What's that coming over the hill? Its Concerts That Made Us with The Automatic. That's right this week I'm chatting with Rob and Iwan from one of the biggest bands to come out of Wales in the mid 2000s. This is probably the definitive interview with The Automatic. There is not much we don't cover in this episode so if you are a fan or not you're going to come away with some information you may not have known before. Links for The Automatic: Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/theautomaticofficial Apple Music - https://music.apple.com/gb/artist/the-automatic/91834472 Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/7IZcg74X6CKzf0SfRliRrB?si=pDcawiFSRtSKPjm3ekKnug
Brian O Connor 0:00
Hi, guys, you're very welcome to the show today.
Thanks for having us. Yeah. Hi. How are you?
Brian O Connor 0:08
I'm good. Thanks. I'm good. I'm very good. I've taken a life goal off my off my list by talking to you guys today. So very excited.
I think that that's like a life goal for me to have someone to be someone else's life goal. I think
that's a big take for me.
Brian O Connor 0:28
So yeah, it definitely sounds a bit odd when you put it like that. Alright.
Just creepy now. Yeah.
Brian O Connor 0:40
So we, we heard your song monster, open the show there. And I was dying to ask you. How do you guys actually feel about that song? The way it's one of the biggest songs you had? Is as cringe worthy, or do you guys embrace?
I think it gave us a career. Like even when we wrote it. We didn't we didn't think of it as typical as what we did of what we did. I don't think I'm sort of neutral. Yeah, I don't have strong feelings about it as well. But it's just it's obviously so it was always amazing to play live the ground reaction. But I was more interested in hooking people into the other stuff with it.
Yeah. I am spoke to
people CDs, the journalists about 10 years ago and got in touch with me on Twitter. She was like, I want to do a radio program about how bands go through dealing with one hit wonders, and how they go through the stages of grief.
that eventually you go through like, I don't know, anger. I can't really what they are, but you end up with acceptance. I think there was something in that definitely gets to the point where Yeah, you sort of accepted now. Yeah, no, definitely positive way.
Brian O Connor 1:53
Yeah, yeah, I am. I always taught it is a an absolute anthem of a song. It's great song. But it doesn't represent represent you guys as a band. Totally. You know, it's not like your older songs. If you get one of them.
Yeah, can be a great. Yes. Definitely. It we wrote inside of felt this feels really so great. Written almost in isolation, in his own kind of bubble was made away. Yeah, like COVID lingo.
Yeah, it was new to us.
It was like a break from writing what we considered the serious stuff, I
think. Yeah, it was definitely like a muck about like, Oh, we want to check together like a sort of discovery pop song after going to see Banco jaw crew in I think we saw Joker in electric six on the same gig or something. Is that right? And butterfly. It was around
that time when it
Yeah, we definitely been to see them play in and then felt like we want to do something a bit more. It'd be really fun to go dance around to live. I think we had that aim in mind. I think the chorus itself was kind of a stopgap till we found something better than ever.
We're like, we can be so much more sophisticated than this guys. And then we just we just weren't.
It'll do. It's fine.
Brian O Connor 3:23
When you were when you were writing us, did you have any inkling or anything that would be as big as it was?
No, definitely not. Because it was. It was written really quickly. Bit of a piece about some degree. Yeah. I think we knew it's catchy. Yeah. Yeah. It
was sort of consciously, consciously an attempt at sort of big dumb hooks. Ready? Yeah. And I think our manager recognized how lucrative that could be before we did.
Brian O Connor 4:01
So um, you guys have obviously played, like some of the largest festivals there is. And I can't, I can't wait to hear your concert stories. But before we get to that, would you mind telling us how you formed and became one of the biggest bands come out of Wales in the in the mid 2000s.
It was terrible.
Yeah, sure. Okay, I guess in the beginning. So me and frost went to the same school, but like primary school, so we were about five when we met. And we were always we were always mates from from from then on. And I think both of us I think, for us trust guitar, put in his hands base base that quite early on. And I played I think I played flute.
we would jump together at writing songs. Even kind of when we were like six, seven or eight or something like that. But that was just sort of kids. mucking around. And then yeah, you joined the school when we're about 11 ESX. Just for comp. Yeah, we
do, like comprehensive and then I think we all started you're that age, we start getting into music and bands and but more seriously, I think you're kind of aware of it as up to the age of 10 are new, maybe they're not into it in this makes sense. And then we were all into that same sort of, I guess, okay computer came out around that time, didn't that earn and sort of the last Supergrass album and ash and resolved into similar bands and wants to do that, basically, I think, with this sort of
did it preteen teenage confidence of Oh, yeah, of course.
We'll just do it. Just Yeah. We like a group of people who wanted to be in a band but only Frasca playing instrument. I'd say. He considered
Jethro Tull. aqualung and then yeah, I think it was like, you want to play bass, I guess was that I was asked to pick it already. Okay. Yeah.
So you played percussion in school orchestra, which made you the natural drummer?
Yeah, I used to be the drummer.
And then basis basis what was left? Yeah,
I love playing bass.
I really do. So I got really lucky. There's
a solid choice. Yeah. And the best way is when we started off, and we just didn't really have any instruments. So like, Robert, you're kind of really small. Bass, like three quart sized bass playing. Micro fi.
Yeah. Using some ingenuity to get it plugged into that.
Yeah. And the drum kit was like an inflatable chair. And a rusty old drum I think your mum found at a car boot sale.
Well, that sounds about right.
Yeah. That's for like the first year or so. So I'm
saying we never improved. This conversation kind of gives you a good insight of how we must have felt when people would accuse us of being manufactured. Because the least manufactured process you can possibly go through. Definitely,
I think we we kind of really like, like provisional situation as well as we fell on our feet in terms like our parents were really into us being in a band. And then this school were really sort of supportive giving, giving us like a practice space when we wanted like every Friday after school, we were just like to stay behind in the music room and keep playing together. We had quite a decent youth club for that as well, which we had to go and play in, I think every opportunity where you could we were allowed to play for the band in like quite a rural town in Wales, we were given an opportunity by no one ever said no to us, by the way we're ever told no bad things. And I think because of that we'd kind of you're able to really just get into it. I suppose by the time we were leaving school.
I think I said it's space is such a limiting factor for a rock band. Like so much one music seems to be just made on a laptop, and then it's just not not an issue. But if you're a Rock Band, you there's just a fundamental limit on on the size you you can work with, like it's got to be as big or bigger. So yeah, we were we were super lucky that we could hire out village hall for like three quid or something.
Brian O Connor 8:27
I don't think that happened. too easily notice, for younger bands, seems very lucky.
Yeah, we were fortunate. And then in Cardiff, there was this really good under a team's club night. So we got that kind of for young bands, called team spirit. And I think that was really good for us and kind of a really good proving ground, like for the live concert aspect. Because you'd get to play in a bar fight in Cardiff, like, I think it was once a month, maybe last Sunday of every month or something. And you get spurred gives opportunities and licks and loads of other local people in bands as well and kind of get you start getting involved in that scene. And I think that there's really a good place to get started with just find our feet. Yeah,
we would have never would have never got into a sort of onto a sweaty club stage. Before we were 18 otherwise. So just just getting the Head Start is invaluable.
Yeah, I think with that it gave us opportunity in terms of a we started making connections in place that Barfly and the local small gigs seem to be at get offered sort of support slots when that started becoming either like Vanda coming through, we just need the look that local band to go on before the touring support and the main app. I think that was really, like we just got I think we got very lucky in lots of ways. There's lots of hard work, but we also kind of were in quite lucky situation at the time as well. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
We really were having
Yeah, yeah, got nothing to ask
me to run my mouth for the sake of it.
Brian O Connor 10:07
that was good. Everything kind of came together perfectly.
Yeah, I think we took a bit of a chance and then at the end of school took a gap year thought we're gonna do it, let's just make it happen in this year. And we went to like a retail recording studio maesteg while we're in sixth form and recorded three track demo and just sent that everywhere, ourselves. And through that, we ended up with a manager who picks up in Cardiff and then like a more consistent proper rehearsal space because he had a studios underneath his offices. And then that's where monster got written, eventually. So I think if we're gonna have that gap year, I don't think anything would happen. No. And it was really kind of a remember. So we've been very close to them, having to call up University and say, I'm not coming like in the summer, only a few months before or weeks before we go. I got a call, in fact, yeah, saying, Are you coming down? We did leave a really late, like, just thought we were kind of on the edge of getting a deal. We didn't quite have the deal. Because Yeah, it was good.
It's a great phone call to make though, isn't it? Yeah.
Brian O Connor 11:22
That must have been pretty nerve wracking, though making a joint decision. Do I stand abandoned? Or do I go to college and waiting for the time come when you know what the right decision was?
I don't think it was a particularly hard decision for me. I think we wanted it for so for so long at that point. I think I'd even been talking to my parents about it. Like, I'll go to university if the band doesn't work out like this.
Back to like, teenage confidence. But yeah, I think it was it was a fake company. Really? It's the wrong question in there. You know, I mean,
yeah. Yeah, it was definitely I wasn't a hard choice to make. It's everyone is fork in the road moments. Do you sometimes think about it go? Well, what would it be like if I, if I had gone the other way? Who knows? That? Yeah, doesn't even matter. Now it's moved.
