Who are Forty Days of Rain?
The band has a variety of experience in its line-up and they are not new faces in the local music scene. Band frontman and guitarist Brendan Jackson is well known for his successful spells with Scream Daisy and Eve Ransom. Patrick Harvey, who is the other guitarist and backing vocalist of the band, spent several years playing as a session musician with local artists and, more recently, has become a familiar name within the local acoustic scene. Bassist and backing vocalist Jonathan Magri is the youngest member of the band, known for his role in the band RiSe. Finally, on drums there is Matthew Camilleri, who had previous experiences with the bands Uncharted and later accompanied Jackson with Eve Ransom.
What is Forty Days of Rain’s philosophy as a band?
Our main focus as a band is to write original material and to produce catchy songs with the aim to make them local hits. We’ve already succeeded in this in our first two releases, as both Strings Left to Fray (September 2014) and Everything You Want (May 2015), ended up occupying the No.1 spot on local music charts based on radio airplay. Everything You Want had a stunning spell of 5 consecutive weeks at No.1, which we’re very happy about. We hope that our upcoming releases also become local no.1 hits. This serves as our long term goal – that we become an established local band and play at major events.
Photo credit to David DP Attard
How did Forty Days of Rain start off? Why Forty Days of Rain?
Patrick had been looking for committed people to form a band for quite some time. In October 2013, he approached Matthew to start playing again, following a 2-year hiatus from the local scene after Eve Ransom was disbanded. The following month, Jackson followed suit and like Matthew, he decided to terminate his 2-year absence from music as well. The three joined forces and began searching for a bassist, which is quite a feat to find an available one in Malta. Eventually, in January 2014, Jonathan Magri joined the band, becoming the youngest member.
The name of the band was taken from the Bible, namely the part where God sends 40 days and nights of rain to the Earth. We’re not making a religious statement here. We just thought it sounded cool.
What can audiences expect from your music?
Audiences can expect different styles of songs, but they will be joined at the hip by our trademark catchy choruses. Our lyrics can be interpreted in various ways too, which can make them accessible to all. During live gigs, we always give a passionate performance, as we love what we do.
If you had to create the ultimate concert line-up, who would you include?
It’s quite difficult to be constrained to choose, but if we had the chance to choose whoever we want, we would opt for Muse, Alterbridge, and Foo Fighters. Of course, the supporting band would be Forty Days of Rain from Malta!
Photo credit to Gianfranco Stellini Photography
What’s the most challenging thing about performing?
Performing live should always be fun. The interaction with people during live gigs gives a great boost to the band and it’s always great to have people telling us they had a good time listening to our music. We even had people coming up to us after performances recommending which songs we should record as upcoming singles, and we enjoy receiving such feedback. If we had to think of a headache when it comes to performing live, well, it has to be the challenge that all technical issues are resolved and that the sound levels are right.
What are your thoughts on the local music scene?
The local scene has definitely made a huge step forward in the last decade, with many emerging bands dedicating themselves to song writing rather than playing covers. This is very positive since it stimulates creativity and musicians would want to get the best possible tune out there. The music scene however, is very much dependant on the response of the listeners. It seems that recently, the Maltese population has become more aware that there are some very good local bands which are producing quality music. The result is that certain bands have managed to attract a very strong following. We’ve seen a slow change in mentality where people are realising that supporting a local band doesn’t only mean getting to know the songs on social media, but to also attend gigs, events, and possibly buy their music. So it goes in parallel… Whilst bands have to enhance their song writing skills to produce better music, more people need to learn to appreciate the product of Maltese bands.