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Starting off nice and simple, I want to ask you about your name. How did you decide on it considering you aren’t a soloist?
Well when I first started, I started off doing acoustic stuff and after doing gigs here there and everywhere I decided to get the band together and since I was already building a reputation with promoters we decided to keep the name as mine, I bet it makes me look really vain!
What would you say the best crowd you’ve performed to is?
It’s a hard question really because it’s not always the biggest I suppose, the biggest we’ve played is the Etihad where we played to around 4000 people. It was mega, but absolutely freezing! That was with our original lineup and we’ve come a long way since then. Since then it’s been cool to do our own gigs where we can interact with our own fans and also attract new listeners like we did when we played at Reading and Leeds. It’s great every time we do a gig now we grow and become more connected as a group which has really helped turn us into the live band we’ve always aspired to become!
How has your change in lineup helped change the kind of music you’ve released?
Well since we decided that we wanted to start really pushing to get noticed in the industry, it became more and more difficult as the lads we’d first started playing with were not really up to the standard that we wanted and the more we performed live the more it started to show. So once we had the conversation with them, which was really difficult, we recruited a new drummer and bass player and the difference was absolutely unbelievable. We just clicked really well and it helped us start to get more back from promoters and labels and in general just helped us progress as a band.
What is it that separates you from other bands in your genre?
Well we really wanted, from the moment we started playing together, to make music that was more than just chorus and melody bog standard indie stuff. We really focus on the fact that we’re a live band that really enjoys getting the crowd going and making the kind of atmosphere that people will remember. We notice it’s becoming harder and harder to break through in the indie genre and I think it’s been a long time for a band that didn’t dip into the kind of ‘pop’ aspects of the genre to really make it and stay there. When we first came out everyone kept comparing us to Arctic Monkeys and I immediately wanted to get away from that because I knew it would mean we’d get lumped in with the same kind of boring, formulated music that was stopping other bands from breaking out.
Was there a part of you that was really intent on sticking with your indie roots?
Yeah definitely, every time we tried to make any kind of music that wasn’t indie, it felt as though it wasn’t honest and that it wasn’t really the kind of music that I wanted to make. Growing up I obviously had influences from what I went to see and the kind of music I shared with my Dad and I think that influence just never went away. I really feel as though the indie genre isn’t dead and that there’s still some good stuff to be made in it and I just hope that we’re the guys who can restore it to its former glory. I also think that it comes down to playing to your strengths and that it can be compared to playing football. It’s like being a cracking full back, but you’re always wanting to push further and further up the field, you have to play to your strengths in order to create the best music you can.
Who’s the best band you’ve ever seen live?
The Hives, I can’t recommend them more. I went and saw them at Leeds Festival and was blown away. I took my Dad to see them and he said they were better than The Smiths. Kasabian too are a fantastic live band.
How has the Manchester music scene that you grew up with helped influence your music?
Well, I’m actually from Bolton and we say we’re from Manchester so that people know where we’re from. But without a doubt listening to the music that has come out of the Manchester scene has left a huge mark on my music as the more shows that I’ve been to, the more it has left an imprint on my music.
What would you say your most unexpected influence would be?
That’s a good question. I’ve always been influenced by what I listen to and I grew up listening to lots of 70’s disco music and also quite a lot of Bowie and I think that they’re the kind of influences people may not immediately expect when they listen to our music. I listen to a lot of grime too, the stuff coming out of the British hip-hop scene at the moment is fantastic.
If you could sit underneath a dinner table and listen to any two people (dead or alive) make conversation with each other, who would you choose?
It sounds stereotypical coming from someone doing what I’m doing, but David Bowie would have to be the first one, purely because he’s bound to have so many stories. The second would be Karl Pilkington, he’s not exactly renowned throughout history but I fall asleep listening to his podcast every night and I think he’d be a good laugh!
Where’s the best place for people to find your music?
Definitely on our Facebook page. We’ve got some singles coming out really soon and we’re working to get those out and ready in the New Year. We’re really excited for the future as we’ve got lots planned!