This Town Needs Guns has crossed off 2 out of 3 items off a list that they wrote at the end of 2009 about what they wanted to accomplish in 2010 ;
Play some shows in the US
Write and record a new album
Crowd surf at one of our gigs at least once
2010 was the year TTNG truly went international. In April they toured Japan for the first time, playing a total of 4 shows in Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo and at a festival in Sendai where they played to over a thousand people. They also rip-roared through the US creating some “non-distorted havoc” and leaving the dust in their wake. Now they are headed to Australia and we are going to blow their minds at Soundwave.
I spoke to singer & part time axeman Stuart Smith
How you doin? Not too bad , actually pretty bad, I’ve got a bit of cold at the minute but yeah I’m ok, how are you?
I’m excellent but I think that the country of Australia has a bit of a cold at the moment… We are supposed to be having summer at the moment but they are pouring something that closely resembles the ocean over our heads at the moment, it’s very strange…
Are you in Brisbane?
No! But I just got back from Victoria
If you were in Brisbane then it really would literally be the ocean on your head! It seems quite unfortunate. We are getting lots of news reports over here, it looks pretty savage,
Are you calling from Oxford?
What can you tell me about Oxford, I don’t know anything….
Well it’s a luvuhly place full of old buildings, a couple of big universities and a pretty decent music scene. There’s quite a lot of artsy-sceney sort of stuff coming out at the minute and seems to be quite popular with certain areas of popular press and they are along with the general sort of rock bands and quite a good hip hop scene actually, I think. It’s quite a varied scene really
You guys were 3 different record labels at at one point?
Pretty much yeah which lables were you referring to?
Sgt. House, Zunkio, & big scary monsters which seemed most interesting…
BSM is run out of Oxford by a friend of ours, well consequently he’s a friend of ours, at various points we’ve been on all sorts of labels, we’re due to release in Australia with a label called Yellow Ghost, in Japan with a label called Rallye, Sargent House in the US and subsequently things have just kind of developed. But we are no longer with Big Scary Monster, we are with Sargent House world wide & Zankyo in Japan.
Is it a case of whoever can help you out the most at the time is who you’ll go with?
Yeah pretty much, the first few records were through big scary monsters as they had a kind of presence here in the Uk , they distribute here in the Uk, Yellow Ghost in Australia, Rally in Japan and we got Sgt. House onboard in the Us coz they are a Us based label but we’re going to be working with them worldwide with the exception of Japan in the future, so yeah! It works pretty well…
I notice that you guys have been around for 4 years but you’ve only put out one album?
Yeah we kinda take our time to pull it all together and then put it down in the studio when we are happy with it. We did an album and we did a mini album before that, so yeah there’s been about 2 realeases or 2 and a half releases, but we’re really close to finishing off the latest album and hopefully it will be done before the end of the year.
Will it be out in time for Soundwave?
No I think we will be finished recording much later in the year. After Soundwave we want to take a break from touring and stuff and really concentrate on the album until its finished. We’re pretty desperate to write the new songs (laughs), we love writing new songs.
Do you let the songs come to you or do you have to actively try and write them?
Usually it’s a case of starting off with a guitar riff and then well sort of sit around with that riff or series of riffs and deconstruct everything put it back together again, deconstruct it a few more times, put it back together and see if it works. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t sometimes we’ll finish a whole bunch of songs and say “actually none of these are working for me” and its just a case of just keep on going and keep on writing until we come up with things that we really are happy with.
In the studio do you go for the layered approach, recording everything separately or are you a
live-take kind of band?
Yeah, unfortunately we have to go with everything separately
So is it drums first or guitars first?
Drums first. Usually we set it up so that Tim our guitarist will be playing and then the drummer will be recording with headphones on listening to the guitar. We do drums first then bass then guitar but our guitarist is such a perfectionist, well we’re all perfectionists really, and we wanna make sure that we have that time to make sure that what we’re doing is right with out screwing up anyone else’s part. Which you know is possible! Especially when we do it all at once.
So that brings me to my next question and that is; What is math rock? Do you guys call yourselves math rock or is that just something that other people call you?
Um it’s a name that we’ve been labelled with which I mean I don’t know that we really sound rocky enough to be math rock. The other bands in the genre, whilst we share certain similarities with them stylistically & structurally I don’t think, there’s certain elements where we’re quite different.