I suspect I was done quite badly in in a degree I wasn't heavily invested in. True.
Brian O Connor 12:23
You bought you always want to live the rest of your life to wonder what if you hadn't chosen the band? You know, what would have happened if you had a choice to band me? So yeah, you definitely made the right choice.
As far as being one hit wonder then no, hit wonder.
Brian O Connor 12:40
one hit wonder no. Yeah, so he went on, and had the massive, he's played all the festivals, then what led to going on hiatus in 2010? I
think. So. There's like a kind of a lot of different things really, that kind of culminated in us being like, having to make a choice, I suppose between try and carry on. And really, I don't know, getting ourselves in a bit of a, we were kind of in a corner where we kind of financially and wasn't viable. In 2008, I think it was 2008, the financial crash. And literally, the level we were touring at was kind of very difficult, I think, to find people who are willing to pay the man to go to a gig to make it sustainable. And for us to survive off it. And then obviously, we didn't have a record deal at the time either. Because that kind of came to an end due to factors it's kind of out of our control, really. And because the label got bought out by another label. It's this really complicated things we were on a we're on a small label it was licensing through a large label that are smaller will get bought by bigger label and they don't want to they're basically working for a rival. And then we got caught in the middle of this weird record deal thing and all the other stuff that was going on in the world. And I think just it wasn't it wasn't
gonna happen. Basically, we would we we basically had to go back to square one because we were we had to part ways from our management work for reasons I won't go into. So we would have basically had no income, no practice, no management, no record label, at that point. So although we would have had we had some profile, I think I don't think we were really in a place to carry on as well. I think we needed to go and live our own lives for a bit.
Yeah. Yeah, definitely the element of saving the friendships. For this call, you know, the cost of the band. So I think I like it. We've seen we've known each other such a long time. I think our personal relationship, probably a bit more important at that point and then maybe sustaining something that would have made it they want to get because we'd already had a difficult ship with Penny when that all came to a head, I think we were really we were scared of something similar happening to the three of us as well. Yeah, it was
crappy until like, you get the toys. I love you guys. I don't want to see you for at least a month.
Yeah, yeah, I
Brian O Connor 15:18
can imagine I can imagine. Do you all keep in touch now?
Yeah, fairly regularly. lockdown actually.
Yeah, definitely. I think in the last year, definitely not one more tissue mean frost. It's kind of like with a squeegee so but the Corps man, the three that have always been in the band with like a sort of floating force. He described it. But yeah. He's kind of he's, he's got a career. Like, pulls out in America. So it's not so easy to get hold on. Yeah, we are all regularly in touch because we're all friends. So, you know? Yeah. Yeah, it's just kind of. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Also, like we there's still stuff going on with the band, like, obviously, like we're doing this now. But there's kind of more very boring Adam, any things that we need to be in touch for as well, just
like, the friendships being, you know, kept, kept alive by admin. Keeping us together is something that governments doing right.
Brian O Connor 16:37
I think a lot of people will actually be quite angry with me know if I didn't ask them this. The next question over the last 10 years has been any stage where he has gone into a room, you know, like last scene and rocky to her rock rocky tree where himself and Apollo go in and fight? Yeah. Has there been any stage where you guys have all got into the into a room? Just yourselves and jammed together? No,
we have. Yes. Do you have? I mean, yeah, but not frost? Yeah.
Those those iPad? I mean, are we technically still on hiatus?
Yeah, it's really long one could be. Who knows?
Brian O Connor 17:20
I think I was thinking about that. Actually, you probably would get into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest hiatus ever. And I
reckon drinking I need to know something we'd have to find out. We should reform just on the basis of getting that record. I think you'll find it is going to be a case to get the longest break. Sorry, no, not reformed because we split up right.
pick it back up again. We never even really officially went on hiatus to do we kind of ended so weirdly, in it didn't really end. We just never I don't think anyone still was is still kind of. There was never that finality to what we were we are at no one's ever said we're not doing it again. And the widower said, we are going to do it again. We never drawn that line because none of us have the guts.
I think yeah, I think it was definitely that. Yeah, I think I think but by the time we did our last gig, though we didn't know it was our last gig. There are still things in the diary at that point. Yeah. It's a trips you up, doesn't it? Because it means someone's got to have the the impetus to go and save the other guys. It's just not happening anymore. There's obviously too many obstacles. And like, none of us, none of us were going to I don't think.
Yeah. Yeah. So I think we did get like some complaints from fans that we never really had that last gig that they could come through. So maybe we still need to do that. I'd like
to I would have liked to have done that. I think. Yeah, closure.
So you I've got a bass in the background of this video. I'm always still making music. I'm not going to hang it up. I can't I don't think just be capable of not making sounds with instruments.
Exactly. Yeah, well, yeah, sounds too But yeah, no, it'd be wonderful. It'd be one of those do you navigate like kind of in any way shape or form actually. Yeah, I've jammed with some some mates bands around here and we do we do get to someone's 40th birthday. But that was that was
Brian O Connor 19:26
us I'll have to remember that no one my party it comes up
Although hopefully by then it's a what, six and a half years away. So you might be after getting the full band back together. Hopefully,
fingers crossed up for up to 40 as well and as well.
See that really the gray hairs really come in and
Brian O Connor 19:55
that's something that actually shocked me as well when I was really big into you guys. Like when You were obviously a band board. So I feel like it's only lately I realized you guys would have only been like a year old or older me at that time. And you were really young to be doing all that stuff. You know? It's kind of crazy thing. Yeah.
Yeah, we like 19. We got a record deal
for us was first 18.
Yeah, we did the first time we were in America. Frost couldn't drink. Just over 21. Is that fair? Yeah. We went to like South by Southwest. And obviously, there's like gigs happening all over is all over the city in Austin, isn't it? And then we were at, yeah, you want to go to a gig and then you get there. But frost would have to sort of wait outside or find somewhere else to go because they're restricted. There aren't as if you haven't got the wristband?
Yeah, it's pretty rad that like, hardcore X on backhand?
Yeah, it's harsh. I think I think
being that young, probably immunized is against a lot of self doubt. Just straight out of school. Yeah, probably a really good thing. So we can kind of find our feet on stage, so to speak, and actually get good without kind of being too anxious about it. I think the person I am now I think it'd be a lot scarier. I think just getting back on stage now even though you know, we've played Glastonbury, etc, etc. It'd be scary.
Yeah, definitely. Definitely have that. naivety to not really care too much. For a pro Ana con.
Brian O Connor 21:49
Yeah, we better start talking about the concert you've played. So before we do, actually, just to get an insight into your own music tastes, what was the first concert that either v went to?
Or to say one way? Yeah. Yeah, so incense. In terms of like, together, we went to Radiohead. Anyway. Are you thinking the word? Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yeah, there's that's Dixie. Yes. In the return card. I think before that, I saw Mark Knopfler when my dad Yeah. So got the dad rock star. And then like, I think in terms of a gig we went to off our own back, probably Radiohead. In Yeah, it
was in chicken house.
Yeah, Newport on mute. Yeah, they didn't the kid ate or that's the first like, gig gig i'd suppose. We went to where you'd be like we were stood up in a venue watching a band not sort of sat down watching all men playing. Although that was good. We watched we stood up watching young men team. Yeah, that was like they're in a big tent where they took their venue with them. And that was kind of cool. Yeah, still poster for that gig actually.
Look at how we would have been like for like 1213, something like that.
Yeah, so like 98 or nine? To 2000.
I think maybe 2000.
Yeah. Yeah. How long ago that was? Yeah. Yeah. citation needed. Yeah, sorry. We were gonna go see catatonia before that from a birthday, and then they broke up. So that wasn't the first gig. Radiohead his next gig. So yeah. Really, he's
a pretty good one. It's a good one to say. It's probably the most credible answer though.
Brian O Connor 23:49
It's one of the more impressive ones I've heard. I'll say that.
Yeah, I think Ross was supporting as well, but wasn't really into them. No.
It didn't have that preteen energy that we were craving. Radiohead, but by comparison, yeah.
Brian O Connor 24:06
So we will move on to yourselves. What was the first gig you played as a band?
That was that was a birthday party if it depends on how you want to count it. Really?
I don't talk Yeah, sorry. Go there. You
can do yeah, if you're talking like a band us playing together as a group doing another covers. Levy's birthday party, wasn't it in the locals village or town hall?
In the scout Hall next to the cattle market. Yeah, that's rock'n'roll lives.
I was going to be basically doing Bandy okie or whatever. It's called here where the band play and people were just caught up and singing the songs they wanted. And that was fun. And then, other what would you consider our first gig is like a
Brian O Connor 24:56
first act. first gig is a signed band.
Yeah. So I think you freak like a few different first gigs in the sense of it's really like a white rabbit before we automatically ever some gigs as white rabbit. And they were the previous Teen Spirit ones where we were playing our own stuff and getting into it. And then yeah, that Manchester Academy supporting the hi fi the ordinary boys.
