Sie kennen sich aus der Schule, schwärmten gemeinsam für die Beatles und brennen ihre Träume nun endlich auch auf Vinyl: mit The Making Of werfen The Bohicas aus dem englischen Essex ihre erste Platte in die Regale eurer Händler! Bevor die Indie-Rocker mit ihrem Debüt sämtliche Bühnen Deutschlands in akustisches Kleinholz verwandeln, müssen erstmal Gitarren gestimmt, Stimmbänder geölt und mit noisiv.de gesprochen werden. Hinter letzterem können wir nun einen Haken setzen.
The Making Of besitzt das Potential großes werden: produziert von u.a. Mark Rankin (Adele, Florence + The Machine, Queens of the Stone Age) und Chris Hughes (Robert Plant, Paul McCartney, Tears for Fears), dominieren laute Gitarren und eingängige Melodien den Langspieler mit leuchtend-gelben Artwork. Die Vorab-Single Swarm darf sich bereits als designierte Festivalhymne bezeichnen. Frontmann und Lead-Gitarrist Dominic McGuinness plauderte mit uns u.a. über die aktuelle britische Rockwelle, Radiohypes und Clubkühlschränke! Auch erzählte er uns wie die 2013er Comeback-Platte der Queens of the Stone Age Einfluss auf die Produktion ihrer ersten Platte nahm.
We heard you guys got to know each other in school due to your mutual love for bands like The Beatles or The Kinks. You must be pretty stoked to play Hamburg then, right? Have you ever been here before?
Dominic M.: Ah man. We can’t wait. We played Reeperbahn festival last year and I spent the whole time feeling like a Beatle. It’s a healthy mindset to have when you have a gig. Really looking forward to returning.
We gotta admit: the very first time you guys caught our attention was during Julie Adenugas radio show on Apple Music’s Beats 1, which is currently available in over one hundred nations worldwide! How did it feel to be one of the first few acts to be featured on such a wide scale, and be introduced by the likes of Zane Lowe?
Dominic M.: To know that we have the support of these big DJs is great and it will undoubtedly help spread our music all over the world. But it’s such an intangible thing, I struggle to actually feel any certain way about it. All I know is that it’s positive and good for the band. If I was at a nightclub, and heard my song come on and everyone in the club was dancing and enjoying it, then that is something where I can go ‚Fuck yeah! Check that shit out.‘. But because I’m usually in the back of a van or in a rehearsal room, and I receive and email saying Mr So and so is playing your track on BlahFM, it’s hard to understand the enormity of it. It’s strange, but good. Still trying to understand it all.
Speaking of Zane, you guys also premiered Swarm as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World at his former channel BBC Radio 1! It seems that radio’s been working out perfect for you guys so far, even though a certain band once declared that the Video Killed The Radio Star: Do you think radio will live through some kind of renaissance in the next few years? How’s it working out for you – do you still get to listen to some of it?
Dominic M.: I’d like to think the radio will continue to be an important part of people’s lives. Personally, I listen to it less than I used to. I used to listen to it a lot when I worked as a decorator.
The radio is supposed to be a Russian roulette pot luck gamble of hit and miss records. Songs you love, songs you hate, songs you discover, songs you remember. I think the radio still achieves that and I think people still want that.
One of the things I noticed about you guys, is the fact that you seem to care a lot about having a true and honest connection to your fans and listeners, at a time where next to perfect production and promotion are pretty dominant in the industry. It almost seems like you want the audience to witness the process of a band being made, calling the record The Making Of and film an entire documentary (Swarm Over Essex) about a band that’s about to rise. What was the thinking behind this approach?
Dominic M.: There was zero thought put into it. We’re just being very honest. It mightn’t be the right thing to do because all my favourite bands are drenched in mythology and hype and almost literally unbelievable stories.
But our route as a band doesn’t have an epic tale to it. We’re friends from school that love the same crap. It’s a very ordinary thing that everybody experiences. To deny that and concoct some bullshit about meeting in an avalanche or whatever would be futile. Everybody can smell bullshit.
