Lots of bands go out on European tours, but you don’t hear of too many that travel Europe for two months busking. But that’s exactly what Leicester duo Timmas will be doing when they embark on their European journey next month.
Timmas is made up of Tom Carnell (drums and vocals) and Tim Baker (guitars and vocals), who met at De Montfort University (where I also did my postgrad course!) and started out playing acoustic music, with Tim on guitar and Tom on the cajon. However, their shared love of loud, noisy bands soon led to them ramping up the sound a little and going electric and three years later they’re still going strong.
I had a chat with Tom to find out more about this crazy story. He explained: “It all started when we went to Berlin with the DMU Music Society last year. The society was invited to perform at a gig, after which we were offered two more paid shows within that week but we could not do them as we were on a University trip. We then went to a festival in a park, which had a lot of different street musicians in a field, performing and busking for thousands of people. These artists were gaining a lot of money just by busking. We had the idea there and then to do it.
“Ideas developed and here we are, ready to leave. We plan on setting off on 28 July and should be travelling and busking for around two months, if not more. We will also be filming everything we do and releasing it in the style of weekly vlogs. So, if we die, you’ll see it first! We plan to visit Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic and The Netherlands. We have got a rough set plan in place, but we are very much winging it. If we get offered a gig somewhere else that isn’t in the plan, we may well end up going there.”
To hear more in their own words, check out this cool documentary shot by their friend Jack Cahill below:
It sounds absolutely bonkers, but their combined music skills should make this an intriguing journey.
Tom tells me the Timmas sound, which he describes as “loud, riffy noise” has been heavily inspired by grunge: “This is a genre that both of us are influenced by, particularly myself,” he said. “However, we take a lot of influence from classic rock bands, particularly Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, and we are also both massively into Jeff Buckley! I feel like our music is a blend between these styles. Our overall aim is to see how much noise two people can make. We like to be loud, supplying big riffs and catchy hooks to make a huge sound like your head is being caved in by your own mother!”
The duo released debut EP, EP (that’s what it’s called), earlier this month, which gives us a bit of a taster – and noisy grunge is a nice description. Exemplifying this perfectly is the hooky Vampire, with fun guitar riffs and winding, often shouty vocals throughout.
Even better is Hydra, which opens up with a funky guitar riff then a cool opening verse with grungey guitars and strained vocals with bursts of the riff thrown in, then flowing into a heavier chorus. Check it out in the lyric video below:
The final track Bored randomly opens up with BBC commentator Jonathan Davies commentating on a rugby union match, with guitar gradually creeping in then building through extended vocals. The track descends into raw grunginess with dirthy guitars and wild vocals, then bursts into big high-pitched vocals with bassy guitar chords in support. It’s pretty damn cool.
Tom tells me there’s no major themes or topics behind Timmas’ music. “We really decide who writes the lyrics and sings them based on how we are feeling at the time,” he said. “If something is particularly on one of our minds, we turn around and say that we would like to write the song we are currently working on. It’s mainly general human moods and situations. For example, the final song on the EP, Bored, is about staying indoors and doing nothing just because it is gloomy and raining outdoors. The song is meant to be uplifting and to give the message of ‘who cares what’s happening out there? Don’t let anything stop you.'”
Good luck to Tom and Tim on their European adventures, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on how they’re getting along.
And, hear more about why they’re doing it in the below announcement video: