Andy J. Davies and James P. Quinn are the men behind the British goth band, Sirens Of Light, a project that they had originally started in the early 2000’s, when they released the album Nullus Margis Gothica, in 2004. Sadly, the album didn’t really gain the attention it deserved at the time, sinking into obscurity. Fast forward to 2021, where the guys have resurrected not only Sirens Of Light, but also revisited their debut album, revamping it with the original recordings and renaming it Nullus Margis Gothica MMXXI. The album is a cornucopia of gothic rock, with its roots firmly planted in the 80s and 90s but with a modern edge. This is where I tell you that I was lucky enough to speak to Andy, who is not only the lead singer, but also had classical training, was a member of the popular punk glam Soho Roses and is the founder, and current owner of The Analogue Room and Damage Recordings, involved in recording and production. If you want to know what bands Andy would choose to headline a festival with…..then you better keep reading… though honestly, I would give him at least a three day run!
Welcome Andy J. Davies of Sirens Of Light, to the hallowed hall of Onyx, where even the shadows are inky pools where no light shall touch.
Andy, you were involved in the band Soho Roses and James, I believe was in Last Rites. Have you been involved in any other projects other than these?
I’ve been in many bands over the years and worked with loads in the studio as a producer. James and I have been in several bands together over the years, Bombchild, Gilla Bruja, and most recently Delany.
The band, Sirens Of Light came together in the early 2000s, in the UK. How did this come about and what roles do you play within the band?
I’d had the idea of doing a traditional Goth rock project for several years as I seemed to me at the time no one was really doing that kind of style . I was spending some time at my parents home and started working on a couple of tracks, Maria and Prayer. A short time later I asked James if he’d like to come do some, and that’s how it happened…
The band was situated in London, so what was the gothic scene like then as compared to now?
It was kind of dying off by then, that’s kinda why I liked the idea of doing a more traditional style….mostly, Goth seemed to have turned into metal by the late 90’s and I remembered how great it was back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and wanted to bring that style back into play.
In 2004, the album “Nullus Margis Gothica” was recorded and in 2005, it was released on Bad Head Records. In your bio, it says the album had limited release, so what happened?
We did a very short run of CDs of the original version of the album. At the time, we didn’t do any PR around it or promote it in any way as we both had other projects that we had to prioritise so, apart from that initial release, the album was left alone.
So, in 2021, the both of you are back together and release the single “Justine” which was your debut single. What happened at this point in time that made you decide to give Sirens Of Light another go and why did you pick “Justine” as your single?
Ever since we left the album years ago, we had both said we should really do something with it many times. I thought I had lost all of the original multitracks from 2004 but found them, completely by accident, in early 2021 on an old hard drive in a draw in my studio….finding the original recording gave us the opportunity to update the album to be more currently relevant and so it seemed the time was ripe to do it.
The end of 2022 sees the unveiling of “Nullus Margis Gothica MMXXI”, where a lot of the original recording was used? What changes or additions were made this time around?
The original recordings were mostly complete but there were a few parts missing here and there. These obviously had to be replaced anyway. The biggest update was with new vocals on most, but not all, tracks and making the sounds in general richer and more modern……all this was done with the intention of not loosing the original atmosphere of the album, but the original has a charm all of its own!
You have electronic musician, Kandinski Noir, as a guest vocalist on the track “Siren Of Light”. How do you know Noir and how did he end up on this track?
By chance Kandinski released a single called Justine around the same time we did. He messaged me on social media and we started chatting here and there. When reworking Siren of Light, the idea came up for a new chorus part and the idea of having it in German worked for the track. I asked him to translate for us into German and it seemed a natural and interesting idea to me to see how our voices and styles would stack up, so asked him to do a vocal on the pre chorus and chorus…worked out great!
The album was designed as thematic concept from the start. Can you please tell us more about this?
Well, we originally set out to make a Gothic rock album that reflected the roots of the genre and, as the record developed, that would take the listener on a sonic journey. The subject matter of the songs were all treated from the same emotive standpoint and the material and lyrical content is meant to be thought provoking and create an atmosphere. Conceptually speaking, it’s a reflection on some of the more interesting aspects of the human condition, the emotions we all feel, the experiences we have…some more unusual than others…the questions we all ask. There are various sub concepts within the record as well, but on the whole, the record is meant to resonate with listeners on their level…there’s a lot of layers in it!!’
What is it about the power of femininity that drew you in to explore it?
The power of the feminine has been ever present throughout history. I’ve always found it interesting and I think it is an important subject that deserves exploration.
Do you have a favourite track off the album?
That’s a difficult question to answer….I like them all for different reasons….If I had to pick one, Rearrange….always really liked the vibes it gives off!
There are definitely tell tale time signatures and riffs, that speak of your goth rock influences, but I also feel there are sounds within of glam rock and synthwave? What are your musical influences?
What I’m really influenced by is great songs, films, books, ideas and people from all eras. I love music that’s evocative and impactful so anything really, regardless of genre or era. If I had to pick one big influence, I guess it would have to be David Bowie, one of my favourite all time artists…timeless!
Who do you listen to now?
I listen to more or less anything that comes along that catches my attention…I’m very much a song and sound head so, if it catches my ear, I’ll listen and enjoy….I still listen to my favourite music from over the years but the catalogue seems to be constantly expanding!’
What are your thoughts about the state of the gothic music scene at present?
To me it seems that the scene has continued as it did coming into the early 2000’s…goth seems for the most part to have become metal or EDM, any bands doing a more traditional style are very few and far between or are the actual bands reforming and performing their back catalogue. There are a couple of exceptions but very few as far as I’m aware….I may be way wrong about this….
Has this new found fan base inspired you to think about a new album in the future?
Well yes, were planning a new album for later in the year and an ep sometime spring or early summer with a very limited vinyl release of MMXXI in spring as well.
Sirens Of Light are going to headline a one day festival and the best bit is that you get to choose the other acts and we can even time travel to a certain era to steal them away. Whom are you choosing and from which part of their career?
Wow…what a question…David Bowie – Aladdin Sane period, AC/DC – Powerage period, Sisters of Mercy any period, Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man era, Hanoi Rocks – Saigon Shakes period, Hüsker Dü – Flip you Wig period, Pink Floyd from the 70’s, The Stranglers IV – ’77 to ’79, Sex Pistols – ’77, Iron Maiden – Di’Anno era, Blue Oyster Cult – Agents of Fortune, Fire of Unknown Origin era, The Cult – Love/Sonic Temple eras…….I could go in like this for hours…how many days is the festival???
Is there anything else in store for Sirens Of Light?
As I said before, we have the vinyl version of the album out in spring and a new e.p. to go with it, and a new album later in the year. I’m sure other things will come up as we go, there will be videos etc for example….watch this space!
Thank you sir for your time!
Nullus Margis Gothica MMXXI | Sirens Of Light (bandcamp.com)
Sirens Of Light