Sorry for the lack of updates; I’ve currently been extremely busy what with starting evening classes and as such, I’ve only had time to eat, sleep and go to work (although still managed to play loads of Team Fortress.) Normal service has returned, although I’m having my computer upgraded this weekend so no posts until it’s fixed.
Time for an interview. After my piece on Scream! Shout! Say Nothing‘s rather excellent debut album, ‘The Animals Still Run This City‘ I was lucky enough to be contacted again by their label manager to see if I would like to ask the band some questions. I was more than happy to oblige and here are the results….
1.) First things first. Can you tell me how Scream! Shout! Say Nothing came into being and why you chose that particular moniker?
Ben D: Dan and Street were looking to start a new project after their last band split up. We all knew each other through playing local shows together in different bands, so Jamie and I got involved soon after.
Jamie: Then we needed a bass player. Chris wasn’t playing bass at the time; he was fronting and playing guitar in one band and drumming in another, but because we were all good mates and really excited about it he wanted to get involved.
Ben D: We were struggling for a name and had a few ideas, none of which we were too keen on. That name happened to crop up one day (in the pub) and it seemed to stick. People seem to think we are trying to make some sort of statement with the moniker, but that really wasn’t our intention.
2.) Who are your biggest influences?
Dan: We all take influences from a lot of different genres, but collectively we’re into bands like Mogwai, Taken, At the Drive-In, Explosions in the Sky, Bear Vs Shark, Refused, Appleseed Castâ
Street: There’s a load really, but those bands are the ones that played the biggest part in shaping our sound.
3.) How did you go about writing the songs for ‘The Animals Still Run This City‘ – was it quite a natural process, or did it take some time?
Jamie: It can take a while. Some songs seem to come together pretty easily, like ‘Fulfill the Roles’, but other times we can be sitting around in the practice room doing nothing and pissing each other off.
Street: We don’t ever have anything ready before we go into rehearsal; we just jam until we like what we hear, and then it all just comes together.
Jamie: When we went into the studio to record we realised some parts like the odd guitar part didn’t work and needed to be re-done. We’d never had a week in a studio together, so that was a good experience and really helped us get the best out of what we had.
4.) Do you think your sound has progressed from your first release, the self-titled EP?
Dan: The three songs on the first EP were the first three songs we’d ever written.
Ben D: Anything we released afterwards was bound to show a progression.
Street: After a couple of tours and a year or so of rehearsing, we managed to find a sound that we were really happy with. We like the first EP but it’s not where we want to be now.
5.) Any amusing tour stories you would like to share? What bands have been good tour buddies?
Jamie: We didn’t get paid in Huddersfield on our very first tour and were skint, so we were pretty annoyed because we were supposed to be on a guarantee and it was only something like 30 quid. It was Chris’s birthday, so we managed to steal about 10 bags of crisps and a frying pan which doubled up as payment and a present for Chris. We spent the whole next day hitting each other with it.
Ben D: We’ve got loads of tour footage we’re trying to put together at the moment. Some of it’s on Youtube already.
Street: We haven’t toured with anyone yet, we just take whatever support slot we can get, but we’d like to tour with a band we get on with in the future.
6.) What are your plans for the future?
Street: We want to get a second album out by the end of next year.
Ben D: And get on some decent tours. Passed that, we just want to take this as far as we can.
Jamie: Street’s very ill
7.) What are your thoughts on the current UK music scene?
Ben D: There was a time when bands like Hundred Reasons, Hell is for Heroes, Copperpot Journals and Million Dead were all releasing albums and it felt like there was an interesting British scene. It doesn’t really feel like that’s happening anymore. There are obviously still some wicked British bands out there, but I saw a poster in Kerrang a few weeks ago of all the upcoming British bands and not one of them sang with a British accent.
Jamie: We’re obviously influenced by a lot of American bands, but we take pride in the fact that we’re British and not trying to sound like we’re from California or something.
8.) What bands are you currently listening to that you would recommend to our readers?
Dan: Anathallo, Manchester Orchestra, we’re going to see The Constantines tomorrow night.
Street: The October Game are a cool band that are local to us.
Ben D: Hot Club De Paris are a good British band, and I’ve been listening to a lot of Mewithoutyou lately. They’re a great band. And Every Time I Die rules the World.
9.) One last question: is there any particular band/artist you would like to work with in the future?
Jamie: We’d love to do a split in the future with a band that we’re in to and respect. We haven’t got anyone in mind realistically. We’re concentrating on our own stuff right now.
Ben D: Working with Will again would be great.
Cheers guys, nice work. Scream! Shout! Say Nothing’s album, ‘The Animals Still Run This City‘ can be purchased from the Scylla Records website, priced Â£5.99, or with a snazzy t-shirt for Â£11.99.Â It is also available through itunes (no, not the t-shirt).
By Ross Macdonald