ForgottenBee became warden for the day in order to spend some ‘time’ with Strangeways, where we discussed the dangers of Strangeways shower times, their gift for Latin song writing, Jack Kerouac tattoos and band member Castle’s quest to become King of the jungle!
FB 1/ Hello Strangeways, welcome to ForgottenBeeBlog…. First question…Is life as tough as they say in ‘Strangeways’? ;D?
As long as you don’t drop the soap, its usually pretty mundane.
FB 2/ As creators of some beautiful original songs, I’d like to ask about ‘Beautifully Wired’. Can you tell me the story behind this particular song. Not so much what it’s about, but how you were feeling as it developed and took shape?
Simon: I’ll give you a little bit of backstory so you understand how I felt personally. I wrote the song when I was17 and I was living in a flat with my then girlfriend. I won’t say too much but it wasn’t the best relationship and the song is basically a summarisation of how I felt at that moment. So when I brought it to the band, I tried to convey that to the guys and I think they picked up on it perfectly. It kind of has this otherworldly feel to it for me, which is exactly what the relationship was like. I think you get a feel of the strong emotions that were at play in the relationship through the song, ranging from complete head over heels love to utter depression, even violent at times. For me, it’s one of my favourite songs and least favourite at the same time.
Alex: Personally, it’s a song that relaxes me and I tend to zone out as soon as we start playing it.
Listen to Beautifully Wired here: https://soundcloud.com/strangewaysband/beautifully-wired
FB 3/ Outside of music what do you do individually as members of Strangeways with your time off… I know that your drummer Alex is involved in rugby right? (And I might add a gifted poet! FB x)
Thom (Bass): I claim jobseekers at the moment while looking for a job. But I’ve recently enrolled on a Uni course so I’m not that bad. Ha!
Alex (Drums): Correct! I coach Manchester Rugby women’s team. I had to give up playing a few years ago, unfortunately, because I had major shoulder surgery to correct a recurring injury. The poetry I do on the side 😉
Simon (Vocals/Rhythm): Well Alex and I work full time as well as being in Strangeways so we don’t get much time off ha! When I’m not working, we’re usually rehearsing and when we’re not rehearsing I’m usually asleep, thinking about being asleep or dreaming about being asleep without realising I am asleep, or writing/working on new songs (while asleep)
Kris (lead guitar): In my spare time I volunteer at a radio station where I help present and produce a weekly radio show. I also play football for a local team.
FB 4/ Ok.. I win the lottery. (a huge amount!!) And I decide that I’d like Strangeways to produce an album for me… No expense spared… But! Every song must have lyrics that contain at least one line of ‘latin’ in them… Would you be up for it?… And give me an example of what you’d do.. (And no cheating or asking #Nessi Holt for help!! ;D)?
Definitely! We’d be well up for it! Ok examples:
“Getting the truth from you,
Is no easy task,
But I know where to start,
In Vino Veritas”
How’s that? I think we’re on to something haha. We’ll assume the cheques in the post???
FB – you’ll never stop the wine from flowing in the hive 😉
FB 5/ What are you most proud of in your lives and why?
I guess one of our proudest moments as a band was when we headlined Roadhouse in Manchester. Our lead guitarist at the time left us high and dry an hour before the gig, but the four of us pulled it together, got on stage and smashed it! We even got an encore, in which Alex and I decided to play an impromptu song we once wrote so I could ask Alex if he wanted to go for a cigarette. For the shambles that song is, it was quite well received ha!
FB 6/ Strangeways, in your opinion, what is the most overused and cliche’d question that bands get asked?
“Where did you all meet?” or “What made you start a band?”
We hate answering those ha!
FB 7/ I was sad to see that your original guitarist Rick decided to leave the band earlier this year… Do you still keep in touch? What’s he doing now?
Don’t be sad. We don’t want to get into the nitty gritty details of the whole sordid affair. But he’s doing what he wants, and we’re doing what we want and we’re happy.
Cause we have all our instruments…..
FB 8/ What is the most difficult challenge for a band like Strangeways in the current music industry?
I guess getting people to gigs maaaaaan! The support online is insane! Seriously, so many people want to help out unsigned bands and it’s top. But getting people to gigs is hard work, people don’t want to leave their warm houses and I don’t blame them. Its grim up north ahaha! Also scraping the money together to get a decent recording done is a challenge, it’s so expensive but you get what you pay for so it ain’t worth skimping on.
FB 9/ Ok… I know you’ve been waiting for this.. Its the ForgottenBeeBlog challenge! And I have high expectations for you lads! Write a poem for me please. No more than twenty words… But! It must contain these words! ‘Cold Blooded Murder’ 🙂 ….. Go!
