Ye Wiles

By Andy

BEN – Can I just get who you are and what you do, just for the tape?
GINGE – I’m Ginge, and I play drums and drive a bit.
ED – I’m Ed, I play fiddle and guitar, and singing…I don’t drive.
GABRIEL – I’m Gabriel, I play bass…
GINGE – …and cuisine!
SHLAUFF – I’m Shlauff, and I play guitar and sing, and don’t drive at all.
GINGE – [pointing to James, perched in the corner] We’ve gotta get James on too!
SHLAUFF – We want James in there!
BEN – Yeah, the interview isn’t carrying on until you introduce yourself, I’m sorry.
JAMES – I’m James.
GINGE – And what do you do for us?
GABRIEL – He sells merch and he drives for us.
SHLAUFF – And takes a fiver a day! He’s in the Merch Guy Mafia. MGM. You thought it was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but you were wrong. They’re like an international network.
BEN – In the last 6 months you’ve come from a fairly localised band to having your album released on Household Name – what’s it been like being the band during that rise?
GINGE – Obviously there’s been a lot more gigs and tours, apart from that it’s pretty much the same.
ED – The crowds are increasing.
SHLAUFF – People you get to know increase as well. I quite like the fact that we go to different places and meet people again. When you first play you don’t know people, but when you go back, say four months later, you see the same people again. It’s cool.
ED – There is something controversial that I would say…people come along, and they wouldn’t have liked you before you were on that particular label, and they now like you because of that. That annoys us.

BEN – When you signed to HHN did you find that your old supporters still supported you?
ED – Oh yeah, we haven’t done anything huge yet…
GABRIEL – We haven’t sold out yet…
ED – We did actually play a lot of gigs out of Tunbridge Wells before we got signed…Brighton, Swindon, London…Guildford. That’s one of my favourites.
GABRIEL – That’s a really strange place to play…you’re from Guildford, aren’t you?
BEN – Nope, North London for me.
GABRIEL – Shit, that’s punknews who are from Guildford!
SHLAUFF – You can’t mention that…quick, rewind the tape!
BEN – Ah, the nemesis that is punknews…[note: this is all a joke]
GABRIEL – The only thing is that people think you’re a lot bigger than you actually are…
[Chas Lightyear opens the door and walks in]
SHLAUFF – [into the Dictaphone] Lightyear came in and pissed on us!
BEN – Is that what you want publicity-wise?
SHLAUFF – Will you include that?
BEN – Oh I’ll definitely sex this up! When you play live, how do you find you fit in?
GABRIEL – We’ve been playing with Five Knuckle and Red Lights Flash…
ED – On the HHN tour…
GABRIEL – And they rock, it’s really nice.
BEN – Do you like that diversity?
SHLAUFF – Diversity is probably what we’re all about.
ED – We all like each other’s bands, it comes to a point where it doesn’t matter how different you are as long as you all get along…are we allowed to smoke during this?
BEN – Of course…I can’t be making you that nervous!
SHLAUFF – We’re all really shy and generally don’t speak to each other. I will feed you bullshit throughout this interview. I do roleplay, and no one knows that I’m talking about.
ED – [trying to salvage the interview] Can we have another question?
SHLAUFF – [to me] How long have you been in the Jesus And Mary Chain?
BEN – About 13 years, but they kicked me out for being too young. Next question…when you rerecorded songs that were on ‘Fine Words…’ for ‘Smoothing Away…’ did you find that the time gap helped?
GABRIEL – We recorded a lot of those songs about a couple of years ago, and obviously when you play live some songs change a bit. Most songs have changed slightly.
GINGE – We know a bit more what we’re about.
SHLAUFF – We’re in a unique position, because Ed and Ginge have got a studio where we recorded the album…
[Here follows lengthy bit where I was set straight about the location of the studio (Faversham) and the fact that Ye Wiles are not, in fact, worms without arms and legs. Transcribing it was fairly impossible.]

