Louder Than War Interview: Sleaford Mods

Yesterday Sleaford Mods were mentioned in our “Top 50 New Bands For 2014” list and today we bring you the following interview with the band who our own John Robb describes as being: “Like John Cooper Clarke on steroids…”

At a guess I’d expect SLEAFORD MODS to be somewhere between 26 and 45 years of age.

Not that it matters, but it’s an observation that, since they came into our lives recently a quick straw poll around our local pub suggests that it’s the 36 to 56 year olds that suddenly raise their eyebrows, roll up their sleeves and begin to show a healthy interest in what’s coming out of their speakers.

We live in a age where you don’t need as much of the queens shilling to justify calling an album an album any more. An album gets made, it exists whether in the shops or on the maker’s hard drive.

Make them to order, sell them or give them away.

Don’t change anything.

Consider the album is finished and go on to the next one…

“Anyone can release an album these days, it’s not the out of reach profession it once was. You need a few quid for CDs and a little bit more for vinyl. I had a lot to say in the early days and ideas came out like water through a knackered dam. It didn’t bother me that my audience was non-existent. I knew it was good, my mates knew it was good, so the quest was continuous. Each album saw the sound strengthen until I met Andrew, then it became what it is now. It’s arrived at its supposed place if you like”

So says vocalist and fifty per cent of Sleaford Mods, Jason Williamson.

Sleaford Mods have made six albums.

 

The first one dates back to 2006 and soon after gigs followed.

“It was me and a mate on backing vocals, but it didn’t work. My mate got it all wrong, sat there on stage like he was at a yoga session, it looked crap”

Were they all solo gigs before Andrew (the other 50% of the current line up) joined?

“Yes, all solo bar the odd time I tried to use a backing vocalist which was on two occasions. The idea of it appealed, but in reality it didn’t work. I needed another person on stage, I just thought me on my tod looked a bit flat. I just didn’t realise that they didn’t have to be a backing singer, it could be any kind of entity”

…and did the gigs increase once you became a duo?

“Yes. Andrew came on board and a month later we started getting regular press and the gigs abroad started happening”

So how many shows have you done in 2013 (roughly) and how many do you expect to do in 2014 ?

“Not many. Twenty five¬†or thirty. Probably do the same in 2014, maybe forty. It’s hard to tour when you have a job as well.”

Will they be in the UK or are you going back to mainland Europe?

“Both. More Europe though. They are catching on at home, slowly but surely. We have a lot of European gigs booked, festivals and a 10 date tour in Germany in May. The new album should be ready by Feb / March time. We’ve done no radio at all – ¬†obviously the lyrical content would cause problems for daytime stuff “

 

I’m assuming Andrew does the music and you the lyric … am I right to assume this?

“Andrew is the engineer and also does the music, yeah. Wank and Austerity Dogs were both joint efforts in the sense of Production and structure, but Andrew dominates the music side of things. Everything comes from old sessions with his many old bands, or just electronic stuff he’s done the day before. Around the time of those sessions it would just be a case of getting the rolling pin out on the initial idea, but now we know what we want, the process is much quicker, which is handy…”

“…Due to lack of time the new album has seen us both controlling our own departments totally. I’ve not touched the music really, I’ve just brought the lyrics and vocal melody, all the backing is Andrew this time. Studio sessions are normally about 3-4 hrs long and we can get 2-3 tunes done in that time.”

You appear to have a few things that annoy you … fire away and i’ll add the drum machine later…

“…Cheesy bullshit annoys me and there is plenty of it, too much of it in fact. Its new guise is lurking in areas you would expect to find innovation and integrity because the posers in life have realised that hiding behind commercialism is no longer worth it, because the masses are now suspicious of commercialism as a fresh action or expression. So they move into studied areas, areas that have been created out of blood and sweat. The Hipster is an example of this in a way. Robbie Williams hides behind the image of the hard working tattooed man and image of the big band singer, but it even extends into people who may have had something years ago, got used to the lifestyle and created a projection of their former strengths, an image that is there to keep the fanbase intact and willing, at any time, to pay homage. It’s lazy and does nothing for music or peoples hope. It just maintains the stereotype and that’s fuckin useless.

The controllers are invisible, I can’t rally at them, but the submissive pretenders I can scream at. Cunts, all of them, traitors to the human legacy….”

(If that does make it into a song then I’ll use those last nine words as the chorus)

So there you go.

SLEAFORD MODS – lot’s of swearing, cool as fuck and loved by all those that have made the effort to listen. If you’ve not heard them yet, then make the effort. They’re the band it’s still not too late to discover.

I’ve just put my house on them getting next years Christmas number one.

~
 

Sleaford Mods Website is here. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp.

All words by Keith Goldhanger. More work by Keith on Louder Than War can be found here. He’s also on SoundCloud here, Facebook here and tweets as @HideousWheeelInv.

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