I wrote notes before this, and I was alright. I've got a question mark at the end of that
isn't it? Yeah, I think it was the ordinary boys. We split them. I think it was they were the first half of that tour, actually. Yeah. And that was, that was fun. That was really good. And yet,
it's incredible to be in front of that many people for the first time. Yeah. And as we're saying that we will be immunized from fear by rage still get scared by
that step up and thinking it because we like the thirst act of three, maybe? Yeah. So you're playing in front of like two bands worth of equipment. So actually, the stage was really tiny. But the venue was really big. Yeah, it was good. That the venue was really fun to play. And actually Manchester Academy went back there quite a lot. There was always a good gig.
We played all the different Academy venues in the end. And we
Brian O Connor 26:18
How did you? How did you come over overcome the nerves of your first time plan to that amount of people I can imagine it can be very nerve racking.
I always found nerves quite quite useful already. Especially as annoys you out. But if it was like a sort of solo delicate acoustic guitarist, I think it'd be history, I think the nerd it gets me but when you can just kind of hit bass strings for a bit to get. You can you can use the energy i think i think we kind of deliberately constructed set lists to start with something, start with a bang quite often
spread slowly get worn out just to hopefully so it's down a bit. We always play to flow, and it'd be my fault. Kind of get a bargain.
It's not like the rest of us. We're trying to slow you down, though.
It was like a day,
we probably managed 15 songs in an hour comfortably. shrinker album, that's the but it's
I find it weird. It's like when you play into a large crowd. It's so it becomes so big. But it's hard to distinguish people in that sense is is really, so I meet him small gigs. So I find that much more nerve wracking in the sense that when someone the stage, you can see the person in front of you staring at you and looking at you and like watching for your mistakes. Whereas in a huge crowd, it can be quite hard to just pick out an individual with all the lights going on. And just it's so much just huge. Like, becomes this mat. Yeah, this thing rather than a group of people.
I yeah, completely. I mean, I think it's, it's 50 people versus one crowd. And I think there's the other factor as well is that if you play in front of 50 people, chances are it's either a secret gig, or you have to impress them to advance your career in front of a large crowd like that. Let's see. So in some respects, it's a lot easier. Yeah, I wish that big ones a lot easier than small ones.
So yeah, definitely get like this tool. nervous. It definitely still nervous. I feel like is different. I don't think they carry on as much in front of a big crowd for me. When you're up there, they kind of dissipate. Yeah, same I think you feel like are you getting into it, then you become comfortable with a smaller crowd doesn't happen. So we usually
know. There's probably more reticence and a smaller crowd as well to kind of whooping cheer and stuff like that. And just the noise and energy that you get off a big audience is incredible. I think that's the kind of the band's job is to give some give some energy to the audience and then they pass it back and then you pass that back to them bigger and bigger each time. It's really hard in front of 50 disinterested punters like her just nursing pints. koplayer got it easy is what I'm saying.
Brian O Connor 29:17
Do you remember what your goal to song would have been around playing your first gig?
Oh, no. That's when we knew we could play and we'll just get everyone going. Yeah, audio. I think before monster we had a song called doors are tracked down. We have a song called jack daniels. Yeah, that everyone seemed to like. And I still like that. Yeah, I still like it. Will jack die off. The seventh song we ever wrote is like number seven. Number seven
times in bars as kids.
Yeah. And I think door was the first track on our first ever demo. So yeah, lots of people knew that because when we recorded our first demo, we just gave it to everyone, by all our friends and everyone had it as well. So they would people who come to your first gigs, say that, and they were like, Oh, we love this one. So we went down quite well.
Start with a big heavy riff as well, which is good.
Yeah, that's true.
Brian O Connor 30:23
Cool, cool. So the last gig he ever played, and I know he said, You didn't know what was your last gig. That was actually the first question. I was going to ask you about it. So you've already answered that one. Push. What was it?
In Inverness? No Barrow in foot Baron for that. Okay. Yeah. Oh, infernus. It was like, I was really weird. I remember being really weird. Not well attended. No,
it was really funny one, I don't think there was a lot of a lot of marketing for it.
Yeah, it was, I was, I can't remember. It's like part of some strange local festival that was going on a bit like lots of little gigs happening around borrow and gain there. And there was definitely sense that it hadn't really been promoted. It was just it was a bit disorganized. Before it in from corporate representative of a lot of the gigs, we sort of play towards the end. So yeah. Probably was actually yeah. There was some, a few fans who were like, always at all our gigs, possibly.
Some of them I think, yeah,
it was definitely.
It was meant to be actually of like, some of the Teen Spirit gigs in that it was like, kind of part youth club. Oh, yeah.
Half attended. You know, in China. Remember, guys, like, I can remember sort of coming into the venue. And I don't remember.
I think I've got I've got some images, but it's just like, Yeah, kind of just what I described, like, I sort of half crowd and just like people wandering around and like, kind of, like an old anxiety dream of
it. Free when we're sitting because we didn't know is our last gig. There's just there was no reason to think I need to remember much of this. sense that and it was so sort of an impressive, but joy just didn't see Yeah, there's just such a non event. wasn't the worst gig we ever played by
any stretch of imagination. It's just really average. A bit weird, and a lot weird.
Yeah, cuz I embarrass Netflix. I wonder. It's really remote. Isn't it in terms? Yeah, I think further north, you can go in England before your Scotland and then it's still kind of miles away from there. If I'm correct.
Oh, and my geography is terrible.
But I think it's like, right, like, hey, he like walks to Hadrian's Wall. Okay, right. That's why I remember from it, I
think it would have been better spent, like, just getting good at them. brushing up on a history a bit.
Yeah. I remember staying in a strange bed and breakfast. There's like, like someone's house.
Yeah, there's something who Mike Lee movie about that place was in there.
Yeah. So it's kind of weird last big to have. me Sure. Yeah. To remember it in a weird way. read everything but the gig.
Brian O Connor 33:27
It must be really hard to get energized for a gig like that.
I think you have to get sort of get a professional mindset as a performer, really, and just try and give them as much as as you can. And if if they don't respond to it, you've done what you can at that point. But not that it's not frustrating.
Yeah, I think it's a good way having just gone and given it as much as we could. I think you just got to have an E regardless, there's that whole thing is like play like you're playing to Wembley or whatever, that kind of mentality. I think it helps like, definitely mentally if you play difficult gig to just kind of imagine.
Imagine the way the problem crowd instead of mentally Yeah, it's a good crowd.
Yeah, that's really, yeah, I
think I always just really enjoyed playing live as well. So just, you know, bawling my lungs out into the microphone and making making baby noises was just always an enjoyable thing to do. So that immunizes you against the worst of it, I suppose. If you don't enjoy that there was there.
Exactly. I think we love playing together as a band. And I think that's what was that definitely fun element. I was always if you have a gig like that as well, sometimes you you would get the odd sort of person as I was a bit skeptical about you, but actually really enjoyed it or you weren't what I was expecting. Normally someone who already knew the monster, so and kind of pre judged in the landfill idea of who we were. So that was always quite gratifying. On a difficult gig Thompson commanders actually did quite enjoy.
That was our dad fans. Basically it was like monster, there's a preteen kids like monster and then they came along there. Now
this is right, actually.
guitars and stuff.
Not too bad.
Better than bodybuilder or whatever they read that we previously said.
Brian O Connor 35:27
We'll move on to your worst gig than our worst experience. Yeah,
I mean, try think about this because I feel like it's really hard to remember terrible, terrible gigs in the sense that you don't want to remember them. Yeah, yeah, I think of all the ones where it's been like a really bad experience. It's never been down to probably the gig itself. But something that's been happening in maybe the band or like, just instantly not clicking maybe on that gig rather than necessarily an audience or anything like that. I don't know about Europe. But
yeah, and i think i think i'd agree I, I do have a gig in mind. But I think it's sort of more emblematic of things that went wrong. But like, I suppose the most personally mortified thing for me is that there was a gig in Southampton join us. And I just basically lost my voice. It just burnt out by that point. And we still went on and did it. And I was just, like, yelping my way through the whole thing. And that was, that was just mortified. But it's the sort of choice of what do you do you cancel it? Or do you go on and suck a bit? And we went the filibuster option that day? That was that was quite hard. And I think, I think after that I started taking slightly better care of my voice.
Yeah, I think when it's, you know, people aren't getting you're not giving them your best, or you can't provide what you want to give the audience. Yeah, it can be hard. We did. Every time when we're promoting monster. It was like it's really brutal day. I think we had like five gigs in one day, with some insane thing where we had a flop. Yeah, we did like two in stores a gig in a gig at wealth club in Cardiff. And I got to skip out one because you did a gig flight the Welsh crafters or something down in Cardiff Bay at the same time. Yeah, just a weird thing. Yeah, some weird, crazy thing. And at that, I was also like, Ill that week, I know is horrible. I'd like a rash on the palms of my hands, or what was going on. Remember, the like, this is horrible. And that was like not fun day. There's a whole set of little gigs that weren't very pleasant. Just because you're like, I just want to go to bed. Yeah, I
remember that day as well. And that was that was another one where my voice was like burning out by the end of the day. That was, I think we probably shouted at our manager after that.
happened. It was four gigs in a day. There's just a limit of what you can do. Yeah. Yeah.
I think it would it was that the specific you had in mind, but you spoke about a Southampton?
