The London Souls’ Tash Neal Talks About Classic Rock, Long Hair, and Brooklyn Bowl

Posted on Thursday February 4th in

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Beloved local two-piece the London Souls return to Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday night to celebrate what would have been Bob Marley’s 71st birthday. And vocalist-guitarist Tash Neal spoke to Knockdown Alley about new material and being in a New York City band.

You’ve been playing Brooklyn Bowl for years now. What’s different about playing here versus elsewhere? Having played Brooklyn Bowl since the early days, it’s always a pleasure and a great night when we play there. Everyone feels like family and treats you as such, which is a truly unique and awesome aspect of the Bowl.
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And what are some past highlights from playing Brooklyn Bowl? We played in August to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles at Shea Stadium. It was a really fun show and incredible just playing with the special guests that came and joined us. It was inspirational.

The London Souls have been around. You’ve toured the country and other parts of the world. But what do you love about being a New York City band? I think being New Yorkers is definitely a part of us as a band. In New York City there’s such a plethora of different artists and musicians who are striving to be the best. That only makes you work harder.

Somewhere between the release of your first and second albums, the band became a duo. How has that affected you in the studio? And how has it affected your live performances? Chris and I started writing songs together by working on them one-on-one and harmonizing to develop our sound. Fortunately, us both being multi-instrumentalists, we’ve only grown in how deep we can dive into our songs because the two of us know the music more intimately than anyone else. We generally hear from audiences that the songs communicate really well and that they always think it’s more than two people — in a positive musical assessment. I think people thought it was fewer people when there were three of us, unfortunately.


Because Here Come the Girls’ release was delayed, it didn’t come out until 2015, a few years after you’d recorded it. So does that mean you’ve already got some new material in the pipeline? Or are you just concentrating on the album and playing it live? We definitely have new material piled up, which is really exciting. We’re actually in the process of doing the next album and can’t wait for people to hear what we’re up to.

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Thanks to your sound, lots of people have compared the London Souls to bands like Zeppelin, the Beatles, and Cream. But who are some of your modern influences? I think one, in order to have perspective, should look at the timeless elements of music that move them from any era. Post-’70s, classic rock became a genre format, so anything with a riff and maybe rhythmic, heavy-sounding drums is automatically classic rock, per the bands mentioned in the question. Classic rock now is Pearl Jam. So the people who feel the need to compare to one era I’ve got to take it with a grain of salt because it’s the boilerplate from which we could put into context modern rock and roll. So for modern influences, I’ll say Iggy Azalea because it’s just as relevant.

And what were some of your favorite albums that came out last year? To Pimp a Butterfly was a great album that came out for sure. I’m going to also say the Tedeschi Trucks Band album Let Me Get By as well.

How would you describe one of your live shows to someone who’s never seen you play? I’d say it’s a rock and roll show. I’ve heard people try to describe shows, and the last thing they mention is the music after they talk about what the band looks like (and spoiler alert: If you’ve got long hair, you’re from the ’70s according to people the last 20 years), which may or may not actually musically describe what’s happening. I’d say come enjoy the vibe with open ears and let the music reach you, BS free.

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