Music

Ten minutes in Clwb Ifor Bach with Yr Eira

On the scene since 2013, Yr Eira, meaning the snow, are more than familiar with Clwb Ifor Bach. It was Huw Stephens that gave them a C2 Live Session on his show back in 2013 as well as playing their single ‘Trysor’ on his national BBC Radio 1 show. Yr Eira have since played at T in the Park and won Wakestock’s Battle of the Bands in 2013. A familiar fixture on gig posters across Wales, the band have also played at the Eisteddfod’s famed youth section Maes B for several years. Their latest significant project ‘Colli Cwsg’ came in 2014 and their newest song appeared on their label I KA CHING’s brilliant compilation album in 2016.

Their performance at Castle Emporium for Welsh Music Day was more of a duet, with acoustic versions of their normally vibrant riffs being stripped back and improvised by Lewys and Trystan in the absence of the two other members. With the lead singer Lewys and bassist Trystan based in Cardiff and lead guitarist Ifan and drummer Guto based in North Wales, it tends to make musical coherence harder for the band. Lead guitarist Ifan is also lead singer of renowned Welsh band Sŵnami. Lewys’ older brother Griff Lynch is lead singer of fellow Welsh band Yr Ods and also has a sister Casi who sings, therefore there is a significant artistic web spun throughout the band. With their half an hour set at Castle Emporium finished I manage to temporarily pull them away from their many friends to Clwb Ifor Bach. It is the frontman Lewys that does most of the talking with Trystan offering occasional insight into the inner workings of the band.

With new music on the way as well as a huge upcoming role in the Pavilion Gig, 2017 promises to be an exciting year for the Bangor band.

 

Why do you believe it’s important to take part in an event such as Welsh Music Day for the Welsh music scene?

It’s an opportunity to put Welsh music on a much higher platform and to expand the genre outside Wales and to get people that don’t usually listen to Welsh music to listen to it. I even know some Welsh speakers who refuse to recognize Welsh music

and take for granted that they won’t like it. Today’s a chance for people to give it a listen and see what they like.

For your C2 Session with Huw Stephens in 2013 you performed ‘Cadwyni’ and ‘Cuddliw’, a song you’ve since deleted from your SoundCloud, how has your music style developed since then?

Yes I deleted that one! It didn’t really represent us anymore, even though our music is still very bassy with guitar based but that was light pop and just something to get out there to use as a platform for other things. I don’t think anyone will want to listen to that anyways!

Who are your main musical inspirations in English and Welsh?

Loads to be fair, we probably have too many. We listen to loads of music as a band, we were listening to Mac DeMarco today but indie guitar bands like Peace and The Strokes have always been our main inspirations. In terms of Welsh bands, we grew up listening to Anweledig, Creision Hud (magic crisps is the direct translation), and going to Maes B for the first time and listening to bands like Yr Ods and thinking of how great it would be to be in a band.

Who are your favourite new bands on the scene?

We really like Argrph, they’re doing great things at the moment, Los Blancos, Ffracas and HMS Morris although they’re not that new on the scene.

After releasing your first ever English single, what do you think is the best balance Welsh bands can keep in terms of bilingual music?

It depends totally on the band and what they want to do, there’s a lot of bands that use the Welsh music scene as a stage to go on to do great things, which is totally great in my opinion. There are other bands who tend to keep their music solely Welsh and go big in Wales, I don’t see anything wrong with making English songs as it expands your audience and benefits the scene as a whole. You need to adapt to your audience, a crowd in North Wales is going to be different to a gig in Cardiff or London.

Is there a ceiling for Welsh music in terms of how big a band can go before they begin to make English songs?

No, not at all! If your music is good and different enough, you will go big; it doesn’t matter about the language at the end of the day.

Having released the music video for your single ‘Suddo’ very recently, is this a sign of more music to come from Yr Eira in 2017 in the form of a new album or EP?

We’ve recorded five songs and we’re going back to the studio to record another five in the next few months, therefore there’ll be a new album out before the summer.

Speaking of the summer, the huge news of your involvement in the 2017 Pavilion Gig was unveiled recently, how eager are you to be part of it after its significant success in its first year in 2016?

I remember being there and thinking it was unbelievable that bands were getting the chance to work with such an amazing a live orchestra and I can’t wait. Back in the days where we’d listen to heavy metal in year 7 and 8 I remember seeing Metallica performing S&M with a live orchestra and thinking I’ll never be able to do that! It’s an incredible experience and it’s great that the Eisteddfod is giving the opportunity for bands to do this and that it’s a new pinnacle for the scene as opposed to it being headlining Maes B before.

How do you think Yr Eira’s music will work with a live band?

I don’t know, to be honest! Ifan our lead guitarist has a degree in music and he worked closely with one of the composers last year so I think he’ll have a strong input into what gets played but otherwise I’m not 100% how our music will blend with the orchestra!