This ones a tad grim ha!
If I had the gasoline,
I would burn her,
Make it warm instead ,
of cold blooded murder.
Or Jenner’s much more PC version:
Heed my words,
And look no further,
If you need a good song,
Try ‘Cold Blooded Murder’!
FB 10/ This particular question is targeted at Simon (lead singer) although you are all welcome to join in if you like! 🙂 Simon, you have quite a remarkable tattoo! Are these words your own? And tell me about your passion for tattoos.
Simon: I wish! But unfortunately not, it’s my favourite quote from Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kerouac).
It’s my favourite book and my favourite author, I read it at the suggestion of a friend and I would recommend it to anyone. It’s one of the most inspiring books I’ve read and made me fall in love with Kerouac’s work. As for my passion for tattoos, I have no idea where it stems from but I used to draw tattoos on myself with a marker pen as far back as I can remember. I got my first (The single artwork for ‘Babyshambles’ – Albion) when I was 18, I’d wanted it for years so my sister took me two weeks after my birthday and paid for it. I’ve slowly been adding them ever since and recently purchased my own gun, which I’ve yet to decide whether it was a good purchase or a bad one ha! And before you ask, yes I have tattooed myself. Where? I’ll leave it to the imagination haha!
FB 11/ Who out of the band would be the best candidate to be sent into the’ I’m a Celebrity – get me out of here – Jungle’ to mix things up a bit and why?
Castle. Without a doubt, hands down! I would happily pay my TV license to see that. It would be a mad house, our Cas isn’t afraid to speak his mind and its got him into trouble on many occasions ha. Also he’s up for anything so he’d definitely win it!
FB 12/ Let’s bring things back around to music.. You’re new track “Nothing Special” really blew me away with excitement. Which made me wonder what’s next on the cards for Strangeways?
Well, we’re taking January and February to work on some new songs so expect to hear them at our live shows; we’ll hopefully be putting out a new recorded track towards the summer also. We want to play some festivals this year as we haven’t done that before so there’s one to check off the list.
FB 13/ You have 100 words to thank as many people as possible who are behind the scenes and that make Strangeways possible.. Anyone you can’t fit in, you can blame me :-)… Go!
Vanessa and Bill Collier (Si’s Mum & Dad): Massive Thank You!!
All our friends that come to nearly every gig! Rob, Jess, Mike, Fiona, Craig, Will, Rick, and many many more! We love you all!
All our families for putting up with us ha!
Steve C & The Bredbury Blues lads!
Sugar House Music, for helping us make ‘Nothing Special’ very special!
All the promoters that have put us on.
Max Wieland for the relentless job he’s done getting us gigs, while also being a world class journo! @MaxWieland
And Castles mum for all the baked goods!
FB 14/ As a band do you find that your music satisfies you in different ways? Such as the difference between listening to your recorded music and the satisfaction of playing the same song live?
Definitely. Listening to one of our tracks recorded, lets you appreciate it cause you get to sit back and evaluate all the little bits here and there, that maybe you miss when playing it live. And playing a song live, well, I don’t think anything beats that satisfaction. You get to feel the song almost coursing through you and you’re very aware that at that moment you’re not one person but four, all connected via the song. Its very cool.
FB 15/ This is your opportunity.. For you to ask the question.. The real true question that you’d really like to answer as a band… So, Strangeways… What is your question and answer please? :D.
“Why are you guys so good?”
Maybe we’re born with it, maybe it’s this material is copyright protected and improper use may result in a fine or jail time.©
FB Clever answer! You’ve slapped a gagging order on ForgottenBee 😉
FB 16/ Where can we find out more from Strangeways? Do you have a web site?
We did, but somehow, and we have no idea how, it got turned into a website for jewellery, I kid you not haha! So at the moment no, that’s another thing on the list to sort out this year.
Though do not fret! You can get all your Strangeways gossip from twitter (@StrangewaysManc), Facebook (/StrangewaysUK), Soundcloud (/strangewaysband) and instagasm (@strangewaysband)
That’s not a typo 😉
FB 17/ Strangeways.. Its been an absolute pleasure to have you on ForgottenBeeBlog, my final question…. Whatever did you do to end up in here? … Lights out… Slams cell door….. FB 🙂 x
Strangeways are innocent, it’s a set up! Illuminati! Illuminati! Someone call David Icke!!
Photographs Courtesy of Strangeways Band
Gig black and white photography courtesy of @kmqphoto KMQ Photography