Nancy Johnson are a UK based punk/pop band whose debut album ‘FunF’ has just been released. You can find out more about their music at www.nancyjohnson.co.uk
In the meantime let the band tall you about recording their debut album and how coffee and cinnamon buns are the new rock ‘n’ roll…
What are you currently up to?
We finished recording funF early August and then did a handful of tweaks early-September. We all work closely and input into the writing/recording was very hands on, which enabled us to turn it round pretty quickly. We currently are looking for shows and getting funF into as many hands as possible!
Brief history of Nancy Johnson…
TKL – The King Loius (Drums)and Paul Anthony (Bass) had been playing together on and off for years and were both without bands in the first time in a long while. A couple of months later they hooked up with original guitarist (Pete James). They wrote some tunes, jammed as a three-piece… those early sessions produced instrumental versions of Shirley Towers, Boy Loves Being A Girl and Your Mum’s a Bomb. Leigh Westbrook (Vocals) came on board early summer 2011. Pete left in May 2012 and Nick Holland (Guitar) joined in July/August 2012.
Could you take us through your debut album…
Insofar as the recording process goes, we simply had a bunch of songs that needed documenting. When Pete left, Leigh and Paul discussed recording everything as a guide for his replacement as and when he or she entered the fray. We tracked everything at Paul’s place and what became apparent was that the recordings were quite lively, so we just decided to keep going and do the album.
How do you go about promoting your music? Do sites like Facebook bring you in new fans and potentially sales? Or is it a case of having lots of ‘friends’ many of whom never bother with the music or come along to gigs?
Promo has all been word of mouth, friends, mailing lists, Facebook and so on. It’s all been very low key simply because we’ve been concentrating on building a decent set of tunes and there’s no point in promoting something when you don’t have anything to promote! Now we have funF ready to go, we hope the support from the likes of Get Ready to Rock! will help to push us on.
Who are your musical influences?
PA: There’s a bunch of musicians who made me want to pick up a bass, but I don’t think these have any bearing on what Nancy Johnson are doing musically or how we sound. When we’re playing I hear bits of Blink182, Green Day, the Manic Street Preachers, although I would classify myself as being a real fan of these bands.
TKL: Punk (77-79) into post punk (80-83/4) and new wave mostly. My earliest recollection was of my aunts 1960’s 45’s of beatles, stones, kinks, small faces and other beat groups of the time, and as a youngster I was very partial to glam rock – sweet, t rex, etc.
NH: First bands I really got into as a youngun were AC/DC and Thin Lizzy but it got serious when thrash metal started to break in 86 – Metallica and Slayer made me think seriously about playing in a band. I saw a lot of the grunge bands early UK gigs and this also influenced me a lot as well as some indie stuff. You could say I am stuck in a late 80s/early 90s time warp. Fave all time bands I would probably be Slayer, DRI, Husker Du, Loop, The God Machine, Prong and Killing Faith (my old band!).
LW: I have the likes of Iron Maiden, Testament, Slayer etc for my initiation into rock music. In latter years, it has been bands like The Ramones, Frank Zappa, The Vandals, Green Day etc. that have shaped my eventual style. For me, The Vandals and The King Blues really inspire me lyrically. There is a fairly eclectic list of influences in the Nancy Johnson ranks, which really gives us plenty of inspiration and dynamism.
How do you view the current rock music scene? Has there been much opportunity for Nancy Johnson to play live at all? Any other bands out there that you would recommend?
PA: As the internet has evolved the number of bands and availability of music has expanded on an immeasurable scale, but to it’s detriment it’s actually had the reverse effect on me, so I tend to cherry pick material and concentrate on a handful of bands. Less is more. Who would I recommend? Ludo, Motion City Soundtrack, Metric, Farewell Continental, Vedera. I’m also a big fan of older stuff like Mott the Hoople and Sparks.
LW: Now that funF is ready to roll, I’m using the internet as a useful networking tool, which is starting to pay dividends in terms of getting gigs. We have belief in our tunes and our live shows and this will hopefully get us playing to a larger audience in due course. The biggest challenge is finding like minded/styled bands that we can play with to give the audience the best night out possible. Bands I’m currently playing to death are The King Blues (lyrical genius), and Rancid.
Any good rock ‘n’ roll tales to tell?
PA: What’s that line about what happens in Vegas?
LW: funF was largely written/recorded with the assistance of coffee and cinnamon buns
NH: None that can be disclosed!
TKL: Nah – shame really!
What ideally would you like to achieve by this time next year?
We’d like to be gigging more regularly to an appreciative crowd of people. Simple really. TKL would like some hair growth and a smaller waistline.
What do you like doing with your spare time outside of music?
PA: I enjoy vintage wine and fine dining. Not really, I’m more a pizza and Coke type of person. I’m a prodigious reader. I watch a lot of films. I like doing Sudoku and playing Backgammon (not very rock and roll, I’m afraid).
NH: Play a bit of footie but with music, working and family stuff I have little spare time.
TKL: Table tennis is the new rock n roll!
LW: I’m a complete football geek, so I spend a lot of time in front of the box watching anything resembling the beautiful game. Im a huge Tottenham Hotspur fan, so I spend a lot of time being bitter!
Message for your fans…
PA: Buy our album! Tell people about it!
TKL: Keep the faith and we love you all…
NH: Turn up, tune in and rock out.
LW: Keep it loud and enjoy your music!
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