RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW MANCHESTER BAND SPANGLED
Hiya lads let’s get SPANGLED, thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
I think we’ve all been inspired some way by the Manchester music scene and fancied leaving our own mark on it. We’re all obsessed with music and that’s what drives us.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
Ben is the frontman who up until 2019 hadn’t sang or written any songs in his life. But in a way, that’s what has made him totally unique in his lyrics – he’s like a blank canvas just churning out gold 24/7. He like me (Jamie) was brought up on Manchester bands like The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Buzzcocks and Joy Division. Likewise, Nathan and Niall have got similar backgrounds. I think me and Nathan have been playing our instruments the longest, I think Niall started off playing guitar a few years ago and picked up bass just before joining the band. Nathan was inspired by Green Day when he was younger, he was really into all them kinda bands. And Niall loves Peter Hook from Joy Division and of course Andy Rourke from The Smiths.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
We’re happy taking any questions really, we’re pretty talkative people so all questions are welcome. We do, however, love weird questions that just don’t make any sense. Like “If you were a dinosaur, what would you draw in a colouring book while blindfolded”.
We have had you on many RGM Live shows and your live performance has grown massively, who drove that?
We’ve loved every one of them! I think collectively we’ve come far as a band and pushed our sound and attitude on stage further with time. I think the main thing is that we absolutely love playing to people and we feed off the energy. Ben is an incredible frontman too, he just knows how to get the crowd going. You gotta have someone like Ben out front to really connect with the audience.
We were really sad to hear about what happened at IOW festival, with the passing of the singers father at the show, how did you rally around after such a tragedy?
We just all supported each other, like brothers. It was painful and it always will be, but John was our biggest fan and he’s still with us in our music. He believed in us and knew we were going places – so we go on smashing it for him.
Your rise as a band has been dramatic over lockdown, with all the trappings of the pandemic, you have done so well building the band, what’s the secret?
The pandemic allowed us to really focus on some new songs which I think was the biggest help. Through the pandemic, we’ve just been ourselves, tried to stay active and engage with people. That’s all it is really, I think people like that we’re a bit different and we stay true to ourselves.
What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on your local circuit?
Make Your Mistakes – Flechettes
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Love a good conspiracy theory. Paul McCartney dying in the 60s and being replaced with a decoy lookalike has gotta be the best one still hasn’t it?
What support is out there for new artists in Manchester?
There’s incredible support from you guys and other promoters who help bands just starting out get their name out there! It’s thriving at the moment innit, I think people needed new music after the pandemic so that’s probably a factor too.
Who is inspiring you at the minute on the Manchester unsigned scene?
We love our boy’s Rosellas, they’re smashing it at the moment. The only way is up – we’ll see em’ there 😉
What useless party trick /talent do you have/?
Ben’s frighteningly good at pretending to be Spanish. Nathan is fantastic at balancing a drum stick on his upper lip. And me and Niall can play guitar behind our heads (which hasn’t been cool since the 60’s).
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Think Academy 2 supporting The K’s is up there. Massive stage, massive sound, 1000 people, amazing energy, amazing bands. Loved every second, gave us a taste of what’s to come. The headline gig we did at Gullivers with you guys on 13th November is also one of our favourites, the atmosphere was electric and we had a lot of fun!
What was the worst experience on stage?
We did a gig in Bolton once when we were just starting out, and we hadn’t been able to practise properly. It was a bit of a car crash (maybe someday footage will surface). The moral of the story, is practice.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter (as are all of our mates) to the point of being able to quote entire films.
I’d (Jamie) never had noodles in my life until last month. Game changer.
Nathan’s shit hot at 8 ball pool.
Niall is actually from Mars.
Tell us a funny story from backstage?
We’ve got this thing right, where before we go out on stage we chant the Thomas the tank engine theme tune. Don’t ask why (we don’t even know). One time someone walked in on us doing it and you’ve never seen such confusion.
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe them?
We are the aliens…
Which one of the band is the most unpredictable and why?
Niall. He’s just a rocket of energy, never know what he’s gonna do.
Which one of the band is the biggest nightmare? (Just a bit of fun)
Probably me (Jamie), I’m incredibly picky and a perfectionist.
You have one phone call and you have been locked up for a crime you didn’t commit? Which member would you call first?
Ben, cos I know he’d be absolutely no help whatsoever, but we’d just laugh about it (and that’s what life’s about innit?)
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?
Every single practice. We just do stupid things, there are far too many occurrences to pick one. We need a fly on the wall to capture us in all our stupidity.
The new single is out, what can you tell us about it?
It’s the best thing you’ll listen to until you hear the rest of the EP in March…
The song itself was written in 10 minutes when myself (Jamie) and Ben went to just make some noise in a room as we occasionally do. I started stomping on the kick drum and then the riff followed, then Ben’s lyrics just flowed through the air. It was a special moment, and still one of our favourite choruses. It was also one of the first handful of songs we wrote that has made it through as we’ve developed.
What was the recording process like?
Brews, beer, more brews, pies, beer, another brew. Done. It’s that easy. We love working with our producer Gareth Nuttall, he’s like an extension of us in a way. He’s on our wavelength so things happen pretty seamlessly.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
It’s strange because it has never been difficult. It’s always been natural, the tunes just flow out of us and there is no sign of that stopping. The hardest thing is not releasing new music instantly, we have to take a step back and plan things and not let the excitement get the better of us!
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Probably not. Everything has its place and happens for a reason. But that doesn’t mean we won’t revisit certain things in future. Is anything ever really finished?
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Continue to release the best tunes we can and connect with people. We’d love to get onto a few festivals too so watch this space. Oh and, the EP dropping on 4th March is going to blow everyone away – we think we’ve saved the best till last with the remaining 4 tunes on there that people haven’t heard yet.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Peace n love, get Spangled, have a gooden. See ya on the mainstage in a few years somewhere….
Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.