1.Hi Molly, could you give us a quick introduction and tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Leeds currently reading English at the University of Exeter. I started off singing musical theatre when I was 8 and had taken my grade five ABRSM singing exam by the time I was 11, but when I was around 14 I started playing the guitar and writing my own music and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since!
2.Who inspired you to take up playing music and what is your first musical memory?
Whilst neither of my parents play a musical instrument, despite my dad reminding me that he swears he played guitar at some time or another, I’ve grown up in a very musically orientated house hold. One of my earliest musical memories is probably getting up on karaoke with my mum on holiday when I was about 6 – we usually sang Bon Jovi.
3.You perform at the Chapel FM Arts Centre in Leeds; what do you get out of playing in community-based venues like that?
What I love about Chapel FM Arts Centre is that it’s such a unique venue in the middle of an essentially mundane kind of place. It really draws in people of all different backgrounds, calibres and talents without feeling like there’s any snobbery toward a particular style of art. The actual performance theatre is both physically and acoustically stunning, yet the downstairs café area completely in-formalises the venue and makes it feel more like sitting in someone’s living room than attending a gig.
This really creates an inclusive and comfortable atmosphere that takes away from the sometimes-daunting aspect of live performance.
4.What do you think about the music scene in Leeds?
I love the Leeds music scene – I think it provides a lot of events and venues that support smaller musicians from up and down the country, as well as in Leeds. For example, I started going to Live at Leeds a couple of years back and its immersive style (with performers playing at venues scattered all over the city centre throughout the day) meant that I got to see a lot of up and coming musicians that I probably wouldn’t have been exposed to until later in their careers.
I think it really makes you feel involved in a group’s/artist’s progress which is really inspiring for aspiring musicians such as myself.
5.You’ve just put out a new single, where you worked with Mike Heaton from Embrace; what was that like and what did you learn from it?
I recorded the EP in three very different recording spaces which I think really added to the creative experience. Working with Mike in particular felt very informal, his studio is hidden off to the side of his house and could be mistaken for a cupboard which made me feel a lot less daunted about working with somebody who has so much experience in the industry. We spent the entire day in the studio, working with both Mike and his friend Tom Butler to build up the instrumental tracks in layers and experimenting with different sounds/ textures until we had something that felt really full and vibrant which I think reflects the song’s lyrics/ideas.
The entire process was collaborative so I guess the biggest thing I learnt was that I was in a position of power and how to use that effectively to get what I wanted from the track. I continued to be involved in the track’s production after the recording session and slowly became more confident in suggesting changes to get the track how I wanted it.
6.Other than the new EP and the show at #360RAW7, what are your other plans for 2019?
At the moment, it feels like it’s all study, study, study. I’m currently in my second year of university and we’re getting close to exam time so that’s what’s on my mind right now. Aside from that I’d really like to just write more, I feel like that’s taken a back seat to my studies and it will be two years in March since my EP came out, the first track on there, ‘These Eyes’ was written when I was 16, so it would be nice to record something fresh that reflects on how I’ve changed/grown as a musician and a person since then.
7.Talking about the #360RAW7 gig, what can we expect from your set?
Ooh, that’s a difficult one… I’m still not completely sure if I’m honest – I’ve been working on some new tracks lately that are a little more upbeat and stray away from the delicate finger picking patterns that are synonymous with my older originals. I think you can expect stories. I always play my songs with a lot of passion since they often stem from personal experiences, so you can really tell I love to perform them.
8.If you could collaborate with any musician alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
Whilst my head is wanting to say Bowie, or Janis Joplin, or Freddie Mercury, I think right now I would probably say Dave Grohl. The Foo Fighters have been one of my favourite bands for years (I saw them live in 2015 which was one of the best experiences ever!) and I love the stories they tell – and Dave Grohl just seems like a really cool, down to earth kind of guy that I’d love to learn from.
9.Tell us an interesting fact about Molly Rymer?
It’s not so much an interesting fact about me (sorry), but the Kaiser Chiefs opened my primary school (Methley Primary) when I was in year two and I can remember the whole school singing We Will Rock You to them in the big sports hall!
10.Finally, tell our readers why they should check out your set and the other acts at #360RAW7?
Both the 360 club and BBC Introducing are centered around the promotion of up and coming musicians, so I think if you’re wanting to see something new, something that maybe has the potential to grow, then you should definitely come down and be a part of that experience. I’m always surprised by how different the live music experience is compared to listening to a recorded track so I think people should come down and let themselves be surprised too!
You can see Molly Rymer and the rest of the artists at the 360 Club in Leeds on 29/03/19. For more information on how the get tickets click the link here.