INTERVIEW: Little Barrie

Little Barrie are simply a gem in the sphere of music that is available to us, being able to somehow stand out in today’s age is a remarkable feat. Yet, Barrie Cadogan, Lewis Wharton and Virgil Howe are still doing just that. With their new single ‘I.C.5.A’ out today, we had a chat with Barrie to see how things were shaping up.


Hello Barrie! How’re you and what have you been up to so far this week? 

Hello, I’m doing ok thanks. We just played Ramsgate Music Hall on Friday, it’s a great venue. We’d heard lots of good things about it. A friend who lives nearby helped set up the gig. The people who run the place are really cool and the audience were brilliant. We’d love to play there again. Earlier this week I’ve been working with the band on demoing songs towards our next album. Also went to see Dinosaur Jr play on the Jools Holland show and saw J Mascis do a short solo set and then heard a playback of their new album the next day. Dinosaur are one of my favourite bands and J’s a big guitar influence.


The new single ‘I.5.C.A.’ is set for release on June 3rd, how would you summarise the track? 

Musically with I.5.C.A. we wanted it to sound like a freak-beat band that had been chopped up by The Beastie Boys, mixing harmony vocals with broken up drum beats and sci-fi fuzz guitar. I had the guitar rewired to get the effect I wanted and we cut a basic track live so it kept the spirit of a live performance. The song itself is inspired by an insane tour by road of the west coast of America via Japan.


People have already been able to give the new track a listen before release via YouTube and other means, how has the general reaction been so far? 

The reaction’s been good so far, the vinyl has sold out on pre order through our website but it’s still available through Cargo here Gil De Ray has done a cool video for the track, using footage shot on that west coast tour and in France. It’s my favourite video the band has done so far. We’re going to play I.5.C.A. live in session on Marc Riley’s BBC6 show this Wednesday 1st June.

You’ve been back gigging again, having played the Blues Kitchen last week – how did the gig go? 

The Brixton Blues Kitchen gig went great too. The upstairs live room sounds really good. It was cool to play in south London again as we haven’t for ages. It was Friday night and people were up for a good time.


It’s only the odd gig here and there at the minute with another at Ramsgate Music Hall this Friday as well as two dates supporting the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Can we expect to see a full headline tour anytime soon or do you have other plans lined up for yourselves? 

We’ll do more dates later on in the year. The main aim right now is concentrating on the next album which we plan to record this summer. We’re really looking forward to The Brian Jonestown Massacre shows, they’re a brilliant band and I really admire Anton as an artist and musician. We have three shows with them now as they’ve added a second night in Brighton on Wednesday 22nd June due to the 23rd selling out so fast. We’re also playing Festival No.6 in Wales Friday 2nd September.


 For those that don’t know, you guys actually recorded the theme tune to Better Call Saul, I’m sure you’re sick of talking about it now, but how did that opportunity come about? 

Out of the blue we got an email form Thomas Golubic who is the music director for the show. He’s based in LA and is a fan of the band and had all of our records. He asked us if we’d be interested in composing a short instrumental for the opening credits of the show. We said yes and I had two and half days to write seventeen different themes, record and mix them with the band and send them off to him, which we did. Thomas came back saying the themes were great but could we do another twelve – So we did it in the same time frame. There were other writers pitching for the theme too but fortunately they picked number seven out of the twenty nine themes we’d done. Later we turned the theme into a full length song which featured on the soundtrack album from the series.


You’ve also worked with the likes of Primal Scream, the Chemical Brothers, Paulo Nutini and Paul Weller to name a few. What’s it like working with these great musicians as well as making your own music? 

Working with other people has been a great experience on so many levels. Firstly playing a different role in different projects has made me a better musician, it brings out different sides of your creativity and playing that you wouldn’t necessarily come up with when doing your own music, which then refreshes and inspires your own work. I’ve learned so much by sitting in with other artists, players and producers. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with people I admire and respect and be part of some amazing gigs and studio sessions. Secondly it’s enabled me to meet some incredible people, travel and experience more of the world than I could have ever imagined.


Little Barrie have been going in some form or another for 15 years now, what’s been the most rewarding experience of those 15 years?

The most rewarding thing for me about this band is that we’re still doing it. Anyone who’s been in band will know it’s not easy keeping one together, especially now, whatever level you’re at. It’s takes time to find the right people, get better at what you’re doing and keep honing it down. You can’t fast track that. The way the three of us play together means a great deal to me, it’s unique. I love it just as much as I ever have. We’ve had our shit times and good times, but it’s been well worth sticking it out.


How would you summarise Little Barrie’s existence in three words?? 

Still Mucking About – I borrowed this phrase from someone else but it pretty much sums us up.


Finally, is there anything else we can expect from Little Barrie throughout the rest of 2016? 

The main aim now is record the album, get out on the road and play as much as possible.


James Cummins

James Cummins

James Cummins

Latest posts by James Cummins (see all)