Interview with John Baxter of Five Mile Sniper

Interview by Stuart Blythe

Five Mile Sniper

With the release of their debut album The Sound Of Trees, and embarking on their album launch tour, we caught up with Five Mile Sniper lead singer John Baxter for a chat.

First of all, congratulations on the release of your debut album – The Sound Of Trees.

Thank you, we’re proud of it.

The album took quite some time to record. How was the recording process and finally seeing the release of the album?

We’d all been busy with family commitments over the last few years so recording had to fit in around that taking almost 3 years to finish. That said, it gave us time to craft each song exactly how we intended it to sound which meant the occasional rewrite. Most bands can’t hang on a project for that long but we were excited to be working together and determined to produce a quality album that was beautiful and moving.

The first single from the album ‘Can’t Go On’ gained plenty of attention. Can you tell us about the song and what meaning it has for you?

We didn’t want to pull any punches on this song. The subject is one that is close to me – that being about a young person struggling with the pressures of life that tragically ends in suicide. The song is an edgy and conformational journey complete with an expletive but we felt it was necessary to convey the pain this person is grappling with in order for people to understand how difficult it can be when you’ve reached the end of the line. The video was shot in Poland with director Lukasz Pytlik and is disturbingly haunting and captures the essence of the song perfectly.

The latest single “Amazing” has been well extremely well received. For the uninitiated, how would you describe your sound?

Amazing is an uplifting, lush and melodic tune that oozes a feeling of euphoria and joy brought about by becoming a father for the first time. All our of tunes have that full almost cinematic element to them. Most of us came from smaller 3 and 4 piece bands and wanted each song to sound larger than life and have strong emotive content regardless of its subject matter that can enable the listener to feel elevated.

The video for “Amazing” was shot on location in London. Can you tell us more about that and working with producer/director Andy Alderslade

We hooked up with Andy through a company called Radar that puts directors in touch with artists looking to shoot videos. We hit it off immediately and Skyped several times in order to refine the storyline until we were both satisfied. We shot some lovely performance footage of the band in Collingwood that we intended to use but once Andy had completed his final edit, we felt that adding the band would detract from his beautiful work, so we left it as is.

Your “The Sound Of Trees” tour kick of in February. Is there anything you would like to say to your Australian fans ahead of the tour?

This is our first time out on the road in 8 years so expect a great live show. We’re a big band, 6 people in all including 3 guitarists and a pianist and occasionally a guest vocalists for our Duet When You’re In Love. Our live sound is quite huge and we try to emulate all the subtle tones and textures we worked into the songs on the album. There is every chance that we might not be back on the road until 2016, so don’t miss out.

—– Quick Questions —–

:: What track changed your life ::

How Soon Is Now (the Smiths)

:: Biggest influence ::

Teenage Fanclub

:: Favourite Quote ::

None more black (spinal tap)

:: Three words to describe the last few years ::

Manic, chaotic, beautiful

:: Three words to describe the year ahead ::

Exciting, challenge, happiness

Click here for Five Mile Sniper new album The Sound Of Trees and Australian tour (Feb-Mar 2015) details