No, it wasn't actually that was just a standard gig. But yeah, my voice was just gone at that point. I don't know if I'd had a cold or just dropped. It's sometimes it's just you know, I just didn't look after it early on as well. Yeah. didn't know how to
read some horrible 140 towards the end of petits titled abandoned. I think we had some very sort of stressful gigs then that Yeah, that was kind of a particularly like tense moment in the band and some of the gigs were kind of, I think he struggled with and we struggled with support we did.
We did a gig.
We did lots of like freshers balls and summer balls at universities because they kind of that was a while there. So gigging season sort of fluctuates, doesn't it between sort of festivals in the summer, and then like in the winter is kind of like the venue you do. You're touring in the autumn in the spring, I suppose. But then in the summer, you got festivals and student balls and stuff. And we did Cardiff uni summable, I think in the grounds of Cardiff castle in spire gardens. Penny just left the stage about four songs before the end. And we just
Brian O Connor 39:10
To be fair, it was fine. But it was things where you just kind of went like, What is going on?
Brian O Connor 39:19
It's funny, you mentioned troubles with Penny in your worst gig stores, too. I had in mind that I thought you might have said, you might not count one as a gig, but it was their performance on gmtv.
Brian O Connor 39:36
that was what happened there. Like I could see in Rob's eyes and your eyes. You're like, Okay, I'm just gonna keep on what the hell are them today? Oh,
yeah. I know. You want to lead.
I mean, it's first thing in the morning, which is never a good time for me anyway, but we, our manager being really fucking cagey about Sorry, I'm okay. I'm really fucking cagey about about what show it was we're going on and we're like, Is it gmtv? Is it No, that's actually viewed as this. This is another thing that's just straight after it. And so we got there and it's like guests gmtv. And it's like too late to kind of cancel or do anything about and that was that was the origin of all that basically, that we've just been kind of inserting this information. So actually, that wasn't internal band tension.
That was like, we were just really lied to a management on that one. We're very specifically told you've got this gig at the end of the week. Early morning, on TV, and we're like, it's not GMT. Is that because we don't want to do GMT? Lee? It's not what we want to do. Very clearly, specifically, we're not here. No, it's not gmtv GMT. And I think we were on tour at the time. We're definitely on tour. We actually because we were playing in Birmingham the next day. They were playing Birmingham that day. The same day? Yeah. So for us, we've been up really late the night before, and slept in any meaningful way. Yeah. Not with probably still up. Because it was unsettled early actually. So we he wasn't like, a trunk or, yeah, definitely still drunk. Because there's photos of me and a banana. And it's like, I've never seen a man in a banana in that way. in the green room with gmtv and I think it just kind of we when we remind I think miming we did tend to muck around a lot. Anyway on other programs, they not necessarily take it completely seriously because who believes you're really paying it's obvious when you're mining it's hard to make it a convincing. But then I think it just sort of escalated between frost and Eden, they kind of started to really muck it up.
And they want to do didn't want to be outdone by the other.
Unknown Speaker 42:01
I don't really nice.
I don't remember afterwards, just really sort of shitting myself light on. Just ruin that. We've ruined it for us. really annoyed loads of people. But then like, speaking to leave on that'd be great. People love it. So
Brian O Connor 42:20
in fairness, it did look like cool rock star stuff.
Yeah, I think I guess it was. Yeah. And it was like it was truly spontaneous. It wasn't planned. But I think a few people that it was again, that criticism like that's obviously a setup, you've done that on purpose. But it wasn't because one of the cameraman chips got chipped a bone in their elbow was saying they got her had he got stand throwing it around and it hit him. So we ended up sending him a box of wine. And we felt bad, because I sent him a box of wine, but it was one of these ones that's actually a subscription. So he was sending him wine for about two years. We rented in one box of wine.
I think, yeah. would you would you take a chipped elbow for free widened fatigue.
Leave it as a you know,
We didn't really realize it's going out of the account. Yeah, I wasn't. That wasn't awful. I feel it the worst? In terms of it's just a bit.
We're between a rock and a hard place because we've been mugged by the people who are going to be looking out for it. Like our managers did not tell us it was TMZ. Yeah. And that's why that happened. Basically, I couldn't get it. Yeah. But yeah, I felt I felt awful. Like, like I said, it's, as you mentioned, we were on tour at a time. And so that's getting up early. It sounds like stupid rock star thing, right? But we keep our eyes like sleeping between four or five and midday and one, isn't it because that's like, that's appropriate to when you're actually working. Like if you go on stage at 10pm. You don't want that to be your bedtime. You want that to be the middle of your day or a reasonable time. So you're getting up late, what would have been the middle of my night?
It definitely takes out that bubble tool bubble because I think we you're even like, the toolbar sort of carries on without you. You have to just get up early. You don't have a separate van and get there and you're kind of all discombobulated by and just like what, what's happening what's going on. Why am I in a weird garden? Why is that bloke from Band of Brothers here? While he was loving it? Yeah, he was great. It's just like, what is happening? And then what is that happening? Most plenty to him that
I definitely wasn't I wasn't aware of what he was doing until like quite a way along I think like you said I was just like paranoid about kind of strumming my strumming with bass like it was an acoustic guitar and like a 50 pound or something. But yeah, yeah. It wasn't until quite late either as a fact this this shenanigans
through we've grown up watching the news on live and kicking and Top of the Pops, and they were mining and they'd always, like swap around instruments and muck about and not really be doing, you know, because they're mining so you can it's always always a source take that sort of approach but yes went a bit far that
I've always be contemptuous of miming. So I thought we were good life band, but like, so sometimes the only way to get on a show or whatever, and you kind of take the reference move. But yeah, it's a performance. Right. So yeah, exactly.
Brian O Connor 45:35
It's made a very memorable
Brian O Connor 45:43
The, the other one that sprung to mind was there's a clip of it on YouTube. I think you're playing a festival or something, and Penny jumps down into the crowd. And you're just looking at him, as I'd say, What the fuck is he doing? And I think he hit someone with a mic then draws the mic off and just walks off stage. Was that one you'd mentioned you kept going?
out for? No, no, that was that was that was leads. Remember that? Because I've seen the clip? Yes. Very well. I remember because it was really good. We get as a real awesome festival. And we played reading the day before had an awesome gig. I think Penny jumped down. I think he got I think in the clip, he someone grabbed his t shirt, he kind of got choked out of it. And then I think got that upset by as a student or walked off. I think it I think maybe hits if he hits someone that's probably to stop strangling him. I guess was it Fair enough? But then, yeah, it was? Uh, yeah, that was, I think that was a really good gig.
I remember really liking this. I don't remember much about a gig. Actually, we should be worrying,
you should watch the clip that weekend because we played I think we played like Reading Festival, which was, I think that's great. We'll probably get around to it. But at the rank is one of our best, like, the best, most memorable gigs in terms of, and then leaders like the next day, so it kind of slightly overshadowed by the reading day before. And I remember it being a good gig. Actually. I think there was that bit at the end. I think it was even aware that it happened personally, like,
because it's pretty bright in the lip of the stage view.
Yeah. Just also because it's wants to be in the last song with that set. So if he walked off, he walks off towards the end of it anyway, it didn't really make a big difference in the sense that it felt like we'd been abandoned there. Yeah, it's a bit of a different one to want to talk about earlier. But that was Fun Fest. We were on the APN Marquis Smith on our tour bus for ages at that one. You remember? Yeah, we
send that to our dressing room. Us. They're like eating our biscuits or something. Yeah, sorry. I'm
in the wrong room.
Yeah, he literally ended up sitting on our bus for ages. Just drinking booze. Yeah.
What about with Jeff with us
last time, Jess? Yeah. Used to
absolutely love the fall and it was the best day of his life.
lounge just chatting as good. As good fun. I think the vines played as well. That was good to see that. Yeah, I remember that being a good gig. That remember it as well as the kick of the day before
reading the symbolic as well. Because we we'd been there. That was the festival we went to his kids.
Yeah, that was our festival and let's say you know, at least gig wasn't awful. Yeah, I do. I've seen the clip is good. It's good to have a look and see what happens. It's good. It is a bit like Oh, they capture the whole thing.
It's really frustrating because we went to uni after after the band stop doing stuff. And I felt like that's where I learned to remember things. So like since then, you know, my memories great. actually happened during like, you know, being a rock star. It's a bit blurrier
free booze everyday than
Unknown Speaker 48:55
Brian O Connor 48:57
an interesting experience. I imagine like every day it was loads of well in my head it's loads of girls running up to being like oh my god, you're a rock star what you didn't hear was that the case? or
Why did computer science so now the demographics are what you expect Yeah.
Nothing happened to me. I remember because like me Rob stone we fish man. We both went to uni about the same time and then I did. I was in different part of Cardiff uni. And so come out to me going out my friends in a class with a singer from the automatic is amazing. Like say, I know him.
Yeah, he's right, I suppose. I remember I go to the Student Union made a couple of made some of course there is. There's quiz machine gamblers. And there's a few of us gathered around one of those. And it's the question came out which of these songs was not a UK number one and the answer was monster. They will look to me like it's me. Okay.
Brian O Connor 50:12
So this brings us to the best gig you've ever played. This will be interesting.
