Friday, August 21, 2009

Tobias Broughton, Omni Anti

Tobias Broughton is the MC in Brisbane’s Omni Anti, who are a mini-orchestra playing jazzy hip hop.

Do you come from a musical family?

TOBIAS BROUGHTON: My grandfather was extremely musical. He was the head of music at Brisbane Boys Grammar for like 25 years and was at one point the head of Music, French and English. They used to do that kind of thing to people in those days, classes of 40 and all of that, but he was the Master of Music and he was the organ player for churches. He was the one who gave me piano lessons, which is why I can write with Johnno [Jonathan Bolt, keyboardist/saxophonist] musically, because he taught me how to do that so I guess he’s the biggest musical influence in my life. There’s one more, my grandmother who was a violin player. My sister’s inherited her violin and I’ve bought a viola and we just love the sound of it. She was a big influence, she was the opposite of my grandfather who was a stern cat. She played by ear, she never read music or anything. That’s more what I do I suppose. I really play by ear. Johnno’s the technician.

Your day job is as a teacher as well, just like your grandfather.

TB: Yeah, yeah, for the same reason you know. Either love or necessity and usually a good measure of both. Music’s necessary although there’s no filthy lucre in it, it’s not lucrative at all, not at this stage anyway in the really pointy end. We get riders and people being nice to us and getting to engage with cool people asking us questions.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Alexander Grigg, Red Riders

Sydney’s Red Riders are a cheerful bunch of indie rock miserabilists with a fine line in martial and anthemic live shows.

Do you come from a musical family?

ALEXANDER GRIGG: Not really, man. Like, we had a piano in my house and my mum and dad sang on it, but it was more my cousins I think. They were really into the Jesus And Mary Chain and Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine and The Cure and all these bands and it was really through them that I got exposed to a lotta, like, really good music. And my sister was really into You Am I and Hi Fi Way and all that stuff. So yeah, it wasn’t really a musical family, but I think that – without sounding like a pretentious douchebag – I’ve kinda always been musical. It’s only something I’ve really only noticed lately when I think back. I’ve always been making up little songs since I was young. Not amazing, anything amazing, but it just comes pretty naturally to me – music and being musical. So I guess I’ve always been musical, but not really from a musical family, yeah.

So do you have notebooks full of things you wrote when you were a teenager?

AG: Yeah, embarrassing notebooks I try not to look at ever. Because they’re just full of intense – when I look back at me as a teenager I’m like, ‘Oh my God, you were so intense and annoying! So angsty and bad.’ I try not to look at that stuff too much. I have more cassettes actually because I recorded everything with this dictaphone, I’d record all my ideas. I must have at least 50, more than 50 cassettes lying around my house of different stuff, different ideas screamed down into a dictaphone.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Martyn Jacques, The Tiger Lillies

The Tiger Lillies are the godfathers of the dark cabaret movement, which means that The Dresden Dolls and Rasputina probably owe them some royalties. Among their albums are Shockheaded Peter, a collection of songs based on a German children’s book and The Gorey End, written in collaboration with Edward Gorey. In real life singer Martyn Jacques’s voice isn’t the alarming falsetto wail he sings in; he’s disturbingly normal and exceptionally friendly.

Did you come from a musical family?

MARTYN JACQUES: Not at all, not at all. No music at all. I think it was just the inspiration of my headmaster.

He encouraged you?

MJ: Yeah, he was great. Literary, a very literary man, very musical man. He played recorder and the violin very badly but with great enthusiasm. He was great. He was one of those old-fashioned, liberal, arty teachers, which we need if children are going to grow up to be anything other than accountants and lawyers. You’ve got to have people in the arts really, haven’t you? Teachers encouraging young people.

What was your childhood like? From the songs on Shockheaded Peter I have this image of something that was unutterably horrible.

MJ: No, it was actually very nice. My childhood was very nice, it was my adolescence which became very disturbed and unpleasant but my actual childhood was very happy – happiest time of my life really. Maybe that’s why I’m fascinated by childhood, I sort of want to return there in some way because I was very happy. Obviously Shockheaded Peter is really dark and disturbing but kids like to be frightened. Probably not frightened too much. We’ve had kids come and see Shockheaded Peter. Some kids come and see The Tiger Lillies. Their parents bring them. I think they like it because I think they see this rather mischievous or misbehaving naughty monster or whatever on the stage and it’s got a sort of childlike feel to it. Adults behaving badly, children are quite attracted to that.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Alchemist

Alan Maman, a.k.a. The Alchemist, is a hip hop producer and rapper from Beverly Hills. He went from being an associate of Dilated Peoples to DJing for Eminem, straddling both sides of the conscious/street divide in hip hop.

