I managed to catch up with The Computers at the Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, on 13th July 2011 where they were supporting Bad Religion
. A brilliant band from Exeter who like to play things differently. A fusion of different styles and genres make these guys exactly who they are. They are brilliant at what they do, producing hits such as Teenage Tourettes Camp where the lead singer cracks out his harmonica. Backstage the guys are genuinely hilarious, always joking and laughing but once they are on stage, they give off so much energy it could be bottled and sold.
Alex (the lead singer) even jumped off stage and climbed over the barrier with mic and guitar and played and sang in the middle of the crowd. He then climbed on a person’s shoulders and continued to play and sing wildly while managing to fit in, “This guy is as strong as he looks! He’s as strong as an ox! Not that he looks like an ox… Well, maybe.”
The Computers are fun and energetic with truly awesome and original music. I’ll be keeping my eye on them, because I can see them doing bigger and greater things. But in the mean time, have a read of what they had to say.
There’s not a lot of background information about you as a band available from your websites. So, firstly, how did you guys come to be in a band together?
Alex: Take it away, Aiden.
Aiden: It’s never a good question for me.
Alex: Yeah, I like to hear your story of events.
Aiden: I’m not an original member of the band; I joined two and a half years ago. But The Computers are five years old now.
Alex: Well, I don’t think the band really started until you joined.
Aiden: That’s a nice thing to say but The Computers have been going for a long time.
Alex: Me, Nick and Sonny have known each other since we were little, we grew up on the same estate, just a few streets away from each other. We were in separate bands which ‘defunked’ and we started The Computers. Then we kicked our old drummer out and refunked with Aiden.
How did you come up with the name: The Computers?
Alex: One of Nic’s brothers was in a band and they had to change their name. They were thinking of everything like ‘The Radiators’, ‘The Glasses’, and someone said ‘The Computers’. We thought it was funny, and thought that someone must have already had that name but there wasn’t a band already called The Computers, so we had it. It’s an obvious and kind of a crap name, but…
Aiden: Maybe we should change it?
Alex: Yeah, we might change it to The Radiators now.
Aiden: It’s good!
Alex: [The Computers] just fit with our music and we don’t know if it influenced our music but we certainly fit with that name now.
‘Music Is Dead’ has become very popular, what inspired you to create that song?
Alex: Originally the riff was just a riff that I thought up in my head and went to Aiden with. Ba-na-na-now.
Aiden: And that break, wasn’t it? We wanted a song that did that because loads of good songs do.
Alex: And as for ‘Music Is Dead’, I was walking to band practice and I was just writing on a piece of paper which ended up being the opening bars and lyrics to ‘Music Is Dead’. It was just an idea that came to me and I kind of had the line ‘Music Is Dead’ already in my head and I wrote the song around that. It’s a cool name for a song. Yeahhh it is!
What’s the biggest thing that’s happened to you in your career?
Alex: A few things really, there have been some pivotal points. For example, Mike Davies got us to do our first radio 1 session when we only had like 4/5 songs. So that really kick-started us into thinking “Oh? So we’re like, a real band now then that do real sessions?” or are we just knob-heads who can hardly play.
Nic: We still are.
Alex: Another massive thing for us was when we asked John Reis, from Rocket from the Crypt, to record our Record after playing a few gigs with his new band. He was delighted to. We flew to San Diego to do that, and that’s a massive thing for us because we are massive John Reis fans. To know and be friends with him now is like a dream come true but it was also the right thing to do.
So, would you say they influenced your music in the past?
Alex: Oh yeah, definitely before we met him. We just thought “oh my god” we are playing with The Night Marchers so we are going to meet Speedo, then we met Speedo and he watched us sound check. Then Aiden spoke to him after our show in Leeds and before we knew it we were in his house in San Diego, hanging out with him and his kid, going to the bar he owns and going out for dinner with him; that was really surreal.
Do you have any other influences?
Alex: 50s/60s rock and roll, early soul, motown, garage. That’s what we listen to so we like to incorporate it. The kind of bands we are influenced by are all of John Reis’s bands, bands like The Saints, and Elvis Costello. We are influenced by what they’re influenced by as well. Bands like Rocket from the Crypt are kind of like renaissance bands in the sense that they have taken a lot from The Saints and Dr Feelgood. We’re influenced by the bands that influence them, we’re not so short-sighted to think they started it all.
So during your career have you had any weird/bizarre gigs?
Aiden: Loads. The other day in Weymouth was weird.
Alex: Tiny stage, we could barely fit on it.
Aiden: Strange promoter guy.
Alex: He was funny in a good way.
Aiden: They’re all a bit strange in their own way.
Alex: Oh yeah, that was actually a mental show.
Aiden: There was no staging area, it was just defined by leads and monitors on the floor. All the crowd got completely amongst us. They were just loving it.
Alex: Everything got broken, all of our equipment. At one point, it was just one guitar and drums playing with me screaming over the top.
