This Many Boyfriends - Interviews - Soundblab

This Many Boyfriends

by Emily Bielby Rating: Release Date:

Named after a Beat Happening song, This Many Boyfriends are based in Leeds and have already gained a strong following in Sheffield and Manchester. Now with their EP and newly released single 'Young Lovers Go Pop!' under their belts their fan base is set to get even bigger.

After having a slice of their indie-pop magic myself, I decided to catch up with Richard (lead vocals) to discuss the inspiration behind their music, venues and what's up next for these charming northerners.

Firstly, how did the band name come about?

It's politely stolen from a song by the wonderful Beat Happening called 'The This Many Boyfriends Club'. There were already a couple of bands around our area with Club in their name (The ABC Club and The Wednesday Club) so we ditched that. It seemed like a kind of cool name at the time. I now think it's rather silly!

In 2010, you released an EP called Getting a life with This Many Boyfriends. How much of a positive response did you receive?

A small community of lovely, enthusiastic indie-pop people took to it really well. It gave us a great start considering it was recorded in our friend Wondermike's front room for £50! We didn't expect anything from it but our then label Thee SPC did a great job at getting it to the right, good-hearted people.

How has your music progressed and developed since then?

A fair bit a think. Our ambition at the time for the first EP was to just be a good, quite ramshackle, small indie-pop band. Now I think we're more in the mindset of making great, enormous pop. We're not scared of having a silly, catchy chorus or having a glossy pop sheen. We want to produce something a lot more universal now; more Motown and Stax then lo-fi trash.

Your new single 'Young Lovers Go Pop' was released only yesterday, do you feel it'll be as successful as your EP?

I think so. I think the same people who we became friends with and who loved the EP will adore the new single but I also realise that we're starting to find a new audience too. Being on Angular Records has totally changed our life as a band and opened up loads of new stuff for us that we couldn't previously even dream of. Being in the NME and interviewed by Steve Lamacq has blown our little minds! If it all translates to a successful single then that's great but it doesn't matter because we are so very lucky.

You have been compared to The Smiths, The Cribs and Orange Juice, how does this make you feel?

It feels AMAZING! They are pretty much my top three bands in the world! We can't hold a candle to any of them; people mentioning us in the same breath as those bands are a huge honour.

Who are your main influences?

I'd say those above three bands! We're also influenced in various contrasting ways by Jonathan Richman, Hefner, Spearmint, PJ Harvey, The Slits, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Joy Division and tons more. We have huge record collections so it's hard to put our finger on just a few. We always resort to lists!

What is the inspiration behind your music?

Having fun! For me, lyrically, it is the little things in life that inspire us to be happy and content, whether it be buying a new record or falling in love. Musically you'll find it is just the sound of five friends who like each other and love making music together.

You formed several years ago, since then you have been through a number of line-up changes-what are the reasons behind this?

Purely circumstance, I'm afraid. No exciting fights or bust ups! People moved away, people got good jobs and things just happened that way. People just had places to be and things to do. I miss all of them and they're all part of how we've grown up as a band. I don't regret a thing.

How much of an effect has this had on you as musicians?

I think it has made the core element stronger. I think it has made us quick to adapt and not be stuck in a rut in terms of song-writing. I like to think of the way the great John Peel used to describe The Fall: "Always different, always the same".

Did you play any festivals this year?

We played Tramlines in Sheffield this year and that was fantastic. We had our own little indie-pop corner at The Red House with our mates Standard Fare so it was super fun for us!

Which ones are on you to-do list?

Personally I'd love to play stuff like Popfest in London, Madrid and New York; all our favourite bands have played at those little festivals. Of the big ones I'd love to play Leeds Festival just because we used to go there as teenagers and obviously the ultimate goal is Glastonbury!

You have supported a number of great acts, are there any bands you've not yet supported, but want to?

Yeah tons. We've been so lucky so far to play with the bands we love dearly, we have pretty much supported all our indie-pop heroes but I'd still love to support Edwyn Collins, The Fall or The Vaselines. That would be awesome.

What has been your best touring experience?

Any time we play with the Lovely Eggs! They are the best, most fun band ever. They are also terrific people who really like cider.

Have you played any shows recently?

Last show we played was supporting Crystal Stilts at White Heat in London. It was amazing, mostly because Steve Lamacq was in the audience. That made my night!

Which have been your favourite and most memorable?

I reckon Indietracks festival in 2010 was the most special. To be on such a huge stage, playing to so many more people than we're used to and sharing the bill with some bands we really respect was a great experience. Granted, pretty much every show is as special as the last; it's just a pleasure that anyone wants to come see us be silly on stage!

Are there any venues you would love to play again?

We'd love to play The Fox & Newt (in Leeds) again. It was the loveliest small room with the best sound we've ever had. Outside of Leeds, I'd love to go back to The Wilmington Arms in London, a perfect indie-pop venue.

Are there any venues you've not yet played but would like to?

Yeah loads! We just want to play everywhere. All over the world!

What upcoming shows have you got lined up?

Well, we're playing How Does It Feel to Be Loved at Brixton Jamm on September 22 which should be awesome because our supports are amazing, especially Haiku Salut who are one of our favourite new bands. We are also doing a fantastic show in Leeds at The Fox & Newt with Kid Canaveral, Standard Fare and The Birthday Kiss on November 12. We have lots of other exciting live plans from most that we can't announce yet! It's an exciting time.

Do you have any more album plans in place if so, what are the inspirational thoughts behind it?

Not as yet but who knows. Anything could happen from now on!

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