I guess. Me? Yeah, yeah, I there's like, again, we lots of realize different different ones. I think reading that I just mentioned was amazing. Because I think that was like Rob said, the first time we went to, through school like from GCSEs. And saw like, loads of our favorite bands. And then we play on the same stage that they were playing on. We weren't just playing on the stage we played in front of like, on the other what is called then this is still the evening session stage or radio one
Yeah, second stage, and we filled it the tent. And then outside the tent was the same again, I think we had really quite gone really well with Goldie the country who were there at the same time. So we did gold digger, and they came on with us for that. And it was just like, felt like every, that whole festival seems that was amazing. I think if you're going to distill it, that just like every gig felt like a party at those festivals, and you get all your friends out to come and play. So we had like, golden chain on stage of this, then I think get cape with Tory at the same time. So his trumpet players came on with us as well. Is that correct? I mean, we had like Trump. Some of the guys from article seven. Yeah, they were playing with get cake.
Oh, right. Okay. Yeah. So
yeah. So, and then we just got all our friends for gold digger. Just everyone came on, and just that big party, and then everyone The crowd was loving it. And they do and all the stuff you hear about, like climbing up the tent to see a bit of views and things they just felt like real, you know, it felt really good. That was awesome gig. That's one of the ones I best get in terms of everything seemed to click especially at a festival which can be rare, because they're so
yeah. control over the situation. Yeah, you're
just going on cold? No, no soundcheck or anything you just play it. Or when it's right. It's right. And it was really good. Yeah, definitely. I
think just before we went on for that Kelly Johnson stereophonics was backstage kind of wishing us luck, as well as like stuff that's just unreal. I think that was the most validation I've ever received in my life. It's like you say it's like a carnival on that stage is what am I doing? Mostly our gigs are just rock gigs. So it wasn't, that was quite an unusual experience in and of itself. But it's just incredible. Just for the moment as well.
Definitely, I think it's the The best thing about stores is that because you have so many people that at the same time that you don't often get that when you're on tour. Because you already see during a town on your own playing a gig on your own. You can get that kind of collaboration which get invite people on and it's not a problem. You just kind of do what you want in a way. Yeah, I've really good results. Really good time.
It's rare outside the rap world, isn't it? at all that makes other albums.
I mean, there's another one we did around that we did boardmasters festival down in Cornwall was amazing. Yeah, but there's this is a really old grimy clip of it on YouTube. I think it was playing gold digger. But we used to get Jamie our guitar tech on to play the bass for it because Rob was playing flute and he came on with a pair of red speedos and that's it. And he's got a nice kind of goggles on. We've got trumpet players, they say a sudden setting of the sea and there's like playing there's like because like an extreme sports festivals. Why isn't it there's like motorbikes, Dune flips across the sun setting and things like that. To me that was really good, fun gig as well. I think in terms of festivals, they were great.
If you just read that description, you wouldn't believe it was a real thing. It doesn't really happen like that. It is it.
It was amazing. I think it was really high sugar that as long as they gave us a free innocent smoothies or something. There was like a beer we had like crates and crates of this juice. That's just drinking sugar all day.
That explains so much. I've got to tell you that springs to mind and I've I've definitely used this example they've said that there's a game we did in Concord two down in Brighton which is like it's my favorite venue because like a massive greenhouse on the beach and it was about about six 700 people something like that. And it's just like the perfect size so you're beyond you beyond the scary 50 people zone but it's still small enough that it feels like intimate and like you can kind of see everyone and see aboard and join and you see all the way to the back. And it's just incredible and it's absolutely sweltering hot. And we we've been ill advisedly sent to a stylist by our label like with a day or two before and it had some funny ideas about us all having to wear white boxer shorts. We came off to stay Before the uncle when she just like it's like all my clothes are disgusting, shall we just put on these white box shorts? And we did in a way that I could only get away with with my early 20s body. And then and then we ran into the C at the end if the gig and some of the crowd photo does and yeah, that was that was magical, and slightly dangerous, but
it was really good.
It's really fun. I feel like notable mentioned that I thought you mentioned some that was turning up on stage with us. And it reminded me that we were the last band's previous story as well. And that's that's a solid claim to fame. And I think Sam, Sam Duckworth will try and make that claim, I reckon. But he just came on at the end of our set, which doesn't care. Yeah.
We were still good.
It was a draw.
Yeah. Yeah, that'd
Unknown Speaker 55:56
be really fun.
Which one? historia. Yeah, yeah, that was fun. We did. There's like, I think because we played two different types of games, it feels almost like though in the same way, we had lots of field ones that feel like this gives us ones that feel like they're the best at that level. In a way we'd like to kind of add the best festival they employ the best, like Brighton Concord is amazing. And that sort of size venue, many of those small venues that are really good as well. And we played like we did some weird tour. We did like those are really small venues in Wales. And we played like a Queen's Hall in town called Narberth, which is kind of just past the wall. So it's kind of just off the eight hour 45 minutes hour away from the main roads. And that was an awesome big job though. And this was a Viva machine, who were like, our friends from swanzey. And they kind of had the same management as us. And we played I was like, it was like a town hall. But it's like proper packed out gig. And it went off. It was amazing. I think is the only gig ever played I sort of took my top off the drugs It was so please I hate doing that. I was amazed I still have memories of that game has been amazing and just really loving it and been so surprised by it. I think people people still talk about those
little Welsh gigs though because I think it's so rare to have a band of well of our stature them I suppose go that far and play those those those gigs. I actually can't remember when it was a career but like the further off the beaten track you get the more appreciative people are I think you've been there. Like, I don't know how I've been tracking no riches No, but we always have amazing gigs in Norwich is
definitely have like these tentpole venues on tours, where it's like, we can't wait to get to this one. I think Norwich Art Center was one of those. There's always a great gig. People who ran the venue really loved what they did. So it was always fun just to be there doing it. And then I think Stoke sugarmill was another one that was always amazing. Because it was like This night is like, big box with like a balcony around it. So it had that. It was just always fun. And the live crowd was amazing. They knew always. Everyone loved it. He didn't he felt like he didn't really put the effort for it to be a really good gig. But it's like, it became effortless in a way he didn't that. Obviously we did. But it's just Yeah,
they were I think that's like what I was saying earlier though, if the crowds going for it, and they're giving you that energy, it's so much easier to give them some back. It's Yes. Yeah.
It's always the run. I think the gigs the memorable good gigs. The ones that take you by surprise. We had one. I might be the last game we played in America. I'm not sure what year we played like. It was like right at the end of the we did like a really big tour in 2007.
Brian O Connor 58:49
I think seven is that yeah. So
yeah, we did. Yeah, yeah. We walked off over and we kind of got added on a we cancel the gig because it was didn't sell. But then we were like moved on to we they booked us on a different gig that was run by a local radio station that had been playing monster all the time. But we turned up Germany's role.
Remember, was it using
I use like North Carolina? I that Charlotte?
Oh, yeah. And it was like proper, like, roadside shack, wasn't it?
Yeah. But then all these people turned up and they loved it. And it was just amazing. And it was just so really surprising because it's like, here we go. Because I think America for us was a bit wasn't necessarily it wasn't massive was it was like notice we went off on our own. We kind of play into small rooms and pretty much empty, but this one just wasn't. It was really cool. It was really fun.
America was a weird reaction for us because it was always like small crowds, but super enthusiastic. So the people who are into as we're really into it, which is really gratifying, but there's just a grow tiny cracks.
You have to you have to get your way in America, you'd find bands Like us in terms of from the UK? Yeah, yeah, it's probably a sneaky
angle affiliate working in our favor. Yeah.
Brian O Connor 1:00:10
Didn't you guys have to change your name slightly in America as well?
So it's guy.
I'd like one single in the 80s he caught himself automatics decided that the automatic was too close and
would steal his
trade or something. We'd seen his trade. That was interesting because he carried on like it carried on releasing albums and stuff, which is a name. And he said, part of his argument was that he sold more records because people thought he was us.
So we're improving your sales
pretty much, but I think the the record label just didn't want to risk it so that I change the name changing it for the states, and we didn't have any good ideas. So we just stuck, automatic.
I have a feeling as if this is like just adding or making this up that we added to the automatic automatic because he was automatics. Okay, so we'll be more than one automatic. I'm sure there was something along those lines will be automatics. But
that sounds like our kind of spike was something we wanted them
to be arbitrary. We didn't have to do it. And it was just done because it was risk averse.
Yeah, yeah. of getting sued. And overly fearful reactionary.
Yeah. So yeah, we've called automatic automatic in America, but not for any real, good reason. To avoid an argument, I think,
is really stupid, isn't it? Like, you can go and break a camera man's arm on gmtv. And the record label will say, this is great publicity, but God forbid you should get sued in America.
Brian O Connor 1:02:09
So do you have any cooler Wild Rock Star stories from when you're on tour? or worry pretty tame when you're on tour.
And we drank enormous amounts
regularly with some element of regret. I think it's what happens when you put a load of 19 year olds on tour with like, basically free. Unlimited beer. Yeah, I just drank a lot. Yeah, wild.
Going to Japan was which was pretty wild for a number of reasons. And this is like I said last night, between having alcohol regret and forgiving myself a little bit because we were out there for not even three days, I think. And we had a Fuji rock and then a gig in Tokyo. And so there's a ton of traveling as well, but we were like, We just were jet lagged to hell. There's no point sleeping. So pretty much didn't. And we ended up like, wandering around Tokyo in the middle of the night and we did karaoke with Joe Wiley's husband.
