertaining large crowds. How do you remember the trip and are you planning to come back?

Ryan Stanton: The trip was a complete blur we did 6 gigs in 5 days and it was literally the best time ever. We met so many amazing people and the gigs were out this world. No words can really do it justice I’m just glad we’ve got a great tour video of it to remember forever. We’d love to go back to Russia but this year might be out the question with recording commitments.

We have to ask about another international trip you have made – this time to Paris. You have played at the famous club “Supersonic” to a full house. Any good memories from that gig? We heard that you had a lot of the fancy French red wine on the rider!

Ryan Stanton: This was our first away gig and will take some beating. A lot of our mates made the trip with us, think there was around 20 Walsall lads. Hugo the promoter there is a legend and he spent just as much effort organising the after party as he did the gig!

Your new single “I Don’t Care” is catching the attention of the big names in London: John Kennedy at Radio X, Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson at the BBC6 Music among many others. Where was it recorded?

Ryan Stanton: It was recorded at RML in Wolverhampton by Ryan Pinson. Hes done all our releases to date. We cant speak highly enough of him. It’s so great when a band and producer connect and get the best out of each other.

There is a word on the street that you are working on new music to be released in the summer but you are being surprisingly quiet about it. Not a single mention on your social media or in the interviews. Can you shine a bit of a light on the matter?

Ryan Stanton: Is it a new EP or are you putting finishing touches to your debut album? We’ve always been lethargic with releasing new music and now we feel is the time to really knuckle down and get a solid debut album down. We wont rush out so there`s no timescale at the moment unfortunately.

Let’s talk about the upcoming “Discover Birmingham 2020” showcase. On January 11th you will perform alongside Karkosa, Roma Cove and The New Consistent at the Sunflower Lounge. What exactly is this project? How did you become a part of it?

Ryan Stanton: Discover has sort of been born out the Birmingham music scene doing so well. A lot of eyes in the press are on Birmingham so it feels right to start the year with all the best local acts playing the best local venue. We were asked by Birmingham Promoters who put us on the Spinn support a few months ago!

With packed performances at TRNSMT, Y Not, Kendall Calling and Isle of Wight Festivals, it can easily be said that The Assist is leaving the indie circuit for much bigger, more popular pastures. Where is 2020 going to take you?

Ryan Stanton: If you`d of asked us where we’d be st the start of 2019 we would of never said Russia so we literally have no idea. All we know for sure is there`s going to be loads more new music, loads more exciting gigs and loads more good times!

You can follow The Assist on socials:

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