SHLAUFF – Back to the original question…because we had time to record it and we weren’t paying a huge amount of money per hour we felt that we could do a recording that was right, and still Ye Wiles. Like ‘Leisure wear’ for example doesn’t speed up on the album, but still does when we play live. We thought we’d do a recording of it in a true Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd sense of the word.
BEN – Are you aiming to bring the prog rock back into punk rock?
GINGE – We’re not aiming to do anything…
[Chas re-enters…]
SHLAUFF – Chas comes in and pisses on us!
[Huge shouting, Dictaphone buzzes lots]
SHLAUFF – [shouting] Chas comes in, gets his knob out and then…and then he…like…he…
GABRIEL – Chin up Chas!
CHAS – Yeah, alright, thank you! Microwaves, and all that bullshit…
ED – We’ve had a small bit of criticism from people who have already heard our stuff…
BEN – By who?
ED – …people who have said that…
BEN – That’s a very diplomatic answer…
ED – I just want to say that I don’t really care because I enjoyed rerecording them, and I think they belong on that album. They fit in quite well with what we were doing, otherwise the album would just be like a compilation.
GINGE – This album is more of a project, instead of saying ‘Here’s some songs we’ve got, lets put them on an album’.
GABRIEL – It’s definitely not a compilation, we tried to focus on making an album.
BEN – How happy with it are you?
ALL – Pukka!
SHALUFF – Considering nobody had properly recording anything before, we’re very happy with it. None of us have spent three years at sound engineering college or anything.
ED – Can I do a shameless plug?
BEN – Go ahead.
ED – Any bands that want to come down to the Ramshackle Faculty just email us come down to record, nice and cheap!
BEN – You sell out…
ED – We’re sorry we’re not losing millions of pounds already, but we are losing…a lot of pounds.
BEN – Yeah, you can’t actually make money. You need to get your scene points up a bit.
GABRIEL – We are trying to be a bit more elitist, if possible.
[Door opens…again]
SHLAUFF – Excuse me, we’re trying to do a rock interview here!
ED – This is Ian Armstrong, he’s from Talent Booking…
SHLAUFF – Who walked in and pissed on us…
BEN – You want everyone to actually piss on you, don’t you?
GINGE – We’re just trying to enhance our punk rock credibility.
ED – By being pissed on.

BEN – When you play live have you found that bands have been accepting you, or because you’re so different have you been excluded at all?
SHLAUFF – Definitely the former.
GABRIEL – With HHN you play with more people more regularly so you get to know them and they know you. It’s more of a family atmosphere than it was six months ago.
ED – Before we were playing with bands that we didn’t know and we’d never play with again. Now we’re playing with bands that we do know…
BEN – …and you will be playing with again…
ED – …and we get to know them over time.
BEN – Do you think there is a ‘scene’ or a community?
ED – I think so…we’ve been hanging around with 5K, Red Lights Flash…
GABRIEL – Aint we cool!
GINGE – To be honest I don’t like the word ‘scene’ because it pigeon holes bands.
SHLAUFF – We don’t want to be labelled or label.
ED – In a way we are in that, but we want to broaden ourselves. Everyone should hear all types of music. Now it’s like “I am into one type of music” and that’s it. We don’t write songs to take a direction, we write what sounds good.
SHLAUFF – We do have vaguely different influences, but we do have a large chunk of stuff that we all listen to,
ED – It ends up like it does, and that’s just it.
BEN – It works, it really does.
GABRIEL – Thank you very much.
BEN – It’s a pleasure.
SHLAUFF – We don’t write something and then go “Oh, that’s too weird…”
BEN – I think that’s fairly obvious!
GABRIEL – In a way we do kinda shy away from playing something that sounds like something else.
SHLAUFF – It’s about creativity more than anything. You can get genre-defining bands but you can get bands who want to be in a genre.
GABRIEL – That’s what I was trying to say…
SHLAUFF – Yes, but more succinctly.