If your first EP and Swarm in particular is any indication, it doesn’t sound like rock music is about to die anytime soon. Still, rock stars in the likes of Gene Simmons claim that „rock music is finally dead“, whilst Kanye West runs around on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, claiming to be „the biggest rock star on the planet“. What is your take on today’s rock music – do you think something’s missing these days?
Dominic M.: I haven’t heard any bands that the 13 year old me would go apeshit for. And that’s all I’m looking out for when I listen to Rock bands. The bands I love are original and forward thinking.
Although influenced by the past, they don’t pull from it for themselves, but push it forward for everyone. The Strokes obviously love Lou Reed, Television and Blondie, but they didn’t record an album that sounded like a CBGB’s best of (Well, not to me). They created something that re-energized the genre and got kids playing guitar again. Personally, I have yet to come across a new rock band that does anything for the genre or it’s fans.
Back in 2014, a BBC article was raising the question where all of UK’s guitar bands had gone: now we’ve seen the rise of new rock bands such as Royal Blood, while having veterans like Muse going back to it’s guitar-driven roots. Would you consider yourself being part of a bigger – let’s say movement – going on right now in the UK?
Dominic M.: I feel like we’re pretty alone. Neither a good thing or a bad thing. If Muse and Royal Blood are part of the same kind of movement, I want no part in it.
Only because I don’t think we’re comparable to them. Other than we share some of the same instruments. They play like they’re soundtracking a sci-fi apocalypse. Nothing about what we do indicates anything of the sort. If there’s a ‚movement‘ where guitar based rock music is getting played to more people, then great. It’d be understandable to play the same festivals and appear on the same radio stations. But under the hood, we’re made of different stuff to those other bands.
We’ve heard you worked with Mark Rankin, Chris Hughes and Oli Bayston (AKA. Boxed In) on The Making Of. What was it like for you guys to work with three different producers on your very first record?
Dominic M.: It was a luxurious experience. The label kept suggesting these people and we’d be fucking idiots to not meet with them. They’re all so talented and we learnt so much from them. Oli Bayston was with us from the beginning and understood that one of the most important things about our favourite rock albums is that their identity is air tight and achieved by limiting the palette when you’re in the studio. It’s so easy to use every effect and make this schizophrenic sounding record, but that isn’t what we wanted to create. It had to be cohesive and sound like it was all the songs were pouring out of the same pipe.
Mark Rankin had just finished working on Queens of the Stone Age’s ‚Like Clockwork…‘ and we love that band and especially admired the production. There’s a solidity to the drums and the guitars sound like they’re coming out of the centre of your head. So he was able to bring all of that wizardry into the studio. And Chris Hughes is a bottomless pit of pop knowledge. He knows exactly why a song works from start to finish. If at any time we were listening to our music and felt bored, we addressed it together and solved it. It has to connect with the performer and listener during every millisecond of the song and he knew that. It was an incredible experience and I feel very fortunate to have been at the feet of these geniuses.
The Making Of will drop right at the end of festival season. Considering how much of an moshpit-anthem Swarm supposedly is, it’s quite a bummer to not see you guys playing one of the festivals in Germany this year. Any chances we’ll get our pit in 2016?
Dominic M.: Hell yeah. Our album will have been out for nearly a year by then, so hopefully we’ll be trying out new material by then as well. We played at Hurricane and Southside this year. Those were great gigs for us.
Last question: as a band that likes to document it’s process – is there anything you guys still haven’t managed to figure out in this game?
Dominic M.: I’m still trying to figure out how to leave a venue without taking the booze with me. At this rate I’ll be in rehab by Christmas.
Thank you for your time! See you guys in October!
Wer die Jungs mit dem tiefgelben Artwork beim Kühlschrank leeren auf frischer Tat erwischen möchte, dem seien beide Deutschland-Termine in Hamburg und Berlin ende Oktober ans tiefrote Herz gelegt.
The Making Of erscheint am Freitag, dem 21. August via Domino Records.