Twisted Wheel Interview

Mancunian rockers Twisted Wheel recently released their second album “Do It Again,” which consists of music ranging from Rock ‘n’ Roll to Punk. Sam Lightle and Connor Mullins caught up with them before they went on stage at The Cluny in Newcastle, the second date of their Spring 2013 UK tour, for a chat about their new album, future plans and where it all began… Although, I do warn you drummer Eoghan Clifford admits his love for One Direction while lead singer and guitarist Jonny Brown, tells us why he likes Rihanna Surely not?

GS: Liam Gallagher has described you as a breath of fresh air, how does that feel?

Jonny Brown: It’s mint having someone like that who I look up to and that sort of musical era, it’s exciting to hear that, so we can’t complain.

GS: What was it like when you were touring with Oasis in 2008?

We did Sheffield Arena, Birmingham NEC and Wembley Arena and we got to know them a bit and then we did Europe with them and Heaton Park.

GS: Who is your main musical inspiration and what sort of genre of music would you say you focus on?

Probably a mixture between The Beatles, The Clash, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, The Jam, The Smith’s.

GS: What was it like working with Dave Sardy who produced a few Oasis albums?

Yeah he is all right, bit of a bigheaded cunt but he has got a good studio. But it was just good going over to LA really because I’d never been to America before so it was a really good experience. It was a bit of a culture shock because we were there for six weeks, so we got to see the city and meet new people. But his (Dave Sardy) studio is pretty good because he has like 100 different keyboards and pianos in it. He has a massive swimming pool, a fridge with shelves full of Corona, shelves full of coca cola, shelves full of big tubs of whiskey, amaretto and that shit you get. He had a big stack of menu’s like constantly getting big takeaways because they all eat like eight times a day over there. I mean like they’re all fat, we all just felt like little skeletons and there were all these fat cunts you know with big birds. But yeah he’s all right Dave Sardy.

GS: Having said that, who would you say is the worst person you’ve worked with?

We haven’t really worked with that many bad people to be fair but probably Peter Dowsit. He is probably one of the biggest wankers we know. He used to be our sound engineer, he came on tour with us and couldn’t hack it, so he left half way through, so that’s probably the biggest wanker we’ve worked with. He just couldn’t seem to get it right, kept giving us sleeping pills and kept falling asleep.

GS: You’ve supported the likes of Oasis and Paul Weller, what’s been the most memorable experience?

Probably playing “That’s Entertainment” with Weller on stage at Silverstone, which is pretty mad. Even just to be onstage with him, that was a highlight. But also just doing the Oasis tour and going out with them, going to pubs and drinking and doing drugs.

GS: Where did the name come from your new album “Do It Again”?

Shagging, getting your pipe smoked, do it again bitch!

GS: Since you’ve had the new line-up change, how has your music changed? Has it become more punk?

I don’t know really, some of it has become more chilled out, because some of the stuff we did, we did go a bit heavy on. I think this second album is us trying to find out what we want to do next. Whereas with the first album it was like we’re a new band. But now this second one has given us an idea of what we want to stick to for the next few albums. So it has changed but not much different to the first one. We’ve decided that we want to do a few more chilled out songs but otherwise we’ll do fast energetic, rock ‘n’ roll.

GS: What are the plans after this tour?

We are going to do some festivals and then get this new album recorded basically. Just get in the studio.

GS: Is the album ready to go?

It’s not all booked in yet but that is the plan. We are probably going to go and record a few songs after this tour. We might even just release one song that won’t be on the third album. We’re just going to get some new stuff out there and get the buzz going again.

GS: As you’ve come out of Manchester, who have produced some of the biggest British bands like The Stone Roses and Oasis, does that inspire you or do you feel any pressure?

I think you just forget about that when you’re in bands. When you start a band your thinking: all these bands are from Manchester. You think, do we sound like a Manchester band? I mean if in a Manchester band you get known as arrogant, that’s what you’re labelled as. It’s weird, it doesn’t matter what kind of music your playing, as you’re from Manchester, people will always say you sound like Oasis.

I think it’s a pain being from Manchester, I mean there is great music there and great people there but a lot of the people in the industry just think you are scally or arrogant, so you do get labelled when you are from Manchester. But a lot of people compare you to big bands just because you are from Manchester. So you’ve got all that but really you’ve just got to forget all that and just do what you’ve got to do.

GS: What makes you unique from other bands? What’s your own stamp on things?

We are just a three-piece band… we don’t have loads of musical parts we are just straight down the line rock ‘n’ roll.

