The Scheme – made up of trio Kris James, Kyle Carpenter and Aleksey Lopez – have no doubt made an impact on the music scene, supporting artists such as Union J and most recently Ryan Lawrie on his debut headline solo tour around the UK. In 2016, the band released their debut EP ‘Jerome Heights’ featuring original songs: ‘Can’t Stop,’ ‘Somebody Else’s Perfect’ and ‘Socialite.’
CelebMix spoke to Kris and Aleksey about the band’s dedicated fans, their plans for the future and their eagerly anticipated debut album. We even got some of you guys to send in questions to ask the band! Check out the intervew below!
You’ve recently finished supporting Ryan Lawrie on his debut headline solo tour. What was that like for you?
Kris: Ryan’s tour was really good. It was nice to be able to go on tour and do a gig a week rather than seven days back-to-back. A lot of people who were at his concert weren’t familiar with us, so it was really nice to collect loads of new ‘Schemers.’ It was also nice to go to some venues that we hadn’t played before. It was an amazing tour and he’s a great lad to work with as well.
Before going on stage, do you have a ritual?
Aleksey: Kris likes to start making animal noises while we are stuck in the car. I tend to do some monotonous, boring guitar skills. We were quite good on the Union J tour – we sat in the car and practiced the animal noises.
Kris: We warm up vocally, either 10 minutes before we go on stage or 2 minutes before. We don’t necessarily have a band ritual, but that is something we all do and I think everyone does that and it makes you sing a lot better when you are on stage as well.
If you had to sum up your sound in three words, what would they be?
Aleksey: Guitar-led pop.
What makes The Scheme unique in the industry today?
Kris: Our unique selling point is our sound but we also have a commercial pop sound going on. Most other bands aren’t as invested in what they do. First of all the sound and the set-up of being one British member, one Spanish member and one American member – it’s quite an international sound. We are also 100% involved in the writing and putting the record together. A lot of younger bands don’t get that opportunity, but we are lucky that our label supports us. We have a complete hand right from the start up until the record is being mastered for our fans. I feel that’s our uniqueness.
Aleksey: As Kris said, we have a lot of control over what we want to sound like. We all write, we all sing and we all play.
Kris: Aleksey produces as well. We don’t necessarily produce our own record, we have really amazing people that have been doing it for a long time but Aleksey does a lot of putting together the demos and making us sound as good as possible. He does the production as well, he’s just being modest!
Aleksey: A lot of people give demos and it might be a Voicemail on their phone or something to try and get it all down – it makes it easier to envision what we want to sound like.
How did you guys meet each other?
Kris: I met Kyle a few years ago in the studio. We were writing some songs together and we were put together by a really lovely gentleman who owns our record label. He introduced us and me and Kyle were vibing writing. Then we decided that we should put a band together and we saw Aleksey and saw how great he was at guitar and singing, so we sent him some songs and we decided to give it a go. Two years later, we’re here doing our record.
If you had to switch places with another member in the band, who would it be and why?
Kris: I’d probably swap with Aleksey because he is an amazing guitarist. We’re all very healthy but he takes great care of his physique and he’s also got a very nice family. I think I’d swap places with Aleksey – and Kyle as well, because he’s obviously really good at what he does.
Aleksey: I think I’m going to go for Kris. There’s many reasons for both, but Kris takes very good care of his health and everything. He is a very devoted band member. I hate this question – it’s hard!
Kris: I hate it as well, but if I could pick both I would.
What’s a favourite song of yours that you have written?
Kris: I think, out of all the songs we’ve written, my personal favourite is ‘Somebody Else’s Perfect.’ The track we’ve just written a couple of weeks ago called ‘Eyes Open’ is my new favourite song, which no one has heard yet, and you will very soon!
Aleksey: That’s a hard one. I agree – ‘Eyes Open.’
Kris: It’s an amazing song.
