What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
We both met (John Newton – Drums/Vox & Johnny Healey – Guitars) whilst studying at University in East London. Having realised a mutual interest in music and the broader arts, we eventually found our way into a rehearsal room after graduating. JOHN became a post-work club, a way to blow-off steam during and after the working week. It quite simply grew from there.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
We recently released our second album ‘Out Here On The Fringes’ on our label Pets Care Records in October 2019, which contained three singles ‘Future Thinker’, ‘High Digger’ and most recently ‘Western Wilds’. The album documents the everyday experiences of life on the edge of an ever-inflating city – moulding them through the form of relatively noisy rock songs.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
There’s so many different reference points that go into the melting pot when putting together an album, and we’re just as interested in literature and visual art (alongside more obviously audible comparisons). We’ve always admired bands who follow this multifaceted approach – we don’t necessarily sound like them – but Fugazi are a particularly shining example.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
We’re not really in the game of caring greatly about achieving some kind of impossible originality, but there’s certainly some kind of idiosyncrasy in the limitations of our number. I can only sing in rhythm with my drumming and this informs a certain dynamic to the songs. Similarly, Johnny plays an octave bass note at intervals via a pedal, and this also informs the type of musical decisions we can make when writing.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Italo Calvino – Mr Palomar
Michael Hanneke (Dir) – The Seventh Continent (because it was written on a Greek Island)
Mogwai – Les Revenants (OST)
Gregory David Roberts – Shantaram
Sean Penn (Dir) – Into The Wild
The Bees – Sunshine Hit Me
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Thankfully, we get to do both! They are completely different experiences and both have their own charms to enjoy.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
The record label we started (Pets Care Records) is named after a now-defunct Pet shop in our native Crystal Palace, South London. The logo is the exact logo taken from the shop: a very sad-looking cat. Johnny now has the cat tattooed on his leg.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
It’s impossible to pick between children! But I’d say that album opener/first single ‘Future Thinker’ from ‘Out Here On The Fringes’ sets the tone nicely as an introduction.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
This year is a looking like a really exciting one for the band, with appearances at some fantastic festivals planned from May onwards to continue supporting the album. We’ll also be focusing on new material throughout the gaps inbetween. We’ve actually just completed a rather humbling headline UK tour too, which saw us play the biggest venues/crowds so far.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Q: Do you want another cup of coffee?
Photo credits: Aidan Stojsavljevic (1st one) ,Paul Grace (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with JOHN: