Conquer Rio: Meet your Festival Headliners!

From a shared love of rock bands back in GCSE Music, to headlining the Warrington Music Festival, the all Warrington five piece made up of Tom Jordan, Jake Bate, Dan Cobley, Lewis Melia and Ben Roberts, have been making a name for themselves across the country. In advance of their Festival appearance on Saturday 28th May, we caught up with Lewis (Bassist and Vocals), to talk inspirations, highlights and how they will be making it a trio of Stadium appearances this month when they perform at St James’ Park.

Firstly, congratulations on the news that you’ll be headlining WMF for the first time.

For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
Our sound is built on what many people would see as Pop Rock. Big vocals, sing-along choruses but a lot of rock band sounds sat underneath all of that.

Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
It’s difficult to say as we’re all into so many different aspects of commercial music. If you pushed us to give you 3 bands we’d probably say Kings of Leon, The Killers and Twin Atlantic but that’s only from the feedback we get from people who see us!

Has their been any particular highlights for yourselves personally or as a band when it comes to Warrington Music Festival?
I think 2014 was pretty special as we were kindly asked to be main support for “Scouting for Girls”. We grew up during the time when they had their spell in the charts so it was pretty surreal to then be playing to that big crowd, in our hometown, just before they headlined the weekend.

Of course, since being in a band, the Warrington Music Scene has seen some setbacks with venues closing and bands calling it a day. How important is the Festival and the support it gets from the residents of the town?
I think it’s hugely important. During our first year or so as a band, the music scene in Warrington was still surviving but then slowly declined from there. It’s difficult for Warrington being in between two of, arguably, the biggest music cities in the world. But, if the organisers can still keep delivering the great line-ups, I’m sure the festival will continue to grow year on year.

Another big news in the Conquer Rio camp is being asked back by the RFL to play the Magic Weekend in Newcastle. What is it like to play such large events and how did you come to be invited back for a third time?
It’s certainly a change from a usual weekend for us. A nice change, of course! The first time we played in a stadium, you could say we were slightly nervous but you certainly learn quickly on how to just enjoy every minute of it. The best is sound-checking in an empty stadium; no other feeling like it! Not many bands get the chance to do it, so it’s something I don’t think we’ll ever take for granted. The RFL actually contacted us directly this year to see if we were available to come back and we couldn’t have been more eager to add another stadium in St James’ Park to our CV!

Conquer Rio at Etihad Stadium, Manchester in 2013


Do you prepare any differently for these kind of events?
I wouldn’t say there’s too much of a difference for us in terms of preparation. I suppose we all sense that step up in energy during rehearsals in the week leading up to it, but there isn’t too much else. We’ll be in hotel rooms together for the whole weekend so that’s certainly something we wouldn’t normally do for a gig.

You have been a band for a long time, what advice would you give to upcoming artists?
We’d probably say two things to any up and coming artists. Firstly, never stop writing. No matter how good or bad you feel your writing is going, you’ll always be improving and learning more and more each time. Even if one song is completely different to the next, never restrict yourself to one sound. Secondly, always ask questions. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. And that is SO true.

Other than the Magic Weekend, what should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
We’ve got plenty of writing to be getting on with as we are looking to head back to Magic Garden Studios with Gavin Monaghan towards the end of the year so keep your ears out for new stuff from us!

Follow Conquer Rio online:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s