Are you from a musical family?

Alan Maman: No, but I do remember my mother and father were definitely fans of music. I don’t know if they could sing. My dad was a good dancer, I guess. I don’t know. There’s some old footage of him doing boogies, doing the boogaloo. Other than that, there was not too much, yeah. They were into music, there was always music in the house.

Did you inherit your dad’s boogying ability?

AM: Yeah, I got some killer dance moves, I got some fancy footwork for the ladies. I got super-duper moves, man, let me tell you.

Do your parents listen to your music?

AM: At low volume. Very low, when they’re going through a carwash talking on the phone. Actually, this new album there are certain records on it that my mother and father both say they like a lot. That’s a first.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guy Pratt

Guy Pratt is a bass player who has worked with practically everyone, including Pink Floyd (as well as Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s solo project), Madonna, Icehouse, Michael Jackson, Roxy Music, The Orb, The Smiths and, yeah, everyone. He’s also turned the stories of rock excess he picked up along the way into both a book and a stand-up comedy routine.

Do you come from a musical family?

GUY PRATT: It had been. My dad was a songwriter, although that was before I was born. He was Lionel Bart’s partner and he wrote all of Tommy Steele’s early hits, the first English rock & roll songs. And then he was an actor so the music had kind of petered out by the time I came along.

That’s a pretty good musical lineage though.

GP: Yeah!

Have you found your family a good source of comedy material? I mean, are you tempted to work them in alongside the stories of rock & roll debauchery?

GP: No, that’s not really what I do. There’s certainly a couple of stories in my book regarding them. When I had this sort of 'the prodigal son returns' homecoming when Pink Floyd played Wembley Stadium my grandmother, who lives in Cypress, came over for the show and she’d had days of people patronising her, going, ‘You know, Maria, you won’t like it very much but they’re the best at what they do and you should be very proud of Guy.’ Of course she went to the gig and absolutely loved it and managed to run through security and get hold of David Gilmour as he came off the stage and she trapped him and shouted, ‘I didn’t think it was a terrible racket at all!’

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tomek Archer, Van She

Van She are a dancey electropop band with a strong 80s influence and the synth turned way up high.

Do you come from a musical family?

TOMEK ARCHER: Yeah, I guess so, but in kind of a different way to some people. My parents didn’t have any pop records or anything like that at all. Mum listened to a lot of jazz and both parents played a bit of piano, but it was just like, you know, tinkering and classical stuff. So it wasn’t like I grew up listening to Dark Side Of The Moon or other kind of seminal ’70s records like a lot of other people did. I kind of grew up listening to the radio. I got pushed into playing music when I was really young and sent to piano lessons since I was four and that kind of stuff. I dunno. I didn’t really get guided into following their taste in music, put it that way.

Do your parents listen to your music a lot?

TA: I doubt it [laughs]. I don’t know. They’ve got the record. I don’t know, they never mention it really. They’re always interested to hear what we’re doing, but I don’t know.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Elana Stone

Elana Stone is an award-winning jazz vocalist, leader of the Elana Stone Band (who are a bit jazz-rock, only not in the lame way you're imagining), winner of the Rockwiz trivia competition and member of Jackson Jackson's backing choir, the Jackson Jackson 5. She’s also sister to Jake Stone from the band Bluejuice, who is about as disgustingly talented as she is.

Do you come from a musical family?

ELANA STONE: Not any more than anyone else I don’t think. Like, our parents, they’ve both got normal jobs. My dad’s pretty eccentric.


