Updated: Apr 9, 2019
‘I guess ‘Either Way’ is the track that changed our lives and you can kinda see what it means to people when we play it; which is always pretty special.’ - Phil Etheridge
It’s been a whole decade since gig venues across the UK were infected with the energetic noise of The Twang and their debut album, ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’. The band are gearing up to hit the road again to mark the tenth anniversary of the album’s release, so North East Noize caught up with front man Phil Etheridge to find out what fans can expect from their tour.
1) Ten years has passed the world by since the release of your iconic debut album ‘Love it When I Feel Like This’. You must be excited to get back on the road and celebrate such an achievement in your upcoming tour?
Yeah we’re all super excited. We owe a lot to our mate Ian Richards from the O2 Academy venues as he’s always believed in us as a band and he was instrumental in getting this tour together.
2) As a band, you have the unique ability to infuse honest, gritty lyrics with an air of poetic sensitivity, it’s somewhat of a beautiful contradiction. Can you tell us a little bit about where you find your inspiration to produce such classic tracks?
That’s very kind of ya,though I’m sure many would beg to differ!
I guess most of the early songs were written about my mates and nights out in Brum. I hung about with some gloriously funny characters back in the day and they were a permanent source of inspiration.
I guess the fact that both me and Jon were bringing songs to the table meant I was always trying to write a better song than him. He’d write an Ice Cream Sundae, Push the Ghosts or whatever and I’d think, f**k I better up my game like… in my head at least, that was the thing that spurred me on.
3) As part of your ‘Love It When I Feel Like This’ anniversary tour, your set to take to the stage of Newcastle’s O2 Academy next month. What are your past experiences of playing to North East crowds?
I remember a few years before we were signed, and I’ve no idea why, but we came and played this little festival on the river under this archway and this lad in a band called the Metro Sect came up to us after the show saying he digged what we were doing.
He then invited us back up to play his club night at the Red Rooms, which we ended up playing a couple of times. One of the nights it was us, and the Rev on the bill, and it definitely felt like the start of something.
We used to crash at his house and drink ‘til the sun came up, listening to the Super Furries. Great nights and we’ve remained friends since. Big up Kev Irving for believing.
4) What can Northern gig goers expect from your live performance?
We’ve started jammin’ for the tour and it’s kinda surprised me just how youthful and vibey the record sounds. Guess we all get a bit more miserable as we get older, unless you’re Ian Hislop, where you were born to be old. It’s gonna be fun man.
5) The Twang have been compared to the likes of ‘The Stone Roses’, and ‘Happy Mondays’ throughout the years. Are there any particular musical influences that you feel helped you achieve your sound? If so, who?
When growing up, I was pretty obsessed with tunes whether it was listening to bands like Neds, Carter, Mondays etc. with my brother or some Jungle or house tapes with my mates. If it gave me goose-bumps and spoke about my life, then I was havin’ it and absorbing as much as I could.
6) When performing live, you seem to have a knack of infecting the whole crowd with your undeniable energy. Of all your material, ‘Cloudy Room’, is one of the most renowned crowd pleasers, but is there any particular song you enjoy playing the most?
‘Cloudy Room’ is kinda our ode to a club in Brum that we use to go to back in the day called the Steering Wheel. Some of the best nights of my life were spent in there, so it’s great that that track now soundtracks other people’s nights out. I guess ‘Either Way’ is the track that changed our lives and you can kinda see what it means to people when we play it; which is always pretty special.
I’m not sure yet. We get a load of folk asking for old B-sides so maybe we’ll chuck a couple of them in. I’ll put the question out there on Facebook or whatever and see what they’re sayin’. Gotta give ‘em what they want, eh?
8) The Twang have a busy few months ahead, as you’re set to embark upon your tour as well as releasing your fifth album, ‘Either Way, It’s The Best Of The Twang’. Could 2018 see another tour dedicated to its release?
I can’t really see past December at the moment and I just wanna try and make that as good as possible, then I’d like to get back in the room and do some writing. Past that, who knows? The future’s never been anything but uncertain and I kinda like it that way.