Wakefield band The Incredible Magpie Band are Lee Knowles (Vocals, Guitar), Lou Taylor (Bass, Vocals), Ben Hardcastle (Guitar, Vocals), Matty Davey (Guitar) and Andrew Layton (Drums, Percussion). We’re not trying to impress you or anything, but the man himself, Liam Gallagher, is a fan. Formed in 2012, the five-piece’s debut double A-side single ‘This Chose Me’ / ‘Money’ is scheduled for release on the 15th September. We caught up with frontman Lee, and it’s an interesting discussion to say the least, with the conversation ranging from faux-Scousers to explosions and backflips…
GIGSLUTZ: Hello The Incredible Magpie Band. Where are you and what have you been up to this week?
Lee: Hello, how’s it going? We’re all at home at the minute! I’ve been on a holiday to Bridlington for a week so we’ve had a week off. Prior to that we had just finished shooting our first video for ‘This Chose Me’, which is one of the songs on the double A side single that’s coming out on September 15th. The video looks like it’s gonna be a good one with explosions and back-flipping – we did neither! I don’t wanna give too much away so I’ll say no more.
We’ve gotta ask… where on earth did the band name come from?
People ask that a lot, it fits in with what the band is all about… We’re not shy to show our influences, to try and capture the essence of the music we love to listen to, but really the name is a tribute to one of our musical heroes. I was watching a documentary on YouTube months before the band even got together and the said musician was described by a interviewee as “An incredible magpie”. I thought that was great! And not many days go by when you don’t see a magpie, so I thought it would remind people of us.
“There’s only 1 high flying bird and that’s the incredible magpie band”. Kind words from the notoriously hard to please Liam Gallagher. What did that tweet mean to you?
To us, that meant the world. Oasis changed our lives, gave us and millions something to connect to, to believe in. Liam is a legend who will go down in rock and roll history so it’s fair to say we’re buzzing!
Name three influences on your music, without whom you would most likely be doing something other than making music…
I can only speak for myself… and I’m not gonna lie and think of some really obscure underground bands. The main three for me are… The Beatles, Oasis, The La’s… and a hundred more bands, especially 60s stuff.
We know you like wearing your musical influences on your sleeves, but do you think bands who do that run the risk of turning into tribute acts? How do you avoid that in your own music?
Doesn’t every band do that? We make the music we wanna hear, the music we would buy and the music we love. We don’t actively avoid sounding like our influences and I think if you do you’re not being true to yourself. I think there is a difference between being influenced by something, capturing the spirit of something, and copying. The bands that come across as tribute acts haven’t put anything of themselves into the music or the band. We put all of us into the music and the band, and that’s what makes the difference.
What’s the most rock n’ roll thing you’ve ever done?
Not answering this question! You don’t want to know!
Paul McCartney asks you to cover a Beatles’ song for a tribute album he’s putting together. What song do you choose and why?
Is there a bad Beatles tune? Not in my opinion, but one of my all time favourites is ‘Dear Prudence’; I love the bass, and the drums at the end are great. George Harrison coming in and out at the perfect time and Lennon sounding like, well, Lennon! We would do a decent job of it, I reckon.
What was the first song you fell in love with and which album could you not live without?
Can’t really remember which song I first fell in love with. I’ve always been totally obsessed with music from as far back as I can remember, but ‘Days’ by The Kinks rings a bell. The album I couldn’t live without or the album I’m listening to most at the moment is ‘Cold Fact’, Rodriguez, and the story behind him is amazing!
Richard Branson gives you a shitload of cash and asks you to curate your own festival – who would you book?
Let’s say my top 10 bands would be:
- The La’s
- The Who
- The Verve
- Neil Young
- The Kinks
- The Smiths
- The Coral
- Pink Floyd
- The Rolling Stones… why not eh?
What’s next for The Incredible Magpie Band?
Pretty Green in-store gig at Carnaby street 3pm and then the Queen of Hoxton for This feeling club night on the 13th September. Double A side single out on September 15th, along with a video, we’ve got some great gigs in the pipeline and the album should be ready for release in October. Thanks, Gigslutz!