Aiden: At one point it was just the drums!
Alex: Crowd-surfing went on all between us. Like some guys were crowd-surfing between me and Nic and we were like, “All right?”
Sonny: Absolutely awesome.
Aiden: It was all just fun.
Is there something that sticks in your mind as your worst gig?
Alex: Sometimes we’ve come off stage and thought “worst gig ever” but not because of anything else like the crowd; it’s just been because we thought we haven’t played as well as we could.
Aiden: I wasn’t there, but the one in Newcastle, the promoter was proper weird wasn’t he?
Alex: Oh yeah, this was like one of our early shows. I guess in-between booking the bands and us actually playing them, the promoter suddenly decided he didn’t really like rock music and he was now more in to Drum and Bass. And he was just there being a massive prick. Being daft and kicking stuff around.
Nic: He was kicking this football around while one of the support bands was playing, nearly knocking one of the guys’ amplifiers off. I mean this was the promoter. And then he’d play Dubstep and stuff between the bands.
Alex: He was just a dickhead basically.
Nic: Yeah. He told us he wanted to knife the guy who previously put us on in Newcastle, who was actually a really cool guy.
Alex: But we’ve since been back to Newcastle and played excellent shows.
A question individually for each of you: What was the first record or album that you remember buying?
Aiden: The first thing I ever bought was a single, and it was, sorry to say, Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight.
Alex: That’s all right. The first I had bought for me, on my request, was New Kinds On The Block.
Nic: Mine was, if you don’t include Glory Glory Man Utd on tape, the first thing I bought was Blur – The Universal.
Sonny: The first thing I ever bought was the Backstreet boys album.
With ‘Music Is Dead’ you made the 500 individual record covers, what inspired you to do that?
Alex: Mark said people want to buy rare and limited stuff. And so I said we should make every cover completely different. We done a bunch of them ourselves but we had people and bands helping. That’s all it was really. I thought that we were the only band who done something like this, I was unfamiliar with anyone doing the same thing but it turns out quite a lot of bands have done this sort of thing.
Have you got any sort of good luck charm that you take on stage with you?
Nic: I’ve got my dead Nan’s slipper. She gave it to me when she died.
Alex: As she died.
Nic: And I slip it on my ankle before a gig and that gives me good luck. You can actually see it being used in our set.
Alex: It is there. That is a real story.
Aiden: Where is it?
Alex: The slipper! That fucking slipper!
Aiden: Ohh yeah! I have seen it.
Sonny: You had a johnny on one of the knobs before.
Nic: That wasn’t lucky though…
Alex: That was just for protection.
Nic: It was just to remind me of the good night I had.
Aiden: Anybody else?
Alex: Not a good luck charm, but I am a bit OCD. Like I have to turn the light switch on and off 15 times before I leave the room or my family die. (He starts turning the lights on and off) But in all seriousness, it is quite painful inside.
Has anything truly embarrassing happened to you on stage?
Aiden: All the time.
Alex: I’ve fell over walking onto the stage. I went bumf as I walked up the step to this little stage and then walked on over to my position and fell over again. I even said to the people at the front, “did you see that?” and they said yeah.
Nic: Where is this gonna go? Online? Ah. Well, I let out a bobblet once.
Alex: Did a little shit.
Nic: Just like a little guy.
Aiden: Little nug.
Nic: I had to clench my ass cheeks for the rest of the song and then run to the toilet.
To sum up then, what are your ambitions?
Alex: Yeahh. I had the ambition to play Reading Festival and we did that so that’s ticked off. Like little goals and keep getting them. Like I’ve never been on one of those big double decker tour buses and I want to. I’ve been on Alexisonfire’s bus but it wasn’t mine so it doesn’t count. Other than that, in the long run, I want to be able to be in a band and have everything which is involved and have a decent career out of it as best as possible.
Aiden: I could say my boiling water analogy.
Alex: Go on then.
Aiden: My ambition is like; you know when you’re boiling some water like your cooking pasta? Just before the boil, you know that rumble you get? If you could just stay there forever, that’d be great. If you boil too much you’ll overflow, but if you don’t give enough you want get recognised. Just to simmer would be great. That’s all I want to do.
Alex: You always see on the front cover of Kerrang! bands saying “We want to be the biggest band in the world!”.
Nic: “We’re gonna take over the world!”
Alex: It’s like, you’re not. If you’re lucky, you’re going to be the biggest band in this scene for a season. Whereas I’d like to be an actual credible musician for as long as I can. Simmering doesn’t do us justice though because we’ve got a fucking lot more in us than what anyone has heard yet. So far, we’re just showing the tip of the iceberg, and I know because in my head I’m thinking this is nothing we can do a lot better than this. If you like it, good, congratulations you’re cool, if not then we’ve got more stuff coming.
Make sure you check out their website, facebook and myspace.
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