Interviewed by Helen and Garry McWilliams
Joy Strachan-Brain is best known as Birmingham-born lead singer of popular band ‘Quill’. Between us we’ve been supporting ‘Quill’ for 15 years in total and we were devastated by the sudden loss of bass player (and Joy’s husband) Ben Brain in April 2012. The band have valiantly carried on and the release of Ben’s self-penned EP ‘England’ coincided with our visit to watch Joy perform with Jasper Carrott and many other well-known ‘brummies’ in touring show ‘Made in Brum’ at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham. We caught up with Joy before the show…
Thank you for talking to Break A Leg Review, Joy – tell us about your new EP ”England’ and why did you think this was the right time to release it?
‘England’ is made up of three songs that my husband (Ben) wrote and we decided to release it as an EP to coincide with St George’s Day. Ben loved England, the countryside and he loved animals which are reflected in the songs that he’s written.
Have you had good feedback, so far?
It’s been good, we’ve only just got it out there and we’ve done a DVD to go with it. It’s given me something to focus on over the last twelve months, really. It’s made me get on with things, the same as the ‘Made in Brum’ show has, that’s been great as well.
Have the band managed to move on without Ben?
The first couple of months were a bit slow, I didn’t even know if I was going to carry on. Then I thought I don’t fancy getting a day job now, and I know that Ben would have wanted me to carry on.
You’d have really been missed if you hadn’t carried on!
Well, once we made the decision to carry on we auditioned bass players and they were all really good to be honest. Christian who we have now is a very good bass player, he doesn’t sing, but I might try to get him singing – not a solo but maybe backing vocals.
How can everybody get hold of the EP?
You can buy it on our website www.quill-uk.com and it will be available on Amazon for download, next week I think. Watch this space, I would say, though…
Have you enjoyed touring with ‘Made in Brum’ and which has been your favourite venue so far?
Oh, it’s been great but I’m hoping tonight will be the best being on our home ground. It’s had fantastic audiences wherever we’ve been, though – to be honest the show works well anywhere because the only thing that’s come out of Birmingham is us! The music isn’t from Birmingham, so the show lends itself to go to any area.
Our final question, you released a solo album a few years ago – will you release another one in the future?
Not at the moment as we’re working on another ‘Quill’ album that Ben started working on before he passed away. The good thing about the new ‘Quill’ album is that most members of ‘Quill’ feature on it somewhere.
Thanks to Joy for giving up her time for us right before the ‘Made in Brum’ show started! We can recommend the new EP ‘England’, Ben has written three amazing tracks called ‘Twister’, ‘Tumbling Years’ and the title track ‘England’. Our review of ‘Made in Brum’ will be shared with you when it has been published at www.thegoodreview.co.uk.
A link to Quill’s website can also be found here: https://breakalegreviewblog.wordpress.com/links/