Words: Dan Whiteley | Photo: French
Metronomy have donned some new threads, added a bassist and drummer to their lineup, and made one of the catchiest and more sonically interesting indie albums of last year. Catch them in the US at the end of the month/early April/Coachella and check out The English Riviera Unreleased Remixes, which came out on March 6. http://www.metronomy.co.uk/
"There was a proper punk element to it"
Any favorite British skaters?
Joe: It was always Tom Penny and Geoff Rowley. But it’s funny, I recently bought the skateboard I wanted to buy when I was young: The Toy Machine team logo. Ed Templeton was my hero for a long time.
Did you read Thrasher?
In the countryside in England, you can’t buy it. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of those old British skate videos but they all have this quite trip-hoppy soundtrack. Just real kind of baggy skaters. So it was in Thrasher that I realized that there was a proper punk element to it. Where, in England, everyone thinks they’re much more “street.” There are a lot of good skaters from Bristol, but they all still wear very big DCs and big trousers.
How does San Francisco compare to the place in your song, “The Bay”?
Ha, this is a real bay. When I was younger, me and my good friend James, from Veronica Falls, would watch 411 videos and go to the place, the Bay, which I’m talking about, and try and find places that looked a bit like the piers or something. James had this old copy of Rad magazine talking about a bowl in Paignton, which is one of these towns in England, at a YMCA. And we went there and swept it out like we’d seen people do, and then it got this new lease of life. So I guess the whole point of it is, San Francisco is the kind of place I’d imagine I was living in. So being here is the real thing.
But there’s a bay in Devon?
Yeah, there is this kind of a Bay Area, but it’s very different. Although, if you squint and you’re not too close to anyone, you can imagine it’s a different place.
So if it wasn’t for music, what would you be doing?
I’d be doing Warhammer.
Is it not called Warhammer here? Like, Games Workshop. Dungeons and Dragons. I’d probably be painting little figures of Orks.
What about you Anna?
Anna: Oh I don’t know. The town that I come from was the teenage pregnancy capital of the UK, so I’d probably be pregnant. I’d have about four kids.
Joe: And now because of music, you can’t have kids. I think about the people who used to do music and don’t do it anymore, I’d probably have a job, whatever job it was, and have an expensive guitar in a room, which my wife would’ve asked me to put away to make room for the baby. In fact, I went to buy this SPDS drumpad that Anna uses from this guy in London. He was wearing a suit, obviously just come back from work, and we went into his flat into the smallest room where he had a little electronic drum kit set up, a little computer, and then his little SPDS. It was like, “Oh mate, what is happening, why is your wife making you sell this stuff?” It was his thing; I felt a bit bad. But I got it for reasonable price, so I didn’t persuade him to keep it. Friends of mine just have guitars, and if they’re not doing music anymore, they gather dust.
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