Yeah. And he was that guy. There's like Finnish guy, and he was like crazy. And he looked like Andrew WK with like a giant handlebar mustache. Yeah, and he
just he just attached himself to us. He's like, Oh, this rock band is just going out and getting fucked. I am here for this
Yeah, we went to that 20 grand karaoke bars and we've got like we've grown them to leave because we're consuming too much
politely but firmly Yes, it's a whole thing of you can have what you want but most of them don't because they're polite and sensible and not 19 year old rock bands and then we would just like more chips joy code of a crowd from the other booths
said like I suppose you call it like a Japanese she was like a fixer kind of like the label send out someone while you're in another country just to be like knockoff Do you get you like like sample local knowledge but hoping others is great characterize like 30 quid each but that's all you pay that you can drink me what you want. And it's a APA kind of like Lost in Translation style skyscraper looking over to get into rooms thing and elton john and Kiki Dee like five in the morning good.
Winds it up we ended up in a hotel so we called it like some obscene air of the morning as well. Like on one of our guys one of those nights there was no distinction to it sleeping. So then like a really put upon policeman was just like just in Japanese saying what I seem to be pleased just get out of the pool and get away.
Like the pool is closed.
So I wish I kind of wish we'd had an opportunity to have more of a car experience there, but I don't think we would have got a lot done anyway, there's so little time. We were so jet lagged anyway, that that wasn't a terrible way to play it necessarily.
Yeah. Yeah. I remember like literally sleeping just before the gig in Tokyo, because it just so shattered from the flights to sleep on the floor like bags. Want to play? It's good gig. Yeah, remember both.
There were two gigs, but they both been quite good. Yeah, we
played both Fuji rock and yeah. The other one in Tokyo. There was like a, like a Fuji rock kind of afterparty, in Tokyo. That was really fun. Nice.
Brian O Connor 1:05:43
Were there. Yes, projects.
Yeah, lots of all the bands were kind of there just hanging out. It was good fun. It was
really like they were cool cultural differences. They're like when we're playing Fuji rock, the crab is really going for it. But they're all pogoing in their own little pockets of personal space, and there's a mosh pit so it's all like really very polite, very surreal thing to ever see. It's like this is very British, they'd be all curled over each other in the face at home.
Think oversee when we were out of the UK or Korea, where we put the most off the chain about I suppose. It probably was not by design. We did a tour of Europe that for some reason, when we spent a week touring Holland, like the Netherlands.
Well, how does the only country get a number one in?
Yeah, so we literally were like, save every city in the Netherlands but returned to Amsterdam every night. I remember that heavy week.
So they're amazing gigs have made so fun. And just but yeah, every night was a bit of a washout. Because it is I think it's a such a cliche, isn't it. But when you're doing really good gigs, and it's all going really well. You just kind of want to carry on. You can't just stop in the sense that it's really difficult. Just go right off to something amazing, out of adrenalin. And now I'm just going to stop and go to bed. You don't want to do that. And then a book. Yeah. It's not saying didn't happen occasionally when you get like a bit of total burnout. But yeah, it's Yeah, definitely.
Brian O Connor 1:07:27
I find I I'd imagine that's actually one of the hardest parts is that you'd end up crave and being onstage 24. Seven, that it's hard to fill the gap when you're not on stage.
It's definitely Yeah,
it's definitely the thing I miss most about. Being being in an active band is the gigs because they were just incredible. Touring so much fun. That was from the perspective of someone in their early 20s. Oh, now and I wouldn't be a bit different 10 years. Yeah, they've a friend of mine commented, you must have an amazing threshold for boredom because like 23 hours a day just doing nothing. It's kind of true. I guess there was always interviews and things like that in soundcheck, but a lot of time you would just be wandering around a strange city not really knowing where you were.
Yeah. I think that approach tutorials or changes as you go as you get more experienced as well, I think we're the first few tours were so like, pretty chaotic. It's a young anyway, we've never, we've never not lived at home. I certainly have to try and figure out how you're doing your laundry while you're on tour. I know I just stand for about two to three weeks during that first talk before I realize you can go to a laundrette and I'll do it for you. I'm gonna go into a record label me go because Paul, who is the a&r guy be like, because he was locked off the coast chiefs? Like how do they clean clothes? I think they go to a laundry, wash. I stink.
It's such a weird thing. Because like, okay, yeah, that's, that's obvious in retrospect. But the same time we used to have to get up and like find a laundry in the city you've never been seen before. And like
when you can do it there before you go to the city or in the next day? Yeah, yeah. So it's Yeah, it's kind of weird in there that that downtime is really strange. Like during the day, especially, I think in the last time I tried to drink class, cuz I was like, okay, quite fat, and a trigger to appear. I need to shut out COVID just burnout really burnouts. And the last I wasn't drinking, and then I was waking up a bit earlier. And then you just have nothing to do.
I think it was a bit tricky as well, because it was just before was it just before smartphones or like when they were still expensive. Yeah. So you can just kind of look at what was going on your phone quite so easily. You're a bit more
You're right, you know, but we were like, right on the cusp of that kind of as a band, one of the like, pre loss. But those last bands that kind of had that whole thing of smartphones, social media, just the other element, we just never really had experienced that we could have had blogs on our website, I think, yeah. We've given it to his father who given like free, the free Virgin Media, TV phones, that really awful, you could watch like 10 second clips of Hollyoaks on it. That's about as smart as the phones got that. Such a different world in a way that was only 15 years ago.
I remember when we got a Twitter account as well, it was like a guy was like a radiant photographer first. And he said, there's like you guys should have a two acre tissue account is gonna be huge and set one up, and we're like, Okay, what we're gonna use that for. It's so funny in retrospect.
Yes, didn't have that kind of weird. They've been very different.
I've kind of gotten Yeah, it's a mixed bag, because we might have been able to do clever things with it and promo career, excuse me, prolong our careers a little bit. But we did avoid the risk of any social media snafus, which, given that we were growing up and do more publicity, and most people do anyway, like, Peter said to me and advised and destroyed my career, in instance. Sales canceled
Yeah, there's lots of interviews that he got. Lot of people don't have that stuff written down to the
poor poor Jim said.
Brian O Connor 1:11:46
So, at this stage, I usually get slightly more personal, not too personal, but slightly more personal. So if you could talk to yourself back then, what advice would you give to yourself?
I think I, obviously, with the hindsight, that's the point to be like, write stuff down. I wish I really regret I don't have more of a record of things that happened then that I can easily just like, even if it's just a note, like today, we did this. Just like a diary, just something I feel like in ticket. The grant did take it for granted quite a lot. Yeah. When you're in the midst of it, why would you? He can't go into it imagining it, it's going to end because that's not going to help. So I wish by Wish I could have just kept more of a record of things and conversation like this will be so much easier. Let me just turn to my diary. Just by just reading journal entries. Yeah. It's more of a record of what went on what we did. Just because I think as time goes on, you just get you forget the immune system, like Yeah,
we did. We did hundreds of gigs, and how many hours we actually remember like, there must be something I've just completely gone from my memory.
Yeah, I remember like at one point, so when we early on be like, Oh my gosh, we've always played like, we played a gig like, at least, on average, four gigs a week or something this year, because yes, adds up. So yeah, it has always been my best my shopping, write it down, do your homework. Just have something to remember this by for a bit more. Because it's so very good for us. Because we're always in a state before smartphones. It's actually not that much online about us anymore. It looks like websites disappeared, so hard to find a lot of stuff lost to the mists of time. Thankfully,
I suppose I guess I wish I'd written stuff down as well. But I can't do that now. So I don't think I reckon I would have just encouraged. I think I would encourage myself to take a step back and properly expand skills as a musician and start networking with people and look for what else you could do as a musician just to keep just to be able to keep ball rolling. I think there's too much of kind of when he got back off tour, it's catching up with people and like not necessarily honing craft, like when the connection cut earlier, I was chatting to you and and saying like, actually, I'm a better musician and singer. At least technically, I'm out of practice. But now than I was when we did the last things with a band, because I've just kept going and kept learning and actually put more time into it in a deliberate way. We spent a lot of time in the studio, but I suppose it's just getting better and better and better at playing bass and singing in the context of the automatic but not kind of like taking time to really work on my voice and understand what I could do with it and that kind of thing. So it'd be interesting to know if I start doing that, then we're bml Yeah.
Yeah, I think Yeah. If we were kind of chilled, like chilled out, we went on for weeks. We went like 100 miles per hour that way we kind of move toward that we record that we totally, we never really gave ourselves a decent break. And I feel like we should have had a break.
Yeah, it lifted a bit.
Yeah, I think we struggled in weeks, we didn't give ourselves that time to go out and experience other stuff. It was the band for so long, while we were doing the band that was the band, to the point where we'd kind of be just going into studio, the real reason other than women to go into studio today. It'd be like, almost pointless, because you can't just go into a studio and just be like, just create, without having experienced stuff to take in as well. We sometimes didn't do that, I think quite a detriment. We should make that a bit more outside of it. Yeah, our time.
