A song that made you want to make music?
Sweet Johnny by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. Goes from sweet to psychotic then back again. Absolute unhinged genius. We played a cover of it at the final gig at Tommy’s, the old Cardiff Art School union bar, where Threatmantics was formed. It’s all flats now, as is the rehearsal room where that song was written.
Best rider you’ve had?
Probably the riders from the tours we did with Clinic. They had loads of fruit, bread, a cheese board. Sensible, tasty, healthy stuff that can also be used for breakfast/lunch the next day. A great template for any band and one that we completely fail to adhere to when we get to choose.
Craziest moment you’ve experienced in the band?
On tour en-route from Aberdeen to London we were pulled over by the Scottish transport police. They took us to a weigh station because they said our van looked overweight (the cheek!). Turns out it was. By a lot. So we took out all our gear. Still too heavy. Took out all our bags and belongings. Still too much. Turns out the only way we could tour legally was in an empty van with half the band left by the roadside!
Had to wait for a trailer to be delivered all the way from London in order to be allowed to continue to our gig. In London. It was bit like having Franz Kafka as your tour manager.
Deepest lyric one of your songs features?
How answer this and not come across sounding like Bono…?
Maybe: “Under the bridge the trolls are scrawling / Out of the light their eyes grow rust / Dragging their souls through the filth they crawl in / Out in the light they look just like us”
We live in the age of Twitter Presidencies after all…
Easiest song you wrote?
That’s a hard question! The easy ones lyrically can be a real arm wrestle musically and vice versa. However, I’d probably have to say Don’t Care, from our first album. That took maybe ten minutes to pull together, everything just falling into place. Pretty much a complete fluke of a song that is still probably one of our best.
Favourite song in your set?
It changes all the time! Krystal Pystol is very shouty and cathartic, but at the moment it’s probably Now You Are Gone for the hooks, the harmonies and the opportunities for sneaking in bits of AC/DC to try and throw Heddwyn off.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
Cult Cardiff genius Spencer Segelov. Apparently he knows all the words already so he’d be ideal.
Hardest thing about being in a band?
Trying to describe our sound! Especially if there is a word count.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
Huw, our drummer, has a sleeve tattoo made up entirely of Pokémon.
Jokes you have in the band?
A running gag of claiming never to have heard of something even though you obviously have. Inspired by an old friend and a change in direction, and in turn the inspiration for one of the songs on our new LP.
Key to writing a song?
Most of ours are in A. Makes it easier to build slick transitions between songs when playing live.
Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?
Amsterdam. Fell asleep in a park under the sun then almost broke the PA. Lots of fun.
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
Probably Euros Childs. He’s such an amazing songwriter and insanely prolific. We were lucky enough to support him on tour in one of those occasions where you really should meet your heroes.
New band you’d recommend?
Silent Forum. They supported us at our album launch gig. Ambitiously expansive post-punk and lots of fun live.
Opening for this band would be ideal?
We’ve ticked quite a few off our bucket list; Clinic, Euros Childs, Oh Sees, but a Super Furry Animals support slot would be amazing. They loom pretty large in each of our musical landscapes, although Graf’s already supported them with Gindrinker. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind another go.
Place you’d most like to tour?
It would be great to play France again. We recorded half our album in Paris, playing gigs out there while honing the songs. We’d love to go back there now it’s finished.
Quote you’d like to pass on to our readers?
“De la musique avant toute chose” – Paul Verlaine
Reason for the title of your recent/forthcoming release?
Album titles are incredibly difficult to come up with. Then there’s the process of getting everyone to agree on one. So this time we went with the tried and tested method of naming your album after the first track. Classic.
See us live at?
London and elsewhere very soon, then a bunch of festivals over the summer.
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
Not for us. The way we’ve recorded and released our record, with the amount of freedom and control we have, on the budget we’re working to. There’s no way we’d’ve gotten away with it in the “good old days”.
Our new album is a limited edition 12”. Each cover is a hand-printed woodcut print, front and back, by Welsh artist John Abell. Each one is a unique and exceptionally beautiful work of art.
Variations you’d like to do on any of your songs?
Graf would like to go back and put bass guitar on our first two records.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without the people who love our music we would never have been able to release this record.
X-rays or any treatments needed for band related injuries?
None, I’m afraid. We’re either very boring or incredibly robust.
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?
There is an obvious answer to this question but apparently he’ll quit the band if we reveal it, so it’s “no comment” I’m afraid. He’s too good at playing the REDACTED.
Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band?
An okapi? It’s one of those animals that looks like it’s made up of spare parts and shouldn’t really work but it does. Or maybe some kind of grizzly bear? Periods of hibernation followed by an explosion of hairy noise.