Four angry young men from Warrington are causing quite a stir locally at the moment with their infectious melodies and channeled anger. Jogga, John Lord, Mike Wilkinson and Mark Kieval took time out from working on what could be their make or break debut album, to give us an insight into the workings of their tight and close knit outfit as well as providing some useful insights into the state of the music industry currently.
You hail from Warrington, can you describe what the Warrington music scene is like presently and do you feel that you fit into it?
The scene in Warrington has got better over the last few months. We've seen a few venues start up nights and keep them going lately. There's not a massive amount of support for local bands but there are enough bands around to make up a decent audience. As long as the venues stick with it, the scene can only get better.
How did 13amp start tell us the story in your own words and would you say that you are still a band in transition?
Our previous band (FATSHAFT) had run its natural course by the end of 2003. FATSHAFT had a pretty much defined style that didn't warrant too much in the way of experimentation.
This caused some conflict at the time but the break was necessary. In terms of 13amp being in transition I think I'd be pretty pissed off if we weren't. I hate the idea of treading water and writing songs on the basis of what we believe we are supposed to sound like. I don't like living on the past.
For the un-initiated your style can be described as flip flopping between the more mainstream sound of The Libertines and The Cooper Temple Clause. However, with song titles like 'Do you think you invented drug abuse?' and 'Just Give Me The Knife' you veer more towards the style of the latter mentioned band…Do you concur? If so, do you think that it is a good thing at this stage of your careers?
I don't really know much by either band to be honest. I don't mind having comparisons made but can't really relate their sound to ours. It's probably not advisable to make comparisons with song
titles. We've also got very short ones!
How is work going on your debut album and how would you summarise the sound of it?
Hopefully it's not going to sound too self indulgent but when you think about putting together 10 or more songs, that hopefully will fit together and reflect our lives now, it's hard not to become completely self-obsessed. We're riding that storm at the moment! All of us had a pretty shitty year in personal terms last year. I'd like to write something that expressed that, but it would make a pretty miserable listen. We're being fairly open about it and taking our time. I want to make something lasting though so it won't be rushed.
What are your current musical influences?
I think the last Goldfrapp album is fantastic and I really like the new Sleepy Jackson album. I've always got Talking Heads, The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Clash to rely on.
How did you enjoy playing the Roadhouse with the wacky welsh rockers McClusky last summer? Did you learn much from them?
The McClusky gig was a really good and defining turning point for 13Amp. I thought we competed with them at least. Maybe we got a draw on the night, it wasn't a drubbing anyway. It was nice to get out of the normal showcase kind of nights we'd been playing and see how the other half live. We had a great reaction and made some lasting contacts from it.
Which of your songs sums up your current mood and why?
We've a song on the new promo CD called “Nowhere & Everywhere”. We recorded it at the same time as Heaven Sent at the end of last year and it pretty much sums up the mood we were in. Hopefully it shows how angry, and probably confused we were at the time. I can see this being a template for the album but time will tell.
What is the band's proudest achievement to date?
I'm probably proudest of the fact that we are still making music and challenging ourselves. Hopefully we'll make a stunning album we can all be proud of.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I'd like to have the album done by the end of the year. We intend to treat it very bloody carefully. We might not get another chance but who knows?
Who or what makes you angry (aside from someone firing annoying interview questions at you)?
Lies, death and running out of bread.