Sunday, 2 April 2017

An Interview With BAYONET ~ 25.03.17

Bayonet are a Sheffield based four-piece (made up of Vince Ringrose, Danny Higgins, Lewis Cain and Sam Chapman) with an apt ability to craft the perfect indie-pop anthem and bring endless amounts of fun and energy wherever they set foot. Having recently spent time recording in London, new music is definitely on the cards for 2017- starting with forthcoming single 'Call Me When It's Over' in early April. They already have a number of infectious releases under their belt ('Three Months', 'Everything', 'Weekend' and 'Heart Attack'), and have become known and loved for their infectious, and charmingly melliflous soundscapes. The band can boast festival appearances at the likes of Tramlines and Dot To Dot, as well as headline shows throughout their home city at some of its most loved venues including The Leadmill, Plug and most recently Queens Social Club.

I was able to speak with the band recently ahead of their performance at Queens Social Club in association with Scruff of the Neck. Suffice to say... I didn't stop laughing the entire time!

How and when did you first come together as a band?
Vince: We've been together since 2014, around February time. We all know one another from sixth form so we just had the idea of starting a band together. Me, Danny and Sam used to be in a band before but we weren't very good to be honest, were we? We were more of a covers band, some would say! It was from around mid 2014 when we decided to get serious.

What are your earliest memories of music? Both in terms of what you grew up listening to and what triggered you to make music yourselves.
Sam: I used to play a load of Queen. That's the one thing I remember from when I was young.
Lewis: I got the Eagles Greatest Hits one Christmas. My dad had it on cassette and then I got the CD, and then I lost it for ages. That was the first album that I ever listened to, and it just went from there.
Danny: I remember a family holiday to France and my mum and dad played Billy Joels' Greatest Hits over and over. That's probably my earliest memory.
Vince: The earliest evidence of me being into music is a home video of me when I was like 3. My mum was off work looking after me and my two brothers at the time, and she used to watch Home and Away. It was on at 1 o'clock every afternoon and everyday I used to stand on the sofa and sing the Home and Away theme tune! But I only used to sing the last syllable of every line!

You have a new single 'Call Me When It's Over' set for release soon. What can you tell us about that?
Lewis: When it went into the live set I think we all thought it was one that could do well and that we definitely needed to record.
Vince: Lewis bought a little mini synth that had some effects, and it was the first song that we wrote using that. I think once we got the chorus done, we knew we had to kick on with it because it's a good track. 7th of April, it's coming out so it should be good hopefully. We just filmed a video for it, which was good. We haven't seen it yet, but it's good!

Music aside, does anyone in the band have any strange talents or interesting hobbies?
Vince: I can roll my belly. That's my party trick!
Lewis: I can turn my tongue upside down. I don't really do anything apart from this. I used to play football but I kind of gave everything up once the band came along and got serious.
Danny: I'm a trainee barber.
Lewis: Not a very good one!
Danny: (Pointing to the rest of my band) Couple of examples of my work, here! It's my job so it's not really a hobby!
Vince: Apart from the band we just work, and that's all we really do. We work to do the band and we haven't got time for much else.

Being a Sheffield band, how would you describe the music scene here to someone who wasn't familiar with it?
Lewis: I think I'm more into bands that aren't from here. It's not my kind of music. I'm not saying that bands from here aren't good but it's not my kind of thing. Marsicans who we're playing with tonight... that's my kind of genre of music, where as a lot of the music here is more rock like your Arctic Monkeys and stuff.
Danny: Sheffield has a really good metal scene and is really good for alternative hardcore. I think people associate Sheffield with Arctic Monkeys but really, a lot of young bands coming out of it nowadays are playing hardcore metal kind of stuff and that's the music scene really. I wouldn't say it's really too indie anymore.
Vince: There are good venues here but if you go to somewhere like Manchester for example, where we've played a few shows, there is better medium sized music venues. In Sheffield you've got really good small venues, bars and then you've got really good big venues like The Leadmill but there's nothing inbetween. People try and establish one but seem to struggle.
Sam: There are bars for bands but not dedicated music venues, as such.
Vince: Exactly. There are bars that put bands on for a night but there's not a place where you can go and watch a band.
Sam: Like if you go there on a Saturday night, it'd be a club night. You couldn't go there on a Saturday night and watch a band where as in other cities you do get that.
Vince: There are some good DJ's and stuff like that. It's a strong scene for that.
Danny: We've said before, when we were growing up and we were about 13 or 14, indie was really big where as nowadays it's not what's in the charts so much. It's more dance music, and because we're not into that we don't really know much about it but maybe that's what bar owners are looking for at the minute and they're not looking for medium sized music venues. It might change, you never know.

