Interview: This Many Boyfriends
Published on October 19th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Leeds five-piece recently unleashed their vibrantly fuzzy eponymous debut album, so we fired the band over some questions and were kindly obliged with the following, entertaining set of ‘virtual round table’ answers. First, though, check out their “Number One” single…
Congratulations on the release of your debut album. How long has it been between finishing it and releasing it? Has it been a tense and/or frustrating process?
Ben: It has been gestating in the womb of Angular Records for nine months now and the little sprog has finally popped out. Congratulations, it’s an album!
Daniel: It has been finished for a while, just happy that it is finally out now.
Laura: It’s been finished for a few months but there’s a lot of prep you’ve gotta do when releasing an album, which we didn’t know about! And doing all the artwork took bloody ages. I’m really pleased with it though, we’ve got one of the best looking albums about.
Richard: Quite a while. It was recorded pretty quickly, over three weekends, but we’ve just been finding the right time to unleash it! And yeah, like Laura says, there is lot of preparation involved.
Tom: A couple of months, but not at all. It’s given us time to prepare for the tour and really get all the songs ready for playing live
Congratulations also on setting up a lifetime of legitimately being able to say that you had a “Number One” single. Do you know where it charted in the end?
Laura: God knows! Our first plan was to release it at Christmas for a Christmas number one.
Richard: Haven’t looked! Probably would have heard if it made the Top 10 right?
Tom: Probably about 1001 but it is a nice pun
What’s Ryan Jarman like to work with? And what do you think of The Cribs album from earlier this year?
Daniel: Ryan was a mint producer, he would be my first choice if we got to do another album. their new album is cool too, especially “Glitters Like Gold”.
Richard: He’s great. A proper musician and a hard worker. He knows what he wants and loves what he does. Their new album is great, a proper departure from their early stuff. Mature, brutal and noisy.
Tom: Ryan is fantastic. Loads of great ideas and he just really “gets it”. Love The Cribs album. Bit of a change in direction but I like that, shows they’re not resting on their laurels
What is it about not liking The Pastels that’s so unforgivable compared to not liking Springsteen or The Go-Betweens? Which other artists would you place on this sacrosanct pedestal?
Ben: The Magnetic Fields.
Laura: If someone didn’t like Titus Andronicus I couldn’t be friends with them anymore.
Richard: The Ramones.
Tom: I think The Pastels is more to do with the flow of the chorus, but if anyone insults Joy Division they’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
Did you really all get bullied at school? If so, how satisfying does it feel to be singing about it as part of a successfully emerging band? The best revenge is living well, and all that!
Ben: I used to get tickled a lot by bullies as it would make me scream.
Daniel: I didn’t get properly bullied at school, better to be the bullier than the bullied.joke…
Richard: Yep. I’m short, nerdy and a bit ginger so it was inevitable.
Tom: As a pale, skinny ginger child I can safely say I got all the girls at school and all the guys thought I was well cool. Much like I am now in fact
How did the Japanese record store display that you posted a picture of on Facebook come about? Any idea why they’ve mentioned The Vaselines on it?
Ben: We look good in cardboard cutout form.
Daniel: ‘Cos the Vaselines are cool, just like us!
Laura: Our album is out on Rallye in Japan so I guess they did it. It’s definitely the coolest thing that’s ever happened.
Richard: It’s an amazing feeling! I guess they think we sound like The Vaselines, which I guess we do a bit!
Tom: I don’t know but I’d love to go over there and find out.
Have you played over there yet?
Ben: Not as yet. Any rich Japanese financiers reading?
Laura: We haven’t but I’d love to, we’re going to try make it happen. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan!
Richard: It would be the dream to go there.
It may be way too early to ask, but have you given any thought to album 2 yet? If so, can you reveal anything about the direction it might take? (Absurd/sarcastic answers welcome…)
Ben: Like the first but with more side-partings.
Daniel: Direction? The wrong direction
Laura: The two directions we’ve discussed so far are being the new Strokes and being the new Springsteen.
Richard: I’d like to hope it will be a post-funk-blues-dubstep-bluegrass-hoedown. Will probably just sound like us. With less pop culture references than last time.
Tom: Daniel wants a goat on the record a la Dewey Cox. I want to strip it back to two chords per song.
Are there any dates that you’re particularly looking forward to on your, other than Leeds of course?
Ben: Sunny Barcelona
Daniel: All of them! And getting to play in Barcelona is amazing.
Laura: London is always good ’cause we’ve got a lot of mates there we don’t get to see very often. It’s all fun though, especially places we’ve never been before like Leicester and Leamington Spa.
Richard: Manchester and London, and as Daniel said Barcelona, as it’s the first time we’ll have played outside the UK.
Tom: Always Manchester.
There have been an absolute ton of bands coming out of Leeds in recent years. Do you see yourselves as having emerged from any kind of scene? If so, who are your best buddies from that scene?
Ben: Just Handshakes, who are fantastic babysitters.
Laura: Not so much a defined genre/scene, just a bunch of people who know each other. I don’t think there’s a Leeds ‘sound’ as there’s a real wide variety. There’s going to be a compilation out on Sturdy Records soon which is a real Leeds showcase of awesome. There are loads of great bands, getting to pick our supports for the Brudenell was great.
Richard: We’re good friends with Just Handshakes who are an amazing band. There’s a ton of bands from all sorts of genres. Bands to look out for would be Moody Gowns, The Wind Up Birds, The Seven Inches, Downdime, Post War Glamour Girls and Take Turns.
Tom: I’m sure Richard has answered this better than I could.
Leeds bands always seem to have a streak of intelligent humour running through their lyrics/song titles. Can you think of any reason for this?
Ben: It’s grim up north.
Daniel: Good uni.
Laura: Yorkshire wit
Richard: We’re all incredibly bright in the north.
Tom: Northerners are renowned for their wit. It’s hard to be a cool posing band when you’re from somewhere as naff as Leeds.
Have you seen the alternative video for “Young Lovers Go Pop!” on YouTube, the one featuring various You’ve Been Framed-style mishaps at weddings and whatnot? If so, do you know who made it, and what their thinking was?
Laura: I have no idea where they found the song but it’s so funny. And loads better than the one I made for NME.com with all the photos.
Richard: I have seen it. It’s brilliant and has about 30,000 plays! Probably so popular due to the falling down rather than the song!
Tom: No idea where that came from but it’s a bit good.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming bands that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Ben: The Birthday Kiss.
Daniel: Not Great Men from Leeds
Laura: Just Handshakes.
Richard: Well aside from the myriad of Leeds bands mentioned above I would recommend (out of many good up and coming bands at the moment!) Omi Palone, Runaround Kids, The Spills, C Is For Calculus, Paws and Imp. Oh and the new Purity Ring and How To Dress Well records are pretty damn great.
Tom: Tiny Birds, Evans the Death and a singer songwriter based in London called Samuel James Routledge.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, with just the entire back catalogues of five different musical artists for company, whose would you choose?
Ben: The Smiths, The Magnetic Fields, The Kinks, XTC, Talking Heads.
Daniel: My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cramps, The Strokes and The Cribs. Diverse.
Laura: The Strokes too. And McLusky, Spiritualized, Bikini Kill and Talking Heads.
Richard: The Smiths, The Strokes, Jonathan Richman, Bruce Springsteen, Orange Juice.
Tom: My Bloody Valentine, Blink 182, Oasis, Pavement aaaaaaand Joy Division.
This Many Boyfriends, thank you.
This Many Boyfriends’s eponymous debut album is out now Angular Records. For more information, please visit www.thismanyboyfriends.com