OFF THE RECORD: THE NORTHWEST AND IT’S THRIVING MUSIC SCENE

INTERVIEWS, NEWS, REVIEWS

 Off the Record is such a different event, unlike anything else happening in Manchester. Merging business with music, a conference set up to inform people of what is happening behind the scenes of the UK’s gigs and festivals, celebrating the music industry, but also supporting emerging artists and the grassroots music venues in the culturally rich city

STRANGE BONES INTERVIEW

INTERVIEWS

Before their sold out show at The Deaf Institute on Friday I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with Strange Bones’ frontman Bobby and bassist Will. The group closed their European tour with the gig shortly after the release of the single, Here Comes the Wolves, and the night went on to see a chaotically dynamic set from the four-piece band. here is what they said in the lead up to the gig:

Introduce yourselves…

Bobby: I’m Bobby from Strange Bones, I sing and play guitar

Will: I’m Will, I play bass

How did you come to forming a band and making music together?

Bobby: We’re brothers, everyone apart from the drummer. When we were little kids, our mum and dad have been in the music industry for years, managing and filming punk bands, they got us into it pretty young, didn’t they?

Will: We were raised on UK punk bands and we were interested in that from an early age.  We’ve always played together, the same four members, we used to just play straight punk music because of what we were brought up on. Then everyone went off and got into different types of music, we came back together and Strange Bones happened.

Would you say it’s mostly your parents who sparked your love for music?

Bobby: Our whole family is very musical, our grandparents used to play in a big swing band. When we were brought up our whole family, extended family and parents friends were playing music.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Will: One of yours [to Bobby] is Jack White, I’m answering this for you

Bobby: Yes I like Jack White

Will: We like everything though.

Bobby: Lux Interior is one of my favourite frontmen, I don’t really like to look upto people, ive never liked to idolise people but I take a lot of inspirationfrom different aspects of music. Not just rock music either, or guitar music, a lot of electronic music like drum and bass, dub, breakbeat, all sorts, jungle. I think when we were growing up we took a lot of inspiration from bands like UK Subs and Goldblade, old punk bands.

Will: We used to fucking love Rancid as well

How would you describe your style?

Bobby: Our style never really stays the same

Will: its going to change

Bobby: Its always got that Strange Bones feel to it. Weve never wanted to be pidgeon holed as a band, weve never wanted to be a rock band or a punk band or a whatever band

Will: its more fun creatively if you keep moving

Bobby: We’ve started incorporating bits of electronic into everything, its more interesting to keep evolving, mutilating sounds, you can only go so far with a guitar.

How has your single been received?

Bobby: the single has been received really well, I wrote that ages ago and its good to finally get it out. the tour has been great, a lot of driving because we did Netherlands and Germany, zig-sagging around Europe a bit. no serious injuries, we’ve had semi-serious injuries but we just crack on.

What was your idea behind your alternative way of reaching fans on WhatsApp?

Bobby: It was just a light bulb moment, I was fucking around for ages with these online distribution agencies that you need to get on Spotify and I was trying to get the date together and I thought fuck it. I was just getting frustrated with the music industry and I just wanted to do something a bit different, go straight to the source and cut out the middle man. With the next track were goiung to put out we will just ping it out without warning, build a direct source. you know what, I need to say this, its fuckingfacebook and instagram, it pisses me right off, all the algorithms I doint want to be part of that anymore, if you don’t want to pay money to boost a post, they show it to no one and that was one of the driving forces of me wanting to do something totally unconventional.

How would you say your sound has developed and do you know how it might go on to change?

Bobvy: I know exactly how its going to g on to change., were kind of easing in this new electricity with songs like Here Comes the Wolves, incorporating different aspects, different sounds, differ vibes through manipulation of samples, synthesisers, but keeping it rough around the edges. ive beenproducing music for years now, the one thing I enjoy most is taking an audipo file and mutilating it,running it through loads of different distortions and modulations until its a completely different sound which is good now because a lot of the sounds which we have on the recordings, which we haven’t been able to do live before, I can get them going now with a sample pad.

Do you ever look for inspiration?

Bobby: I think inspiration finds you

Will: Inspiration is bullshit, just get shit done, if you sit around waiting for inspiration youll be there for weeks

Bobby: you’ve just got to let it find you, as a songwriter you can end up in a black hole and you can never force yourself to wtrite a song if youre not getting anything good out then just do something else for a bit, inspiration can come in so many different forms as well, never go looking for it

Whats been the most exciting part of your tour so far?

Bobby: We probably shouldn’t talk about it in an interview,

Will: all the cheese and ham in Germany

Bobby: to be fair its all been fucking great, but eith touring half of its amazing, the best time ever, youre with all your best mates playing great shows and then half of it is just fucking boring, just driving driving driving driving…. its all been great though, every show has been madness.

Has anything strange happened at any of your gigs?

Bobby: we were playing in hamburg and the third song in I jumped in the air and my pants split right down the middle,from my arse to my crotch

Will: he had bright red boxers as well

Bobby: yes bright ret boxers, I just kind of went with it

Where do you get the ideas from for your intense shows?

Bobby: it just happens, as soon as we start playing shit just gets nutty, people get kicked in the head and everyone just has a great time even though they get slightly injured, theres been no setrious injuries in the crowd, im the only one that’s been seriously injured

what do you try to make time for outside music?

Bobby: Im a tattoo artist, wills a painter, a spray paint artist, jack’s a builder and Spud’s a tree surgeon. its not 9-5 so we can work around it we work when were not playing to get by.

Do you have any guilty pleasure artists or songs?

Bobby: will’s probably got a load, im not guilty

Will: im not bothered about that, if I like something I like it

Bobby: jack is probably the one to talk to about that

Will: Jack always sings lame karaoke songs,

bobby: his bosses always put daytime radio on at work so e just comes home singing whatever hes been hearing on the radio, he fucking loves it, he wouldn’t even hide it

What has been your best achievement so far?

Bobby: selling out deaf institute

What are the plans for strange bones in the future?

Bobby: were going to put a lot more music out next year, like a constant stream of music and were going to do saome weird unconventional shit, its going to be fucking great.

We are excited to hear what the band have coming over the next year and look forward to hearing new music from them. read our review of their gig here.

Liv X