The Others are currently halfway through their UK tour, having just released 'Stan Bowles', their second single. A few days ago, Glasswerk caught up with frontman Dominic after their Manchester gig. The interview was arranged for after the gig but the chaotic party afterwards meant there was no time for one. A chance meeting in a random Manchester bar the next day however, when the interviewer just happened to have their dictaphone on them, meant that the interview, against the odds, was back on. Dominic was great company over the two nights, eagerly mixing with fans, friends and family alike, and the resulting interview, despite appearing lengthy here, had to be heavily edited from the tapes.
GM (Glasswerk Manchester)- Dominic, talk us through last night’s gig.
DM (Dominic Masters)- Well, certainly a special night was had by all! It’s the second time we’ve played Manchester. The first time here we played the Night and Day to promote ‘This Is For The Poor’. It went really well, we sold that out. This time we wanted to find a venue that was, I dunno, slightly unusual, a bit weird. You know, when we arrived loads of football fans were rioting (it was the England V Wales game that day), there were all these Millwall fans in Burberry and Stone Island rioting across town and it was like “Welcome to Manchester”! So we virtually barricaded ourselves in our dressing room. We knew we could ram the venue, half decent soundcheck, but we had no monitors, we couldn’t hear ourselves play. So it gets to the gig time, the place was fucking rammed. I mean, we thought it could hold about a hundred, but we were told by V Man (the promoter) that there were two hundred and fifty people there. So when we get on stage the 853 Stagediving Kamikaze Division (the bands diehard following) original members were there in full force. Kids from Bury, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, a load from Warrington from the other night, they were all there. We ripped through the first couple of songs and then, you could probably tell yourself, there was no air conditioning, there was no air!
GM- You tried to get the windows open didn’t you!
DM- Yeah, I was trying to get the windows open but nothing’s happening, so I decided to go and stand on the speaker rack, right? (laughs) Now, you might have seen me on top of there and you might have thought “Oh, he’s doing that for fucking high jinks”, it was literally for air! By the fifth song, I couldn’t breathe again. I was jumping up and down, everybody moving forward, so I jumped into the crowd. That’s when you saw us crowd surfing! After that it was pretty obvious it needed to slow down so we banged into a real slow song. Got my breath back then we went into ‘William’ and everyone went wild again. Went into ‘This Is For The Poor’ and our drumkit got smashed up, the guitar amp had a hole put through it while the stage invasion and crowd surfing went on. Lost my breath again so I gave the mic to my mate Alan who finished the song… Fucking great night!
GM- It’s a big tour you’re doing now. Has it been like that all the time so far?
DM- We started in Cheltenham went really well, sold out there. Went to Hull, only 20 or 30 off capacity, it was a riot up there. Then Wakefield, which was brilliant, Warrington was alright. Then we went to Newcastle, another riot just like Wakefield and, like in Manchester, a full stage invasion. We’ve got four weeks of this to go including a date in New York.
GM- You’ve just recorded your debut album with Paul Schroeder.
DM- Bless him!
GM- How’s that gone?
DM- Schroeder’s been good to us. Obviously he did Manchester’s legendary Stone Roses ‘Second Coming’ album and it was a bit like lineage for us cos me and Martin from the band are Roses and Charlatans fans. Schroeder just fitted the right deal; he did the first and second singles so it was just obvious we gave him the album. We went up to the Lincolnshire countryside, to a tiny village with, like, one pub, two houses, a load of fields, cows and sheep and fuck all else. We were stuck out there for two or three weeks and it was like rehab, no drugs apart from some coke we got brought up to us. Worked our arses off, doing tracking, doing two tracks a day, every day. Completed the tracking for the album and now we gotta mix it.
GM- What’s the chemistry between the band, did you meet as friends?
DM- Nah, we ain’t mates.
GM- There seems to be chemistry between you on stage though.
DM- Yeah on stage but…
GM- That’s it?
DM- You know, we’re here cos James… James is a good guitarist in his own sense. He listens to The Buzzcocks, the Sex Pistols. John’s into Joy Division, Jesus and Mary Chain, Martin’s into Stone Roses, Charlatans. I’m into The Fall and Pavement but we don’t socialise together, we don’t party together. I tend to party with all the fans afterwards and they all go back to bed.
GM- You did NME’s ‘Burn It’ (where artists choose their favourite tracks for a mix tape for the magazine) recently. You have an eclectic set of influences.
DM- Well, I had a bit of an unusual upbringing so probably my music reflects that (he was born in Somerset before moving to London).
GM- Unlike many bands, mentally, there’s no barrier between you and the crowd, it’s a collective thing. Do you think it’ll be difficult to keep that up when you move on to bigger venues?
DM- Not at all, I’ve got sixteen hundred numbers in my mobiles. That to me is the first sixteen hundred members of the 853 Stagediving Kamikaze Division. They can talk to me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They can email me, meet me at gigs, socialise with me, go to house parties with me, stay in my hotel room, sleep in my flat… That’s the way it’s always been.
GM- And the other thing is, these impromptu gigs you do.
DM- Yeah, the other night at Newcastle we were doing a gig next to the motorway with battery amps!
GM- Is that also something you want to keep going through the bands lifetime?
DM- Fuck me, I do! I don’t know about the other ones but I’ll be alright.
GM- You’re quite an outsider’s band aren’t you.
DM- Oh, definitely.
GM- Aside from The Libertines, what other current bands do you feel a connection with at the moment?
DM- (ponders the question) Well, The Paddingtons, Hull’s finest! Yeah, The Paddingtons, Thee Unstrung, Agent Blue… Yeah, those three.
GM- Right, final question.
DM- Final question already!
GM- Well, you’ve been good value here so… Final question is, believe it or not, I work with one of Stan Bowles’ (seventies football star and title of the band’s new single) daughters. Have you got a message to pass on to her?
DM- You work with Stan Bowles’ daughter!
GM- Yeah, Tracey.
DM- Fucking hell!
GM- Yeah, she’s lent me books and videos of him.
DM- Right, well Tracey, obviously the song is called ‘Stan Bowles’, but it ain’t about your dad, it’s kind of parallels about your father. As you probably know Tracey, being the daughter of your old man, your father had an abundance of skill, an abundance of talent. But, because he had a passion for going down the bookies, blowing all his wages on horses and spending his money down the pub, he didn’t get picked for England as many times as he should’ve. I saw many parallels between Stan and Pete Doherty. So Pete Doherty, my best friend, who the song’s about. He’s got an abundance of talent, an abundance of skill but does shitloads of drugs.
GM- (forgetting about previous question being the last one) Do you find those sort of erratic genius types more appealing than the more straight edge ones?
DM- As you can see on the ‘Burn It’ tape, I tend to go for something a bit special. I’ve found Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan really good for lyrics, but I also found Pavement really good in their cut-and-paste approach. I like The Fall cos of the way he delivers his lyrics. I like my heroes almost to be anti-heroes, not to appear in OK or Hello magazine… I think it’s all about working hard and playing hard and making sure your drug habit doesn’t overtake the possibility to be creative. I dislike people who write tunes but don’t play hard. How can it be a good tune because they haven’t lived, they haven’t experienced anything. The whole point of a lot of songs is about how much you’ve experienced, you’re like a storyteller.
The band's tour continues until November 4th. 'Stan Bowles' is out now on Poptones. Further info link