Hailing from the North coast of Cornwall, William The Conqueror is led by former folk star Ruarri Joseph alongside multi-instrumentalists Harry Harding and Naomi Holmes. Their debut release Proud Disturber Of The Peace landed no. 6 in the UK’s Official Americana Chart as well as no.4 in the Indie Breakers.
William The Conqueror features Ruarri Joseph, a former folk singer-songwriter who walked away from a major record label deal to explore the music he wanted to make after feeling restricted by their A&R vision for his music. Joseph enthuses about the band’s more rock sound:
“I think they wanted to box me in as something I wasn’t, but I didn’t know what I was either at that time. I spent a lot of time on the folk circuit with my beard and guitar and had a blast. It paid the bills for a while and for that reason was tricky to think outside the box creatively. At some point I figured my younger grungy self would’ve been disappointed in what I’d become. William became a way to pay tribute to those forgotten dreams I guess.”
Sculpted off the radar with no-one to answer to but themselves the band ended up recording their debut album in Joseph’s garage (literally disturbing the peace) after plans to record it on the Isle of Lewis were hampered by a hurricane killing the power.
Undeterred and embracing the ethos of roots based producers such as Ethan Johns and Ryan Hewitt and with input from Slowdive’s Neil Halstead, they were adamant they wanted to keep the edges loose, opting for single live takes and avoiding excessive overdubs, focusing on the vibe. The results sing with the confident energy of a band comfortable in their own skin, striking a vein of creativity and running with it.
- Catch William The Conqueror at Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach on November 22.