Meet Submotion Orchestra, a new musical collective from Leeds

Leeds based musical collective Submotion Orchestra release the beautiful debut album Finest Hour in June 2011, mixing elements of jazz, dubstep and soul.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Submotion Orchestra by Clive McFarland
Submotion Orchestra by Clive McFarland.

Submotion Orchestra are a Leeds based seven piece who fuse jazz, dubstep and soul: a modern day musical collective in the style of those 90s greats: Soul 2 Soul and Massive Attack. Their debut album Finest Hour is a unique combination of these sounds and it comes out in June. Let’s find out more…

Submotion Orchestra by Gareth A Hopkins
Submotion Orchestra by Gareth A Hopkins.

You came together under curious circumstances. How does that work and how do you function as a large band? What are the ups and downs of this arrangement?
The band was started by Tommy Evans and Dom Ruckspin after an amazing commission at the Yorkminster in York which bought together classical musicians and dubstep for the first time. The hardest thing about being a pretty large band is rehearsing, especially as we are now based between London and Leeds. We write and share a lot of ideas by email – throwing ideas around and demo-ing ideas etc. It seems to be working so far although if someone wants to lend us a private Carribean island to record the second album on then we wouldn’t say no.

Submotion Orchestra by Catherine Askew
Submotion Orchestra by Catherine Askew.

How has living in Leeds affected the way you work and create music?
The band was formed in Leeds and we owe a great deal to many people and places there. Leeds is a brilliant city which seems to attract amazing musicians and it’s an important place in the UK for jazz – without doubt seen as the city with the best scene outside of London, and this is also the same of the dub and dubstep scenes.

Submotion_Orchestra

You’ve been likened to some pretty heavy duty bands, including Massive Attack and Soul 2 Soul. How do you feel about this? Do you think these are apt comparisons?
The idea of Submotion is that it sits somewhere in between jazz and soul, and dubstep. We have an infinite number of influences as everyone in the band is very different stylistically. The Massive Attack comparison has come up a few times which is incredibly flattering, as is Soul 2 Soul!

YouTube Preview ImageFinest Hour

What kind of venues do you perform at? And what are your favourite kind?
One of the most interesting things about the band, which we have learnt as we have developed, is that the music works in any kind of venue. We have played everything from jazz clubs to dubstep raves and everything in between and the music doesn’t seem out of place anywhere.

YouTube Preview ImageAll Night.

What are your plans for the upcoming year? What’s next for Submotion Orchestra?
Our debut album Finest Hour comes out on Exceptional Records at the start of June. We have a very exciting summer coming up with big shows at most of the UK and European festivals including Glastonbury, Big Chill, Secret Garden Party, Outlook, Jazz:Re:Found and Soundwave. We will be touring in October through in the UK and through Europe.

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