You guys abandoned distortion didn’t you?
Yeah pretty much yeah! Our guitarist was just like I just want people to hear what I’m playing and not hide it behind like walls of distortion and noise and stuff and in some ways its good personally we all like songs with distortion and stuff but I think it was more of an experiment to see if we could get that powerful dynamic shift without having to resort to pushing a button and hammering out some power chords
That is a brave and noble task!
I’m not sure whether we succeed…
I got to interview (fellow English Soundwave tourists) Rolo Tomassi, and They are amazing! Would you call them math rock?
Ummm Yeah! I don’t know what I’d call them to be honest, they’re just in a world of their own! I think with R.T. there’s kind of similarities with Dillinger escape plan but even stuff like the Locusts, stuff like that, there’s some sort of pretty warped things going on with their sound which I don’t think has been brought together before and I think it’s pretty good!
Who are you looking forward to touring with while your on Soundwave and anyone you would like to meet especially?
I mean id love to meet pretty much everyone on the bill , obviously iron maiden would be amazing, I d love to meet Z to the d from ODAL & RATM, I’m looking forward to seeing a band called Fucked up, and Queens of stone age. We’ve actually toured with Rolo Tomassi quite a lot and they’re really good so you should check em’ out!
I will! What kind of guitar do you play?
A PRS Standard 24 which is quite nice!
Those things are expensive aren’t they?
It was a 21st birthday present! It was either that or some jewellery that I would never wear, so thankfully I managed to convince my family that buying a guitar was a much more worthwhile investment.
It would appear that you were right!
Excellent!, what can we expect to see from your live show at soundwave this year?
Yeah, we’re gonna bring out a giant Eddy and have fireworks!… Na, we’re just gonna play some songs, we’re all about doing what we do and playing and hoping people like it. We don’t have huge production values I’m afraid… We’ll save that for the big boys…
I heard that your band thinks that the name of a song is irrelevant and that a brilliant way to prove that would be to name all the songs on the album after the first animal that came into your head. Is that true?
Yep, that’s exactly it yeah! Um, I mean we have a ridiculous name anyway, if anything then, our contribution to music should be that..; You should just listen to music and study it on the basis of how it sounds rather than how a band looks or what the songs are called coz it’s kind of pointless you know!?
I think that the media game is beating us at the moment. But you know, as long as we keep having opportunities to fly over to the other side of the world and play with other awesome bands then we’re doing alright!
This is your first time in Australia isn’t it?
It’s our first trip as a band there yeah. I’ve been over to the east coast a few times, but that was on holiday. It’s pretty cool, we’re all excited to be there and have the opportunity to play.
How do you feel about playing Brisbane after all the floods?
I’m not really worried, I’m hoping it will be fine. I hear in the news that the venue that we’re playing is now being used for evacuation victims. You know I’ve got a second cousin that lives in Brisbane and he’s telling me all about it on facebook which is nice. They’ve got six weeks to do the cleaning operation and I’m sure the roads will be open and things like that. But in Brisbane there is still gonna be a lot of problems, obviously for people there. Hopefully the Soundwaves will go ahead!
Hopefully it will be a good catharsis for everyone who was involved with the stresses and everything. Hopefully it will be a celebration and a victory for everyone still alive!!
You should check out Foxy Shazam while you’re on tour with them!
I heard the guy does a pretty good Freddy Mercury impression!! I’m sure I’ll check them out. Yeah I am hoping that we are not playing anywhere near them on the bill, coz I’m pretty sure that all the bands around them will be left in their wake… unfortunately!
I don’t think they would believe that if I told them!
Well we’ll see
Do you ever go into mosh-pits and if you do what are your tips for people trying to survive youre moshpit?
Heh, Heh… I used to go into moshpits but I’m too old now!
That’s what everyone says!
Unless it’s a moshpit at one of our own gigs, yes! And my advice would be stay on your feet, and pick someone up if they’re on the floor. Drink plenty of water! Or Beer. Don’t be a dick when you’re in a moshpit… and you’ll be fine
Can you tell me about the new album before we go?
Yes, it’s gonna have new songs on, and hopefully it will sound good, um, but whatever happens we will like it! And hopefully you will as well!
Dig IT !
Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.