Updated: Aug 12, 2021
It all started about 13 years ago. Me, Rado and Ivo were studying in the same high-school class in our hometown of Sofia, Bulgaria. We really wanted to start a band and would gather in one of our classmates’ dad’s garage. Trouble was, we only had one guitar, so we would take turns playing it. I could sing a little bit, so I was going to be the singer. It took us about 2 years to really form a band out of this initial gathering. Our first gigs happened in Sofia, about 10 years ago. We were called “Gross” back then. I know, so funny.
Every band progresses at their own pace. For me, it felt like we were taking forever to make just about anything happen. Back then even playing in front of 30 people was a massive deal. I guess it always is. I’d say it took close to 4 years from the time we played that first gig to the time I felt something good was happening with us. By that time we were already called “Hayes & Y” and had found a permanent drummer, Georgi. He was older and more experienced than us, and that definitely helped take the band to the next level.
A massive turning point for us was when after one of our gigs we met a Bulgarian musician we really looked up to. He is the guitarist for the Bulgarian cult band “Ostava” Georgi Georgiev. At that time he had just started his own label and was looking for fresh bands for it. Even though we kinda sucked at that gig he must have seen something in us, as we soon started working together. From that point onwards we started getting recognition and that also meant we needed to start thinking about our long-term future.
It didn’t take us long to realize that if we were to achieve anything substantial we had to leave the country. The truth of the matter is that it’s pretty much impossible for a band to support themselves just by gigging in Bulgaria. The country is just small and most people there aren’t that much into our kind of music. I hope we can change that.
We settled on moving to London, which was an instant reality check as it shattered all of our illusions pretty quickly. Luckily, that’s where we also met Dennis - the fourth member of the band and our current drummer. He is Finnish and that made the band a bit more interesting. Dennis also brought a new level of drumming, which we felt was needed. Back to London though - London is hell for an artist. We lived in this tiny apartment and hated every second of it. It’s just too expensive and you have to work constantly to afford it and that’s not why we moved. We needed time and space to create. It was decided - we were moving again.
Thinking about British music, or even world music, there are a few cities that come to mind. We found out that a lot of our favourite bands were from Manchester and decided that’s where we were going. Didn’t know anything about it, just found an apartment online, rented it and went ahead.
We lived together in Manchester for 4 years. Our living room was a studio and our closet was a vocal booth. Both of those to the annoyance of our neighbours, but it worked fine in the end. It was there that we wrote, produced and recorded Always So Simple, The Feeling, Blue and many more, up until AP/NP.
When COVID hit it made it really complicated for us to stay together, so we’ve been trying to make it work the best we can. I have a new studio, which makes the process much more enjoyable.
2021 has been great so far, we’ve released 3 songs and plan to release 3 more by the end of the year. It’s challenging, but still very exciting.
That’s it for now, speak soon
Hayes & Y