There is a plethora of talent making a lot of noise in Yorkshire at the moment and The Dunwells are just another example of an act from Leeds, who have struck gold. The band made up of Joseph Dunwell (vocals and guitar), Dave Dunwell (guitar, banjo and piano), Johnny Lamb (vocals and drums), Rob Clayton (bass) and Dave Hanson (guitar and pedal steel) create rock tunes with an American Influence, and are pretty darn good at harmonising too.
The five piece from Pudsey in Leeds is a bit of a family affair, with brothers Dave and Joseph Dunwell and Johnny Lamb and Rob Clayton, cousins, this only strengthens their bond as a band. “Me (Joseph) and Dave really get on, that really helps when we are on the road. We have competitions, me and Dave against Rob and Johnny and Dave Hanson is the judge.” And after getting back from America and appearing on a world famous American chat show, they are sure to be making a splash on the other side of the pond.
Playing shows is the best part of the job. The travel days are sometimes tough. But then we remember why we are here and it makes it all worthwhile
“This year has been a big year in the world of The Dunwells, lots of highlights. We got to play Red Rocks, recently appeared on major TV in the States, on The Today Show with Jay Leno, to name a few.”
The band were already joined through a skeleton structure due to bloodlines and school friendships before deciding to form. Joseph and Dave Dunwell began recording and writing demos together and Joseph and Dave Hanson met at an open mic night. “Before we knew, we were on the road performing all original material. None of it felt forced and the shows were so much fun.”
The Dunwells have a loyal army of fans and like other bands in Leeds the local music scene was their all important launch pad. “It’s where we started, and we will never forget that, so to come home and do a show is exciting. It’s probably more daunting, as they are the ones that have supported us from the beginning and what a great job they have done.”
The band are certainly a long way from their humbling beginnings in Leeds pubs, having embarked upon a tour across America, appearing on Jay Leno and releasing their second EP Leaving the Rose, they seem to be flying. “At the moment personally I am just enjoying what we’re doing. We tour city by city and love every moment. It’s unbelievable really, five guys from the small town of Pudsey being able to do this and people out there (America) loving what we do. There is no better feeling.”
Travelling from continent to continent is a staple in a band who are trying to break through internationally, and as attractive as it may sound, it certainly takes its tole on some bands.
“Playing shows is the best part of the job. The travel days are sometimes tough. But then we remember why we are here and it makes it all worthwhile.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDuv-cG5rtM&feature=plcp
Touring isn’t only the thing plaguing the band, the weight of being a British band trying to carve a name for themselves in America, where some of the biggest names have failed, will surely be on their minds. “We love the challenge. We are touring a lot because I feel that’s what we do best, so rather than come home to rest after this, we hit the roads of the UK and we cannot wait.”
The boys aren’t just working well on the road but in the charts too, hitting number 31 in the Independent music Charts with their first UK single Elizabeth. “It was a really great feeling, it makes us feel that we are doing the right thing and people get us here. We are proud to be British, so it’s a big deal for us to be well received here.”
Their second EP Leaving the Rose which was out at the end of September features a cover song by quirky favourite Imogen Heap. “It’s such a beautiful song you should check out the original. I used to play it at open mic nights and Johnny knew it as well. We just put it in our set one time and it stuck ever since, we love playing it live. I’m really excited about the EP. I really like the art work. The acoustic versions of the songs are really something special. We will be selling them at the shows in the UK.”
Joseph, the Dave’s, Johnny and Rob are jetting off to America once again, to play until next year, but want to assure fans that playing the UK is certainly very much on the agenda. The Dunwells are in high demand and another band that Leeds can claim proudly as their own.