Interview with Twisted Wheel - written by Raegan Oates

Tue 18th May, 2010 @ 5:47pm by fd2d

Interview with Twisted Wheel - written by Raegan Oates

Twisted Wheel - formed in 2007, signed to Columbia Records in 2008, toured with Oasis, Paul Weller, Kasabian, The View and with a well received self named first album ‘Twisted Wheel’ tucked snugly into their skinny jeans; things are more than ticking along for these lads. Now it isn’t always easy interviewing bands with such a repertoire.However sitting in Leicester’s Music Cafe I discover three upbeat, down to earth lads displaying a welcoming northern charm despite, as Jonny tells me, having been up all night after being locked out of his flat while the Japanese winner of their most recent ticket competition, flown over especially, lay upstairs asleep on his sofa oblivious to any such commotion, but that’s a different story.

If you don’t know Twisted Wheel, then you should. This is a band with an anti escapist sense to their music with running social commentary throughout. They’ve an appeal that pays no mind to demographics, a band whose influences shout out from The Jam to The Clash but if anything it’s homage not imitation. What I’m interested in today though is how life is treating them, the release of their new single and how they are finding keeping the interest of a recession-hit music scene with a predisposition for illegal downloading.

It appears they have just the remedy, the release of their new single ‘Tell the World’ in April. “We’re doing a free download, giving it away. It’s a nice thing to do in this day and age. Everyone is downloading illegally so we might as well give something out to them”. The inspiration for the song, “realising what’s real and how good life can be and how the right person and music will guide you through life in an inspiring, exciting and sexual way. It’s more of a ballad song than people are used to us doing”. Alongside their raw energy and passion there’s also a thoughtful and intelligent dimension, where goodmanners cost nothing. One of the lads mentions “I’d have been a teacher if I hadn’t have done this”.

With the enemy of old being the establishment the new one facing us is apathy, and that’s where this band ticks the boxes with their complete lack of it. It’s obvious from the live set that they enjoy what they’re doing and ego only appears during the sound check when ensuring things are just right and who can blame them. So as we sit and talk and later join them over dinner, it’s refreshing to find a band in this climate happily living their dream with Jonny even reminiscing “I used to make my own radio tapes as a kid, it was called Key103, a station just for kids. I drew pictures on them, recorded bits from the radio and put my own music on them, I’d also DJ in between. I haven’t got any of them left though, I’d love it if I did”. Not to worry too much though hey, you’ve got recording the second album to look forward to. Life’s not looking too shabby for these guys and with that I’ll leave you with the rest of the interview.

You’ve been busy touring the last few months with good reviews. I don’t think I’ve read one bad one?

Jonny: (Smiling) We don’t put the bad ones up.

Adam: Best tour yet without a doubt. We did a lot of supports last year so it’s good to do our own thing.

Jonny: The supports were fantastic but after a bit you want to do your own. We loved doing them because it’s harder and you’ve really got to entertain the crowd. It’s great though when you’ve had that sort of pressure.

What was it like playing to thousands of people and then going back home after tour?

Jonny: Where we live no one really cares. They all wanna try and be something themselves. The last thing they want to know is what you’ve been doing, know what I mean? You find that on the internet you get all these people saying I went to school with you.

Do you still get nerves before gigs?

Adam: We do it all the time now. We’re gigging more than we’re not. It just becomes a natural thing.

Rick: Not really nerves just built up energy.

Jonny: You just pace around for 20 minutes. It’s funny when you go on tour with other bands you see them doing the same thing. Pacing around. You still get that adrenaline buzz. Sometimes you’ll be in bed and its still there and your ears are ringing and that.

Where’s next?

Jonny: Bathgate. Everyone we have spoken to has said you’re gonna go Bathgate that’s really rough but it’s looking good. There used to be a lot of work up there and then Motorola came in from America and set up. All these other companies shut down because everyone was working at Motorola but then they shipped out and there were no jobs left. To me though it sounds like a great
place for us to play. We like to get back to basics. Go out and do gigs, go to these places where people don’t even play anymore. Play there. Go back as much as possible and put a good show on.

The record industry is also having a bit of a tough time at the moment. Do you think it’s getting harder for bands with the recession?

Jonny: It’s more downloading that’s killing them. Rumour is as well, you’ve got to spend two million on a band to make a million records.

Rick: They need to put everything behind bands instead of doing it half heartedly and losing money at the end of it.

Adam: Other bands need to be more down to earth these days. Days are gone of labels throwing loads of money at you.

Do you think there’s a need to put on a bit of a show?

Adam: I think there’s a need for a band doing what we do. That’s
why we go for it as no fucker else is.

Jonny: It’s never dangerously rough like, people getting hurt it’s just very busy. It’s good because the kids at the front doing that now 20 years ago would have been the ones wearing ripped up jeans, with Mohicans and were punks. It’s also good with us the range of people that you get at the gigs. You’ve got the young kids, there’s more now that the last set of shows. You’ve got the older people. It’s people of all different ages.

Do you think bands make most of their money from touring now?

Jonny: Yeah definitely. A lot of the bands that are making money or touring have all got an act, a gimmick though. A stupid dress up and all that, we just sort of wear things that we like and feel comfortable in. I think we’re kind of straight as it is with the music, into the music and feel it.

Playing any of the festivals this year?

Jonny: Yeah we’ve got a few big ones lined up.

What’s it like when you’re playing them and you think back to being
one of the crowd a few years ago? Must be satisfying?

Jonny: (Smiling) I think it’s about time that we played at them. I’ve been going to them for years and thinking bastards!

Adam: There’s also a little bit of you that wants to run off and go mad.

Rick: Cos all your mates are already completely bolloxed.

Finally then, if you could have written one song what would it have been?

Adam: Tommy.
Jonny: Instant Karma.
Rick: …..
Adam: You can edit this bit…

Mine would be Merry Christmas because of the royalties.

Adam: (Smiles, looks to Rick) That’s his, and what about Noddy Holder? I had a bit of Noddy Holder on today, a bit of Slade on this morning actually.

And with that, that’s us done for now till next time.


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