Not Cool - Interviews - Soundblab

Not Cool

by Amy Baker Rating: Release Date:

London three-piece, the ironically named Not Cool, have just released Rugged Raw, a mini-album of their unique style of 'gutter pop' available on iTunes. Heads are turning and ears are pricking up all over town when these guys play and we caught them for a chat about what the next few months have in store.

You're all from Downham in South East London - were you school friends? How did you meet?

Matthew J Gilbert: We all meet at The Horniman's Museum in Forest Hill. William and Andrew were working as security guards and I was in charge of the ancient ceramics section.

The name Not Cool is a bit unusual - we like it - how did it come about? Whose idea was it?

Andrew: It was my idea. I wanted to be called something that sounded like an old-school punk band and looked good on flyers. And I wanted to alienate all the pretentious goths in London who liked my old band. I succeeded on all fronts.

Have you received any negative response to the name?

M: Yeah, some dickhead said he wouldn't book us because you couldn't 'google' it when we first started. Google us now…Dickhead.

You describe your sound as 'gutter pop' - care to elaborate?

A: Gutter pop to me means pop music but rough and weird around the edges. Its also means taking something little and reaching for the stars. It's aspirational. We also felt we didn't fit any rigid genre, so we just made our own one up.

Who would you list as your major influences?

A: My parents.

You are off on a tour of Italy, Portugal and Spain. Anywhere particular you are looking forward to going?

A: Anywhere with a beach, and where we get separate bunks. Jamming econo can get cramped.

Festival season is upon us - any dream shows you would like to play?

M: I really want to perform at the Olympics next year.

A: Lewisham Peoples Day 2011.

I heard rumours that you are going to be beginning work on an album after you return from Europe. What can we expect?

M: We're releasing a free downloadable, unreleased b-side and live stuff thing first in July then we'll start to finish a full length LP.

Your album Rugged Raw is available on iTunes now. For people who haven't heard you before how would you sell the album to them?

M: - It's like Phil Collins era Genesis but with less Christian chat.

Three of your tracks are featured on the soundtrack to short film 'The Cereal Box Kid. Can you tell us a bit about this?

M: Our good friend Danny Sangra wanted to work with us for a while and we both didn't really want to do an typical music video. It's completely Danny's concept so we can't give away too much, but it involves children, cardboard and us doing some (very bad) acting.

We like the illustration that you have on your 'Rugged Raw' album cover - who's responsible?

A: Its by a talented young man named Tom Bingham, Please check out his website http://cargocollective.com/tombingham.

Plans to tour the UK?

A: Later in the year. If anyone out there is in a mega famous band and want us to support you, let us know. We're ready.

What are you listening to right now?

M: WarPaint, Deerhunter, Pissed Jeans…

A: I'm a big fan of GERMANY GERMANY who is an electronica artist from Canada. To my ears it's like a modern take on Kraftwerk or New Order with some euphoric house moments thrown in, and it's very good.

You are known for your impressive live performances and someone is even quoted saying your music is able to make people sweat by just listening to it - accurate?

A: Playing live is really important to us, you'll never get a half-arsed performance. We play with a lot of energy and its loud. So it's pretty accurate.

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