Tash Neal and Chris St. Hilaire, a.k.a. The London Souls, a Brooklyn-based rock n’ roll duo possessing explosive talent and envy-inducing hair, are currently on tour playing sold out shows to sold out crowds. Their sophomore album, Here Come The Girls, is tangible proof that this hard-working pair won’t let anything stop them from doing what they’re meant to do. The band was gracious enough to take some time during their tour to answer a few questions just for us, beloved readers! Check it out:
East of 8th: When did you each decide to make music your career?
The London Souls: I think we both knew early on we’d be playing music the rest of our lives, but as far as making it a career, that sort of happened naturally. We didn’t have a 5-year plan.
Eo8: How did your musical paths converge which led to the formation of London Souls?
TLS: We met in high school (not the same school but through mutual friends), and both liked to play similar music. We were also both interested in original music, and I think writing songs is what led us to forming a band.
Eo8: Can you describe your musical and personal dynamic as a band?
TLS: Well… It is very interactive, and the chemistry between our playing and singing is what makes it interesting on stage.
Eo8: Tash, I read that you were the victim of a horrific hit-and-run accident a few years ago that required you to undergo brain surgery; can you tell us about your experience, and your amazing recovery journey?
TLS: Three years ago, I was in a taxi cab and I got hit by drag racers. I was in a coma and had a traumatic brain injury; the prognosis was not good, they said in probably 6 months to a year I’d walk maybe, and talk maybe, and I woke up and talked and I was like “why am I here?” I was very confused, but it worked out. We already had the album finished, so it was bad timing to say the least, and then we figured out afterwards, just by touring and getting back to work, I got better. Music is the most healing thing I’ve witnessed in my life; seeing people who’ve been through far worse than what I’ve been though, seeing the light that comes out of them when they’re moved by music is proof.
Eo8: Your most recent album, Here Come The Girls, came out in April. Can you tell us about the making of the record, and the inspiration behind the music?
TLS: We put a lot of work into this record, with an emphasis on songs and arrangements. Having just two of us helped, instead of hiring a bunch of cooks in the kitchen. Musically it’s very diverse, as you can hear. We are very excited to have it out.
Eo8: How do you feel your music and your band have progressed since your 2011 debut album?
TLS: I think the songwriting is more mature, and there is less wasted energy as you listen, always something fresh and interesting on the next track. As a band we’ve become more focused – we don’t compromise to make a 3rd or 4th person happy.
Eo8: Do you have any fun stories from your tour you’d be willing to share?
TLS: This one time, in Vegas… Oh, never mind. We played for a sold out crowd at the Ryman last month*, that was pretty fun.
Eo8: What’s next for The London Souls?
TLS: We’ll be touring with Catfish and the Bottlemen in the UK for 3 weeks, all sold out shows. Plus a headliner of our own at Sebright Arms in London. Then on to producing next record we hope. Then back to off-track betting.
*I was fortunate enough to be at the sold-out Ryman show, take a gander at my review and photos from the show!