Interview with Billy Bibby & the Wry Smiles

I have know about the band Billy Bibby & the Wry Smiles since the start of 2016 because of a buzz around them on social media but I never got round to listening to their music until much later that year. I’ll be honest, the reason for the delay was because Billy Bibby was the former and founding lead guitarist with Catfish and the Bottlemen who I am not really a fan of that band. I know, I should not have let that put me off from checking them out but it did. However, curiosity got the better of me and I checked out their EP ‘Bide your Time’. I was surprised with what I heard as what they created was so different and found their music fit the type of sounds that I listen to regularly.

In 2014, Billy Bibby (lead vocals, guitar), Rob Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Matt Thomas (bass, vocals) and Mike Pearce (drums) decided to get together to form Billy Bibby & the Wry Smiles. Since then the guys released their debut EP ‘Bide your Time’ which was received with glowing reviews and not only that but their live shows received great press too. But, before I talk about their debut release I want to share a little chat I had with Billy as we talked about his musical beginnings and his journey since then. This is what he had to say:

What was it that inspired you to become a musician and who helped to inspire your sound?

My Dad was mad about music and although he never played any instruments he had a great voice and played Elvis, The Beatles, and all 60’s 70’s music when I was growing up. So those early influences still play a big part in my sound now as I write songs.

You are no stranger to the world of music. What have you learnt during your journey that has helped you with the music you create?

You’re always learning about the music you create and what works in certain songs maybe and what doesn’t work in others, but a general rule I like to tell myself is that music can be expressed however way you want it to be and there is no real right or wrong answer. If you asked a hundred people to name their favourite ten artists I bet they’d all have at least one different. So our music tastes all differ slightly and I think I stay in the usual box of writing a song mainly which is your verse, bridge, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, (middle eight) solo, chorus… but it doesn’t have to be that all the time and I do like to stray from the norm from time to time. Life experiences are the natural things that happen that can be the factor in creating something great, too. So I always try to go do something outside of the music that may lead back to the music by way of writing a song about it.

Talking about your music, do you have a set process when writing new songs or do you go with the flow?

Well like I said above, you have that set song structure that I do mainly work towards, but in terms of the actual song it is purely how I’m feeling at the time. Generally, I’m upbeat and I do try to make even the slower songs fairly positive or have a positive approach on even a negative subject.

From the songs you have released so far, which is favourite and why?

To play live I like ‘Don’t Fall’. It’s got a good tempo, a big chorus, and a fat solo that people seem to all enjoy at every gig. As a song, ‘Believe Me’ is my favourite because it’s different to other songs I’ve written and I wrote it when I left Catfish so it does mean a lot to me lyrically when I sing it.

You seem to be crazy busy with touring, what is it about performing live that you like the most?

I just like getting away from normal life. I love normal things and coming home from touring and having a drink down the pub with my mates or playing footy or whatever, but after a few days I’m ready to get back out on tour and meet new people everyday, try to make people happy with our songs when we play live and playing music is just the best job you could have. It gives you so many emotions that not much else can in the world and it’s something that everyone can relate to. So to do it live and for a living is a great pleasure and something I’m very grateful for.

Finally, what are your future plans and goals for your music?

I’d love to be one day headlining some big festivals and selling out arenas across the world, but if that doesn’t happen and at least one person found some kind of solace in our music then I’d say that’s a good job done!

‘Bide Your Time’ EP is a wonderful collection that offers so much. Not one song sounds like any of the others, offering the listener a journey that is like a changing landscape with the next track equally as good as the last.

‘Don’t Fall’ starts the journey and pulls you in with it’s infectious sound and catchy hooks which has a cool upbeat tempo that will get your foot tapping along. The pace eases off a little for ‘This Kind of Summer’ as they deliver a chilled out summer vibe. Mike brings back that upbeat tempo on the drums which helps make ‘Waitin for You’ another standout track. The EP finishes on my personal favourite ‘Believe Me’ which slows things down and shows the softer side of the band.

Overall, this EP shines a spotlight on Billy Bibby & the Wry Smiles with their great music and confirms why they are receiving the good hype that they deserve. With great lyrical content, catchy hooks and a sound that is equally as infectious this is an impressive debut. For me, I love the vocals on this EP. Not just from Billy but from the rest of the band too. The backing vocals and harmonies add so much because of the way they have blended together with Billy’s, they help each song sound different but stand out on its own merit.

Take a trip over to their Soundcloud page to listen to ‘Bide Your Time’ EP in full. While you are there you can also listen to the single ‘Are you Ready?’ which continues to have a different sound to the previous offerings. This one has more of a rock feel to it and might be my favourite track from the band. But, with each song being of a high calibre, picking a favourite will change with each listen. If you like what you hear from Billy Bibby & the Wry Smiles then you can purchase their music from iTunes and Amazon.

I know there is plenty more to come from Billy Bibby & the Wry Smiles and going off the calibre of their latest single ‘Substitute’ things are continuing to look great for the guys. I’m really liking the attitude to this rock track which includes some killer riffs, highly recommend you watch the video that goes with it.

I know Billy said that he would love to be headlining big festivals and I’d be surprised if that doesn’t happen soon for them as this is a sound that deserves those stages. To find out where they are playing or you would like to know about the band then this information can be found on their website or their social media sites at Facebook or Twitter.

To help Billy Bibby & the Wry Smiles achieve their goals they need the help of their fans to help spread the word. So, jump onto your social media sites and tell the world about them TODAY!