Gavin Chappell-Bates :: Keep Art Alive :: 10 Questions Project


Keep Art Alive :: Photo by Stuart Isteed

Gavin Chappell-Bates :: Keep Art Alive :: 10 Questions Project

1. What music (or other art form) inspires you when you create your art?

I am inspired by a wide range of music including Manic Street Preachers, The Beatles, Buddy Holly, The Clash, Aerosmith, Smashing Pumpkins, Suede, Bee Gees, Placebo, Noah and the Whale, Frank Turner and many, many more. Also a lot of great acts from the local scene in Cambridge inspire me either musically or by what they are achieving. Acts such as Lonely The Brave, Ezio, Bouquet of Dead Crows and Careless Sons. Outside of that, a lot of philosophical and spiritual thought inspires what I write.

2. Long distance road trip: what three people do you invite along (fictional or non-fictional, dead or alive)?

Mahatma Gandhi – His commitment to an ideal in the face of so many barriers should be a lesson to everyone. Plus he sounded like a very warm, friendly and humorous man.

Jeremy Corbyn – Interesting times politically in the UK at the moment so it would be great to have a chat with him.

Richey James Edwards – Such an intelligent and beautiful man. I’d love to have spoken with him as he has been such an inspiration on my life and my music.

3. What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

Muesli with blueberries and raspberries.

4. What is one thing that is hanging on your bedroom wall?

A print of The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai.

5. What smell/scent evokes strong memories for you?

I really love the smell of freshly cut grass, especially in the spring. It makes me think positively; the start of things beginning to grow, the sun shining and being outside with nature (I much prefer being outside).

6. Coffee or tea?

Neither! If I was forced to pick I’d go with tea purely for biscuit dunking purposes!

7. What has been the most impactful compliment, or criticism, you have ever received?

Earlier in life there were a couple of people close to me who told me that I couldn’t sing. At the time, I took both very personally but in the long term they did me a very big favour as I think they made me realise that I needed to focus more on my singing and train my voice (which I have now done).

8. Three words that describe you?

Determined. Passionate. Effervescent.

9. What is/was your cartoon character crush?

Lois Griffin!


10. The world is ending in ten minutes and you get to listen to one, and only one, song: Which song?

Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness (The greatest song ever written… I once read a quote on a Manics bootleg liner, I can’t remember who it was by, that said that one day someone would make a film out of Motorcycle Emptiness and it would be the greatest film ever made.)

Motorcycle Emptiness :: Manic Street Preachers

I just recently discovered Gavin Chappell-Bates music and have been enjoying it so much that I wanted to do a feature of him to hopefully share the musical wealth, and introduce more people to his sound. He recently (this week!) released an EP that I encourage listening to. It’s called We are the Ones EP and features the song, We are the Ones (title song, natch!) on it.

We Are the Ones

On first listen, I am reminded of Dashboard Confessional, Feeder, Jimmy Eat World, Stereophonics and even a little bit like Material Issue.

Gavin Chappell-Bates is a singer, guitarist, songwriter and live looper from Cambridgeshire, England. He describes his music as effervescent emotive yin / yang indie pop. I like that description, it makes me smile and think of a yin / yang symbol dancing around with glow sticks and kohl eyeliner and purple combat boots, if symbols could wear make-up, boots, or hold shiny sticks. There is something in the description that takes me back to the 90’s in my memory, but the sound of the EP is more early aughts, mixed up with something very “now”, though I do also hear the influence of Britpop (see the nod to the Manics above.

My favorite track of Gavin’s, and the first I heard, is 95. I love the coming-of-age/day-in-the-life nostalgic look back at a time in the mid-90’s. It plays autobiographical and is both wistful and hopeful, and reminiscent of some of the power pop from 1995, the year it is harkening back to.


Gavin lived with depression, anxiety and self-harm for the majority of his teenage years and twenties. Music helped him to overcome this and so he now loves sharing it with the world. He is a strong supporter of various mental health charities and awareness campaigns.


Keep Art Alive :: Photo by Stuart Isteed

You can learn more about Gavin Chappell-Bates, and check out more of his music, here at his website. You can go and get social with them, too, on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also listen to more music at Gavin’s Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.


Keep Art Alive :: Photo by Howard Key

Black Holes

I want to thank Gavin Chappell-Bates, for participating in the Keep Art Alive: 10 Questions Project.

Please remember to support the art and artists you enjoy and discover – be a part of what KEEPS ART ALIVE by going to shows, buying what you can, and supporting and promoting what you love. ALWAYS.

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