Eating band members, spitting, and recording at Maida Vale. Things are looking up for The Computers
“I’m pretty tired right now,” says bassist, Nic, from The Computers “but I haven’t got tonsillitis (yet) like a bunch of my friends.” Well that’s lucky considering how busy the band has been recently. The Computers are a “Garage Soul Punk n Roll” band from the Deep South west in Exeter. Perhaps this sounds like some sort of weird concoction made up of re-mastered samples, but one listen to any of their tracks and you will surely be mistaken.
The Computers, completed by Alex (Lead Vocals), Sonny (guitar), Aidan (drums), and Nic (Bass), have been busy of late, recording new material, touring with the likes of Alexisonfire and Gay For Johnny Depp, as well as the recent launch of their new website last month in April and the recording of their new single. The Computers first “started the band about 4 years ago when we were feeling particularly bored with current music at the time.” Nic says. “We’ve known each other since forever.” The Computers, who are now signed to One Little Indian Records, are definitely not for the faint hearted, with live performances seeing them play with all their energy, as well as releasing certain bodily fluids from the mouth and encouraging members of the audience to just go wild. At a time when the industry is churning out the same old tune after same old tune, it’s nice to see a band that don’t give a shit and just do what they do best.
The band has been influenced by many artists and musicians. “I really couldn’t name one person or band. Between us we’re influenced by lots of stuff. A few names that spring to mind would be The Cramps, Elvis Costello, and RFTC. (Rocket From The Crypt)” This is definitely evident in their music. Each track has its own individual identity, like in Group Identity, which uses late 50s/early 60s guitar riffs layered with raw vocals and clean harmonies. The songs make you want to lose yourself, have a good time and just go crazy. S.O.S carries these same features, with the use of a deep pulsing bass and drums, making you want to get up and move.
Touring with bands like Gay For Johnny Depp does not come around easily. Nic reveals that “it came about because they (GFJD) had a new record they wanted to promote, and we’re the best band they know, so we were an obvious choice,” he says, “and we toured with them a few years ago so we’re pretty tight.” Nic also almost admitted that there may have been some “naughty” goings on during this tour. “Um, there was a fair amount of skulduggery and a little naughtiness but nothing too wild.” Clearly, something did happen, but what we will never know. Putting aside the craziness of a tour, Nic says that it was “lots of fun, but it was long and we had no days off. The way we like it.”
As well as touring with Gay For Johnny Depp, Nic tells about their tour with Alexisonfire, which was also supported by Chickenhawk, “It was swell. We had a lot of fun with those guys, but I think the highlight was meeting JK (Jamiroquai) in Amsterdam.” He says. Although he doesn’t reveal much about this tour, reviews have described them as “men possessed” and that those who were not interested to begin with were “transformed into cheering fans after only a few songs.” Speaking to the lead vocalist, Alex, back in January, at a show in Windsor, he said that “playing to 3000 people was mind blowing,” and that he “had to have an extra long lead to run into the crowd.” During their performance, Alex is known for rarely venturing on stage, preferring to play the set in the middle of the crowd.
The Computers seem to be playing a lot of live shows at the moment. Lucky for them they seem to be as close as a gang of monkeys mating “It can get tough on occasion but we know each other well enough to avoid any big fall outs.” Nic even knows which member of the band he would eat first if he was stranded on a desert island, “I think it’d have to be Aidan (drummer) because I think he’s probably got marginally more meat on him. He’s got these puffy pecks that he claims are still there from one Easter, where he got real chubby from eating loads and loads of Easter eggs.”
The conversation turns to the release of The Computers new release, Music Is Dead. “OK, it’s a super rad, top, mega, brilliant track that you just gots to get a copy of.” He says in an excited slang. “Sod downloading it or whatever, just go buy one of our 7″s. Especially as every record sleeve is completely unique, they’re all hand-drawn, screen printed or painted, and it’s limited to 500 copies! Plus the B-side is tops.” Nic seems very ecstatic about the release “I cannee wait to see who gets the one with what was the hair from my beard stuck to the front.” Not only are most of their merchandise and previous singles sold out, which are generally released on 7” vinyl, but Music Is Dead already has only 59 copies left, a mere month before its release date.
One of the main things some may be wondering is why do The Computers perform in all white? “Good observation. We do it ’cause we’re a unit first and for most. We also do it because we see it as dressing down, we don’t have to think about what we want to wear on stage and we don’t have to take loads of clothes on tour because we wear the same thing every night. Usually on tour, one pair of white jeans and one white shirt each will last the whole time. So they’re pretty dirty and smelly by the end.” Speaking to Alex, back in January, he explained that “it’s a sort of anti- fashion, but follows the bands of the 50’s and 60’s. I would never go out in this.” He said, laughing.
The Computers have also recorded some tracks at Maida Vale Studios and have been featured on BBC Radio 1. “Um, it came about because Mike Davies from the BBC Punk show asked us to come in for a session. We’ve done a couple in the past, so I guess he thought as we have a new record coming out, it was high time we did another. He’s kind of a friend now too. We met up with him in LA when we were recording our record last year.” Nic Says. “It was fun, we were in a big ol’ studio where there’s a plaque on the wall saying that Bing Crosby made his last recordings there in something like 1977. Pretty rad. Look out for the video of us playing our version of The Clash song Train in Vain recorded live at Maida Vale.”
Hearing your music being played from a record, CD or as an MP3 is one thing, but not many can say that they’ve heard their music on the radio. “It’s awesome! I think I’m yet to have the radio on and just hear one of our songs being played without knowing it was coming, but a bunch of our friends and families are constantly contacting us saying they just heard us on the radio. “
Soon the conversation turns to who they would take to their ultimate dinner party. “Um, I’d like to have dinner with Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis.” Nic says, thinking hard “I think it’d be amazing to be with three such big egos. It’d be pretty funny to hear them bicker. I wonder what they’d like to eat…” He trails off, seemingly in a world of his own. He then begins to talk about his love of cats “Well I love Cats, but I’m not sure I’d like to be one. I think I’d quite like to be a giraffe, maybe, because I like their really long necks.” He doesn’t reveal what it is exactly that he likes about their necks, but it is perhaps a reason we shall never know.
Coming to the end of the interview, there’s just enough space to find out why the band is called The Computers. “Because it’s the best name ever and we couldn’t believe that it wasn’t taken already.” The Computers are definitely on a steady path to success, taking no survivors but creating a whirlwind of chaos in their wake. Their mission to make fresh music is well underway, with the future holding bright things for them. “It seems to me that when bands get asked this question they always say something fucking stupid like ‘we’re gonna take over the world.’ We just want to keep writing good rock n roll songs and playing shows for as long as we can.”
he Computers new single Music Is Dead is out on May 2. The band are playing several shows till May.