With the haunting vocals of London four-piece Crows echoing in the background as they soundchecked for their Slaves support slot, I managed to get 10 minutes with Glaswegian trio Baby Strange. In a tightly packed corridor of Gorilla, one of Manchester’s best venues, we spoke about politics to the release of their much anticipated debut album.
Firstly welcome to Manchester, how are you finding it?
Johnny – Yeah it’s great, probably one of my favourite cities. Loads of good clothes shops, so yeah I’m happy.
Aidan – It’s better than London.
You’ve done a couple of dates already supporting Slaves on their tour, how have they gone?
Johnny – This is our third date and the first two were great. Was our first time in Portsmouth on Tuesday and it was great, really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to just do the rest of it now.
So prior to this tour, you had played shows with Slaves before. Is this something you enjoy doing, being able to tour with a band that you’re familiar with?
Johnny – Yeah it’s a big help when the band you’re supporting are nice people, it makes things go a lot smoother. It’s also way easier to have fun, there’s no egos.
Aidan – Great band as well.
Johnny – It’s great being able to watch a band every night that you really like as well.
Recently you went Norway and Sweden, how was that? and were there many Baby Strange fans over there?
Johnny – It was very expensive to buy a drink, to buy anything really. I dunno about Baby Strange fans but there was a few people in the crowd singing the songs, so I suppose that was a bonus.
Aidan – We didn’t expect anyone there, so it was a nice surprise.
You mentioned online the other day that your latest single was finished being recorded, what are the details?
Johnny – It’ll be out at the start of summer and it’s called California Sun, it’s probably one of the best songs we’ve written.
How did the recording go for California Sun go? Where did you do it?
Johnny – It went really well, we recorded with Catherine Marks and she’s done Wolf Alice, Foals and all that.
Any plans for an album yet?
Johnny – Yes… we’ve not got a name for it yet and we’re not sure exactly when it’s coming out but it’ll be the first quarter of next year. We were hoping to have it out by the end of this year but these things take time.
The first time I saw you play live was here in Manchester in 2013 when you supported Swim Deep at the Deaf Institute, how do you think you’ve changed as a band since then?
Aidan – In every way possible, we’re just so much better now.
Johnny – Better songwriters, better live performers. Back then we’d only played a handful of gigs, so we were still getting to grips who we were as a band. It was a bit weird supporting Swim Deep because we aren’t that matched but those gigs were really fun.
Recently there has been bands and musicians who said that artists shouldn’t be singing about politics or associating themselves with politics, do you as band think music and politics should mix?
Johnny – I think music and politics go hand in hand. For a lot of young people, music is the only way to be heard unless you write for a blog or something. I think more young bands should speak about politics and the singer from The Horrors, what the fuck is that about? It made me feel sick.
Finally what’s the plan for the rest of 2015?
Connaire – Bigger better gigs hopefully.
Johnny – Better jackets and better haircuts.
Big thanks to Johnny, Aidan and Connaire for taking their time to do the interview and, if you haven’t already, you should check out all their music.
Next interview on my blog will be with Henry Ruddel, the drummer of Leeds punk band Eagulls.