I was very lucky to catch a quick interview with 3 quarters of SWNDFest headliners The Now
Shane Callaghan – rhythm guitar & lead vocals
Will Scott – drums & vocals
Jay Evans – bass guitar
PD: How would you describe yourself as a band?
SC: Big, tall, lanky…
PD: As a band, not as a person.
SC: A mixture of Kasabian, Muse, Led Zep vibes but with a Motley Crue mindset.
WS: Well ish.
SC: It’s like if Robert Plant and Motley Crue had a baby.
PD: Who are your musical influences and what inspired you to take up music?
SC: I’ve got so many; I go from blues to rock. I was very influenced by Kelly Jones at the beginning, and I got introduced to Robert Plant and Brian Johnson, that type of stuff.
WS: Drumming wise, Dave Grohl, obviously Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Keith Moon. But then strangely enough, even though we don’t sound like them, my favourite band is The Smiths and I liked all the Manchester scene of the 80s and 90s. So, it’s varying, and I like the Venga Boys as well, they’re a big influence as well (laughs).
JE: I haven’t got many influences to be honest, I’m just in the band for a laugh and I just love music.
WS: He’s into Dance music.
PD: What’s your favourite song to perform live?
SC: I’ve got a couple ‘Dr Jones’ is my favourite at the minute. But it changes from ‘Dr Jones’ to ‘Friendly Fire’ to ‘Holy’.
JE: I like ‘This Town’.
SC: It depends on the crowd; it depends on how the crowd is really.
WS: I like the newer ones, cos with the older ones you’ve played them over and over again. So the newer ones I enjoy, just because they’re new I suppose.
PD: What has been your proudest moment in music?
SC: We’ve had a couple of good gigs the last few months. It’s probably eating Noel Gallagher’s food in ‘In It Together’. Yeah, he wasn’t too happy with that.
PD: What did he say about that?
SC: Well we didn’t really see him much, he just came on, then played and left. Very much kept himself to himself.
I’d say playing the ‘In It Together Festival’, playing the (Swansea) Arena, being a Swansea band and opening the Arena in Swansea. I think just to be asked to do that. That was a bit special.
PD: The Housewarming weekenders? You played the Friday night.
JE: That’s right.
PD: What’s the most important thing that you’ve learned from your career so far?
JE: Not to be a fucking dick.
WS: Yeah it is, just be humble and enjoy.
SC: Yes, it is a small community and you’d be surprised how many times you rub shoulders with the same people in different bands down the years. So yeah, keep your feet on the ground and like he said, don’t be a dick. Like they say, you’ve got to meet the people on the way down.
PD: What has the reaction been like to ‘The Truth Always Comes Out In The End’?
JE: It’s been great.
SC: ‘Holy’ was incredible, we had “The coolest song in the world” by Steven Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist.
WS: And ‘Rockstar’ had it as well.
SC: ‘Rockstar’ had it. I think we are the only band that have had 2 songs on his radio show in about 6 months.
PD: I’ve been hearing you played a lot on Planet Rock, ‘Friendly Fire’ and now ‘Rockstar’.
SC: Yeah, that was cool, they play us a lot.
WS: I think that with ‘Holy’, what was cool was that it was picked up by Shoot Music. It was used on Soccer AM, it was used on Formula One, it was used on the highlights on Scrum 5, it was on the F,A, Cup on BBC. Yeah, so hearing our music on mainstream TV, not just the more local stations. It was a big achievement.
PD: Have you ever thought about going on Soccer AM?
JE: I don’t think they want us on there, cos we’d show Jimmy up like.
SC: I’ve always said that being on Soccer AM will be a big tick. That would be a big thing for us to go on there.
PD: Can you shine some light on the recording process of the album?
SC: Basically, leading up to the album, we just get together, rehearse and then we go to the studio and …
JE: The songs just happen
SC: Yeah, we self-produce the songs mainly. Then our engineer Oli (Jacobs), who’s incredible and has worked with people like Peter Gabriel. He puts his little slant on it. Little things that the consumer wouldn’t actually hear, but it makes a massive difference.
WS: He’s like that guy that sprinkles the salt on the steak, Salt Bae. When you’re eating the steak, you don’t realise that it tastes so good because he’s sprinkled that little bit of salt on your steak. That’s what Oli Jacobs is to us, he’s our Salt Bae.
PD: How do you choose which songs become the singles?
WS and JE: It’s a band decision.
SC: To be honest, the singles normally pick themselves if they’re good enough. We’d be like “That’s gotta be a single, that’s a single.”
PD: Are there any bands that you’re looking forward to sharing the bill with?
WS: Yeah, Zac and The New Men.
SC: Zac and The New Men, yeah.
PD: They are really coming up aren’t they?
SC: Yeah, I really like their Jimi Hendrix vibe and they’re nice people as well which is really important.
JE: They’re not dicks.
SC: We’re also playing with Florence Black in December; they are good friends and a great band.
WS: In the Patti Pavilion.
PD: Are you going to be playing any new tracks tonight?
WS: 2 which are off the album which is getting recorded in September.
PD: What is the rest of 2022 looking like for you?
WS: After this, this is our last show until December now.
JE: No, it’s not.
SC: We’ll be doing a tour in August.
WS: I forgot about that.
PD: Good job I asked the question then.
SC: So yeah, in August, September and October, we go out for a few dates with a band called Holy Coves, they are from North Wales I believe.
PD: I’ve got them on the site, Anglesey I think they are from.
SC: Scott, the singer, asked us to jump on the tour. We can’t do all the dates, but we’re doing a few.
And obviously, because we’re recording an album soon, we’ll be in practice rooms fine tuning songs.
PD: Great stuff, enjoy the gig tonight.
SC: We’re looking forward to it. Thanks Pete.