Tell me something about Bayonet that no one else knows...
Lewis: It's not a secret but one of the best ones is when these three were in a band, I couldn't play guitar. When Vince went away he lended me his guitar and I sort of learned guitar... not that we actually thought we'd do anything!
Vince: I moved to Malta for a year and a half when I finished sixth form and I wasn't going to take my guitar with me, so I left it at his for him to learn guitar and when I came back we messed about a few times and played some songs together which at the time we all thought we were going to take over the world with! To be honest, they really shouldn't see the light of day! I'm the youngest in the band... that's something that a lot of people probably don't know. I'm 13, and the rest of them are 33. I'm the youngest, Danny is the ugliest. Something that people probably don't know is that our tracks tend to be about people.
Lewis: There's always something behind it.
Vince: Somewhere, someone in Sheffield will hear my songs and be like 'That's about me.' This is an exclusive... 'Call Me When It's Over' is about a bird who has a boyfriend.
Danny: About 20 girls in Sheffield are going 'Oh my God!'
Vince: It's one of the songs that we recorded when we were in London.
Lewis: It's a bit deep, but we'll not go there.

As you were saying, you've been doing some recording down in London recently. How was that experience and what did you take from it?
Danny: We're in a band together but we are really good mates so whenever we go somewhere, we're doing something that we love with people that we love.
Lewis: We'd not recorded properly for ages and I think going there bought us together.
Vince: Yeah, we'd gone through a bit of a quiet patch. Darren Lawson, the guy that we recorded with, is the best person we've probably ever met in music. He's such a talent.
Sam: And a nice guy. Solid guy.
Danny: It was a nice time because we were working on tunes that we feel really confident about and they're coming back sounding amazing.
Lewis: It was basically three days doing something that we love rather than being at work.

If you could spend one day time travelling, where would you go and what would you do?
Vince: I'd really like to go back to 30's Britain.
Sam: Yeah, the 30's. You'd have nothing to worry about. There was no global warming, no one's got jobs and you could just do what you want.
Vince: The suits looked good then as well!
Sam: You could go out wearing a suit and no one would judge you!
Danny: This is the most cliche thing to say but I would want to go back to the 60's to see if it was as good as everyone goes on about. Everyone's always on about how it was such a free time but I bet you'd go back and be like 'This is shit! It's basically like it is nowadays but you don't have good telly!'
Sam: Where's I'm A Celeb? It's not on!
Danny: Can I get a McDonalds? I can't!
Vince: If I went back in times what I'd genuinely do is get all of the tabs for The Beatles tracks, go back to just before they were around and drop them!
Lewis: If I was promised that I wouldn't die, I'd go back to World War II and see what it was like here living through it.
Sam: I'd like to go back to 50's America with white picket fences and pies on the window sill!
Danny: And loads of racism...
Sam: You'd walk in with your briefcase and top hat and get a martini! Just for a bit though... just for a change!
Lewis: I'd travel to the end of this night so I could have a McDonalds...

If you had to live inside a television show for one month, which would you choose and why?
Vince: Game Of Thrones, if I was one of the high borns.
Sam: Celebrities Go Dating!
Vince: I got asked to go on that, that's why he's saying it.
Lewis: I'd be the seventh member of the Friends group.
Vince: I'd want to go on Corrie just to slap Gail Platt.
Danny: I'd want to be on Modern Family as Phil Dunphy's best mate! It'd be unreal.

Is there anything that you've done so far that you are either especially proud of or feel has been integral to getting you to where you are today?
Vince: The most proud that I've been of anything that we've done is one of the tracks that we've recorded in London. For me personally, that's what I'm proudest of.
Lewis: I think our first gig, just for doing it. It takes a lot of bottle to get up there at first. Everyone always asks us if we get nervous before gigs... now, we do a bit but you kind of know what's its like and enjoy it where as the first one was scary.
Vince: I couldn't even play the first chord because I was shaking that much.
Danny: To me, writing tunes that stick with you.
Sam: We're not saying that everything we write is amazing but it's not an easy thing to do and enjoy it as well.
Danny: The very fact that we're four idiots and we've written songs. Even my mum says they're decent, but I suppose she has to say that.
Vince: Once people realize how thick we really are, people probably won't take our music seriously. We're probably the only band in the world where PR wouldn't help!
Danny: It's not that we're really mysterious... we just can't talk to people! 

Finally- what are the hopes, dreams and plans for the future of Bayonet?
Sam: McDonalds. That's the immediate dream.
Vince: As cliche as it is, the dream is to make music for a living. That would be lovely.
Lewis: A lot of people would say to make it and be massive but I think we'd be happy if we could just make a living.
Danny: Yeah, to not have to do something really special as a band and then think about how the next day we have to get up and go back to work.
Vince: That's the worst bit about it.
Lewis: We have to sell tickets for gigs, which is a given, but if we did a gig where we didn't have to sell tickets and a load of people came and it sold out... that would top everything.
Vince: If we could ever get to that point, we'd be happy.

Listen to 'Weekend' below:

How to find them...
Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @bayonetofficial

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