Radio 1's Huw Stephens Talks To ZOO About Launching A New Band!

Ten musicians is a lot for a band. Are you trying to make the next Arcade Fire?
We don’t know how many will be in it, but there could be a surprise. We don’t know if there will be ten people in the band, but we are going at it with open ears and an open mind. We don’t know what the band is going to sound like, we don’t know what kind of musicians they’ll be, or what kind of instruments they’ll bring – it’s a big blank canvas. As long as they are passionate about their instruments and they’re willing to collaborate with other musicians.

What do you think separates the good bands from the truly great bands? 
I think great bands or great musicians are impossible to put into words. There’s a spark that they have, a magic spark - something that you wouldn’t think would work, but they do it naturally, as if it’s meant to be. I listen to music every day of every week and so much of it is the same, and so much of it you can tell is alright, but borrows a lot from other bands and other styles around them at that moment in time. The really exciting stuff takes you by surprise. It’s hard to put into words what makes them good.

Would you say there is a certain part of the country that produces great musicians?
I don’t think there is, you know. I haven’t got the stats to back up points, but what’s great about musicians from across the UK is that they come from everywhere. So you’ve got drum and bass producers from Wales, soul singers from Scotland, you know it’s a musically eclectic country. You’ve got pop scenes in every part of the UK; you’ve got folk scenes in every part of the UK. It’s a real mish-mash and there’s a big respect between all the different kinds of musicians as well, and so hopefully what this project will do is bring together a nice mix of musicians, who do different things and will create something exciting at the end of it.

Could you run down your top 10 tracks for summer 2012?

You've been compering at Reading for ages. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen from the main stage?
The weirdest thing I’ve ever seen from the main stage is when Enter Shikari were playing. It was a really hot day and there were crazy circle pits going on - which I don't condone - and the dust that was coming up from the circle pits was like Armageddon, it was crazy. There was loads and loads of dust coming up from the crowd, as if the ground was exploding and dust was coming out of it. That was the craziest thing. It was coming up flying over the band and everything. Fingers crossed it’ll happen again, because we need another hot weekend at Reading.

Do you get approached a lot on the steet? What’s the oddest thing to happen?
I had an 8-year-old kid with headphones in come up to me on the street in Cardiff recently and tell me about his brother, who he said was really good and asked if I could maybe listen to him on his headphones - and he was really really good!

How do you feel about Chris Moyles leaving the breakfast show and Nick Grimshaw taking over?
I love Moylesy, he’s an amazing broadcaster and I think Grimmy is going to do an amazing job as the Radio 1 breakfast show host. Moyles is untouchable; I think Grimmy is going to bring his own take on it, as he’s a massive music fan as well, so that’s exciting.

To apply to be a part of 02's Think Big Band, head to The winners will get to play at four special gigs alongside big name artists at locations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and London. Entries need to be in by 13 Septemeber 2012.

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