Congratulations to Death To Indie on beating the competition in Newcastle. O2 Academy caught up with them ahead of the Fireball Fuelling The Fire Tour to talk about winkle pickers, playing with Reel Big Fish again and writing songs.
First things first; where’d the name come from?
Ricci: "The name…that’s a question for Rayner or Jax I reckon"
Rayner: "When we first started out as a band we were dismayed at the number of winkle pickers, Liam Gallagher haircuts and parkas."
Jax: "Yeah, too many indie and metal bands on the scene and we wanted to buck the trend."
Talk us through your songwriting process – do you have any strange rituals like picking song themes out of a hat or from fortune cookies?
Ali: "I can’t speak for the old line-up but it seems recently, where the music is concerned at least, someone will bring an idea to practice and it becomes a sort of communal effort to polish it. Jax usually starts singing a melody before it progresses to actual words - almost like speaking in tongues, but less biblical."
Ricci: "With it being heavily punk based, I’ll generally start off with a backbeat on the two and the four. As the melody progresses, so does the structure of the song."
Rayner: "I get confused trying to blink and play at the same time."
Jax: "It’s only natural that we’re influenced by current events, so you’ll find references to things such as the farce that was the recent American election. 'Monkey See, Monkey Do' was about that exactly."
We know it’s a tough decision, but who’s your favourite band on the bill?
Ali: "Rayner, Ricci and I are into Anti-Flag at the minute."
Jax: "I’ve always been a Reel Big Fish fan and I didn’t get to meet them the last time we played with them…I cried myself to sleep for a week and I’ve never quite got over it."
If you were to win Fireball’s Hottest Band 2018, how would you celebrate it?
Rayner: "Play a free local gig for everyone who supported us over the last few years…hopefully with a few bottles of Fireball to help lubricate the proceedings."
If you could knock back a Fireball shot with any three people (dead or alive), who would it be?
Ricci: "Travis Barker for one, Josh Freese and Danny from Neck Deep, three drummers that are rocking the pop-punk scene at the minute."
Rayner: "Definitely Joe Strummer, Joey Ramone and Sid Vicious for me, three idols of punk who sadly died before I could appreciate them more."
Jax: "Mike Ness and James Dean Bradfield because they’re two of my favourite front men and Oliver Reed…just to see what the all the fuss was about."
Ali: "I’d go with Acey Slade, Alice Cooper and Slash. I’d have to fall off the wagon myself and drag Alice with me…then talk him into letting me join his band."