The Computers Interview

Hot on the hooves of post-hardcore punk madmen Pulled Apart By Horses’ come The Computers; an equally frenetic quartet from Exeter currently riding a wave of critical acclaim for their recent live shows with PABH.

Soundbite Culture caught up with the band at Camden’s Electric Ballroom last month to talk about music, tours and beards.

Soundbite Culture: So, this is the last night of your UK tour supporting Pulled Apart By Horses. What’s the experience been like for you?

The Computers: It’s been a blinder! Definitely one of the best UK tours we’ve ever done. We’ve played with PABH before and got to know them quite well through festivals and stuff, so it’s been really cool doing a whole tour with them.

SC: Any wild stories to tell?

TC: Al, our lead singer, is always doing pretty crazy stuff in his own way, but nothing too wild actually. We got off to quite a good start actually. Our first show was in Glasgow, at King Tut’s and I cut my beard off that night. I’d had it for like two months and it was really bushy. I swept it up into a little pile and this fan was clamouring for it so I gave it to them. There’s even a comment on one of our YouTube videos now saying “I’ve got your beard mate”.

SC: Have you guys got any other tours on the horizon?

TC: The one we’re most excited about is the Sound City festival in Liverpool, which we’re playing with Alkaline Trio and are a band we really love.

SC: You did some European shows recently too.

TC: We’ve been over there a bunch of times. We did a bunch by ourselves in France, way back, and we did a bit of a mini-tour of Poland a few years ago. Then, in the last year or so, we’ve been on a couple of support stops with The Subways. We have the same booking agent as them, so they were keen to get us back over by ourselves and the response was overwhelming.

SC: Is it a different challenge playing to a foreign audience?

TC: I much prefer it, it’s exciting. There’s more electricity in the crowd, everyone’s up for a really good time. Not to say that people in England aren’t, but everyone’s loose. Apart from all the smoke, which is really annoying. You can still smoke in most gig venues over there. But it’s just wild and it really feels like you’re away from home, people are much more up for having a good time. People in England are sometimes a bit like they’ve seen it all before, you know, whereas in Germany or Austria or Poland or the Czech Republic… I suppose there’s an element of being spoilt. In London, where there’s such a big music scene, you can see any band whenever you like; whereas in the smaller cities away from home, it’s just a really different experience.

SC: Your recent tour with PABH has impressed the critics with your raucous live performances. What is it about your live shows that have drawn so much positive feedback?

TC: I don’t know. We only have fun if we get super hot and sweaty, and the only way to do that is just to rock out. Every member of our band gives it 100% all the time, you can see it when we’re all playing really, really hard. We just want to come off stage as wet as possible and make sure that the crowd had a good time as well.

SC: Do you see yourselves as natural apprentices to PABH?

TC: There’s definitely a crossover, but they’ve kind of taken influences from heavy metal and we’ve taken influences from fifties and sixties rock and roll. We’re not too dissimilar, certainly. What joins us is the energy, our energy levels are the same.

SC: In ten words or less, how would you describe The Computers’ sound?

TC: Garage, soul, punk & roll.

SC: There’s been a lot of talk recently about how popular music is moving away from traditional guitar bands and towards dance music and hip-hop. What do you say to people who reckon that guitar bands are dead?

TC: Bullshit. It’s never gone away and it’s never going to go away.

SC: I couldn’t agree more. Are there any other bands out there flying the flag for guitar music that you’re particularly fond of?

TC: Tribes are local Camden boys, I think they’re great and their album’s really great too. And a band called The Cut-Ups. I don’t know who does anything too similar to what we do, but there’s a local band we saw up in Carlisle called Colt 45 who are really great. And another called Eagulls as well. People say guitar music’s dead because it’s not on the radio all the time, but it’s still there. It’s just gone underground, which is where it belongs really.

SC: Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2012?

TC: This is the last tour we’re going to do for a while because we’ll be recording a new album. We’re doing some European festivals this summer and then we’re back in the studio, so we’ll hopefully have a new album out by the end of the year.

Interview by Tom Hoare; Photography by Charlotte Jade

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Dates ‘n stuff

March 2012