ES: He’s sort of like, I dunno, just a bit European. He’s a bit passionate, sort of like an old Yiddish grandma. He used to burst into tears when we’d do things well, like put a bike into a car efficiently... He introduced us to music he loved, which wasn’t so left-of-centre. It was the Beatles and Police, Paul Simon, so it was like pretty much just ’80s music – pop music. As kids we did a lot of performing at home. My sister’s an actress and we used to make radio shows and write songs and we had a little kiddie band, but we only played La Bamba and I Wanna Hold Your Hand. Jake played drums in that and I sang and my sister played tambo or something. We definitely like do a lot of performing, but probably the same amount as any other family. But yeah, we kind of developed more interest in it later when we were in high school and Jake really suddenly got seriously into music, ’cause he was always a writer and a standup comedian. He just suddenly became a rock star and I’ve been doing it forever. It was quite a shock to me, I was like, ‘Oh shit!’

Did you have some sibling jealousy?

ES: God yeah. Like, I mean, it’s quite confronting – Jake’s brilliant, he’s a smart guy, unstoppably charismatic, he’s probably my favourite live performer, like I just I think that energy he creates on stage is so incredible and that’s just him. He’s not doing anything unnatural. He’s just a little bit manic and I think I’m a little bit more even keel. I think his live energy is a lot to do with why the band is so great and also ’cause, you know, Vitriol and the videos that they’ve made and stuff like that. I’ve come from a more sort of weird purist angle from studying jazz and really studying music. I think we’ve taught each other a lot. He’s taught me a lot about writing pop songs and thinking about things in a more succinct way.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ray Mann, The Ray Mann Three

Ray Mann leads a trio of soulful funketeers in Sydney. Previously, he played guitar in the band Kid Confucius.

Do you come from a musical family?

RAY MANN: My parents are not particularly musical. Well, they’re not really musical, but they definitely introduced us to a lot of music growing up. I think my mum’s father was a bit of a renaissance man. He died when she was very young, but apparently he was a poet and a violinist and a whole bunch of other things and apparently that’s where our parents and aunties and uncles can trace that, back to him, this artistic inclination in me and my cousin Andy who’s in Kid Confucius. In our house at least most of the music that we were hearing, my dad would only ever listen to an Egyptian singer called Ummm Kulthum ’cause we’re Egyptian. She was like the Elvis of Egypt back when he was growing up. Mum mainly listened to Elvis, you know, who is the Elvis of the rest of the world. Between them they definitely put a lot of things in front of me. Everything from Michael Jackson to Simon & Garfunkel to whatever, you know? So most of that stuff came from listening. I decided to pick up a guitar based on everything they were putting me onto rather than them encouraging me to go and learn to create music.

When you picked up the guitar did you want to be the Elvis of Australia?

RM: I think at the time I wanted to be Ritchie Valens from La Bamba.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Switch, Major Lazer

Switch, a.k.a. Dave Taylor, is half of the DJ/production team behind Major Lazer, a dancehall cartoon superhero who is ready to battle the Gorillaz and impregnate Josie & The Pussycats. Just listen to the dang song already.

SWITCH: No, not at all, not at all. My family are more sort of sport-orientated. I don’t know where the music came from in me. I’m not musical at all either, really. I can’t play any instruments. I can’t sing. God knows where it came from in my end, but definitely not my family.

Do your family listen to your music?

SWITCH: It’s taken them a few years, but they’ve finally started to get it. I think.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Manuel Sharrad, Infusion

Manuel Sharrad is one-third of Melbourne dance trio Infusion, famous for their loose and unstructured live shows.

MANUEL SHARRAD: I certainly did. My mum was a primary school music teacher at the time and my dad, you know, he was just musical as well. He doesn’t really work in the music industry at all, he’s just an English professor [laughs], but he could play the guitar and liked to sing around a bit. They definitely had a bit of a record collection on them, so it is a quite musical family. I was thrown into the deep end to learn piano and various other stuff as a young kid so definitely a lot of musical theory and general knowledge of it was put in me at a very young age.

So that big record collection of your parents’, what kind of music were they into?

MS: Well, they were old folkies so there was a lot of early ’70s, very embarrasing early ’70s bands, but y’know a lot of good stuff as well. Everyone I’m sure had Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel and things like that to feed off. They also had some random Abba singles and some very strange electronic albums as well, which were quite influential for me. Like Everything You Always Wanted To Hear On The Moog But Were Afraid To Ask, which was one of those very late ’60s attempts to do classical music on a synth, like purely on synth, and it’s fascinating. And I don’t think it’s ever been released on CD so it’s very hard to find.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

E, Eels

Mark Everett, a.k.a. E, is the man behind the Eels. If you know his music you know that his family has influenced him strongly by their absence, with albums like Electro-Shock Blues dealing frankly with his sister's suicide and his mother's death from cancer. Here's a song from that album with a cheerful video.

