started life as a solo album project by Iain Jennings, keyboard and
co-songwriter with Mostly Autumn.
For the first
album and early live gigs he enlisted some of his Mostly Autumn colleagues
before putting together his own touring band, retaining Mostly Autumn's backing
singer Olivia Sparnenn as lead vocalist for the new venture.
The first eponymously titled album was critically acclaimed and the second has
also needed re-pressing. The band appear at Cambridge Rock Festival, July 20.
answered our questions...
What are you
currently up to?
We have just released our 2nd album 'Coming up for Air' in October 2007. Since
then we have been playing UK venues to promote this new release. CD sales are
going extremely well and we have already sold out of the first pressing within
Brief history of Breathing Space for those who may not be familiar with the
In 2005 I released a solo album entitled 'Breathing Space'. I was at that time
playing and writing in 'Mostly Autumn'.
'Mostly Autumn' in January 2006, I have been working with Olivia Sparnenn (who
had previously sung on my album) and Mark Rowen (Guitar) on this new project
which is also called 'Breathing Space'.
(Bass), Barry Cassells(Drums) and Ben Jennings(Keyboards) joined forces with us
to create the full line up that we have now. We have recently been working with
a Saxophonist and Wind Synth player called John Hart.
Could you take us through the new album 'Coming Up For Air' (e.g. story
behind the song, song writing process)...
I would prefer not to go into what each track is about. It is much better for
the listener to put their own meaning to the songs.
Album reviews can
be found on our website
The new album
'Coming up for Air' track listing:
Coming up for Air
When I Hold onto you
On the Blue Horizon
Time tells all the unknown
Don't turn a Blind Eye
Head above the Water
Searching for my Shadow
Turn of the Tide
You have a very novel idea on your website, namely Meet The Fans which has
pictures of fans and how may Breathing Space gigs they have attended so far.
How did you
come up with this idea and how have the fans reacted to this idea?
The Breathing Space webmaster came up with the idea when we set up the new
website. We are lucky to have an extremely committed and loyal fan base and some
of these people come to all our gigs no matter where they are. The 'Meet the
Fans' page is our way of saying thank you to these people and is also a good way
for Breathing Space fans to get to know each other.
What have been the live highlights so far for the band and who ideally would
you like to tour with & why?
We have just been supporting 'The Reasoning' at some of their UK tour. This was
a highlight for me as it gave us an opportunity to play in front of a larger
audience than we would have pulled on our own.
The two bands
complemented each other but the music was different enough for the night to be
interesting and very enjoyable. We are currently looking into some more tour
supports and playing in Europe too.
What were your personal highlights whilst in Mostly Autumn and what prompted
you to leave the band?
There were so many highlights for me in Mostly Autumn but certain moments stick
out as being special:
Playing in the US, Europe and Scandinavia
Performing 'The Gap is too wide'
Signing the record deal
Supporting some superb bands/artists
Since becoming a Father my priorities had changed and needed to spend more time
with my family.
How do you view the internet and downloads? How has the internet helped get
your music out there?
The internet has helped Breathing Space get our music to people all over the
world. These listeners may have never come across the band without this
internet arrived it was very difficult for unsigned bands to promote and sell
their music abroad. Now we can send out band newsletters to vast numbers of fans
without having to lick a single stamp!
I don't have a
problem with 'downloads' as long as sound quality is not diminished or
over-compressed, the customer gets value for money and the artists get paid!!!
Any good rock 'n' roll tales to tell?
Most of the ones I
could mention are far too incriminating...Pass
How easy/hard is it to get gigs and have you seen any upswing in interest in
Breathing Space and in more general terms, the rock/progressive live music
Do you think it
will continue to be mainly festivals and one-off 'event' gigs as seems to be the
case at the moment?
are not involved with any agents so we get are own gigs. We are starting to play
bigger venues and trying to organise some gigs further down south and up in
When you are
relatively unknown and play original material it can be difficult to get gigs.
Venues are unwilling to take a chance on an original band when they can fill the
place with a tribute band.
frustrating for me but nevertheless we are doing remarkably well. We are lucky
enough to have built up a travelling fan base that follows us everywhere we
play. This means we can take more financial risks on where we play and can
guarantee an audience.
A lot more younger
people nowadays are listening to guitar based music which is essentially 'Rock'
music. They love bands like 'Iron Maiden' and 'Guns and Roses' and this is
really healthy for the music scene. When you play outside of the UK you realise
that other countries are not as obsessed with 'fashionable' music and it is
acceptable elsewhere to enjoy anything.
Message for your fans...
Rock and Roll is
here to stay...
Interview © 2008 Jason Ritchie.
All rights reserved.
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