GS: What makes the Manchester /Madchester scene so unique to any other type of music?

Probably ecstasy tablets. We were probably the first area to take ecstasy. But nah, there is just a swagger and a positive mentality. A lot of the bands are confident in Manchester. I think also you get a lot of poetic people, like in the old days there were The Buzzcocks and the early punk bands. And then all the big bands at that time inspire the next generation of bands to come out and it just keeps the music going. There are a lot of good people in Manchester, a lot of creative people, so it’s a good place to bounce.

GS: Does this mean that it’s an easy place to get known and get your music heard?

No because it’s more competitive, there are more people trying to do it. It’s very hard for bands to get their name about. There are thousands of bands in Manchester, the majority of them are shite! When you live there, there is a certain type of music and certain writers will slag every other sort of music off at that particular time. So say like they’re into electronic music and all the sort of guitar music is forgotten about. It changes and then all of a sudden guitar bands become popular. So it’s hard depending on what type of music, if you’re playing music that’s in at the time – you’re probably more likely to get known. But, I know loads of great bands and great musicians but they don’t get any recognition because no one wants to write about them or promote them.

GS: What do you think of modern day mainstream music?

As I’ve got older, I’ve started to appreciate songwriters. Rihanna has some good songs but I think I’m just getting older. Although, some pop music is very well wrote but it’s a weirder market pop music because it’s just a bit like McDonalds because it’s fake and not really real. So you choose not to like it if you’re not into rock n roll music because it seems a bit shiny and neat but I think there are still a lot of good song writers in pop music.

I think the country has gone too mad on that sort of urban, gangster sort of thing. That America has influenced us that it’s all about being a rapper being a good diva before you’re a pop star. It’s just American shit and that pisses me off, all the gangster shit.

But I think it’s a shame that Rock n Roll music doesn’t get played enough on the radio. Surely if stations play it and then it will become bigger. I think maybe the general public are like, ‘shit,’ because when they start playing something cool on the radio, they don’t really know what to do. So they just stick to the usual stuff to keep listeners happy. It’s good that Rock ‘n’ Roll is mainstream because it means you don’t have to go to small gigs to hear bands and you don’t have to search for stuff.

GS: You played Kendall calling last year. Do you enjoy the festivals or the more intimate venues?

Yeah festivals are mint. The best thing about festivals is once you’ve done your gig you can go fucking off with all the madheads and that. It’s good doing all the gigs, I like playing outside. It would be nice to do an outside gig at a festival when it’s dark because we haven’t really played that much in the dark, we usually play in the tents at festivals. You do get a better atmosphere in the tents.

GS: When you toured with Oasis, is Liam as hardcore as he comes out?

He doesn’t do drugs anymore I don’t think, and I don’t think he is like what he used to be. But he drinks a fair old bit. He’s like me because I was a bit of a party animal. You used to find bottles of whiskey here and there. He drinks a lot of vodka because it’s clear, so he had vodka and lemonade, because it’s clear he doesn’t get a hangover but I could never do that.

GS: What are your views on One Direction?

Clifford: I love them me, good-looking bunch! I tell you the truth, thing is that it doesn’t really bother me that much, it’s like whatever you do, there’s always going to be a band like that. Like when we started off you had Take That.

GS: Is there a gap in the market for guitar bands to become the next big thing?

Brown: Yes, there are some good bands out there. I don’t know what it is, you get a lot of writers who don’t like Oasis because it’s seen as laddish, yobbish, is it because of that? Bands that are a bit arrogant or offering it seem to like slag them off. I’m sure there are bands out there; I’m not sure why not many bands aren’t getting through really.

From the moment they took to the stage, there are shouts of “WHEEL WHEEL WHEEL”. The rockers have been around for a while now and are still looking for that one big break that every band needs. Having been on tour with Oasis and worked with Paul Weller and acclaimed producer Dave Sardy, there is definitely no room to dampen down their credentials.

During their one-hour gig, Wheel played a mixture of songs from their first and second album. Highlights of the night included: Lucy In The Castle, Strife, Bored and one of the encore songs Ride.

The three-piece band delivered energy and excitement, while Brown’s brilliant vocals and guitar playing hooked the audience into their aggressive rock-fuelled set.

It might not have been a sell out crowd but there was still an atmosphere; the feeling that this band has a small army of fans that would gradually grow and grow. Lead singer-guitarist Jonny Brown interacted with them regularly and they seemed to have a close bond from the word go.

It was great to meet up with the band and we’d like to wish them all the best success in the future.