E: It wasn’t that musical a family. My mom sang in church and there was always music being played in the house, but the biggest musical influence on me was just the records that my sister was playing. My older sister used to play a lot of records and that’s what had an effect on me.

Did her tastes have a big influence on you? Do you listen to similar stuff?

E: Yeah, she was listening to really great stuff. Neil Young, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, all that. A lot of good influences.

One more quick question. I love it whenever you howl in a song; where does that come from?

E: I’ve always been a bit of a screamer. It pops up occasionally over the years. It’s something I’ve always been interested in. I remember being a teenager and listening to Sly Stone records in my car and I would roll up the windows, ‘I’ve got to learn how to scream like that,’ and I would roll up the windows while I was in a traffic jam and start screaming along. If you do that long enough you start get better apparently.

Tom Waits is a great howler too.

E: He is a fantastic howler. He recently complimented me on my howling, which was the greatest compliment ever because he is the master howler.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Purple Duck

Purple Duck is hard to describe. He raps and he sings singularly filthy songs and he produces skits about the Sex Falcon. Then he records a touching number called When A Woman Cries. He is a mystery wrapped in a mallard.

PURPLE DUCK: My dad and his friends used to gather around and sing filthy songs on the piano. Mum would send me upstairs, but I’d still be able to listen.

Was your dad a professional piano player?

PD: Dad was an opera singer, but he’s not any more. He still sings opera, but only on the toilet now. He can do the whole of La Traviata, it’s pretty good.

He must spend a long time on the toilet.

PD: You can tell because he’ll be, ‘Figaro figaro ... urrr!’

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Suffa, Hilltop Hoods

Suffa provides half of the MCing and most of the production for Adelaide's Hilltop Hoods. His mum's only musical advice has apparently been, "You should not swear."

SUFFA: My brother’s a bass player and he was in a punk band called Capo F. Other brother’s a guitarist, the one that plays on the album. He was in a couple of bands, one of ’em was called the Undecided. My mum’s a music teacher, she teaches eurhythmics to little kids, which is music and movement. And my dad’s a massive record collector. He’s got a couple of thousand blues and jazz CDs and vinyl. So yeah, really musical family.

Has that been helpful then having especially your dad’s collection to dig through?

S: Yeah, that was super helpful. I mean The Calling, our third record, was made nearly solely off my dad’s record collection ’cause I couldn’t afford breaks. I mean it’s also helpful when you’re a kid and you’re growing up and from one room one of your brothers is listening to Bad Brains and Bob Marley and whatever and another brother’s listening to Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees and your dad’s upstairs listening to, I dunno, blues, jazz, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and that sort of thing and your mum’s teaching music and movement. You get everything and you sort of mish-mosh it into your taste, I guess. Especially from a producer’s point of view, who samples, I think that’s a really good place to come from.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Urthboy is both a solo MC and a member of The Herd. I spoke to him today, but asked THE QUESTION the previous time I interviewed him two years ago. This song is new, though.

URTHBOY: My dad was a big jazz fan, but I always used to think that was pretty daggy. He’d walk around the house scatting and stuff. My brother was a big influence, we shared a room and he was bigger than me so he was boss of the stereo. Whatever he wanted to listen to I had to listen to. He played Leonard Cohen till I liked it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lucy Hearn, The Understudy / Chris Frank, New Neighbors

Australian Lucy Hearn is a singer-songwriter who plays wry pop songs as The Understudy. Chris Frank is lead singer of New York indie rock band New Neighbors. They're old friends and touring together, so I spoke to them together.

LUCY HEARN: My dad plays a little bit of guitar, but not really. None of my other siblings are interested and some of them aren’t good at it either, but no, I don’t have a dad or a mum who is a musician. Dad played in a band when he was in university but never really took it seriously, so it’s just me really.

