By: Shayla Lee
As someone who grew up listening to rock music, I was always envious of those living in the UK because the rock scene is amazing there. The rock scene is bigger. UK rock sounds different. Even now I find that 90% of the rock music I listen to is from UK musicians. Luckily for you, I have an emerging UK rock band that is going to blow you away.
Runaway Hounds is comprised of twin brothers Owen (vocals/guitar) and Kent (lead guitar) Stavenuiter along with their close friends Dan Glover (bass) and Callum Ford (drums). After debuting their first single ‘Rattlesnake’ in October, the band began to gain momentum, receiving airplay from BBC Introducing and playing gigs around the UK.
Their latest release ‘Sophie’ proves that the band is here to stay with catchy lyrics that will make you want to dance. We interviewed lead singer Owen Stavenuiter and chatted about their newest single, the music scene in the UK, and what the band has in store for this year.
FEMME RIOT: Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? I understand that Owen and Kent are twins but when did Callum and Dan join forces with you?
Owen Stavenuiter: Thank you for having us! So we’re a four piece indie rock band from Wolverhampton, UK, that formed in September 2016. Kent, Dan and I all went to the same school so we had already spent quite a few years jamming together and trying different styles and sounds out in a little practice room. We got to the point though that we really wanted to step things up and find a drummer. By chance, we stumbled across Callum on Instagram and it turned out he was a beast on the drums and also a really lovely guy. That coupled with the fact that he had the same music taste as us made him such a lucky find. From then onwards the band was properly born and we’ve been going strong since.
How did your name ‘Runaway Hounds’ come to be?
Short answer is we just really like the sound of it! With so many bands these days it’s hard to find something unique and memorable that hasn’t been taken. It just sounds really edgy and mysterious. I personally picture these animals that have escaped from their constraints, being free to do what they want. We’re making the music that we want to so maybe there’s a link in that. That’s just my own image though.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Driving, high energy, indie rock. We generally go for big, full sounds and riffs that will be in your head all day. I’d say if you’re not humming ‘Rattlesnake’ whilst doing the washing up or tucking into their lunch then we’ve failed.
Where do you draw inspiration for your music? Do you have any musical influences?
We all listen to a massive range of artists and genres but indie rock is that common ground we all enjoy together. We’re really into bands like Catfish and the Bottlemen, Arctic Monkeys and Peace so we like to channel a similar energy to those really whilst leaving our own mark along the way.
How did growing up in a the UK (where the rock scene is HUGE) influence your music?
You’re right; we’re really fortunate to have so much great music around us and we really try to make the most of that. Constantly going to gigs from a young age helped show us how great bands can be. There’s nothing like having a band you love right there in front of you and jumping around like crazy to their tunes so we just wanted to be a bigger part of that experience. Since forming Runaway Hounds we can also pay attention to what works live and draw inspiration from that.
Our city itself is also a major part of our band. Over the past few years Wolverhampton has been growing a really great music scene called ‘Wolftown’. Loads of young musicians are encouraged to get on the stage and support each other and without that platform I don’t think we would have been able to get going with our band so we’re very grateful to have that.
You released your first single ‘Rattlesnake’ at the end of October. How did it feel to put your first single out to the world? Can you tell us more about this song?
It was such a new and exciting experience; we absolutely loved it. We had no idea if it would be received well which was a bit daunting but the support we had was incredibly humbling and encouraging. Every now and then we see people posting the track on their social media and that really makes us smile. We were also lucky enough to have it played on stations like BBC Introducing WM which was really surreal. Fingers crossed that support keeps coming!
Rattlesnake tells the story from the perspective of a guy coming to the end of a relationship. He creates this image of a monstrous snake to project his fear and anger onto because he doesn’t want to hurt his partner. It’s a sweet yet sad song driven by a lot of passion and anger which is why it sounds so loud and energetic. We’re really happy with it and love playing it to crowds now that they sing along to it live.
Your newly released track ‘Sophie’ is amazing!! What was the creation process like for this song?
Thank you so much! Glad you like it. We recorded Sophie at the same time as Rattlesnake but it’s been in the works for a good few years. Kent actually wrote the song whilst I wrote Rattlesnake which mixes things up a bit. It was originally written as an acoustic and went through loads of structural and lyrical changes but when we brought it to the band it translated so well and really lifted the song. Listening to the final product through blasting headphones was an amazing feeling, especially with that huge ending.
What can we expect from you this year? Hopefully we will see you in Vancouver sometime soon!
Haha we’ll have to start saving up then. This year we’re planning on playing as many gigs as we can really and work on our live sound. We’ve got some more studio time booked so we can get recording more of our material which is very exciting. At the same time we’ll be writing more songs and making them better every time. Music videos are also something we’re hoping to put together so keep an eye out! A lot of big things to come.
What 3 songs are you currently listening to?
Anything by Flyte is a good place to start but ‘Victoria Falls’ is a great one. I discovered them by turning up to one of their gigs a few months back and have fallen in love since. ‘Turn’ by the Night Café is another great track I’ve been listening to. I’ve seen them three times now; twice in the last couple of months and their sound is just so tight and well crafted. For the third, I’ll say ‘Come a Little Closer’ by Cage the Elephant. The four of us are big fans of the band and we covered this song live in December because we love it so much. All great music!
Anything we haven’t asked that you want to add?
We just want to thank everyone who has supported us so far and to look forward to what’s to come. We’re still starting out really so keep following us through our journey and lets all see where we end up! Thanks for a great interview guys.
We want to thank Owen for doing this interview with us! The cover photo for this article was provided by Owen and shot by Sam Mines. You can be a part of the UK band’s journey by following Runaway Hounds on Instagram, Facebook, and Spotify.