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The Subways - The most important thing for us is to make an album that we love


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 you fans?
Billy: I
t’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 your influences?
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 together.

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 behind it?
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.
Billy: Goodbye 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.

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