RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON BAND THE BREAKDOWN
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
(Andy) I’ve just grabbed a Columbian coffee made from the finest arabica beans in south America, Mike has a fine malt whiskey, Toby is sipping a Chateau La Fleur Petrus through a straw and Richard has started eating the biscuits I brought. I’d say we’re ready to go!
What made you decide to start the band?
(Mike) Me and Rich went to school together in East London and after that finished you need to start thinking about jobs and a career, which is sh*t, so we bought some cheap-o second-hand instruments and started to learn and make music on an old 4 track instead – a much better prospect than joining the rat race at the time!
Unfortunately, the band split to focus on the very thing we didn’t want to do, and so we entered the workplace. Fast forward 15 years and a chance encounter between me and the old bass player stirred up the old feeling, so I got in touch with the guys we restarted the band under the new moniker “The Breakdown”.
(Andy) For me, it was hot women
(Toby) I’m the drummer so I got all of Andy’s hot women, reason enough!
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
(Mike) I’m the singer and frontman of the band. Our musical tastes are quite different, but for me it was always indie/pop. I’ve a soft spot for some of the more off-the-wall bands like XTC, or the bands in the tradition of The Smiths.
(Rich) I lean towards the heavier side of the musical spectrum, so hard rock and grunge were my jam back in the day. Tastes change with time, but I still love me some big, distorted guitar rock tunes with awesome solos.
(Andy) Mongolian throat music! Have you ever heard that sh*t, it’s wild!
(Toby) I got to mention the Teenage Fan Club. Great band. Very chilled vibe.
What useless party trick do you have?
(Rich) Mike thinks he can fit his fist in his mouth when he’s drunk… he can’t, but he won’t stop him after a few pints.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
(Rich) We were playing a gig at the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town, but what we didn’t count on was being on last and doing well enough that the crowd wanted another song at the end of the set… We didn’t have one, so we had to make one up. To be fair it was a song that I and Mike had started writing a few years prior, but never did anything with – there were no words and only a vague recollection of the song structure and chords. The rest of the band had to make it up as it went along, but despite that, it went down really well, so we assumed either no-one noticed, or we’re too pissed to care by that point.
What was the worst experience on stage?
(Rich) It was the same gig as the one above, but Mike lost his Melodica. Sad times.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Andy can’t stand Coriander
Richard is the only one in the band not divorced
That is Mike’s real hair colour
Toby isn’t Mike’s Dad.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
We would take the time to describe the classics, such as Beethoven, Mozart etc… and then explain we are nothing like them, or as good.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
We don’t have a bass player currently. All willing participants please apply!!!
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Price of a pint!
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
It must be our new single “Summer Song”. The song dates back to our first incarnation 15 years ago but was never recorded. It was one of the first things we revisited when The Breakdown formed as so it has a special place for us.
I hear you have a new album on the horizon, what can you tell us about it?
Yes! The new album is 90% complete. As it’s a mix bag of new and old material it’s turned out a bit schizophrenic. It has a bit of a 90’s vibe running through it but is thoroughly its own thing.
Tainted with lots of nostalgic vibes, highs and lows, but overall, an optimistic album – it’s very much the record we wanted to produce at this stage while we find ourselves, and can’t wait to unleash it at some point this year.
What was the recording process like?
Well, everything was written during the lockdowns, so we had hardly played together, and it was mostly conceptual. As soon as we could get back into rehearsal studios, we had to learn how to play them together. We’re used to jamming tracks out, so it’s been a very strange, different (but positive) way of doing things.
Many of the tracks have been recorded at Unit 13 (Sterolabs studios) in South London, with Paul Tipler (Idlewild, Elastica, Placebo). It was inspiring and hard work, and Paul really knows his stuff!
Although the studio is a magical place to be, the cold reality is it’s a lot of waiting around for other people to finish their bits, but we wouldn’t change a thing.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album/ep?
That we can still write without being in the same room. That working on the album remotely actually gave us more opportunity to be more expressive and test out idea. The technology is so much more now than when we started out with that 4-track cassette recording 15 years ago.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Nothing. As a band, we make a point of when the song is mastered it’s over! We have a huge catalogue of tracks to work on and we just move straight onto the next.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Recruit a great bass player, finish the album, and start gigging again!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Yes, please follow us on our social media and our Spotify account. We are now getting into a pattern of releasing new material, and our debut album release is imminent. So stay tuned.