That's the one. About slapbang in the middle of England near Manchester. About two hours away from Manchester.
Give me a little background on the band.
We started about seven years ago basically playing covers around North Yorkshire. Playing all the dirty holes we could. Then about three or four years ago we decided to start writing some of our own stuff. Get away from the cover versions and try and make a bit of a go at it really. Basically we had our first EP out entitle About Time which took just over a weekend to record and mix. That was on a budget of about 500 quid with that one. About 700 dollars. We sent that out here and there and everywhere. At the time we sounded quite American. There were a lot of bands like Oasis and big bands like that so record companies weren't really interested in what we were doing. We did send it to Guitarist Magazine and we got a five out of five review in Guitarist. We got on the readers' demo winners CD and to various competitions over the years. Came up and won at the big international Bike Week "Battle Of The Bands" which was cool for us about two years ago. Now we've recorded our first album, Audiogasm, it's called. We were originally called Stone Cold. We had to change the name because of one thing and another. Then here we are.
There's an American wrestler that goes by stone cold so I guess that could be confusing.
Yeah, it had something to do with that. We aren't going to argue with an American wrestler.
Nah, they're pretty big guys. Where did you come up with the name Audiogasm?
It was Rich, our bass player, who came up with Audiogasm. We all sat around milling over names and out it spurted. He was watching Xena Warrior Princess at the time and he came up with that name. Don't know where that came from.
It was a hormonal thing.
I think it probably was a hormonal thing. That would be bass players for you.
You delinquents were brought together because of your love for alcohol and chasing skirts.
I suppose so. I was being quoted. We started off all being good friends through school, me and Rich. We've all been best friends since we were about 13 or 14 at school. Went through school together. Mucked around at school and bought our first guitars. Started our first band and things like that. It just progressed from there. We're a pretty tight unit. Pickering is quite a small town when you're 15 or 16. Everybody gets together locally and sees what you can do. On a small scale we just stuck together over the years. We love it.
Who are some of the bands that influenced you guys?
Back to Rich on bass, his main band is Def Leppard. He's always been a big Def Leppard fan. Guns 'N' Roses when Appetite For Destruction came out. That was one that stands out. Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. There's a band called Little Angel over here. They're from a village called Scarborough, which is about half an hour's drive from us. About 10 years ago they were one of the bands that were pretty big on a big scale. I looked up to them at the time. Me personally, it would be Dixie Chicks, Sting, Zakk Wylde. Every kind of music really.
I interviewed Zakk. That guy is something else.
You interviewed Zakk did you? He seems as though he's got the proper attitude for music. I'll never forget when he said "don't matter what you look like really. Just get your fat ass on stage and play." That's all he's about. I remember him saying that. That was a good quote.
I was listening to the CD. Catchy tunes with a lot of that '80s feel to them.
In an era where anything goes, it's cool to hear some music that's fun. What inspires you guys?
Excellent. That album, there were a couple of us going through relationship breakdowns and things. There are a few songs. "R U The One" was a personal thing. I got together with a lass who had a motorbike and that song came about. Rich did "Rain Machine". He'd been in a long relationship and it fell on its bottom as it were. So we all had quite a lot of mixed feelings when we wrote that album. Prozac and everything else mixed in together. I suppose some of the lyrics are a bit deep. When we write, we try and make it not so much mainstream but we just try to go for something really catchy.
You have record labels that want you to sound like other bands. That doesn't make any sense because if these bands already sound like that, why would you want to sound like them?
Yeah, we just do whatever comes out I think. I suppose any of our influences like King's X, a big influence of mine, and listening to their harmonies and how they structure things. They stand out to me as being one of these bands that can do that. Yeah, it's a mixture.
Are there any tracks on Rain Machine that are personal favorites?
I like "Rain Machine" because it's quite different from everything else and that's quite deep. With there being quite a lot of different music on there, depending on what mood I'm in also I think, maybe stick that one in you know. I like "Times". That was a song by our guitarist that was basically about a pub in Pickering which a lot of us used to meet up at after work and have a few beers and one thing or another. Then it got taken over by someone else and it went completely downhill. The group of people that everyone used to knock around with dispersed and that's basically writing about that really. One of my favorites is "You Shone Through Me" maybe. Playing live, I suppose "Speak My Mind" is a good one. That always goes down well. It's got a lot of impact.
Who does most of the writing in the band?
