Reservoir is Representing London
Harnessing their diverse range of creative backgrounds, collaborations form an integral part of all their work, from the music production to the album artwork via the hand-printed merch. Resisting stereotypes and classifications, Reservoir is a prime example of London’s youth culture, relishing in low-budget, high-energy creative output that’s as fresh as the individuals its composed of.
How did Reservoir come about? Were you friends who decided to create together or were you drawn together by your music?
Virgil Hawkins I came up with the name and then Max and I brought in our different talents; he was more on the fashion side and I was more into music with my friends from school, but we were both more motivated than everyone else so we made our own thing going into university. Just from doing events and living my life, I met Theodor at an open mic, I met Isaac at uni when he came down from Leeds. I met everyone differently but we’ve all come together as one.
Do you record all your music in the same studio?
VH Yeah, for a long time we recorded at Bill’s, but everyone’s got their own set-up at home as well now so we just go to each other’s houses.
VH We’re so punk. [Laughs]
Theodor Black Have you heard of a Snowball? It’s like a little podcast recorder.
VH It looks like a little alien.
TB Like a virus with a round head.
VH Three legs tripod situation.
TB But that was a sick little investment you know. The sound quality is so good, it’s so good! I just started thinking why the fuck do people pay for studios? You can produce amazing quality music through cheaper means, and it’s easier. I prefer the comfort of my room or a friend’s house when making music. My creativity flourishes in those environments.
What have been the best parts of working all together?
TB All the people that I’ve met, we became a little family. Everyone’s got the same goal in mind, everyone’s so driven. It’s a nice little collective of ideas that blends into one.
VH When you get down, everyone brings you up. No one gets left behind. If anything ever happens there’s a thorough discussion beforehand. It’s nice to have people that are like-minded and chasing the same things as you are.
TB Equally immature and equally weird.
What are the biggest challenges?
TB Communication. It’s not even like anyone does it intentionally, it’s just that everyone’s such a unique individual. They have ideas going on in their minds constantly and it’s kind of long constantly being like, “this is what I’m thinking… but this is also what I’m thinking… but this is also what I’m thinking.” It’s a bit impossible.
VH I get the feeling that people who do music could be intelligent, or not. I think everyone’s intelligent to an extent, but at school they were probably the ones that were disorganised and for whatever reason didn’t pursue an academic career. That kind of plays into it sometimes as well.
TB I’m a tiny bit slow but I can rap bars. [Laughs]
Who are your sources of inspiration? You’re quite musically different but there’s something that ties you all together.
VH I don’t know, Andre 3000?
TB Andre 3000.
VH Even though some people we know will say, “No we’re not alternative, we’re rap.” I think the word alternative is pretty much the umbrella of what we’re doing. Just following the first thought that comes to your head, being comfortable with yourself, and putting that into your craft. That’s what we’re doing, I think.
Have there been any misconceptions about how you work or who you are?
TB That Noisey article.
VH Basically, Sha Rez and Kish did an interview with Noisey and they made it look like we take loads of drugs, but we don’t. I think it was meant to be more of a comment on mental illness and how that plays into drug-taking.
TB It was another way of them stabbing at a culture that they don’t understand. I saw that article and I thought, “Yo fam, I don’t make xanny music, nobody makes xanny music. What the fuck even is that?”
VH It’s funny, it just happened and Rez sent the interviewer my song Xan.
Do you have any questions you’ve ever really wanted to be asked about your music? Something that people miss out on that’s important to you?
TB A question that people never ask is, “How do you make your music? What are you thinking when you make your music?” I think people are more interested in the more existential side of your creativity but then again, there’s a whole process that goes into creating something. It’s not just going into the studio or sitting in the bedroom writing bars. It’s actually real shit. That’s the thing about Reservoir, nobody’s making music about a lavish lifestyle, shit that we don’t actually live or do. Everyone is talking about shit that they actually have experienced. So, when people are just looking at the surface of the music and they’re not trying to delve deeper, that kind of pisses me off. It defies the point of why you’re actually trying to create something.
VH For real. He said it all.