Interview with Leo Dyke
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
I don't think it was much of a black and white decision. There wasn't really a fork in the road - it's just the only thing I've ever had any interest or passion for. I don't remember deciding I wanted it to be a career. It just took over my life. One song at a time!
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
It changes all the time! There's been a few bands that I have re-discovered in the last couple of years that have really inspired me. Mostly Rancid. I think after listening to so much punk orientated music in my life it did start to get stale. But when I went back to Rancid it made me fall back in love with it all over again. And Tim Armstrong's solo record 'A Poet's Life' is unbelievable also. Most recently though I found a band called Super American. They have a tune called 'How Big is Your Brain?'. It's a wicked song!
Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
Urmmmmmm... nothing that interesting! Leo is not short for anything, sorry to disappoint! It did however come from 80s pop ICON Leo Sayer. So that's pretty sick. And speaking of pop icons, the first album I ever bought was Miley Cyrus - 'Breakout' when I was about eight, I've gone back to it again for the first time in twelve years recently, it's fucking sick. I think those are 3 pretty good ones!
What song of yours best describes you and why?
I'm not sure if there is a song that best describes anything. But there's a song called 'Daisy' on our record which I think is a really nice summary of what we do and like to do. It's a little cheesy, a little self-aware, but it's very real. Breakneck but bubblegum. The song that I relate to most still is probably 'Again, Again'. It's a pretty good insight to the chaos that ensues in my head on a daily basis. It's about having the chance to start again, and wasting it, and wanting to start again, again. I still feel every single lyric of that tune!
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
We've played a bunch of great shows. I love playing as far away from home as possible, it's a really cool feeling to think some songs I wrote in my bedroom have allowed me to see anywhere at all. I'm super excited to play in Scotland for our upcoming tour. We played the main stage at the Isle of Wight festival in 2018. I'm pretty sure we stunk the joint out, but as a 17 year old at the time it was a pretty surreal moment, I felt on top of the world for a good 20 minutes!
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
I really want to play 924 Gilman in the Bay Area of California. It's got so much history of the scene we have always admired. It's our Cavern Club or CBGB. I'm also not too sure how many British bands have been over the years, so it would be cool to be one of the few.
What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
Having an album coming out is a pretty big achievement to me. Everytime anyone writes about us, plays us on the radio, any of that stuff, I just feel super grateful, and they all feel like big achievements in their own right. We were on BBC Radio One with our new single, and Triple J in Australia played it too - I think anytime we are on a show amongst some bands we admire, or show some recognition from outlets we follow ourselves, it feels like we are an actual band, doing actual stuff! In the future I want to tour as many countries and cities as possible, I want as many people as possible to hear what we do but if we can sell out small venues all over, that would be a dream.
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
Harking back to the Isle of Wight festival slot. We were given a proper dressing room backstage with a rider made up of Haribos and water because we weren't old enough to drink. I remember thinking it. was so cool to be surrounded by some of the biggest touring acts in the world, being super small fish in a huge pond. We played our set, and chilled out back stage and wanted to make the most of living like kings for the day and so went to get some food at catering. When I came back to our dressing room, the sign denoting the room as ours, saying 'REMINDERS' on the door had been replaced, and it now said ' CAMILA CABELLO'. So I was torn. Part of me was gutted we had our dressing room taken away, the other part was flattered that Camila Cabello was in what was once our dressing room. The closer I got, I saw there was some more text under her name. And that said 'WARDROBE'. So a dressing room that 20 minutes before was apparently fit for 3 band members and our 3 crew, 6 humans, was now only suitable for Camila's clothes. That was pretty sobering and we realised just how low on the totem pole we were. But it's also hilarious. Her set was wicked as well.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
I really don't know. We all work jobs outside of being in a band, so maybe we'd stick with them. But I'd love to be a radio presenter or be on a podcast I reckon. That would be sick, I've got the face for radio. I feel like every single person and their friend group says "WE SHOULD HAVE A PODCAST!" though, so maybe I'm just one of them.
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
I really love a band called Slaughter Beach, Dog and they toured the UK and played a venue called The Joiners which is super close to where I live. It was super cool seeing one of my favourite bands, from Philadelphia play at such a great small venue, 5 minutes away from my bedroom, with about 100 other people who got it. It was pretty surreal in many ways, it was also just before COVID de-railed the world, and live music, so it was a really great show for so many different reasons.
What would your ideal day consist of?
Playing music, hanging out with my dogs, watching Seinfeld with my dad, playing Call of Duty 2v2s with Theo.
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
Do it cos you love it, write songs, don't listen to people who knock you down, but be open to criticism, write whatever you think is good, nobody else's opinion matters.
If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
I'd love to write with Justin Young from The Vaccines, I think he's such a great writer and I'd love to see how he does it, I think we'd come up with some cool shit! I think Billie Joe Armstrong would produce a great Reminders record too, if he didn't feel too ripped off! And make a ska record with the Aggrolites backing me á la Tim Armstrong, that would be so fun. All complete pipe dreams though hahaha. A boy can dream!
If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
That's a tough question! Maybe 'Can't Hardly Wait' by The Replacements. It's just a great song, it's so sincere and executed perfectly. Those horns as well... *chefs kiss* or actually 'Anna' by The Menzingers. I think that is probably my favourite song of all time, I wish I could write a song that damn good. OR ‘Your Love Is My Favourite Band’ by The Vaccines. I think that song is really clever and so catchy. Probably the latter!
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
It would be a flip book. Starting from birth.
What has the rest of the year got in store for you?
We are touring the U.K. throughout February, March and April. Our debut album comes out on April 1st. Next single available in a few weeks, and as a special sneak preview it’s called ‘If You Want It (Don’t Let Me Down)’. It’s probably my favourite song on the record. If you wanna keep up to date we see @reminderstheband on social media. We’d love to have you along for the ride!!