Interview: Slowcoaches

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Hailing from Leeds, Slowcoaches have acquired numerous fans on the back of their debut EP We're So Heavy, which was released through Sheffield based Tye Die tapes earlier in the year. And it's easy to see why, with their concise, No Age like hooks and thrashing post punk demeanor, they posses a ballsy character that is often so absent from much of the new acts we come across on a daily basis. 

With the band set to unveil new material next week (keep reading), we talked to lead singer and bassist Heather Perkins about musical expectations, the press, a new song about an impregnated alien and why you shouldn't give a shit about being in London. Read on...

(One For The People) After being together a couple of years now and going through a bit of a line up change, how do you feel you've progressed musically?

(Heather Perkins) 
I think we're still in the early stages of actually achieving what I know that me and Matt want. The band in its old incarnation was pretty much a totally different thing. That was the first time I had played drums or guitar. It was really a big experiment and I think we were all very nervous and intimidated by a lot of stuff. Like the first time we played London was just such a big deal for us. Like someone actually asked us to play a show? Woah! We got pretty mixed reviews. There was a lot of noise and a lot of accidents. At that time, Callum's songwriting and playing style was so different to mine and Matty's and the whole thing was more of a close your eyes and cross your fingers and GO! kind of prayer and see what happens. It was a real exciting thing though because we were all having such a shitty time just floating around in Leeds and working all the time and not having any money and no idea what we were going to do. And then, suddenly, we had something to do and got to go to places for a reason! We still float around and work all the time and have no money but I've since learnt that no-one else has any idea what they're going to do either. Once you realise that you just get on with whatever you're doing at that time.

"You've got all these ideas and things you want to do and write and make, but you can't do them cause you spend the whole time serving drinks to assholes or talking to people on the phone who don't think you are a human being"

(1FTP) For someone who is yet to be introduced to your sound, how would you describe it?

(HP) Some girl that I now know described it as like 'sniffing the elixir of youth from a bottle of poppers'. I think that's my favourite description of our band so far.

(1FTP) Were you pleased with the positive response that the We're So Heavy EP produced?

(HP) Well yeah, of course we were. We recorded that thing live over one weekend and Adam (from Tye Die tapes) put a lot of time into mixing it and stuff. But the day it was released we had no idea anyone was actually going to give a shit. For some reason we got this mega response in just one day. James (also Tye Die tapes) said he was gonna quit music cause we were all just so overwhelmed by it. He's a massive liar and he didn't but yeah we were just all really stoked with how people actually bothered to listen to it.

(1FTP) Leeds always seems to have a fairly creative scene going on. How have you found it being a northern band in a country where so much is based around what happens in the capital?

(HP) I don't think everything is based around what happens in London. Is that a fact? I don't really know what 'everything is based on' means anyway? Things like getting press and radio play and stuff no-one cares about, unless you're one of those bands like Splashh or something, whoever they are that just come out of nowhere and no-one knows where they came from or why they exist except so they can get sponsored by Urban Outfitters. Maybe there's more venues and bands and shows in London but surely no-one actually cares more if something is happening in London than if it's happening in, say, Sheffield? Most bands that live here aren't from here anyway. It's not like 'London' is churning out a bunch of great bands, there's just more places to play. I definitely don't see that being from the north is a disadvantage, I just think that no-one gives a shit. At least no-one should. If you play in a town, people come see you if they want to. No-one cares where you came from or where you go to afterwards. Maybe I'm totally missing the point but I think I know more great bands that aren't from London than bands that are. I live in Nottingham at the moment, which totally sucks, by the way.

(1FTP) Moving on, can you tell us a little about the track "Tummy Bug" (which will be part of our birthday compilation album on 24/10)....

(HP) Yeah it's one of three songs that we wrote for a film that our friends John and Tom Turrell made. The film is called 'Tummy Bug' and it's about some boy that gets impregnated by an alien. There's lots of sick and blood... It's really awesome. John and Tom are twins from Nottingham, they're real smart and make some really dark, thought provoking films. I'm really excited for when it comes out cause we've been working with Belly Kids and it's gonna be put together with something pretty cool.

(1FTP) The cassette is something that is increasingly popular amongst indie labels. Is that a format which you're looking to use again?

(HP) Not really. I like the sound of our EP on cassette, it's best listened to on a car stereo. But of course we'd rather release everything on vinyl. The reason we released our EP on cassette is cause Tye Die Tapes is a cassette label. Seeing as most people listen to stuff through their computers anyway, the packaging sometimes seems a little irrelevant. It's more and more just a vehicle for artwork. Which is still very important.

"No-one cares about that stuff (press) unless you're one of those bands like Splashh or something, whoever they are that just come out of nowhere and no-one knows where they came from or why they exist, except so they can get sponsored by Urban Outfitters"

(1FTP) And onto new material, is there anyone who has been specifically influential? Or any direction you were looking to pursue further for that matter?

(HP) We have new stuff that we're all working on. It's so frustrating right now cause I'm like two hours away from Matt and Sam and we all work more than full time so things take a lot longer to get together.
The new stuff is a lot darker than the old stuff. I guess that EP was real poppy and instant. Kinda like if fast food music. Because of the distance, we're taking more time to think about what we're writing, which is something I've previously been really against doing. But it will be a more considered, more intricate, more interesting record that we do next.

I recently listened to the new Sauna Youth record and it is so smart. There are so many bands around, right? So many. And we're all pretty average bands. Yeah, some are good, but average-good. I'm just listening to Dreamlands like this is something really other. This is something people will listen to for a long time. I wanna do something like that. We're still figuring ourselves out.

(1FTP) Hopes for the next year or so? A new EP, LP perhaps? How prolific are you when it comes to recording?

(HP) We're touring Europe early next year if we can get time off work. There will be a new EP, maybe an LP. I really don't know yet. Between us, me and Matt have got so many songs. We'll just see what happens cause we're all so busy it's just a matter of working out when. If we try and push things we all fall out and fight. The only time we practice at the moment is when we play shows. Matt and Sam work two jobs each. Days and nights. I work full time and that's the worst thing. You've got all these ideas and things you want to do and write and make. But you can't do them cause you spend the whole time serving drinks to assholes or talking to people on the phone who don't think you are a human being. And you'll die with all those ideas in your head still if you aren't careful. Because you can't get around it, you got to pay for your rent and your electricity and your hot water. But I was speaking to a good friend the other day who is in one of my favourite bands. He said people keep telling him he's gotta write new songs, but he's just got nothing left. All dried up. I don't know which is worse. 

You can download new track "Tummy Bug" on October 24th as part of our third birthday compilation album. For now, check back on Slowcoaches previous We're So Heavy EP in full below.