CHRIS FRANK: I come from a musical family. Halfway musical anyway. My dad as far as I know doesn’t play anything, but my mom is a piano player and has been since she was really very young, and about age five I remember sitting in the back of the car and announcing that I wanted to learn to play the violin. So I did. I started taking violin lessons that year and then I think five years after that my little brother announced that he wanted to play the guitar and I thought that sounded way cooler, so I started learning the guitar too. That, it quickly became clear, was my instrument and I started practising a lot less violin and a lot more guitar.

Does your little brother still play the guitar or did you steal it from him?

CHRIS FRANK: Well, I guess I kind of stole it from him. But he picked up the bass and has become a very good bass player so I think he and I are very happy where we ended up.

Lucy, You mentioned that your siblings aren’t interested in music. Do they listen to your music?

LUCY HEARN: Oh, they listen to music I just think they’re not interested in playing it particularly. My brother is actually really musically talented, but he only practises drums because he’s forced to. But the answer to that question is yes. In fact if there’s a person whose opinion I trust almost as much as Chris’s it’s my sister’s. Both of them are exceptionally honest. They’ll say, ‘Hmm, this isn’t very good. This isn’t as good as your other songs and this is why,’ and they have really good reasons for it. My sister is another sounding board I suppose for me. I call her and I’m like, ‘I just emailed you this new song. You have to listen to it right now and tell me what you think.’ She’s like, ‘I’m at uni and I’m busy.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t care, this is important!’

Monday, May 25, 2009

Patrick Carney, The Black Keys

Patrick Carney is the drummer for Ohio’s mid-fi blues rock guitar-and-drums minimalists The Black Keys.

PATRICK CARNEY: My dad, if he was more interested in playing he could be great. I think that my family ... I don’t think that there’s any natural family talent.

Ralph Carney, who plays with Marc Ribot, he’s your uncle though, right?

PC: Ralph’s my uncle. He lives in San Francisco. Every time we go there we play with him and we wanted him on the record [Attack & Release]. Marc Ribot is one of our favourite guitar players. Having him come up to the studio, get involved in the record was pretty crazy. Especially Marc Ribot because he’d never done it before. We’re such big fans.

His stuff with Tom Waits is great.

PC: Yeah, that was the first stuff because my uncle used to send home the records he was on. My dad would play me Rain Dogs and stuff. Of course I kept listening to that record, not realising how he got that sound. That was cool because he showed us how he got his guitar sound on that record. After 15 years of wondering how that worked he showed us, it was so simple.

Did your parents ever tell you to get a real job?

PC: My parents, well, no. That’s the biggest thing is when I dropped out of college, decided to try to do the band, we were getting maybe $60 a show. We had to pay to make the record ourselves. My dad was kind of sceptical. I was dropping out of school, but he told me that it was probably the best decision I ever made. I would have told my kid the same. But then again in Ohio even if you have a college degree you can’t always find a job.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ezekiel Ox, Mammal

Ezekiel Ox is the lead singer of hard rock band Mammal. It's his job to rip his clothes off and rant like Henry Rollins. He also talks very fast.

“I wish I could tell you that I had to leave home when I was 16 and make my own way, but my parents have been nothing but supportive of what I’ve done and have really wanted me to follow my own path and have been there for me during the hard times and been massively supportive of the fact that I was on the right path and that eventually it would come through for me and yeah. Much respect to John and Anne for it.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rival MC, Impossible Odds

Impossible Odds won the JB Seed Grant to fund their self-titled debut EP of conscious Aussie hip hop.

“My dad always took us to church and my mum was always singing around the house. She sings in choirs and stuff and always had us in choirs.”

When was it you first got into hip hop?

“I was about 10. My cousins that are all 40 now would listen to everything. Grandmaster Flash, N.W.A., anything and everything, Public Enemy... They’d bring it home all the time and I’d hear it pumping in their cars. I thought ‘Ah, this sounds good!’ Then, not having much money growing up, I got into beatboxing. Been 17 years now that I’ve been beatboxing and that just came out of necessity because I didn’t have money to buy a Walkman. At the time they were like the state of the art. I didn’t have that luxury so I’d replicate the beats and walk around and beatbox to myself.”

Jessica Mauboy

Jessica Mauboy was runner-up in Australian Idol 2007. As often happens, she wound up with more of a career than the actual winner.

