In Conversation With… the Borders

Hello everybody! Today’s post is quite possibly one of the most exciting things I’ve ever written, because I’ve wanted to do an interview with a musician/musicians for ages, and have never been brave enough to message anyone, but I finally worked up the nerve after hearing the Borders’ incredible first single “You’ve Got It All”. I can’t recommend checking it out enough, and I’m so grateful to James, Wheeler and Ethan for answering my questions. Onto the post!

Hello to you all! First of all, I just want to thank you for being here and answering my questions, you’re the first band I’ve ever interviewed so I’m very new to this but here’s hoping it goes okay!  This is only our second interview so we are also pretty new to this! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.  To start off, can you please introduce yourselves with your role in the band and a fun fact about all of you?

Hi, I’m James. I play lead guitar in the band. Apart from music, I enjoy climbing and surfing.

Hello, I’m Ethan and I play the bass and provide the other members with love, compassion and joy. My fun fact is that I have touched Louis Theroux.   

Hi I’m the other James! But you can call me Wheeler to save getting mixed up, I’m the lead singer and play rhythm guitar. I cannot touch my toes.

How would you describe your sound in three words?

Fresh, vibey, optimistic

Who are your main musical influences that inspired you when you were growing up? Who are some up and coming indie artists releasing stuff now that you’re really enjoying?

The first band I was obsessed with (James) was Guns N’ Roses when I was about 11 years old. They were the reason that I got into guitar and from there I found artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Sam Fender and Royal Blood. My favourite up and coming band are The Royston Club, they live just down the road from us in Wrexham and keep releasing absolute bangers.

Growing up I (Wheeler) loved the likes of Oasis, Stereophonics, Snow Patrol, Red hot chilli peppers. I have some of my fondest memories going on roadtrips with my dad and brother just blaring out these bands out of our old ford mondeo speakers.  An up and coming artist which I am really enjoying is Alfie Templeman, his songs never miss and always brighten up my day when they come on shuffle on my playlist.

For me, Ethan, I grew up listening to a lot of noughties indie bands such as Arctic Monkeys and still do to this day. Biig Piig is a rising artist who appears to be only able to release bangers, each of her releases has a fresh melody and are just so addictive to listen to, I highly recommend everyone to listen.  

COVID has changed the world completely, and it’s had a huge impact on the performance industry particularly. Has the pandemic played any part in your forming a band? What challenges have there been releasing music at this time?

Covid has in some ways been a blessing for us as it has allowed us the free time to be able to develop our songwriting and producing skills. There have of course been challenges with social distancing and feelings of isolation. However, our music has helped pull all of us through those moments. Covid has stopped us from gaining as much live performance experience as we ideally would have wanted, however we hope to take advantage of reopening events and gigs this summer to make up for this. 

Obviously, live music isn’t a thing at the moment really (unless it’s virtual), but I’m assuming you’ll be out touring when it’s safe and possible to do so. What are the things you’re most looking forward to about playing gigs? What’s your dream venue to play in? And what are some of your musical dreams in general?

We always have such a great time writing and recording together and we really feel that this is reflected in our songs, to be able to play to others and have them feel the same nostalgic joy as we did writing would be unreal. Also, being broke uni students, it really will be the perfect way to make some money on the sides of our degrees; being in a pub and playing music.

A dream venue of ours is definitely main stage Reading and Leeds, we’ve made such great memories at that festival and it would be nothing short of a life goal to be up in front of the crowd.

You’ve just released your debut single, but I’m guessing this probably isn’t the first song you’ve written. When and why did you decide to start writing music? 

We began playing together after we met at sixth form in 2018. At first we focused mainly on covers but soon after we started coming up with our own material. From then on our catalogue of songs steadily grew.

The hardest part for us has been the recording aspect. Over the last two years we’ve taught ourselves how to record and produce songs from our bedrooms. ‘You’ve Got It All’ was the first song we felt met our own standards in terms of songwriting and production value and it was 100% written and produced in Wheeler’s bedroom. 

Speaking of the song, what inspired it, and why did you want to make it your first ever release?  And as for the title, “You’ve Got it All”, what’s something you don’t have right now that feels impossible, but you would really love to have?

We’d been listening to a lot of relaxed indie songs from the likes of Beach House and Still Woozy and we wanted to emulate that laid back summer style. Whilst we were jamming the ‘You’ve Got It All’ lyric came to mind and we decided to build the rest of the song around this sense of confidence. We wanted the verse to be quite ambiguous and enigmatic similar to Wombats style lyrics, to leave the meaning up to the listener’s interpretation.

Live music is obviously something we would really love to have. We’re hopeful that, as the country slowly reopens, we’ll be able to be part of the audience as well as do our bit on stage. 

Finally, what’s next for you guys?

I can’t wait to hear more music from you after such an amazing first single! Hopefully we’re hoping to cut our teeth with some gigs and get some decent shows under our belts before releasing our second single by the end of the summer. 


Since you’ve said your music is summery indie in your Spotify bio, you favourite ice cream flavours?

Ethan – mint choc chip is unreal on a summer day but sometimes you just can’t beat a classic 99 James – I concur, mint choccy chip is supreme. 

Wheeler – I’m sorry but no. Mint choc chip should be illegal. Raspberry ripple for the win.

Songs you have stuck in your heads at the moment?

James Chapman :  ‘Nightmares’ by Easy Life ‘Believe It or Not’ by The Royston Club ‘Beetlebum’ by Blur’

Ethan: ‘Liahr’ by Biig Piig  ‘Rock and Roll’ by The Velvet Underground  ‘Just’ by Radiohead 

Wheeler:  ‘Half Eaten’ by Oscar Scheller ‘Obvious Guy’ by Alfie Templeman  ‘We could start a War’ by Somebody’s Child

Since this is primarily a book blog, what are your favourite books?

James Chapman – Brave New World, Sapiens, Wilding

Ethan – The Godfather, This is going to hurt, Fragile lives

Wheeler – When the Lion Feeds, Inferno, A Sparrow Falls

Are you planning to go and listen to You’ve Got It All? Which musical artists would you most like to interview? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x


Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: | she/her

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