Boxes is the new solo project from Athlete’s Carey Willets. Described by the man himself as, ‘Indie electro pop’, Boxes first EP was released in 2011 entitled ‘Silent Alarm‘. Carey has finished his debut album ‘Stickers‘ for release in June and is preparing for his upcoming UK live dates. He took time out of dismantaling old keyboards and playing with his retro gadgets to answer some TGR questions. Carey tells us how he nearly gave up on music to be a ‘Butcher’, about his collaboration with Athlete front man, Joel on his album, what he has in store for the upcoming live shows and how he loves to interact and share ideas with his followers.
Firstly, thanks for taking the time out to catch up with TGR. So the debut album ‘Stickers’ is done and the previews are coming thick and fast with tracks such as Red Skies and Between Whisky and Snow appearing on soundcloud, any tracks in particular on the album that supprised you in their final form?
Yes, the last 2 songs I wrote were a happy surprise / accident. ‘One’ began it’s life as a different song called The Gun. Alas it was a rubbish song but the instrumentation was great fun so I had a little play and ‘One’ was born. A great beginning to a record, it makes me laugh every time i hear it.
The biggest surprise was ‘Between Whisky and Snow‘. I felt the album needed one more song but I didn’t know what to do. It was a real journey each time I came up with a part it would lead to
For those that don’t know yet, tell them a little bit about Boxes. How did the solo project come about and what kind of sound is it?
Boxes began a little over a year ago although it took me until about July to realise what it is.
It began as Athlete was taking a break. During the making of Athlete’s last album i kind of lost my way. I wasn’t sure if i could write songs anymore or if i even wanted to. I thought about giving up music, I even did some butchery training.
I had a couple of weeks free so i decided to make some pieces of music, the only criteria was to try and enjoy it. It was liberating having no-one else to rely on, having to do everything myself. Quickly i found myself singing lyrics over these ‘pieces of music’. I didn’t plan on ever playing these to anyone but a good friend forced me to and it kind of snowballed from there. I kept writing, blinked and had an EP coming out. I would say the sound is indi elctro pop ish.
You released the Silent Alarm EP last year (reviewed by us here), how did that go?
Thanks for the review by the way.
I really enjoyed making the EP and i am happy with how it turned out. The response to the music and artwork has been fantastic. In fact the artwork won ‘Artwork Of The Year’ in Artrocker magazine. However i have had quite a lot of stick over the Silent Alarm video, but i like the fact you can’t watch it and remain passiveYou played a handful of gigs last year and have (mention gig dates and venues here) coming up, are you looking forward to getting your music and ideas out there infront of a live audience? What can we expect?.
You played a handful of gigs last year and have the tour coming up, are you looking forward to getting your music and ideas out there infront of a live audience? What can we expect?
I’m really looking forward to playing more live gigs. I’ve spent a bit of time figuring out how to trigger video (mostly old atari game footage) from sounds, like Pac man for Hi Hats and static for snares. Old school organs, early 1980’s TV”s, a few lamps
The Boxes tracks to date include many different samples and beats, are you an electro kid by heart?
Very much so I love electro music, always have. It’s so much fun, no rules beyond do I like it?
Have any of the Athlete gang featured on Stickers?
Joel and I wrote a song called ‘My Time Machine‘ for my album just before christmas but beyond that I’ve tried to keep the two quite separate. It’s a bit like introducing your ex to your new girlfriend.
From following Boxes on Twitter (@BOXESClever) you seem to share ideas, tracks and interact with your followers a great deal. Do you see social media as an important outlet for your music?
Totally, everything is more accessible than ever before. I like that i get to know people on twitter and facebook and i also like that they get to have their say which I try and take on board. It’s those people I want to have first look and listen because they are genuinely interested.
Lastly, TGR is all about giving real fans and gig goers a free platform to share their reviews of gigs and artists they’ve seen/heard recenlty. Anyone that’s blown you away or impressed live recently?
My First Tooth are a great live band, I really enjoyed Tree Top Flyers too.
Good luck with everything and TGR Look forward to seeing you live in May.
Fri 27 April – Leeds Cockpit
Sat 28 April – Nottingham Bodega Social
Mon 30 April – Glasgow Arches
Tue 1 May – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Thu 3 May – Brighton Sticky Mikes
Fri 4 May – London Lexington Arms
Debut album Stickers is due for release on 11th June. Find out more info on Boxes here.