The Computers are one of the most unusual, diverse and culturally relevant bands in the UK today. Their first record was breakneck punk rock, their second had those punk sounds but oozed motown and soul, and lord knows what the third will bring. Before they play Swindon and 2000 Trees Festival, we caught up with them to talk new albums, the importance of “scenes” and the meaning of life…
Hey guys! For people unfamiliar with The Computers, how would you describe yourselves?
The Computers are the answer to and cause of all of life’s problems. The perfect topping on your favourite pizza, and that stabbing pain of heartburn . We will make you smile and cry, make you feel so alive you want to die. Throw you into thought, or push you to insanity. But most importantly you will dance yourself back to reality. Or you could just call it rock n roll.
“Love Triangles, Hate Squares” is a massive favourite of mine, what made you go in that direction as opposed to the dirty punk sound of “This Is The Computers”
We wanted to sell a lot more copies of our records and make lots more money! A joke of course. The sound of “Love Triangles” was a long time coming for the band. What might’ve seemed like a very sudden drastic move was actually in the original plans of the forming of the band. We just needed to figure out how to do it. Loud fast screaming garage punk is our automatic setting, in order to challenge ourselves and push things forward we had to sculpt that new sound, and of course these things take time darling. We never want to write the same record twice. There’s no fun in doing the same thing over and over. We’ve all done our time in the factories of society. And there is no place for monotony in the world of The Computers.
How did the recording process differ between the two albums?
In many ways they were the same; both recorded live, shoulder to shoulder, licking every droplet of sweat back into our systems re-absorbing it like little shots of energy. However San Diego had a cool ocean breeze, Georgia had a thick constant density. I think each record captures the tone and the flavours of the air.
Have you got record number 3 in the pipeline then? What can you tell us about it?
Of course record number 3 is well under way, and we’re looking to release it next year. If I told you anything about it I would have to kill you, and we don’t want another “incident”…
What does the touring future hold for you after the summer?
Again I can’t reveal too much, as a lot of our plans have not been officially announced yet. All I can say is expect to see us around every corner, down every alley, wherever you live, we will be there.
I’m looking forward to catching you at 2000trees as well as in Swindon, that’s hell of a cool festival right?
Yeah 2000 trees is really cool. There are lots of great bands playing this year who we have personal friendships with. We have played it before and it was horribly muddier than such stylish cats would like. But that did not get in the way of the party! It was still a fun chaotic affair for all involved. Expect nothing less this time around.
I understand you have a new guitarist, former Sharks member Andy Bayliss? I absolutely loved that band… how did this come about?
Sharks and The Computers have always had a strong bond, since the early days. We love them, they love us. When a gap needed filling Andy was the first thought, and he wilfully accepted the invitation to the family of all families.
You’ve got a fair bit of history in the Wiltshire area, having played the last 2 Record Store Days at Sound Knowledge in Marlborough. Why there, what’s so cool about Roger, Sound Knowledge and/or Marlborough for you?
We will go wherever anyone will have us. Roger is an exceptionally cool dude with epic taste and knowledge. The good people of Marlborough love us, and we love them. It’s bit quaint for our liking but all the more reason to get in there and ruffle some feathers. Just get some veggie stuff on the BBQ next time.
Record Store Day in general is a wicked event to get involved with, why are you guys so passionate about it?
We believe vinyl is the finest form of musical enjoyment. So what’s better than putting the finest music on it’s finest form and to celebrate that fine matter by playing for the finest businesses to the finest people. Add it all up, it’s just simple maths.
What’re your views on the UK scene at the moment, in particular the punk scene?
We have never belonged to a scene. I personally think “scenes” can sometimes limit a band, and can create guidelines and rules and restrictions. At the right time and the right place, a good scene can be paramount to society. But that is hard to come by these days. Sometimes the unity of scenes can leave you feeling caged and chained to the four walls in which you were born. So fuck the scene, because I can assure you it will fuck you harder.
Who were your biggest musical influences growing up, and have they changed at all?
Of course as you grow, you discover new things. There are many bands and artists from all over the world, from many different walks of life, who have an influence in the way we think. For after all we are lovers of music. As a collective the main influence remains the same as they always have. The Clash, Little Richard, Elvis Costello, The Clash and all things Clash and all things rock n roll. If you get that? Cool! If you don’t? Don’t worry about it. Just come and see us play and all will become clear.
So if you could’ve been in one band ever, who would it be and why?
The Computers, because that is my destiny and that is real.
From all of your time on the road, who are your favourite people to tour with?
We have been lucky enough to tour with so many good good honestly great people. I can’t think of one negative experience with bands we tour with. But before I choke on this hippie’s hemp stinking cock… The Heavy are our best pals.
What’s been your strangest experience on the road?
Some would say the whole idea of getting into a van and driving 1000 miles to play for 1 hour is a strange thing to do. We happen to love it. It was quite a surreal moment when Johnny Marr tweeted about us, spreading his wise words informing the nation (mainly Manchester ) to come and watch our show. Then later receiving an email requesting to add him to the guest list… still getting over that.
Do you have a favourite show you’ve ever played?
They’re all generally good. Lowlands festival 2012 was a belter, a real game changer for our European status.
And what about attended?
Morrisey is always great. Oasis in Man City’s stadium was incredible. Social Distortion at the London Astoria. Tribes in Bristol Thekla. The Pixies. Paul Weller at The Eden Project…
What is the one question you wish people would ask you?
What was your childhood like? I could talk for hours about that. A lot of funny and unusual stuff. Or where did you first masturbate. Every guy’s answer to that question will be weird.
What’s on your iPod at the moment, anything you’re hooked on?
I don’t have an iPod. On my system at the moment is Royal Headache, Marked Men and Paloma Faith’s new record.
Finally, any tips for artists we should be keeping our eye on?
Turbowolf have a new record coming out and it sounds brilliant. The Heavy have a new record. Colt 45 are great and our best brothers The Dead Formats. Over the ocean look out for Deer Tick and The Violent Hearts, that should do ya for a bit.
Cheers to The Computers for being such sports, you can catch them at The Vic in Swindon THIS FRIDAY (4th July 2014) – tickets here