With the Eisteddfod in Cardiff in 2018 for the first time since 2008, do you think that playing gigs in a variety of different venues as opposed to the usual one Maes B stage will be beneficial for advertising Welsh music?

Yes, it will more than likely attract a crowd that doesn’t usually come to Maes B but it’s also great for the ones that tend to go every year as it gives them a chance to explore Cardiff’s music scene.

And finally, if there was one place in Cardiff you could camp for a week in Cardiff like in Maes B, where would it be?

I wouldn’t like to be in a tent in Cathays… In the middle of the castle probably, nice and peaceful, ideally on the top of the mount!

 


 

Ar y sîn ers 2013, mae’r Eira yn fwy na chyfarwydd gyda Clwb Ifor Bach, yn ogystal a Huw Stephens. Huw a roddodd eu Sesiwn C2 cyntaf iddynt yn ogystal a chwarae eu sengl Trysor ar ei sioe genedlaethol ar BBC Radio 1. Maent wedi eisioes chwarae yn T in the Park a ennill brwydr bandiau Wakestock yn 2013. Yn enw cyfarwydd ar bosteri gig ledled Cymru, mae’r Eira wedi chwarae yn Maes B am nifer o flynyddoedd. Daeth eu prosiect sylweddol diwethaf Colli Cwsg nôl yn 2014 ac mae eu cân Pan Na Fyddai’n Llon yn ymddangos ar albwm casgliadol ardderchog eu label I KA CHING a ryddhawyd yn 2016.

Roedd eu perfformiad yn Castle Emporium i Ddydd Miwsig Cymru yn fwy o ddeuawd, gyda fersiynau acwstig o’u caneuon gan prif leisydd Lewys a’r basydd Trystan yn cael eu byrfyfyrio yn absenoldeb y ddau aelod arall. Gyda Lewys a Trystan wedi eu lleoli yn Gaerdydd a phrif gitarist Ifan a drymar Guto wedi eu lleoli yn y Gogledd yn ogystal a ymrwymiadau Ifan gyda ei fand Sŵnami mae’n dueddol o wneud cydlyniad cerddorol llawer anoddach i’r band. Mae brawd hŷn Lewys hefyd yn prif leisydd Yr Ods yn ogystal a’i chwaer Casi sydd hefyd yn gantores felly mae’n amlwg fod gwê artistaidd yn rhedeg drwy y band. Wedi i’w set hanner awr orffen yn Castle Emporium dwi’n llwyddo cael gafael ar Lewys a Trystan o’r Eira ac eu hebrwng dros y ffordd i Clwb Ifor Bach. Lewys sy’n gwneud y rhan fwyaf o siarad tra ma Trystan yn datgelu rhai o gyfrinachion y band o bryd i’w gilydd.

Gyda cherddoriaeth newydd ar y ffordd yn ogystal a’u cyfranogiad yn Gig y Pafiliwn wedi ei gyhoeddi, mae 2017 yn argoeli i fod yn flwyddyn addawol iawn i’r band o Fangor.

Pam yda chi’n credu ei fod yn bwysig cymeryd rhan mewn achlysur fel Dydd Miwsig Cymru i ni fel Cymry ac i’r sîn?

Mae o’n gyfle i roi cerddoriaeth Cymraeg ar blatfform llawer uwch ac yn gyfle i ehangu y genre tu allan i Gymru ac i gael pobol sydd ddim fel arfer yn gwrando i fiwsig Cymraeg i wrando arno. Dwi hyd yn oed yn nabod dipyn o siaradwyr Cymraeg sydd ddim yn barod i gydnabod miwsig Cymraeg ac yn cymeryd yn ganiataol eu bod

nhw ddim am licio fo felly mae heddiw yn gyfle i bobol wrando arno fo a gweld be ma nhw’n licio.

Ar ôl cael Sesiwn C2 hefo Huw Stephens yn 2013 lle perfformwyd Cadwyni a Cuddliw (sydd ers wedi cael eu dileu o’ch Souncloud), sut mae eich steil miwsig wedi datblygu ers hynny?

Ia neshi ddeletio fo! Dio ddim rili yn cynrychioli ni dim mwy, er fod miwsig ni dal yn eitha bassy a gyda gitars a ballu ond odd hwna yn pop ysgafn ac yn rwbath i gael allan a defnyddio fel llwyfan ar gyfer pethau arall. Dwi’m yn meddwl bod na neb eisio gwrando ar hwna eto eniwes!

Pwy ydi eich prif ysbrydoliaethau cerddorol yn Saesneg ac yn Gymraeg?

