Interview: Jack Foley
THE Subways are two intense boys, one impossibly sassy girl and
a whole load of blues-fried, fuzz-distortion chaos-sex-rock.
They posses the garbled beauty of Mudhoney, dizzy dissonance
of old-skool guitar-punk and traces of wrangled soul.
The Subways have spent the past year (2004) gracing stages across
the country with acts such as Ikara Colt, The Von Bondies, The
Datsuns and Stella Star.
They have formed a word of mouth following which landed them
a place while still unsigned on the Other Stage at Glastonbury
- an unprecedented move in the festival's history.
Having just completed an extensive National tour and recently
signing to Infectious Records – home of Ash, Muse and Garbage
- the band are set to explode in 2005.
Here, they talk exclusively to IndieLondon's Jack Foley about
the new single, Oh Yeah!, as well as their career so
far and plans for the future...
Q. Congratulations on another fabulous new single. Apparently
it was influenced by a young friend's sparkling eyes? How does
she feel to be the subject of a song?
Billy: The girl in question is a fabulous human being.
And acted accordingly. Very cool.
Q. You also mentioned the influence of Steve McQueen in
a recent interview, which adds a further element of cool. Are
Billy: It’s true, I have an admiration for Steve
McQueen. It wasn’t really his cool. It was how he dealt
with bullshit that I dig.
I don’t think being cool is cool. I think our fans understand
that. It’s all about the music, the lyrics. The simplicity.
Which allows us to be complicated at the same time. I suppose
McQueen possessed that.
Q. And talking of cool, you've been mentioned in the
same breath as bands like The White Stripes and The Von Bondies,
some of the coolest new acts around today. How does that make
you feel? Is cool something you aspire to being? Or is just flattering
to be considered that way?
Charlotte: None of us have ever been cool.
Billy: I can’t say I’ve ever dug
The White Stripes. Though I like their straight-forwardness.
Q. So tell us a little bit
about yourselves? Where are you from? How did you meet? Who are
Charlotte: Billy taught me to play bass, and Josh the
drums and himself the guitar. It all just happened. No thought
towards it really.
Billy: Just three people who loved playing music
Q. And the debut album? What's it called and when can
we expect it?
Billy: I decided to call it Young For Eternity.
It’s quite diverse. There’s a thread running through
it. Each song has its own personality and there’s no particular
style we wanted to capture. We all believe in the abandonment
of style (Read review).
Q. How long did it take to write? And what were the inspirations
Billy: It’s taken my whole life. We all put our
lives into it. It’s about love, life, work, all the things
that make us people.
Q. You also mentioned movies in another interview, what
are your favourite movies?
Charlotte: I love so many different films. I’m
a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn. Also Quentin Tarantino. There have
also recently been some amazing films such as Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Lenin is brilliant. Anything with Steve McQueen in. Beauty,
anger and vulnerability all captured so brilliantly. Fight
Club. Gangs Of New
York – Daniel Day Lewis is outstanding.
Q. Do you feel any added pressure, given the hype surrounding
you as a band, and because of the media reaction to the relationship
between Charlotte and Billy?
Charlotte: The most important thing for us is to make
an album that we love. In terms of our relationship, anything
that happens between us won’t affect the band, it will probably
only make us better and stronger.
Billy: None of that will ever matter. I can’t
say I take notice. My life is art and these two.
Q. It looks like being a busy year for The Subways. You
have appearances lined up at Glastonbury, T In The Park and Isle
Of Wight Festivals? Looking forward to them?
Charlotte: Definitely. We love the festivals. They have
such an amazing atmosphere to them. Bands and music lovers collected
together having fun.
Q. Looking ahead, what do you aspire to as a band? What
can we look forward to from you and what would you like to look
back and say you've achieved?
Billy: Making as many albums as possible that capture
us as best as possible is the only aspiration. Having as many
people as possible dig it and understand it is important also.
That means I’m understood. And that in itself is fulfilling.
Q. Thanks and good luck with everything for the coming
year and the new records...
All: Thank you. Nice talking to you.