So how does a band go about getting a gig with Ginger Wildheart?
Honestly? Just ask him! He’s just the nicest bloke and the best thing about him is he fucking loves music. If he likes you he will go out of his way to get you heard. That’s pretty much what happened with us, we played with an incredible band called Exit_International in May who knew Ginger, they liked us, tweeted about us, Ginger read it, tweeted about us and by the beginning of June we were touring with him. Mental. I love Ginger, he’s brilliant.
Didn't he top Rihanna in the download charts a few weeks ago - That must have been inspiring?
Well it’s always been an aspiration of mine to beat a multi-million selling pop songstress to the top spot, well maybe not quite, but I think the addition of Rihanna’s name cheapens what Ginger has achieved here. The man has set out on what seemed like a very one sided mission to get his music to his ever dedicated fans (he has the best, most dedicated, league of fans I’ve ever come across) and what’s more has succeeded. His Pledge campaign not only spawned a unique album but included and engaged his fans in a way that no other artist has before, beating some crap pop stars to the top of the download charts is just one of the minute victories that came along with it. That’s not to mention the quality and diversity of the music that he has been writing as of late, 100% is a fucking insane album and his next project Mutation is going to be even better. It’s an injustice that it has taken so long for people to start taking notice of Ginger again. The man, his band and everyone that support him are what are inspiring to me.
Where was the tour, what was he like and what did he make of you?
We started at the Manchester Academy, then Glasgow Cat House, followed by The Duchess in York and finished off at the Asylum in Birmingham. So it was just a short one, the whole thing was to warm Ginger and his band up for their return to Download Festival. It was really exciting to hang out with a guy that I used to read about as a kid in Kerrang, pretty surreal. We got on really well with the entire band; they’re just a really nice, down to Earth bunch of guys (and girl). On one particularly destitute evening we were sleeping in our van, I was bent backwards over a bass amp because there was just no space for everyone and Ginger came to our rescue, “the bearded ones can stay on the bus” Ginger said to his manager, Gav. I’ve never been so glad to have a beard, his tour bus was amazing, best sleep I ever had. His guitarist Rich is putting on our gig in London for our tour with Exit_International (Boston Arms September 29th) and Ginger is Deejaying at it. I hope we get to work with them again in the future.
Can you list the amount of breakages you have had from the cheapest to most expensive?
As always we had our fair share, right from small stuff like guitar leads being snapped clean in half (apparently that doesn’t come under Planet Waves’ life time guarantee either, take heed guys) right up to the demise of my beloved guitar ‘Hard Bastard’ (a Hofner Contemporary Hollow Bodied club). I’ve had hundreds of spills with this guitar but I always manage to patch it up, I’ve even rebuilt it before using a saw, hammer, nails and a shelving bracket. However during our show in Glasgow I decided to jump backwards from some rigging, landed on my shoulders and snapped his head in twain. I’ve patched him up yet again but I’m fairly certain it’s terminal.
Perhaps the most expensive/priceless thing that we broke though was perhaps our bass player (Paul). It was his birthday right in the middle of the tour so we went out in York after the show with Ginger and his band and found a cocktail bar called Evil Eye. They served a cocktail that contained 7 different shots of Rum, naturally everyone on the tour took turns in buying him one. By the end of the night he thought he was in Scotland.
Are there any tips you could give to a new band wanting to build up their audience in both the real world and online?
Okay, well I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject because we should by no means be considered a “super successful band” but I have gigged around A LOT for the last decade of my life and from my experience this is my opinion on the matter:
Talk to people! Getting known is quite easy really as long as you don’t rely on people being impressed by your mystique as the tortured artistes sat in the corner talking amongst yourselves. Just talk to people at gigs, be personable, if you don’t no one will remember you or your band. Don’t get me wrong, an online presence is very useful, but for a band at any level, your most valuable asset is your social skills. Unfortunately there are a thousand other bands (some good, most bad) out there each with there own fancy website and facebook, twitter, bandcamp, last.fm blah blah blah, so the grim reality is without a personality offstage you’re just not going to stand out. Once you have mastered that then you can afford to spend a little more time on forging a online presence so that you’ll have one place to direct all of your new fans to once you are gigging here there and everywhere. That’s probably the main piece of advice I have for anyone wanting to be a successful gigging musician. Also, don’t be shit.
What's in the pipeline for you guys?
We’re really excited about our last Nottingham gig of the year; it’s going to be at the Bodega this Thursday 27th September. It’s the first date on our double headline tour with Exit_International, our buddies Shields from Leeds, and hometown bros Widows are joining us for the fun. After that we’re taking a week out and then doing a killer two week tour of the UK in mid October. And then for the rest of the year we’ll be sitting down to finish off our first full length album, the material we have so far is the most agitated, disgusting horrible noise we’ve ever made.
For someone who hasn't seen Exit International, Widows and Shields before, what can they expect from the gig on the 27th Sep?
Well I think music videos speak louder than words, and both Widows and Shields have just released corkers... both bands are heavier than your Grandad’s testes and twice as hairy.
Check out Widows here and Shields here. As for Exit_International, well I can only describe them as the greatest sonic creation I’ve ever witnessed, double bass guitar that batters ears and breaks necks with startling precision. And there’s hooks, huge hooks. Listen to them on Spotify and come and watch them live, you’ll be in awe like I am.
With OCHE we saw a much heavier, harder sound come from the band than on your debut NPAG, will the next release bring something new to the table?
From what we have so far it picks up where OCHE left off, but we are experimenting more and writing in different ways, it has the same urgency but more sophistication. Perhaps we are growing up... no actually thinking about it’s just going to be a fucking angry record, with a few surprises that you won’t expect. It’s going to be OCHE, but twice the length and 100 times the speed.
What's the most awesome thing that's happened to you in the last week?
Last week we finished shooting the last scene to our new music video, I’d love to tell you all about it but it’s under wraps for the time being. I will however tell you this, the scene that we shot last week was the most over the top thing I could have ever imagined. It was so ridiculous that it started awesome, became stupid and then went right back to being awesome again. It was humbling to behold, hopefully that will come across when it’s done.
Baby Godzilla, Exit International, Widows perform at The Bodega on Thursday 27 September 2012. Click here for the Facebook event.