Lot i ddeud y gwir, gormod. Da ni’n gwrando i lot o gerddoriaeth fel band, odda ni’n gwrando i Mac DeMarco heddiw ond bandiau indie gitars fel Peace a The Strokes da ni di gwrando i ers y dechra. O rhan bands Cymraeg odda ni’n tyfu fyny yn gwrando i Anweledig, Creision Hud a mynd i Maes B am y tro cyntaf a gwrando i bandiau fel Yr Ods a meddwl dani isho bod mewn band.

Pwy ydi eich hoff fanduau newydd ar y sîn?

Dani’n licio Argrph, ma nhw’n neud pethau da ar hyn o bryd, Los Blancos, Ffracas, HMS Morris, er fod nhw ddim yn fand hyna newydd.

Ar ôl rhyddhau eich sengl Saesneg cyntaf, be di’r balans orau dachi’n credu fod bandiau Cymraeg yn gallu ei gadw at yn nhermau cerddoriaeth ddwyiaethog?

Mae’n dibynnu yn llwyr ar y band a be ma nhw eisio neud, ma na lot o fands yn dueddol o iwsio’r sîn roc Gymraeg fel llwyfan er mwyn gwneud pethau mawr, sy’n hollol grêt i ddeud y gwir. Ma na fandiau arall sy’n dueddol o gadw eu cerddoriaeth yn Gymraeg a mynd yn fawr yng Nghymru, dwi’m yn gweld dim byd o’i le hefo gwneud can Saesneg gan fod o’n ehangu’r gynylleidfa ac yn gwneud fwy o lês i’r sîn. Ti angen addasu i dy gynulleidfa, fydd gig yn Pen Llŷn yn wahanol i gig yn Llundain neu Gaerdydd.

Oes yna nenfwd i gerddoriaeth Cymraeg yn nhermau pa mor fawr fedrith band Cymraeg fynd cyn dechra gwneud caneuon Saesneg?

Na ddim o gwbl! Os ydi dy gerddoriaeth di digon da a digon gwahanol ti am fynd yn fawr, dio ddim ots am yr iaith yn y bôn.

Wedi cael fideo i’ch sengl Suddo yn ddiweddar iawn, ydi hwn yn arwydd o fwy o fiwsic i ddod gan Yr Eira yn 2017 mewn ffurf albwm neu EP newydd?

Da ni wedi recordio pump cân a da ni’n mynd nôl i recordio pump arall mis nesaf felly fydd na albwm gobeithio erbyn dechra’r haf.

Yn sôn am yr haf, cafodd y newyddion mawr ynglŷn a Gig y Pafiliwn 2017 ei gyhoeddi dydd Iau, pa mor awyddus yda chi i fod yn rhan ohono, wedi llwyddiant aruthrol Gig y Pafiliwn 2016?

Dwi’n cofio bod yna a meddwl fod o’n anhygoel bod bandiau yn cael y cyfle i weithio hefo cerddorfa mor anhygoel a dwi’n edrych ymlaen yn arw. Nôl yn y ddyddiau lle odda ni’n gwrando ar heavy metal yn blwyddyn 7 a 8 dwi’n cofio ni’n gweld Metallica yn perfformio gyda orchestra ar S&M a meddwl da ni byth am allu neud hynny! Mae’n brofiad anhygoel a ma’n gret fod yr Eisteddfod yn rhoi cyfle i bandiau wneud hyn a mae o’n uchafbwynt arall a ddim yr unig uchafbwynt bellach ydi chwarae Maes B ond bellach i chwarae hefo cerddorfa yn y ‘Steddfod.

Sut ydach chi’n meddwl eith miwsig Yr Eira hefo cerddorfa fyw?

Dwi’m yn gwybod i ddeud y gwir! Gradd mewn cerdd wnaeth Ifan a mae o ‘di gweithio yn agos hefo un o’r hogia sydd yn cyfansoddi’r trefniadau felly dwi’n meddwl fydd gan Ifan input eitha cryf i beth sy’n cael ei chwarae ond fel arall dwi’m yn siwr sut wneith ein cerddoriaeth gweddu hefo’r gerddorfa!

Gyda’r Eisteddfod yn Gaerdydd yn 2018 am y tro cyntaf ers 2008, ydach chi’n meddwl bod chwarae gigiau mewn amryw o wahanol safleoedd yn fuddiol i ledaenu cerddoriaeth Cymraeg?

Yndi, mae o fwy na thebyg am ddenu’r gynulleidfa sydd ddim fel arfer yn mynd i Maes B a mae o hefyd yn eitha da i’r rhai sy’n dueddol o fynd i’r ‘Steddfod bod nhw’n cael crwydro o gwmpas Caerdydd.

I gloi, os fysa na un lle fysech yn gallu gwersylla am wythnos fel yn Maes B yn Gaerdydd, lle fysa fo?

Swni ddim yn licio bod mewn tent yn Cathays… Yn ganol y castell, distaw neis a neb yn amharu, ideally ar dop y mwnt!

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