INTERVIEW: The Tones- Featuring a Drunk Canadian Man

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We caught up with band The Tones, following their tour with The Specials, catching up on their new music, Radio 1 airplay, and future tours, with some very special contributions from a toothless, drunken, and apparently ex-Led-Zepplin-roadie, who cared to join our table. 


So how did you guys get together and form the band?


Jake: me and James knew each other as kids, and we just got listening to our parents’ records from the 50s and 60s sort of music, and we kind of wanted a way to create that.




Jake: yep we listen to Jimi Hendrix…


Drunk man: Are you guys musicians? I’m an ex-roadie.  I did a lot of work back in the 80s, late 70s early 80s in the states. I was in a bar in South Carolina, with the boys…


Jake: Are you American?


Drunk man: No I'm British, but brought up in Canada. *Deep south accent* God daaaamn, he’s baaaad. Anyway, hear me out. (Commence toothless rant)


Do you think you guys will ever go to America?


Jake: Yeah definitely, not too soon, but definitely. Most probably next year.


Drunk man: Are you a band?


Jake: Yeah we’re a band.


Drunk man: Do you kick aaaaaasss? Do you know who I worked with? Led Zepplin, Bachman Turner.  “Shirt them a tear up, trousers is gone, I don’t want to end up like Bonnie and Clyde...” who’s that?


Jake: Desmond Dekker!


Drunk man: Oooh you son of a bitch. Give me five y’all. He’s baaaad. He’s baaaad. That means good. God daaamn. Holy Jerusalem.


Are you influenced by those guys then? Led Zepplin, Desmond Dekker…


Jake: Yeah definitely, our influences start with The Small Faces, to The Who. That’s the early sort of thing. Then me moved on and started listening to a lot of Nirvana and Green Day, the heavy side of things.


*Drunk man starts clapping*


So how do you write songs? Together or each part separately or..


Jake: It depends. Sometimes I might come in with an idea, or Henry comes in with an idea, and we build on it, or we start fresh, and we jam, and something could come.  Either I come in with a song, or Henry comes in or Dan, there’s no structure. We don’t sit down and say we’re going to write a song, we just.. write songs.


Drunk man: You’re not Rock 'n' Roll are ya?


Jake: We’re contemporary rock I would say.


So you supported The Specials, which must have been cool.


Jake: Yeah we toured the whole of UK and Ireland.


Are you still in touch?


Jake: Yeah yeah, we’re going to go and meet the guitarist next month and have a catch up. And we’re at the Barfly next month opening up for Pretty Vicious. That should be a belter of a show.


You played a gig with Pretty Vicious with BBC Introducing and Huw Stephens, and he gave you some Radio 1 play as well right? What was the reception after that?


Henry: The reception was quite cool. A lot of twitter went mad.


Was there an influx of new fans?


Jake: Yeah a lot of new people got in contact with us. It was a strange sort of play. It was very late at night, and there was still good hype about it. It was quite low key which was quite good as well for the time we did it. There was a lot of lovely response.


You guys sold out a gig at the Barfly too didn’t you?


Henry: Yeah we did, we sold out the barfly, which was very hectic.

Dan: Very mental show.

Jake: Very high energy, everyone was off their feet.


I see you trying to connect to your fans quite a lot, like you do vlogs and you have a snapchat thing going on.  Do you have a lot of people responding?


Jake: The snapchat people are very good, I really enjoy the snapchat. They’re very enthusiastic. They like to come and meet us and stuff.


And why did you decide to do the vlogs?


Henry: I think it’s just a good way for the fans to see what we’re up to.


James: Snapchat can only get us so far, 10 seconds or something.


Jake: It’s also like, a lot of bands, you don’t know what they’re actually up to until they announce a show or a single, and that’s all you really hear about them. But I think it’s a good way for people to connect with us in a different way.


I saw you’ve been in the studio for a few weeks, is that for a new EP?


Henry: We’re not going to do a new EP no. We’re putting out a new song hopefully, and we’ll announce a headline show very soon- its gonna be our biggest ever show.


Can you reveal the venue yet?


Jake: No we’re not going to tell anyone yet! You’ll hear in the next month…