It was the way we always written was was collectively rather than one person coming into the song, and it was the automatic music would never have come about any other way. But at the same time, it was kind of it puts all your eggs in one basket, because if you lose a place to practice, you can't write anymore, or at least not in that way. So yeah, it was it's a bit it's a bit tricky. There are definitely days in studio where we just shouldn't have been there for sure. 100% agree on that. A dark movie studio?
Yeah, I think that was one of the driving factors towards the end was kind of like, oh, what are we doing? We're just going in like nightfire just sitting in this windowless room? Like, it just wasn't great.
At least we have Windows during lockdown. That's nice. Yeah.
Brian O Connor 1:16:30
You were you touched on things disappear. And offline. I've noticed there's quite a bit of your songs not on streaming services. Have you fixed that? Or is there any sign of being fixed?
or trying to? Yeah, it's all collapse, like part of what we mentioned earlier, in terms of our label, we're licensed through universal, our label got bought by Warner Music. So our catalog, I think, we think is now owned by Warner Music, and then whatever thing on Spotify in history services lapsed. And I think it's literally a case, isn't it? Someone who's gone to that website, just tick a box for saying that we have it back on. But we don't know who that person is. And we've we try we're trying to figure it out. Rob, you got hold of our own label, didn't you?
That was an interesting conversation. Like, do you know who owns our records now? No. Spencer, like, oh, wasn't the universal? Not sure. Okay. All right. What can we do is like, what if you re record the album's you could put those on?
Yeah. So we're kind of in the process. Like, I've spoken to Spotify directly, and they've just been like, this is what's happened. You need to find the person who can press the button. So try it would go, probably putting off as long as possible to just get in touch with the solicitors who actually knows how to do it. Because Yeah, right, do it cheap as chips. Because we're not, we're literally sort of, I guess we're all self sufficient. Now, in terms of the way the band is run, it's just us. We don't have those people who can go and sort this stuff out for us anymore. We have to do it ourselves. So we're figuring out, we spoke to the guy who signed this into Australia now, then, again, you get so far, and then they sort of just disappear. It's like, yeah,
I think he's got his own stuff going on. So yeah, I can't speak for him. But you know, if he, if he goes dark, there's nothing we do, you know? Yeah. So we'll have to like tweeting it big for from our is it before but the big record labels, from the band to Twitter account, to the best give us a call. It's going good.
I had a cursory glance last week was trying to find some kind of contact information. And then it's just obviously, remember this one where you're trying to send those out. They're pretty impregnable in terms of how you get in touch with them, because they don't want everyone getting in touch with them. So it's probably the case you need to contact our lawyer solicitor. She's really good. And she knows people. So she costs money. Yeah, yeah. But yeah, hopefully, I'd like to I'd like to get it all back on because I think Locke said to me was 15 this year, and it seems like it's rubbish that you can't listen to it. Really without having to grab my CV and no one buy CDs anymore. So
So don't listen to it.
is not on vinyl. It is never on vinyl. So yeah, we were trying to fit we are trying to and this is a fixed as well. Thank monster is still on something Apple needed. Maybe
Brian O Connor 1:19:37
it's on Spotify as well.
Oh, is it? Okay, I think they're on there as like compilation albums on something else. Yeah.
tangential rate, isn't it? Yeah.
We're trying to figure out trying to sort out. This, yes. When you're out of it, you're out of it. It's really weird. And it's kind of it's very much COVID Luke. So I think this
is partly a problem of having you know, Not not being on any terms at all without management now, like they were the ones with the connections, which was their job, but it's it leaves you in the cold. So
Brian O Connor 1:20:08
yeah, it's kind of a weird situation though. Like, it's your songs, but you don't want them and you don't know who owns it. It's kind of a very strange
it's fascinating. But yeah, it's pretty, pretty punitive to the actual people.
It's one of the that's one of those cons is talking about earlier being like 19 and naive when we went into this. There's also things like that where it's like, we didn't really, you're not aware of what's going on business wise. The control over that just kind of that was happening around us where we didn't care cuz we were just having fun playing gigs making music. But then you never really thinking about, or what's happening to the rights of these songs. You just assume I got it. Yeah. Yes. is weird. One thing anyone knows, which is even more weird. Yeah,
I don't doubt that we've just slipped between slip between the cracks somewhere, but it's the fact that I've got no recourse is the the weird thing. Because like, I'm sure the record labels would be like, Yeah, sure. We'll make another like 13 pay off your songs if it just means clicking a button. But why wouldn't they?
Yeah, exactly. You know. So yeah, it's just a funny quirk of us being caught between a licensing deal and two labels that are in competition. Rather, annoyingly, yeah.
So if you end up speaking to anyone from any of the Big Three, you
Brian O Connor 1:21:37
never know, it could be listening. If you're listening, press that button.
Brian O Connor 1:21:42
Last couple of questions, then. I always ask if you could see any performer her band trailed history in concert for one show only who would be
over you quite obvious, probably. And say Bowie. But when he was like, thin, thin, white juke station station era, maybe like I said, that'd be really fun. Really cool. Just do Barry never got to see but he's one of those people because he is definitely so certain, wasn't it? Yeah. And it's, you kind of assume I'll get around to seeing Barry at some point. And then he's like, I'm never gonna get ready to do it. So if I could, if I could, I think it'd be both. So there's no it'd be amazing. A really good show. During watching this class to performance. It was shown again recently, wasn't it? Maybe last year when it had all the weird knockdown stuff the battery wasn't happening? for like, 2003 a room watching that at the time and just like the meet he had this amazing pieces. I can't remember her name. She plays like five or six string bass and this like incredible.
He has no it wasn't Esperanza Spalding or something, was it?
I don't know that just he always had like an amazing band. And maybe you should be required to do like, Let's relax dance stuff. This would be like Stevie Ray Vaughan and like Nile Rodgers. And then if they did touring, you hadn't seen that, like both Nile Rodgers and
de greve on a test. Even better than the automatic and gaudy looking change.
Toward I think that would be incredible. He would be a great show. Obviously, it'd be a great show, but it just really be just one of those ones to see one of the amazing I think that's my Yes. Yeah, it's
pretty hard to be that my is equally obvious, really. So I'm gonna give you two answers actually. Because once once Freddie Mercury with Queen, because they will probably I think they're probably just objectively the best band like on any criteria you choose to. She used to take that top Trumps card would be completely unassailable. It's just amazing and friendly for you. And the greatest thing is in history, the greatest compliment I've ever been played, or certainly like, you know, top five was I forced it reminds me a bit of Freddie Mercury tonight. And I think that person was wrong. But what? Like, I wrote a talk that
Brian O Connor 1:24:02
like I'm giving up now it doesn't get any better. I've reached the highest.
Like, tell me exactly what I did.
My non obvious answer stipulated candidate for last few years. I guess I showed them by I actually think he performed. So I'm going to say bar just to see what a historical great would be like. It's a super pretentious answer, but I'm still curious to hear.
Brian O Connor 1:24:31
First time I've heard this on the show from anyone. If there was a soundtrack to your life, what song would appear on this? Okay, I
got I got one of my desk I got some nights. I set my fav band that I always go back to a clutch just because there's so much fun. Just relentlessly fun band. So pretty Earth, rocker Do I think I'm indifferent? I'd like to think I'm an F rocker. But it'd be awesome aspirationally I love f rocket bikes watch, because it's just 100 miles an hour. Big dump fun rock. So
choice, good choice. I can't think of anything. Not as prepared as usual.
Brian O Connor 1:25:21
I don't know why I wrote notes.
Because I think maybe not for now we're a bit outdoor type of the Lemonheads to be a good one. Just maybe about pretending to be slightly something and not get what you want. Going to. Yeah, just that whole, maybe faking it till you make it slightly. Some ways it's not necessary in the band aspects were like other aspects. Probably outdoor table. And that's definitely one I still go back to all the time as well. So one of my favorite songs, so might as well be on there.
It's a great description of adulthood as well, isn't it? Yeah, give it
so many situations a in a band. Yeah. just pretending you feel you know, being as confident as you are meant to exude that confidence just pretending you have that confidence, obviously a woman's folly. Yeah. Yeah, I think that would be a
Brian O Connor 1:26:23
bad choice. We kind of touched on at the start bush last year, you put out a tweet about playing a couple of small gigs. And if people would be interested, is there anything set in stone for after the pandemic and all this crap is over?
Um, nothing set in stone. Say that. Okay, but we can either sort of, probably it's not me and Rob that need convincing in order to play a gig. We'd like to, and then it is so it's like, this not exaggerates 15 this year, which makes quite important. feels quite important to me, as you know, to do something to be really good. But it's kind of logistically, obviously, that probably wouldn't be this year. If not, yeah, maybe. Who knows?
I feel a bit like a relic but I think about how we go about doing it. Because Yeah, I'd absolutely love it. But like God, even my equipments probably like 10 years out of date now. Stuff like, how would you do a show now? I've
Brian O Connor 1:27:25
no idea. See. Yeah,
but there's surmountable problems really, if you? We, if you find someone who knows what they're doing, those things will happen. All we'd have to do is practice.
I believe it's possible.
I think we'd like to, I think especially It feels like last year I said it, it's definitely appetite there. It seems loads of I started like are using Instagram, just because of lockdown. There's like a bit bored. There's so many people like yourself being get in touch on that. Just talk. Just or like just ask questions or just asked about what's going on in do some gigs and things and people there is interest. And it'd be nice to do that. Again. I think we need to all be in the right position to do it. situationally, in terms of lives and circumstances, and being able to gig at all at the moment. Yeah, just day jobs and families. I
think we we need quite a long lead time just to get to get that sorted.
