The Slow Readers Club are an electro-indie band from Manchester made up of Aaron Starkie (vocals/keyboard), Kurtis Starkie (vocals/guitar), James Ryan (bass) and David Whitworth (drums). Following the release of their most recent single ‘Start Again’ on July 21, we caught up with them to discuss influences, shoutouts from Coldplay, and their follow-up album.
GIGSLUTZ: Hello The Slow Readers Club. Where are you and what have you been up to this week?
THE SLOW READERS CLUB: We are based in Manchester and this week we have been in the practice room preparing for a run of gigs over the next couple of weekends.
GIGSLUTZ: With so many influential bands of the past hailing from your home city of Manchester, it would be hard to not want to have followed in their footsteps. Which bands influenced you to start making music?
THE SLOW READERS CLUB: The Stone Roses and The Smiths are probably our favourite Manchester bands, we didn’t grow up in that era but their music still featured heavily on the playlist at indie clubs like 42nd Street, 5th Avenue and the Venue in our formative years.
GIGSLUTZ: How did it feel to be named as Joy Division’s Peter Hook’s favourite band and be featured by Coldplay?
THE SLOW READERS CLUB: Fantastic, we were on the same bill as Peter Hook at Salford Music festival, didn’t even realise he caught our show till he was bigging us up in the NME. He is a legend isn’t he, so it was a great honour. The Coldplay thing was even more bizarre, our video for ‘Block Out The Sun’ featured on the Coldplay site for a week in a gallery section where they highlight anything from music to art. Brought us a good few thousand views and more importantly lots of new fans. It was great of them to give us their endorsement and share our music with their following.
GIGSLUTZ: Your music mixes catchy, upbeat melodies in with chilling, contemplative ballads. Is there a specific process you go through when writing these songs?
THE SLOW READERS CLUB: We write music that we would want to listen to, I guess and try and strike a balance between songs that will get people buzzing and fill dance floors and songs that are a bit more intimate and thought provoking. We like albums that have light and shade as opposed to those that have 12 songs that seem to be reworking the same idea.
GIGSLUTZ: With a second album due later this year, what can people expect from the new material? How have things developed from your debut?
THE SLOW READERS CLUB: The first album was quite heavy on synths and orchestration, I would say this album will be more sparse and perhaps more interesting for it. The singles we have released so far are probably a good indicator. ‘Forever In Your Debt’ in particular has the same hallmark ‘Doompop’ feel of the first album but has more emphasis on a grove with the guitar and bass parts given room to breathe.
We have established a great working relationship with our producer Phil Bullyment and we are really happy with the way the albums shaping up. We have also had a line-up change with David Whitworth joining us on drums, this has worked out great for the band, David’s inventiveness and versatility have really helped allow us to explore and develop our sound and arrangements more.
GIGSLUTZ: Tell us about the first and last albums you bought and the first and last gigs you attended.
THE SLOW READERS CLUB: I would like to say that the first album I bought was Nevermind or Bleach by Nirvana but sadly it was probably something like Crossroads by Bon-Jovi! The last album I bought was London Grammar.
The first gig I attended was Shed 7 with Mansun in support. The last gig I attended other than any of our own was The National at Manchester Apollo which was quality, we picked up a few new fans that night too actually by dishing out a few demos 🙂
GIGSLUTZ: If you were given the opportunity to curate your own festival, who would you book and why?
THE SLOW READERS CLUB: David Bowie, The Killers, The National, The Cure, Arcade Fire, Interpol, LCD Sound System, QOTSA, Foals, MGMT, The Strokes, The Horrors, Chvrches, Arctic Monkeys, Crystal castles, Fleet Foxes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Radiohead…. The polite thing would be to pick a load of crowd pleasers but if you got the opportunity you’d have to just pick stuff you like and hope it made for a good mix.
GIGSLUTZ: What’s next for The Slow Readers Club?
THE SLOW READERS CLUB: We have another new single due out in September, followed closely by album two followed closely by world domination!