U n d e r t h e B l a k L i g h t w i t h A g e n c y - V
I first became aware of Agency-V when I was listening to one of my favorite radio shows from overseas. The song that was playing was "Never Meant To Be". I was immediately captivated by the combination of electronics, guitar and angelic voice. Lloyd Price, on synths and programming, had been a friend of mine and I had done a remix for his other band, The Frixion. It was cool to see that he was involved in this band as well. I had not been aware of Marie Williamson (SilverScene, Afterdark, Numana State) on vocals, and Peter Steer (Tenek) on guitar. The three formed during Covid lockdown. The combination of these three reminded me of the best parts of the bands Curve and Garbage. In May of 2020, Agency-V released their first EP 'No Divide'. This is a must have, with the song "This Time", being a standout. Soon after this, 'No Divide-The Remixes' was released. June of 2022 saw Agency-V contribute their ballad "Rain" to the 'Generation Blitz 2: Concrete and Chrome' album. This song has all of the elements needed to take the listener on a journey of the senses. "Give It Up" was released at the end of the same year. Agency-V are currently working on much anticipated music and preparing for live shows. Lloyd, Marie and Peter are the sweetest of people and I am looking forward to hearing more from this brilliant trio of musicians. I wish Agency-V all of the best in the future. They are a must listen. - Adam
How did Agency-V come together as a band?
Marie: Well, much like BlakLight, it all began over lockdown…Lloyd and I were chatting on Facebook, and both commented on the fact that neither had been very inspired musically over the previous months. So, it just came out of nowhere. During that conversation, Lloyd mentioned writing something together and rather than leaving it as a throw away comment he sent over a demo which he’d previously written. Inspired by that demo, I wrote the lyrics, recorded it down and had it back to Lloyd in hours. That demo became "Never Meant to Be" We both really liked that first track, so Lloyd fired a second one across and by evening of that same day we had "Paranoid" written and recorded down. It was insane realizing we had written half an EP in half a day. That was a total buzz! Lloyd had also been speaking with Pete to see if he was up for joining us and just so happened that we really gelled as a trio. From that point on by throwing ideas around we further developed the tracks and wrote two more and completed that first EP in weeks. Good times!
The song, "Never Meant to Be", is my favorite, what does this song mean to you?
Marie: I think this song will always be special to us because it was the first Agency-V wrote and had it not turned out as it did, we may well not have moved on to write the next. The lyrics to this track were written about living on auto pilot and being in denial. Going through the same motion every day, not realizing you actually do have options rather than just having the same old conversations in your head and not acting on them.
How would you describe your sound?
Pete: I would say that we are an alternative electro-rock trio, with heavy emphasis on big guitars, memorable female vocals, hooks, and classic synth atmospheres.
How did you come up with the name of your band?
Marie: We wanted an edgy name that was easy to remember and that didn’t sound like any other artists. It was also important to us to find a name that suited us as the three individuals that make up the band. We eventually decided that to make it snappy, 3 syllables for the first part of the name would be good followed by a single syllable for the second. Believe me we went around in circles with this one before falling on Agency-V.
What are your influences:
Marie: In the 80’s, Depeche Mode goes without saying. I was pretty much into all the synth-based music really and also bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Pat Benatar and Roxette. Moving onto the dance and trance scene of the 90’s.
Lloyd: I always loved the early electro stuff coming out of the U.S. Afrika Bambaata, Cybotron, Warp 9, Man Parrash… I was never interested in the stuff coming out of the United Kingdom. Early Depeche, OMD…it was always a bit naff to me. I only got into Depeche after they released 101. Numan was good enough though, a bit darker. Kraftwerk obviously, as they influenced the electro stuff. I was brought up on Stevie Wonder, The Beatles…they always interest me. Proper craft. Later I got into Prince. Another amazing talent. God like… Now a days it’s Nine Inch Nails, The Anix, Jack White…oh and Boy Harsher.
Pete: My earliest influences were definitely Gary Numan, Ultravox, John Foxx, Visage, Depeche Mode, OMD, Icehouse, Talk Talk, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, etc… These days I’m more into things like Nine Inch Nails, Editors, Queens of the Stone Age, Actors, Johnny Marr, Noel Gallagher and loads of post punk stuff like The Skids, The Stranglers, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Magazine.
Describe your creative process.
Marie: We have a great creative process. For the first EP, Lloyd sends the demos over to me to write the lyrics and vocal melody for each track with Peter adding his guitar magic. The tracks go backwards and forwards a few times during the creation process, but we seem to nail them pretty quickly which is always a bonus. More recently we have a mixture of some tracks written by Lloyd and some written by Pete, so there are no hard and fast rules. If one of us brings something to the table that we all like, then we just go with it. We have great fun writing and are good friends too, so it makes it a very easy-going process. We have a real laugh whenever we get together, whether that be to film a video or to rehearse. There is never a dull moment.
Are there any musicians that inspire you?
Marie: I am totally inspired by the lead singer of Within Temptation, Sharon de n Abel, an incredibly talented pretty much self-taught vocalist.
Lloyd: Brandon Smith of the Anix works tirelessly and delivers constantly.
Pete: John McGeoch is probably my all-time favorite guitarist, closely followed by Bill Nelson, Stuart Adamson and Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age.
For people who are not familiar with Agency-V, what two songs would you suggest that they listen to?
Marie: For me it has to be "This Time". This is a much grittier hard-hitting track then the others and I have to say it is the track I always wanted to write and sing. The other has to be "Some Kind of Game" . I love the darkness of this track and then of course we have the remix of the track by Andy Gray, which took the darkness to another level.
Lloyd: The next single, "Freaking Out" is a must. ‘"This Time" is a nice intro too.
Pete: I’d probably agree with Marie although I’d have to say the forthcoming single, "Freaking Out", is a bit of a banger. We also had some great remixes done for the 'No Divide - The Remixes' EP, especially the Grayedout version.
If you and BlakLight had a child, what would you name it?
Pete: Kai Gambrashan