Idle Hands - Interview



We formed through a group mutual friends in Manchester and comprise Loz (vox), Rich & Tommy (guitar), ‘Crowder’ (bass) and Morgan (drums). We blend a psychedelic-influenced brand of indie with big riffs and a heavy groove. In April 2019 we released their debut 4-track E.P. and we played headline shows at The Bread Shed & Aatma and began playing gigs beyond Manchester. After a short break while our singer decided to exile himself to Korea (although he mentioned something called ‘work’), we’re all back in the same country and using the current very unwelcome lockdown to try and write some new music.

What first got you into music and when was it?

Much like all of these answers, if you asked a different member you’d get a different answer so I’ll try and give a general answer. We’re all from different parts of the UK but we all definitely have the Manchester scene as an influence (particularly Loz, if you look at him) although I can’t remember a time when music didn’t have some sort of influence. We all like a bit of heavier stuff like original heavy metal and we all love pop music too really. It’s all linked at the end of the day, isn’t it?

Who inspired you to make music, who are you influenced by?

Although I hate admitting it, probably singularly it was Oasis & The Stone Roses that made us all want to be in bands. I don’t know why I hate admitting it, probably because it’s clichéd haha! The style that we collectively most listen to watch live now is psych-rock and bands that are influenced by that genre – bands like Tame Impala, King Gizzard, Temples. But even seeing local bands like Blossoms go and do well is great because you never know which bands you’re playing with locally now might be the next ones to go big.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I think our style at the base of it has that Stone Roses groove to it and it is quite straight up indie. But particularly in terms of riffs and guitar effects and things like that, it’s more reflective of psych-rock bands that we listen to. I definitely think it’s going more and more that way as we find our sound and become more confident with new sounds. I actually think our style is quite hard to pigeon-hole which is a good thing I think. 

What is your creative process like ? 

Well when we first formed we rehearsed in one of our flats which is on the 8th floor of a city centre block. So you can imagine how that went down with the neighbours. We head a great little set up there, the entire living room was a studio, guitars and amps and pedals absolutely everywhere! Must have been a nightmare for the Tommy & Morgan who actually lived in it. Anyway, one day eventually we had one too many noise complaints and in any case it was getting too small for our equipment so we’ve decamped to a city centre studio. Normally, one person (usually Rich, Crowder or Tommy) will bring an idea, riff or chord sequence, and we’ll jam it out and find a structure. It’s a really nice process and everyone has their say. Loz will throw a vocal line over it, and then he or Rich writes some lyrics over the top. 

Who would you like to collaborate with?

Tough one. What self-respecting Manchester band wouldn’t want to have one of the Gallaghers or Johnny Marr playing with them? I think it would be great to have a jam with Kevin Parker, he’s got such a unique voice. 

If you could support one band, who would it be?

We all went to see King Gizzard together recently, so that would be cool. I’m trying to sound sort of sophisticated, Tommy would just say Guns ‘N’ Roses probably haha.

What is the one message you would give your audience and what message would you give the MU readers? 

Keep washing your hands properly, and when we’re all allowed out again, go and support live music and live bands. They, and the venues who put them on, really need your support.

What is the most useless talent you have?

I threw this question out there to the lads and the answers that came were definitely post-watershed answers involving various bodily parts so unfortunately I can’t say. Other than that it’s probably something with a lighter or a rizla paper. We’re useless other than that. I literally can’t think of one thing we can do.

What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for music?

Hard to say as I’m answering these questions while on lockdown haha! Well we’re pretty much all 30 now and have professional jobs and that takes up more time than we’d like. But music is definitely the big thing we do outside of that. So I guess without music we’d be working and being even more boring than we are already. 

Where have you performed?

We headlined The Bread Shed last year when we released our E.P. so that is our definite highlight. It’s a huge venue, the sound is amazing and it was a Saturday night and we drew a great crowd. We played our first ever gig in Aatma and then returned to headline it with a great line-up of bands we know for Tommy’s 30th in November, that was fun. We’ve played Night & Day a few times. West Street Live in Sheffield is a great venue for up-and-coming bands. Our least fav gig was going on last on a midweeker (I won’t say where). Sometimes being the headliner is a poisoned chalice. Who wants to be on at 11.30pm on a Wednesday?! We’ve all got jobs to go to!

How do you feel the internet has impacted the music industry and you specifically?

It’s a great way to put your stuff across and reach a wider audience of course. I do also think it makes people lazy though. I kinda respect the days where a band would have to work hard and find original ways of getting themselves known. The thing I hated about it when we started out was trying to find gigs when you had nothing to offer or show promoters. At least when you have some music out and have demonstrated you can play gigs, it gets a bit easier.

What is your favourite song to perform?

Our song ‘Caught in a Trap’ is the one that sounds most typical of what we do. It’s got an extended guitar outro so we like that!

What is the most trouble you have gotten into?

Oh god, I can’t answer this! We’d all get the sack! Loz must have done something daft in the past. My money’s on him. Getting nicked at a United away game in Europe at some point. That must have happened. 

If you could only listen to one album from now on what would it be?

I’ve kinda pooled the answers for this one. The general consensus seems to be Stone Roses debut– that’s just a seminal album; Dark Side of the Moon; Revolver; I’ll stick in InnerSpeaker by Tame Impala.

What is the best advice you have been given?

Our producer Gaz gave us some really good advice about songwriting. Play to your strengths and know your weaknesses/limitations as a band. And write with that in mind. It made us reflect on what we had written up until then and we re-worked and changed some things after that.

If you could change anything what would it be?

Not having to work. It’s boring but that’s the biggest drag on our productivity/availability. We would love to have had this opportunity together when we were all layabouts at uni and had loads of time on our hands!

Which bands do you think are currently under-rated or that people should look out for?

There’s a band who we’ve played with several times called The Cottons from Manchester. I’d definitely give them a listen – great sound and lovely lads too.

What is next for you?

Well… sitting in splendid isolation for the next few months it seems. Once we’ve emerged from that, we’d like to book some studio time and release a single or something like that. But really just going out and playing as many gigs as possible and reminding ourselves how important it is not to take for granted something simple like going out, having a drink and watching a band can be.


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