Tapping into that same post punk charge that fueled groups like The Jam Louder Than War introduce ‘mod flavored’ Londoners ‘The Sons’ with new single ‘Down by the UV-Lights’. Think Bloc Party or The Futureheads reworking The Jams ‘This is a Modern World’; a rough description maybe but you get the drift. And plays as good as it sounds.
‘Down by the UV-Lights’ is The Sons front man Stuart Farden’s ode to the misuse of power on the street ofÂ BritainÂ today, known on theÂ continentÂ as ‘the city of cameras’ recent riots and demos in London come to mind with thisÂ turnedÂ right up. More about asking questions than giving answers ‘Down by the UV-Lights’ burns off its angst with a focused beat and razor sharp riffs. whats more there’s more of the same on the b-side with ‘Accomplices’, again the echo of Wokings finest runs right through it and again its Farden’s vocals, writing and super sharp recording / production that makes The Sons latest release an end of year fave in the LTW office…below we talk to Stuart Farden about putting the groups new release out.
Hear ‘Down by the UV-Lights’ here:
And its B-side ‘Accomplices’ is here:
Louder Than War:’Down by the UV Lights’ is a cracker of a tune Stuart, its got the energy and verve of some early Jam tune, with that ‘sound of theÂ suburbs’ writing style as well?
Stuart Sons: Cheers I think it’s our best yet a lot of thought goes into it, the whole song gets aa De-constructed then layers stacked.Keep the sound economic and energetic, it’s gotta sound interesting after each listen. The guitars sounded really powerful and harmonic when we was laying them down, some good piano and keyboards too I think. The lyrics have a bit of a narrative it’s the protagonists rallying call and yeah the Utopian suburban setting is where it’s set.
Recorded back in January and under a pretty slick production team as well yeah,’Marc Jones/Ray Staff’ at RAK studios. really bringing out some busy playing, with a dam fine recording ?
Yeah we came back to RAK it’s got such a great sound at source the original desks and live rooms the environment is so creative when you think of all the records made there.Â The previous 3 EPs where recorded at RAK and also AIR ( the same George Martin desk The Gift was made on) also when we started out our first EP was probably one of the last recordings made at Townhouse and Eden,it’s important technology is a tool but real records need studios. Marc produced nurtured supported and guided the sound, probably stopped me cracking up a bit under the pressure (financial pressure really when the meters running as its really enjoyable) I think the band played really tight and live in there, takes my demos up into actual records!.Â Tim worked on the demos too and engineered the single and Richard who works with people like The Arctic Monkeys ect mixed it with us, Ray at AIR mastered and his knowledge is great he worked on the Ziggy Stardust Remaster and All Things Must Pass Originally so has a lot of story’s !.Â Marc and me had a whole range of influences we were digging and kinda wanted to make of our own so the whole team had that.
It screams The Jam like another group in LTW recently The Spitfires with their current single, both groups kinda at the front of this new sound of fast RB/pop-rock mod driven music.. and both groupsÂ influencesÂ are right out front (The Jam and Mod groups)but its that ability of twisting it and throwing your ownÂ characteristicsÂ into the mix- which ‘Down by the UV lights’ is full off, is it some thing your conscious off when putting together a tune like ‘Under the UV Light’?
Yeah Billy and me have been in touch for a while now and LTW’s manifesto is spot on.Â I think it is a new sound,I’m no cynic, re-assemble the concept to explain it afresh, really aware of that yeah all art borrows then refreshes, of the past yet makes it of its time, too much linear thinking ain’t right, I don’t mind traditional but it has to challenge and excite, tribute retro all those things are rubbish, that explanation you described is great, it’s a vehicle, a template to express everything shake up this pseudo bookish crap and radio fodder out there.I want this to mean something.
The Sons have a couple of E.P’s out thereÂ don’tÂ they, was “Under the UV lights” one of many tracks recorded back in JanuaryÂ and if so any plans for future releases?
3 EP’s and there are probably about 4 new songs in demo form, we’re heading back to RAK to record a new song it’s a real mix of atonal clipped funk and guitars about a minute and a half cos people expect me write another 6 minute song.
Tell me more about The Sons and the story so far, the line ups pretty interesting its selfÂ isn’tÂ it…great players andÂ musiciansÂ that have all been about ‘Dave drums and Gary Bass’… what brought you lot together?
I’m really pleased with Gary and Dave there playing isÂ skillfulÂ and creative also Gary’s involvement with Morrissey is good and his bass lines are great, melodic.Â Dave’s drums are so right we get along good and that line up thing can beÂ awfulÂ we’ve done our apprenticeship Â I’m lucky we’ve all met through mutual contacts and can actually all bring something to the table.Â You come away thinking everything sounds right and rehearsals are picked up quick too, the song arrangements I give aren’t easy but the skill is making it flow.
Its a real creative type single too, your writing evokes that Brit kitchen sink sentiment and phrasing all done through some really fine writing?Â
Thanks I try and be creative spend a lot of time and effort on it it’s not just something that’s knocked out, its pushed as far as I can go, I write the songs keep working on them till I’m happy bring them to Marc then demo them and then we rehearse them as a band where they take on the whole dynamic if you like.
Loads of things influence me in the moment yeah I mean an Adrian Henri poem,a Peter Phillips painting, lots of subtle musical things I hope people hear too, Abba through to Wire was on the stereo on the way up to RAK, I can’t think of a band starting with X Y or Z ha!
With the single I had this thought about power back to a natural human state how good that is or how it can be manipulated for the worse then as you say putting it in a suburban setting, the flip Accomplices is quite personal spiritual maybe that’s for me quite biblical! That was good recording it almost live.
The youths rise in interest for Mod music, clothes and vibe seems to have been brewing away for some time now,Â influencingÂ many new and young groups music style and looks. But how far can this go and how do you feel about that Mod ideal being popular today?
I’m a Mod and it means certain things to different people, I like its functionality, its hard and nimble, it works for me, subculture counterculture are very important and they need to break through in this corporate and chain store opiated culture, I’m all for it but the moment it’s cosy and like some retro classic car show or something it’s fucking boring it becomes like stamp collecting and it will end it in its tracks as some force for change.
Good music is good music though some times groups do get stifled and labeled and nudged into ‘scenes’ by record labels andÂ especiallyÂ music press, but do you think with the internet now we’re able to by pass a lot of the hype and bestowed on groups and artists?
The net has the mod and punk ideal of releasing your own self expression it’s a good thing and you can control it, the down side is it sends up a lot of crap that whole need to be famous thing is it becoming twisted into something else.
You still need the labels there know how and money to rise above all that to a degree maybe also the moment there are bands getting on a thing it’s probably finished, the innovators will go on, I like the insiders mod or punk ethic that although massively mainstream it’s still not driven by mainstream media it’s from within.
Tour plans, where and when are the Sons playing Stuart, and for you…what makes a good Sons show?
We dug that PiL thing about making a new model I know the route is the same it has to be but we wanna build a platform for the new shows. They’ll be as ever, intense packed full of tension excitement and power, there’s the new release and press planned plus we have deluxe liner notes with great content and video coming so there’s a lot coming we’ve spent this year building it up, learning and getting it out there in the media…so it’s a train gathering speed I think.
All words by Carl Stanley. Photo © Pauline Clark. More articles by Carl on Louder Than War can be read here.