Out on a hectic touring schedule THE BANDITS have been raiding the country's venues without having time to enjoy their spoils back in their home town. I caught up with guitarist John on the phone, having just arrived for that nights gig in Cambridge as part of the NME tour supporting The Vines.
“Yeah it's going good. We haven't seen much of The Vines as they keep themselves to themselves but I like a couple of their tunes. We are supporting Oasis in Nottingham soon, we played with them in Paris to 4000 people which has been our biggest crowd so far, and after they pulled out of some Belgian dates or something they offered us the Nottingham dates. I reckon its going to be a hard gig though. There is going to be a mainly Oasis crowd so they will all be chanting 'Oasis, Oasis' and stuff. Mind you the best place we have played so far had been Glasgow. People coming up to us saying that they had spent £50 on getting tickets for the gig and they were chanting 'come on the bandits' so it was cool.
So you have been playing on this NME tour supporting The Vines, any plans in the near future for your own headlining tour?
“Yeah we will be doing a small headliner tour at the end of the year, but we want to mainly concentrate on getting the album recorded for next year. We have just finished recording the next EP which is sounding good and will be out in December or the January. We did it at Elevator Studios in Liverpool and it came out all right in the end despite some calamities and dark forces making the tapes snap and other stuff happening. The EP will be a limited edition like the last one, just to give the press and fans another taster of what to come. The last one was so limited my ma didn't even get one. We're all getting on fine though. The worst habit? Smelly feet I reckon and the only fights we've had have been over who sits on the floor, but we take it in turns now.”
Speaking of your last EP it was released pretty soon after you signed to B-unique, did you have plans to release it anyway under your own label?
“Well it was already recorded so it just went straight out on B-unique and we have kept our own label 'Centro Del Blanco'. It's good because this way we can keep some control of direction and what we do but we also get the backing of Warner – although the owner of B-unique is a manc you have to put these feelings aside for your music haha. We have also got a remix by the Mad Professor out soon which we are looking forward to as its nice to hear what some one else's take on your music is. ”
How have you been managing to look after the Bandwagon as well as do all this touring? And can Iconoclast play another one some time?
“We have been really busy so we haven't been able to get down to the last couple of nights but we will be back home to play with Joe Strummer before Christmas and we will be organising a Christmas Special Bandwagon. In the New Year we will probably have to re-evaluate what we are going to do about it as we really won't have time to stay involved, it will carry on though. Tell the Icons that they have played enough, give another band a chance.”
So it's on with the tour then?
“We have had a couple of days off just to relax and we are dieing to get back into it and start playing again so we are looking forward to tonight (last Friday). We have had a bit of time to write some new songs so we are starting to vary the set a bit now as well. It helps us stay focussed and put on a good show all the time if we do that as we want the people who pay to come and see us go home with a smile.”
What team do you support?