We don't have that privilege of flexibility anymore, where you can just go and do it whenever you want. But you have to be that time off work now. Can we do it? So it's only on weekends, or general? after the baby
could stay out till 5am if I had to work the next morning, come offstage about a full of energy and I'm going to bed.
So we'd like to, I'd like to.
Yeah. It sounds like a no, but it's not No, it's just kind of flicking around.
Brian O Connor 1:28:57
It's very optimistic.
But I'll be saying I'd like to for about 10 years. Since we stopped, yeah, we get to do something small. Just because I think it would be fun. I think I think we'd have the guts to anything bigger than small kind of presumptive arrogance.
Unless a wealthy patron was to make it worth our while.
Brian O Connor 1:29:25
With a small steric but I'm sure yeah, there'd be a massive reaction and you'd have to announce a proper toward and
Yeah, that'd be fun. Because we're about a year in Ireland. Yeah. Yeah,
Brian O Connor 1:29:38
yeah. Southern Ireland. Waterford watershed. Okay.
We'd say cocked anyway. Yeah, long, long time ago. As if that's the EU.
Brian O Connor 1:29:47
It is. It's only about an hour down the road. Okay, yeah.
That was that was a really fun gig. There's no one there but the people who were there were doing like traditional dancing and things
long drive was not.
Brian O Connor 1:30:02
I was just going to say, if you want to pick your small gig for somewhere around carc that'd be great.
My sister lives in Dublin so we could crush it hairs coming together.
Yeah, that's good.
Brian O Connor 1:30:20
I'll start scouting like small pubs and clubs joint week.
That'd be really fun actually. Really gigs. Oh,
Brian O Connor 1:30:34
man. Finally, before I let you go, is there anything you want to say to the listeners or an impression you want them want to leave them with?
We've covered a lot of ground in this
school for the day. Be good to each other.
But yeah, but bigger to each other, which go without saying but but go go to gigs and support venues when? When things are normal in the after times. Yeah, it's been used to get to be here in at the moment.
Yeah. struggling. Got lots of friends and people we used to work with or give us a little band. And so we're like, yeah, having a tough year. So when we all get the opportunity, don't take that for granted. Just get out there. Yeah, start going. We've got a gig. We're going to see McCluskey Joker in a year's time. We've already booked our tickets, right? Yeah.
Yeah, we carried it happen.
We managed a gig. Yeah, we're not playing gigs, but we're going to gigs to?
Well, that was how we got into playing gigs in the first place. So
who knows? Yeah. reignite the spark. Yeah, keep good gigs. That's a solid statement.
Brian O Connor 1:31:44
Yes. The last question then is at the moment, my favorite song of yours is Steve McQueen. And I always think is funny in hindsight now delaine in my last performance escaped me. It always sticks out to me.
Damn it. Yeah.
Brian O Connor 1:32:04
What's Uh, what's your favorite song? If you were to listen to your own? Or do you listen to your own music?
I do and try
Unknown Speaker 1:32:17
Yeah, okay. For me, it was accessories, I think because we never quite got around to getting it nailed live, but a lot of people so they always wanted to hear it. And I like you know, blow my own trumpet. I thought I did quite a good job of lyrics of that one, which I always found quite some quite hard. So yeah, that one was I was gonna say it wasn't quite a departure for us but not it was a little more sophisticated in some ways than than a lot of stuff we did. So yeah, I really like that one. I've got big soft spot for that one.
It feels predictable because I know you like it, but people don't necessarily know but magazines is probably my favorite I feel it's like similar to roller shows. I think pretty much anything maybe if this is a fix I'll I'd say I like it will be hard to choose one. I think magazine is definitely one of those so remember recording it and just really enjoying the process behind it and feeling it feels like one of those songs I think it's rare when you record a song less already for it to come out how you wanted it to in your head. And that's one of the I think it's one of the ones actually event when it did we finished it It felt like that's what it was meant to sound like it sounds exactly like I imagined that song would sound on record and perfectly for me anyway into maybe just because I'm thinking in terms of drums and stuff, but we recorded it in LA. And with Butch Walker, I think he was really knew what to do with that song. And it clicked with what we want to do with that song. And it was a recording of listening to Steve McQueen actually as well as later on the same sessions the same car that
I think Steve McQueen was there, because he ended up mixing it as well. And we were hearing on the radio like it just they had like a great college rock mix. It really just popped out it was
like bollocks, isn't it as well. It's like still chunky. Yeah, I remember they magazine. I really enjoyed the drumming on it in the mail. So Paul wrote thoughts or brought the riff and he knew that he had a drum idea. But then in the middle there's everybody's like, really big sort of reverb drums. And remember, we had here in a sort of documentary about bridge over troubled water were like oh, we really slow down the tape and play the drums at the end to me so when you know we sped up the tape and played recorded the drums when they play back they sound really like huge and like an on that song. They're really long reverb snare sound. And then I was like which aqui try that on this track because I just want to try it and remember December Okay, let's like double, I don't have multiple times to speak to try to play drums on to just do loads of fills. We did it and they just sound like massive. I really like it. This is like exactly what I wanted. I was really chuffed with that track. I love that. He's really good. He's kind of got a nice swagger to it.
I think I've said this let us say this a lot of times before but I think if we managed to get magazines released properly we'd be having different conversations now. I think I noticed because it was a solid pop song.
Yeah, it was the single after it was slated to go after Steve McQueen even had like all the promos made up for it and stuff. And it just that's when the kind of the record label relationships between each other all collapsed literally, just before that was released. Essentially, what kind of notch It was kind of ongoing around that time. They just never never got there. I feel like if that had come out that probably would have been the song that made us not a one hit wonder in a lot of people lies.
Brian O Connor 1:35:50
I think we had Steve McQueen, which is a lot more credible I guess it was probably more like things we originally wanted to do as a band. Yes, the sort of more straight rocks I suppose. But their magazines was a completely different proposition again, it was like a really heavy groove pretty
Yeah, it was a really good thing in that it was when they said as well as pretty well we benefit from Paul joining the band so scope Paul came to the band wanted to do pop songs we wanted to do rock songs and that kind of like the perfect kind of collision of those two ideas in the sense of Yeah, it's really wish that had been released. I wish I'd made it but I didn't know you just have to try and struggle to find LCD keycard stream. You get off YouTube somewhere, which
is the premise of this is probably like not even recognizable to kids these days. Like he reads magazines. They're online.
Brian O Connor 1:36:54
Have to read it if you do get it re released. We'll have to rename it easy means
I don't know how am I gonna make that scab
Apple news plus.
Brian O Connor 1:37:11
Guys, that's, that brings the interview to an end. Thanks a million for coming on. I've really enjoyed.
Thanks for asking us. Yeah. Yeah,
Brian O Connor 1:37:22
it was good fun. Yeah. Enjoyed. I know the listeners are gonna love or meditate. Oh, brilliant.
Yeah. Thanks for listening.
Brian O Connor 1:37:29
If you did, yeah, thanks
everyone, because they buy our records, but you're gonna find them first.
Here are some great episodes to get started with
This week Brian is joined by Jay Bones of South African punk rock legends FUZIGISH. On 29th April 2022 Fuzigish released their commanding self titled album to mark the bands 25th anniversary. Lined with their signature horns,...
This week Brian is joined by Todd McCarty. When it comes to the music industry Todd has done it all. Raised in the suburbs of Washington DC on a steady diet of 80’s hardcore punk, Todd is a music industry …
This week Brian is joined by Todd Smith. Todd Smith is an American vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist who most notably fronts the band Dog Fashion Disco. He is currently involved with the bands Polkadot Cadaver, Knives Out!,...
This week Brian is joined by Chris McLernon. Chris is known for bands such as Cold Sweat, Cold Gin and Saigon Kick but he is here this week to share details on his new project Panic Boom. This band of …
This week Brian is joined by Arno Carstens, solo musician, artist and lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls The Springbok Nude Girls (a.k.a. the Nudies, or the Nude Girls) is a rock band from Cape Town, South Africa. An alterna...
This week for the season finale Brian is joined by the most in demand musician in rock music Ilan Rubin. The youngest person ever inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and drummer for Nine Inch Nails and …
This week I am joined by Ivan "Funkboy" Bodley. Ivan has had an unbelievable career to date. He has played with 50 rock and roll hall of fame inductees and is himself an inductee of the blues hall of fame. …
This week I am joined by Irish singer songwriter Colm Gavin. We dive into Colm's experiences playing concerts, his influences, the Irish music scene and much more. Colm Gavin is a 28 year old Dublin singer/songwriter currentl...
On this episode I am joined by rockstar guitarist Erik Ferentinos. Erik is known as lead guitarist for Stephen Pearcy, The Voice of Ratt and Bow Wow Wow. Having been described as Stephen's secret weapon, Erik is an extremely accomplished …
What's that coming over the hill? Its Concerts That Made Us with The Automatic. That's right this week I'm chatting with Rob and Iwan from one of the biggest bands to come out of Wales in the mid 2000s. This …