New Music Tuesday 10 - The #1s
Posted by Alex Bohea on November 05, 2013
A weekly feature here at The Great Divide Blog is our New Music Tuesday; introducing you to an artist or band you may not have heard of. We can’t guarantee that you won’t have heard of them, but if that’s the case, it might give you a little reminder to revisit them sometime soon.
This week we head over to Ireland to check out the excellent powerpop/garage punk foursome The #1s as we reach our double digits of New Music Tuesdays. We’ve been jamming to this band in the office at every opportunity lately, especially their song ‘Sharon Shouldn’t’, an incredibly catchy lo-fi masterpiece with a fantastic video to match. Formed in 2011 and featuring members with a history of bands like Bang Bros, Crowd Control and Cheap Freaks, the band released their Italia ’90 cassette and have gone from strength to strength since then. Falling into the punk/powerpop genre means it’s sometimes difficult to stand out but luckily for The #1s their sound is unique enough to make your ears prick up and take notice. Having just released their new 7” entitled ‘Sharon’ on the influential Sorry State Records, and featuring on a three way split with September Girls and Faux Kings out in two weeks time through The Big Itch Club and Bachelor Records, it seems as though the sky is the limit for these boys.
We caught up with Sean, Eddie and Conor from the band to let them introduce themselves to you, talk about their latest seven inch and what’s next for The #1s. Thank you to the three boys for their time and excellent answers.
TGD: Hi, can you introduce yourself and give us a little of the history surrounding the band?
Seán: Eddie and myself started hanging out at his beach hut and writing songs two years ago. We recorded some demos with local one-man-band GMG on drums which became our first tape and played a few gigs with various people helping out. Cian forced himself on the band, first playing drums before settling on bass and Conor followed soon after.
TGD: What was the idea behind the name? Anything to do with being hard to find on Google or a pain to type on a Mac?
Seán: There's no big concept behind the name, I can't remember where it even came from.
Conor: Alt +3.
TGD: Having come from bands such as Crowd Control and Bang Bros, which were arguably more hardcore influenced, what made you gear your direction towards powerpop? As a genre I’ve seen you tagged with, do you think it’s accurate?
Eddie: I've never really seen this band as having anything to do with the hardcore bands I've played with/play in so I didn't really see it as a change of direction as such, I'm still very much involved with my hardcore bands, I've just always wanted to do a melodic band since I was really young and this was the first time I could get something together. As regards being called a powerpop band I don't really think it's necessarily accurate or inaccurate, I think some of our songs fit arguably enough into the powerpop mould, but I guess more than anything it's probably just used for the sake of ease to give a general idea what the band sounds like. As with any genre it's pretty limiting but so long as we don't feel like we're writing to stay within it's confines I don't think it's important.
TGD: The video for the new single ‘Sharon Shouldn’t’ is one of the most brilliantly simple videos I’ve seen in a long time. What was the inspiration behind it?
Seán: We love how that shop looks and when the chance came up to use it for the video we jumped at it. The lads who own it were really nice and helpful and super pros when it came to the acting.
TGD: So, what shouldn’t Sharon be doing?
Eddie: What Lisa can't.
TGD: The ‘Sharon’ 7” was released on Sorry State Records, which has a pretty amazing roster of talent. How did you end up working with them?
Eddie: I'd been in contact with Daniel off and on before about my previous hardcore bands and we kind of became acquaintances through some of our mutual friends like Ellis from The Shitty Limits/Static Shock Records. He'd always been really friendly and supportive and great for advice if needed so I've always been keen to work with him, not least because of all the amazing releases his label has released. When he said he'd like to put out a record for us I was delighted, as I still am that we've gotten to work with him. I guess it also feels especially comfortable for me because so much of his output is quite close to home considering all the hardcore punk bands he has released.
TGD: Now the seven inch has been released, what’s next for The #1s?
Eddie: Our next release is a three way split with our friends in Faux Kings and September Girls being released by Big Itch Luke, Bachelor Records and The Thomas House. It features two re-recorded old songs, 16 and Tell Me Why, both of which featured on our first tape. Following on from that we have our next single recorded and currently being mixed and all things going to plan we will have it out by early next year.
TGD: Are there any pros and cons of being in a band like yourselves and being based in Ireland?
Seán: In terms of getting your music out to people, I don't think geography matters much anymore.
TGD: How is the Irish music scene?
Seán: Good! There are lots of cool bands releasing records, which is great to see. We played with Autumns recently and we all really like them. Exploding Eyes are a new trio who played our 7" launch and they're very loud & bold, September Girls' album is out in January, which will be fun, and there are loads more besides.
TGD: Based on what you’ve been listening to lately, can you give us any recommendations for music we should be checking out?
Eddie: I think everyone should check out Cian's new all-star ensemble Cryboys, I saw them the night before last and they really are incredible. Our friends in The Love Triangle in London have also just released their first LP 'Clever Clever' through Static Shock and Sorry State, I picked up a copy a few weeks ago and it's fucking amazing. Other than that people should listen to Paris 1919 by John Cale, Fatality by Quango and Kärnvapen Attack by Mob 47.
Seán: I've been listening to the new Oblivians record a lot, the new Slushy 7" is great and I really like The Beatles.
TGD: Finally, any last words?
Eddie: Heart Smash.