"It’s nice to make music with people you like."
Interview and photos by Dawn
It’s been a busy few weeks for Teesside’s brightest young band Collectors Club, with gigs in Middlesbrough, Saltburn and Billingham, not to mention the headline slot of the Redcar Rocks festival on July 20th.
Having fallen in love with their sublime summery songs back at Stockton Calling festival in March, Record Overplayed finally manage to interrogate three of the boys before their show at Billingham Synthonia club – but not before bassist Lewi has inflicted some dreadful car-based puns on us all due to the interview taking place in a Fiat 500 in the venue’s car park.
‘Collectors Club in a car - the driving force in pop music,’ he offers with a grin. ‘Turning the wheel of pop music. If we talk too fast just ask us to put our foot on the brake...’
As the groans from his bandmates subside, we motor on.
Their Twitter page describes them as an “indie pop band from North East England having a jolly good time” and judging by both their sound and their on and offstage behaviour, it certainly seems to be the case.
Formed three years ago whilst at college, the band came together through a shared love of music:
‘The majority of us met at Prior Pursglove in Guisborough,’ explains frontman Joe, ‘and we met Josh at a friend’s party. A very teenage way of meeting. I’ve always loved bands – I’ve a big love of the Beatles – and it started from that I think.’
‘Just wanting to play what you hear really,’ says guitarist Chris.
‘When music makes the hairs on your neck stand up,’ says Joe.
‘I just like these guys,’ says Lewi. ‘It’s nice to make music with people you like.’
When it comes to writing their distinctive brand of upbeat indie pop, the six of them all play a part (‘we bash it into shape with all of us playing,’ Lewi says) and the band agree that the music they are listening to at that point in time has a bearing on their music.
‘I think films are a big influence of sound. Other bands are a big influence as well,’ says Joe.
‘It varies a lot,’ says Chris.
‘We get really zoned into a certain band, whether it’s a big guitar based band at the time who’ve just brought out an album, and I think we all have this mutual obsession with an album,’ says Joe.
‘We all go in for it. It’s all we talk about,’ adds Lewi.
‘You can tell in songs that come out around that same time that they’re quite influenced by that,’ says Joe.
Although in recent weeks the band’s gigs have all been within the local area, they’ve also played plenty of shows outside of Teesside – one of their most prestigious to date being on the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park in 2011.
‘One of our first gigs was Sheffield,’ says Lewi.
‘We’ve done universities and stuff like that – Oxford, Cambridge last year,’ says Joe.
‘And a lot of Liverpool ones,’ adds Lewi.
‘Newcastle,’ says Joe. ‘And we’ve done three gigs in London so far. We played in Camden and that was great, it was really fun, for the Hop Farm Festival.’
Record Overplayed’s good friend Katie (of rumblefishonline.com and matthewlillardonline.com) wanted to know about the origins of the band name and whether the boys collect anything – “apart from hearts and smiles”.
‘I don’t really know where it comes from. Just collections of people,’ offers Joe.
Lewi takes over: ‘We were sat there talking about what we collect. HR Giger memorabilia...’
‘Star Wars, Pokemon cards...’
‘Yeah, just all the childhood things that all your friends have got and you continue collecting. The fad turns, and you go and get something else,’ says Lewi. ‘And he [Joe] collected rocks with jewels in.’
‘Crystals,’ corrects Joe. ‘I was sure I was a wizard at one point. Watching too much Lord of the Rings.’
So what does the future hold for the Collectors Club boys? Their live shows demonstrate just how many brilliant songs they have in their arsenal and there was a vague mention on their Facebook page of an upcoming EP:
‘Indeed,’ says Joe. ‘Yeah that should be coming out sometime this summer which should be fun.’ When pressed on the subject of an album he adds, ‘Maybe... see how the EP does first.’
‘We’ve got a lot of songs floating around at the moment,’ says Lewi.
‘A lot of songs that we’re just mixing and playing around with,’ says Joe.
‘We’re dead selective aren’t we?’ says Chris.
‘Very selective, Lewi agrees. ‘Very picky with them.’
‘If they don’t seem to do well at the first live performance or the first few live performances they’re kind of seen away until we look at them another day.’
‘They go to the back don’t they,’ says Chris.
‘We have a little filing system that we might have a look at the back of now and again,’ smiles Joe.
‘We collect songs!’ laughs Chris, tying up our interview quite succinctly.
With thanks to Joe, Lewi and Chris. Visit https://www.facebook.com/collectorsclub for more info.