SHLAUFF – Hey, this interview might actually get somewhere, unlike the one we did for Fracture! We did one for Fracture and they thought it was too human…that was their reason. We didn’t namedrop enough bands like Citizen Fish and Adequate 7.
BEN – Say them again.
SHLAUFF – [quickly] Citizen Fish and Adequate 7.
BEN – You’re definitely in now. It was touch and go for a while…
GABRIEL – …but Leatherface are great [mass laughter]
BEN – A question I wanted to ask…the answerphone recordings (On ‘Cry Wolf’)…where are they from?
GINGE – The lead singer from a band called Joeyfat from Tunbridge Wells did the one for the album…the one before that (On ‘Fine Words…’) was just a random message left on my dad’s answerphone, that we thought was very funny.
ED – What we did was, we didn’t want to put the same one of the album so what we ddi was ask Matt Cole from Joeyfat
SHLAUFF – That’s Matthew Edward Cole…
ED – ….to come up with an answer for it…you can’t necessarily work out what he’s saying, but that’s kinda good too. He is a genius lyricist.
SHLAUFF – [to Ginge] Would you pass me a beer please drummer?
GABRIEL – What about me?
ED – [to me] Would you like a beer?
BEN – I’d love one, actually.
GABRIEL – Don’t record that or otherwise we’ll get into trouble!
BEN – Yeah, I’m only 12.
GABRIEL – How old are you? Are you 23?
BEN – I’m 19.
SHLAUFF – [sees me about to open it with my teeth] Would you like me to open your beer for you? [grabs Dictaphone] Don’t anybody ever open beers with your teeth because it will damage them. Use your mobile phone instead.
BEN – They’re cheaper.
SHLAUFF – They are actually, mobile phones are cheaper than teeth.
[Door opens again.]
SHLAUFF – We’re trying to do a punk rock interview…but Captain Everything came in and pissed on us! It’s the Lightyear influence, making us talk about urine so much.
GABRIEL – Is it?
SHLAUFF – Well it is for me.
BEN – Where do you see yourself in a year?
BEN – I’m sorry, that was a shit question.
ED – No, it’s just hard.
GINGE – On a motorway.
ED – Bangkok.
GINGE – We want to get more recognition
SHLAUFF – And write more fucked up songs!
GABRIEL – Can you cut out the swearing?
ED – Yeah, our mums might read this.
BEN – Did you swear in the Fracture interview?
ED – That’s what the problem was!
SHLAUFF – I think I might have dropped one. I might have dropped a ‘shit’
[silence for a moment]
GABRIEL – You dropped a shit?
ED – Did people send in questions for this interview?
BEN – Yes they did actually. There’s one from barneyboom. Who is the fan of Zoltan Kodaly and why was he so inspirational?
SHLAUFF – That’s Zoltan K’dye
BEN – Gotcha…
SHLAUFF – and he’s inspirational because he invented the ‘Doh re mi’ principle, which is called the Kodaly Principle.
GABRIEL – And the Hungarian National Anthem I hasten to add!
ED – And hence the sample at the beginning of the song on the album which goes…
EVERYONE SINGING – So la, so fa mi.
SHLAUFF – That was one of the first violin songs he wrote, and it had a jinxy lilt to it.
GABRIEL – Can I just say to barneyboom – Put the needle on the record [Shlauff joins in] and the drum beat goes like this.
BEN – Here’s another one from a guy called dick collar…
GABRIEL – Excellent name!
BEN – A lot of attention has been given to you as ‘that band on HHN with the fiddle’…is it a bit annoying to be pigeonholed like that?
SHLAUFF – We hate “The Levellers of the skacore world!”
ED – You can see the fiddle as a gimmick, all it was was that the fiddle fitted in with our sound and I can play it.
BEN – It’s an organic part of your songs.
ED – Yeah, just like a guitar. You see so many bands with 2 guitars, bass and drums, maybe a brass section…but there’s so many instruments out there that they could be using.
SHLAUFF – You see lots of bands where they probably never speak to the brass section, but the fact that they did music and they play trombone…that’s why they’re in the band.
ED – Because it’s a violin they immediately think of another band with a violin. It’s just a nice instrument and it fits.
[Door opens]
GINGE – Captain Everything come in and piss on us again!
[Various conversations start up…a Blink 182 covers band is mentioned…]
ED – I have to set the record straight. We have never played a Blink 182 song in our lives…
GABRIEL – Boobies!
ED – …but whoever started that rumour obviously has a sense of humour and all power to them!
SHLAUFF – Actually, we’d like to thank you for a five-star review…and to all the readers at [deliberately]
ED – Aren’t you going to ask us if we’d like to recommend any bands?
BEN – [lying] Actually, that was going to be my final question…
SHLAUFF – Joeyfat…all one word.
ED – The Flying Marrows.
SHLAUFF – Eric Sati.
GINGE – Pavement.
GABRIEL – Blink 182. Put that in last…with a ‘dot dot do’ before it.
ED – Dexys…
SHLAUFF – Dexy’s Midnight Runners!
ED – The Smiths. Magazine.
EVERYONE – Gang Of Four!

I’d like to thank Ed, Ginge, Shlauff and Gabriel for being so candid with me, and as one of the most genuinely humble and friendly bands I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet I must say GO AND SEE THEM.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]