Thursday, 23 August 2012

IC1s Interview - August 2012

John Campbell – Guitar (JC)
Andy Faulkner – Drums (AF)

Q. What makes a good rock n’ roll band?

A. JC: Be yourself, be real, be genuine, have a personality and don’t follow the rules. By that I mean too many bands pick up the imaginary textbook of ‘How To Be A Rock Star’ like throwing TV’s out the window and thinking you have to wake up covered in vomit with a bottle of Jack Daniels in your hand. Do that if you want but don’t do that because you think that’s what you have to do to become a rock star. Anyone can do that. I see so many wannabe Liam Gallagher’s in bands yet they don’t take his advice from the opening line from Oasis’ first single (Supersonic)… ‘You need to be yourself; you can’t be no one else’. Granted he wants to be John Lennon so the circle of imitation keeps rolling. Sound wise I think all members need to be at the top of their game. You won’t make a great band if only one member is the nuts and the rest are adequate.

Q. IC1s have always been very outspoken, do you think this can get in the way of what you’re actually trying to say as a band i.e. everyone is just looking for the ‘funny quote’ or the ‘mug off’ to another band etc.

A. AF: We’re outspoken in terms of what’s around us - other bands these days don’t seem to have anything to say. We do love to banter, things would be pretty dull if we didn’t but I don’t think our integrity has ever been questioned. We have great songs and work hard, that’s why we’re turning heads within the industry not because we might be outspoken, laddish or witty... That’s all just a bonus.

Q. Live you’ve been playing variations of the same set for a while now, when are you looking to record the debut album and how many of the set list songs will make it to the final cut?

A. JC: I would like to think that we would have recorded our debut album by the summer of 2013. We have plenty of songs to choose from already and seem to be churning songs out every time we get together. So either expect a 20 track debut double album with pop up pictures and booklets of choreographed dance moves or just a 10 track ball breaking, no nonsense debut album. Rest assured most of the set would be on the debut so expect ‘Levitate’, ‘Not Perfect’ Whack Jack’ etc. Excited aren’t ya?

Q. Do you think your sound has evolved as a band since you started, is this something you consciously try and do or are you more from the ‘if it’s ain’t broke, don’t fix it‘ school of thinking?

A. AF: I’d like to think we have a trade mark sound, something instantly recognisable, but it’s evolving there’s no doubt about that. How can it not? You’ve always gotta be trying new things in music and testing the boundaries. We’re writing songs now that we would never have thought of doing when we first got together but each new song has to fit with the IC1s sound and ultimately it’s the fans that determine what sinks or swims (although most swim of course!).

Q. You’ve recorded with different producers in the past; do you think any of them have captured the essence and ‘true’ sound of the band yet?

A. JC: Yes and no. It’s been said that we have a more energetic and raucous sound live and that’s not been evident on record yet. I think that’s obvious given that our shows are usually fast paced and adrenaline fuelled but I don’t necessarily think that should transcend on the studio recordings. I feel that sometimes capturing that mayhem may make the songs messy but then at the same time we don’t want to be over polished either. So I guess our sound is somewhere in the middle! Given that we have limited time with the producers we have had has meant trying to find this middle ground as quickly as possible so I suppose we haven’t managed to capture our true sound just yet but the band would be more than happy to work with all 3 again and are sure that we can get our sound perfect… If not we’ll just find someone else ha-ha

Q. In regards to the lyrics of the songs, do you write them from experience or is it just imagination and a feel for what sounds good and fits the song?

A. JC: I’m pretty sure Dan (Coburn) would say a majority is based on experience with some elements of his overactive imagination. I mean some songs are pretty self explanatory and are stories he has experienced and some are quite imagery and profound but still experience related. Dan has a fantastic way of speaking from personal experience but making it universally understood by others. For example ‘Beautiful Ugly’ was written after a messy break up with an ex of his but anyone else can relate to it as everyone has experienced a break up and can feel those same emotions expressed in the song. I believe it’s crucial to write songs about real things and real experiences really coz if you can’t feel it and believe it then how can your listener?

Q. Having two guitar players in a band can cause issues with the spotlight and guitar hero ego type thing although I’ve found that in IC1s both Jesse and John swap roles between rhythm and lead guitar parts without any problem, how is it decided who is going to take the riff or solo?

A. JC: Well technically Jesse is better than I am so he tends to take the face melting solo’s ala ‘Whack Jack’ and ‘In Freefall’ whereas I’m a sucker for an infectious riff that you would whistle all day long to ala ‘Not Perfect’ and ‘Levitate’. Having said that though it’s not something that’s set in stone so we are more than happy to mix it up now and again if the parts played work. Jesse was brought up on Jimi Hendrix records and has a huge love of metal bands like Metallica which is where his finger skills come from whereas I got my education from the Noel Gallagher School of simple but effective guitar playing. This is why we sound so f*cking good together. Keith Richards once said something along the lines of "Ronnie Wood and I aren’t the greatest on guitar, but put us together and we are the best guitarists in the world". I strongly believe Jesse and I are bastard sons of this ethos.

Q. Summer is here once again, are there any plans for more festival slots this year?

A. AF: We’ve just got back from a couple of festivals and during the Olympics we were invited to play on the Emerging Icons Stage in the Olympic Park. Emerging Icons got in touch again this week and we’re returning to play at the Paralympics. It’s a great honour to be part of it all.

Q. When you look at bands such as The Rolling Stones do you feel that you will still be making music at that age or is rock and roll a young man’s game?

A. AF: The Stone are living proof that age is not a factor in rock n roll but you gotta know when you’ve had your time right!? As great as the Olympics was, I would have loved to of seen more up and coming bands perform on the big stage. We’re the first to pay tribute to English greats like The Who, McCartney and Ray Davies but it was disappointing to see so many old acts hogging the limelight. Oi! Roger (Daltrey) stop reaching for your microphone and start reaching for your prescriptions!

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