We all chip in really. Dud’s very good with lyrics. I come up with riffs and a few lyrics here and there. Rich as written a lot of lyrics as well. We all bring our own separate ideas together and one person will start jamming a tune. Rich and I will doodle with our lyrics. It’s a bit of a mixture really. It’s whoever’s been depressed the most I suppose.
You used John Spence who worked with The Cult.
Basically the studio he works in is about an hour’s drive from where we are. We just heard the name through local bands saying basically, if you want a good recording, he’s the man. Basically he’s the most down to earth, nicest chap you’d ever meet. Our first album we recorded with a chap called Danny Shackleton and we were trying to get him for the second one. They said "oh we’ve got this guy. The other chap, I haven’t heard of him. We’ve got this other guy called John Spence." We were like no but we want Danny. We want Danny to record this. They were saying "but we can’t get Danny. One thing or another but John’s really good. He’s a bit more expensive." We were like aw shit. As it turned out, it was the best move we could have done because for the budget we were on, he did a really good job. Again I think the album cost about $5000 and for that we had 10 days in the studio. He said he’d work late mixing it. It was by chance really and it turned out he’d worked with The Cult and Beautiful Self who are quite big in England. That was good.
When you have a $500 or $5000 budget, is that how many days you rent the studio and the equipment?
I think we got 100 or 200 CDs copied. That’s how many days we were in the studio and all the engineering. The mastering of the tracks. Everything.
So basically the longer you rent a studio, the higher your bill.
That’s right, yeah. We basically went in there with a bundle of money and said "what can you do for this taping?" Then we took it from there really. Especially on the first CD we actually did, we didn’t have a great deal of money then neither. It was a case of seeing what we could do for what we had. They understood that there a lot of bands in the same boat trying to do something new and haven’t really got a great deal of money so they were very good.
Are you guys working on any new material?
Yeah, we’ve got a new track, which we are demoing soon called "Going Over". About drinking too much believe it or not is that one. That’s a drinking song is that one. We’re demoing that and we’ve got about another five or six ideas which are nearly songworthy and just need a bit more time to spend on them. We’re looking hopefully at recording another album later on this year. See what happens with the sales of the Audiogasm one.
How is Rain Machine doing?
It’s doing okay. It’s difficult over in England because unless you get the support and the back up, you’re basically selling them to your friends and with Rain Machine being out over here, we did it two years ago over here. All of our friends have got copies and everyone’s got about three copies just to try and sell them. We’ve done not too bad. We tend to gig all over the place. We take them and sell them at gigs.
How many shows have you been playing?
We’ve got a break just recently. We’ve got a university tour actually coming up in late, late summer, which we’re going to be playing Glasgow up in Scotland and down to the bottom of England also. We’re playing all over for that one. We’re doing a festival. The "Willow Festival" in Peterborough. That’s in July. The last couple of months we’ve just been trying to write more tunes.
What countries have you played gigs in?
Me and the guitarist went to Florida a couple of years ago and we played over there. Just doing the tracks acoustically and then we’ve been to Los Angeles and that’s it really for countries we’ve played. We haven’t been far yet. We’re hoping to go a bit further. See how it goes.
You live in a cool place where you could play France, Germany, cool places like that.
We’re going to have to pull our fingers out at some point and go out and do these things. Hopefully it’s on the agenda. Basically our aim this year is to get all the new material down, demoed, and then hopefully get another album out toward the back end.
Do you know how well the album is selling here in the States?
Not yet, no. I think it’s only been out two weeks. We should be hearing from our man Dave Tedder hopefully soon. See how it’s going. Apparently Warner Brothers is starting to push it in a couple of months time. June-July time I think Dave was saying.
So it’s on a major label.
Yeah, that’s going to be okay hopefully.
I’ve been reading a number of positive reviews.
Cool. We’ve done well. We played that night in a teaser when we went to Los Angeles. Unfortunately it had rained fairly heavy so a lot of people who actually were going to turn out that night never got there because of the rain. That was a shame. It’s difficult. We brought the rain with us.
Here in Dallas it doesn’t matter. Rain, ice, sleet, snow. We’ll be out and about. You should come here.
Definitely. Yeah, good. Review wise we’ve done really well but I don’t think the album’s had a bad review. A lot of people have been positive about it. If we get a few copies sold over there, we can get back to America so we can play a part this year. Should be good.
Any other comments or thoughts?
Just a big hello to everybody. Please reach out and run to your mums’ purses and get all the crinkly bits of paper. Run down to a record store basically and buy Rain Machine.