“They love country. My first tastings of music was country, so you know like Patsy Cline. I was very American-influenced, so a lot of Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, all that kind of stuff. I grew up listening to a lot of storytelling from my grandparents and a lot of the Aboriginal side, my mum, nanna and grandad. That’s kind of been my upbringing, listening to a lot of music. But I have a 29-year-old sister who got me into the all the 2pac, ghetto gangsta stuff and then you’ve got my little sister listening to pop and the new techno stuff, so it’s a range of things that I’m listening to.”

Do your parents listen to your music?

“Oh yeah, they’re the first ones to hear my music and I always go to them first with ideas to tell me if it’s good or not, which is great because they never lie to me.”

And if they don’t like it, it must be easier to hear that from them.

“They’re very honest, so I’m used to them saying, ‘No, that sucks.’”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MC Lars

MC Lars calls himself a post-punk laptop rapper. He'll rap about anything from Edgar Allan Poe to Guitar Hero.

“Yeah, my mom kind of played piano, but my dad was always playing like loud, rock stuff when I was a kid. I remember, some of my earliest, happiest memories were that he would play that Paul Simon record Graceland so much and I loved that record because I loved how it was -- I didn’t know it then, but it was that international sound and the amazing horns and like just the instrumentation, the basslines and the lyrics. And and my dad took me to my first concert, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic when I was like 10 and basically my parents have really been supportive. I took guitar lessons for a long time and they were really supportive. I just remember being little and sitting next to the speakers at our house listening to the Graceland record and thinking this is so magical and awesome, you know?”

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic is a great first concert. Do you remember it well?

“Yeah, I do, I do. We were on the balcony looking down and I knew all the words, I was singing along and I remember, I was young, I’d never seen a mosh pit. I remember being kind of scared because I was just a kid, you know?”

Do your parents listen to your music?

“Yeah, my parents are incredibly supportive and they have gotten into more hip hop stuff. And my first tour in 2003, I went on tour in the UK and that was my first like international tour. My dad actually, we took trains and stuff, he was my tour manager. So that was really fun. I’ll always remember that.”


Pimmon makes glitchy, ambient soundscapes that fit worlds inside his laptop.

“On my father’s side they were quite musical. My grandfather and great-grandfather both played brass in the Salvation Army Band. My father never played any instruments but has a beautiful voice and I remember him singing some solos when I was younger. His brother was amazing -- he could pick up any instrument and play it! I learnt the guitar from age eight but never really excelled -- but I can bash out a tune here and there. I’ve sung in many choirs and in my workplace Christmas party rock band. Ha!”

Alfred Darlington, The Long Lost

Alfred Darlington is half of husband-wife folk duo The Long Lost. He also DJs and produces under the name Daedelus.

“Neither of us grew up in a musical family. Laura’s parents had some background, not really in the arts, but there was always art involved in her life. Her education didn’t stop in school basically. For myself, my father was an experimental psychologist '' there wasn’t any Freudian stuff or Jungian stuff in the house, really different kind of things -- and my mom is a fine artist so I’m familiar with the arts in that way, but neither of us really have people playing instruments around us when we were growing up. It was something that we were both very lucky to be in the same school district where they had a very advanced, wonderful music program where, from a very young age, we were given instruments and able to be passionate about music and have a forum for it and I know it’s a rare thing in America nowadays so we were very lucky in that regard.”

What do your parents think of your music?

“It is kinda funny. For instance, my mom comes from the '60s, she was into these experimental performance art noise bands, but when I very first played her my own music -- I remember very clearly I was playing it for her in my car and I think she was sitting in the back seat. I had just gotten my first real CD, popped it into the player, was really excited, played some moments of music and she asked me, quite earnestly, ‘Is there something wrong with these back speakers 'cause I’m hearing this terrible noise.’ And I had to inform her that actually no it was the song. Little generational misunderstanding.”

Kevin Swaby, The Heavy

Kevin Swaby is lead singer of The Heavy, who blend rock, soul, funk and hip hop. He sings like a preacherman werewolf.

“I’m one of 11. Our house was like a club. I could go in, see mum and dad playing anything from rocksteady ska to Al Green, little bits of Motown, it kind of went across the board.”

One of 11? That's a lot of kids.

“I was the last one. I don’t even think my mother knew I was there on the floor for a couple of days.”