Aleksey: It has a new, fresh sound and everyone’s really happy with it. I do enjoy playing ‘Socialite’ – that’s really fun.
Kris: ‘Socialite’ is a good one as well.
Aleksey: It gets everyone dancing, so that’s quite a fun one.
Who are your musical influences?
Aleksey: The list is endless – it depends on what day it is really. Today, I’m feeling quite inspired by Queen and Brian May.
Kris: I’d say John Lennon because I just love the songs he has written over the years. Ryan Tedder for me is an amazing singer, writer and producer. They can go anywhere from Michael Jackson, Elton John, Danny from The Script – I love a wide variety of different writers and singer-songwriters. But today it would be Ryan Tedder from One Republic.
Aleksey: For me, it’s the same really.
Kris: We are similar. We like John Mayer’s record – it’s awesome. We love singing his songs.
What’s your favourite food?
Kris: Mine’s Thai food. I love Thai food. I love Jamaican food – it’s my new favourite. Anyone out there who wants to go on a date, I want to go to that Jamaican place that the guy who won ‘The Apprentice’ owns.
Aleksey: Mine’s got to be the Spanish food in general. A Spanish omelette.
Who is your dream collaboration and why?
Kris: There’s so many people. Right now, because we are writing the album and about to go to production, I’d love to do a session with Ryan Tedder as a producer. We’ve written the songs, but to have someone like that produce the record would be unreal. He’s done Adele, his own band – he’s done so many people and he’s very varied across the board and he’s been involved with most songs I’ve heard.
Aleksey: I agree. Someone like that or even Danny from The Script – they both produce their band’s stuff and it’s really good to have people like that who are writers and also producers who play instruments as well. They understand the whole band sound as well.
Kris: At the moment especially, with our new sound, Ryan Tedder would be a dream.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Kris: We went out to America last year. We were the only act. It was a big soccer game. Is that what they call it? It’s like American football.
Aleksey: It’s mini indoor American football.
Kris: Playing that arena has been the highlight for me. Just standing there in front of 15,000 people is amazing – absolutely amazing. When I was there, I just thought ‘wow, this is amazing, we’re in an arena singing to all these people.’ And it was in America – which is one of my favourite places in the world.
Aleksey: As a band, that’s probably the biggest thing we’ve done so far. More arena tours please!
What can we expect from you guys for the rest of 2017? Will your debut album be released?
Aleksey: It probably won’t be out this year.
Kris: We have got a single coming in September and then I anticipate the album will be released early spring, maybe this time next year.
Aleksey: It takes a long time to do an album. We’re bringing out a single for everyone in September/October depending on the schedule. Then we’re hopefully doing a headline show in London.
Will you be supporting other artists throughout the year?
Kris: Our single will definitely be out in September. We’ll be doing radio and maybe a bit of television with that to build up to the release of the album in the new year. We have some shows lined up, we’re doing ‘Singing With The Stars’ at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 December. We’ve got quite a few shows. Touring probably won’t happen until next year, unless we get offered a few weeks. If there’s anyone out there who is touring and wants us to jump on and do a few dates, we would be up for that after September!
Do you have a message for your fans?
Aleksey: We love them all!
Kris: We love them, we thank them for the support and we wouldn’t be without them. We can’t wait to release this record because it’s going to be AMAZING!
Aleksey: Exactly that.
Kris: It’s exciting because it’s the first proper body of work. You aren’t a proper band or artist until you put your first record out. When you get the opportunity to put ten or twelve tracks on one piece of art and you put it out, it’s just amazing because then somebody isn’t spinning your EP for three hours, they are playing your album – playing it twice, rather than an EP ten times and they get bored. Not that they get bored without music. But you know what it’s like when you have an EP or single, you just play it and play it and play it. Then you think ‘oh, I’m going off that song now’ so we will give our fans a single and another ten tracks at the beginning of next year. Hold tight, keep supporting us, we love you lots!
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