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Sound Of Guns: 'We're not the fucking Wombats!'

Van-loads of booze and smashed TVs - rock n roll returns

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Photographer:Sam Brill

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Phil Brady | 17 June 2011

Fresh from their performance at Rockness, I expect the band to be as bedraggled as me, but from the off we engage in a cheeky banter as Andy Metcalfe, the groups Morrison-esque frontman, hands me his phone to speak to his wife who, he jokes, checks up on him every 24 minutes.

After acquainting, it is established that we have the same leather jacket and none of us are dressed for sunnier climes. “Do you own a pair of shorts?”, I ask and Lee, the band’s guitarist, who exclaims: “I've brought my Australian ones!”.

“Are there any legs in those jeans?”, I retort. “Yeah but they are Scouse legs, white as fuck”, Lee laughs. Andy goes on to tell me that their journey to northern Scotland was a little further than anticipated, they loaded up the van with as much booze as possible, so when they finally got there they had drank so much they were incapable of walking. The call for our flight departure beckons so we board the rock and roll express bound for Cypress and embark on our journey together to Napa Live Festival 2011.

On the bill are The Charlatans, Chase and Status, The Enemy, The Twang, Twisted Wheel and our hosts, Sound Of Guns who have been kind enough to let me hitch a ride on this Mediterranean mystery tour with them so I can document their journey.

The following morning after a late night at the cocktail bar I gather the boys together for a poolside interview before they go off for their sound check.

VF: How was RockNess?
Andy [frotnman]: “That's right we got back on Sunday night, it was brilliant, it was the opposite to this, it was pretty cold, great audience.”
Nathan [guitar]: “It was a bit violent, a couple jumped on stage. During the last song we play, ‘Alchatraz’, two lads jumped on stage. They were fans of the band but they got rugby tackled.”

VF: By the security or by yourselves?
Nathan: “Yeah, the security ran on in the end. I think they realised: ‘hang on their not in the band, they've not got long hair.’”

It was a long journey up there, how do you like it on the road?
Lee: “Yeah, 10 hours”
Andy: “We love it on the road, as Lee said there, it was a 10 hour drive but it's what we do as a band. We are a live band and there's nothing better than getting a splitter van and travelling for 10 hours.”
Nathan: “Well, there's a plane for five hours to come here.”

What have we got instore this week then?
Andy: “Well we have got this gig tonight and we will be meeting some mates out here.

VF: Is that's mates out of other bands that are on the same bill?
Andy: “Yeah, The Enemy”

VF: Have you toured with The Enemy before?
Andy: “No, Kyle [Faulkner, The View frontman] introduced us last time with The View. Then, we are finishing the album in London when we fly back from here.”

VF: How did you get along with The View on tour?
Andy: “We toured with them in April, a full UK tour with them they're wicked.”
John [bass]: “They are good friends of ours. We have been on two tours with them: a short one and a long one. It's good to be on the road with those boys.”
Nathan: “Our music went really well together, although we are different styled bands, for some reason it curved really well and that came across well as we were supporting them but their whole crowd were really up for it and into our music. When we came on it just went off, everyone there just had a good night.”

You are down on the bill as special guests tonight. Which one of you is the special one?
Andy: “It was a bit of a last minute thing for us in a way, I suppose we are special as nobody knows we are coming.”
Nathan: “Our label don't even know we are coming, we haven't told anyone.”

Then back to Blighty to finish the new album off?
Andy: “Yeah back to the studio to mix it down, three days in London. I'm more concerned about this curry house by the studio we are going to."
Lee: "He calls it Dave Eringa from Manic Street Preachers. Electric Davey Land.”
John: “He said once we have finished we will go to this curry house and there is this curry that you have to sign a consent form before you order.”
Lee: “I'm gunna give it a go”

Have you got a name for the album yet?
Andy: “No that's a touchy subject, we are going to pick one this weekend. We have been putting it off as we know when we did the first album we just ended up battering each other over the album title. We will do it this weekend in the company of Dave Eringa so he will be able to mediate.”
Lee: “Or referee.”

Will you be playing any new stuff at Napa Live Festival?
Andy: “We're going to play a couple of new tracks aren't we?”
All: “Yeah.”
Andy: “I think they will go down really well, especially a song called ‘Sometimes’, it's going to be a single."

Does it seem strange to be rocking out in what would usually be dance territory?
Nathan: “Yeah, when we went to Mallorca Rocks we were apprehensive wondering what it was going to be like but they were all up for it.”
Lee: “I think as long as they have got a drink in them they are happy.”
John: “One of the great things about these festivals is to get our stuff heard by different audiences.”

VF: So it has worked in the past, do you think this festival will take off in the same way?
Lee: “Hopefully yeah, the promoters seem to be really on it and hopefully this place will have it.”

How do you think it will work?
Nathan: “When we had finished Mallorca Rocks and we had come home after playing to a dance orientated crowd, there were people at the front shouting: 'Mallorca Rocks!'"
John: “They had all been to Mallorca Rocks and then they’d come to see us on tour afterwards. So it deffo worked and hopefully we will get more of that after tonight's show."

Flying to sunnier climes beats travelling around in a rat infested rubbish bin hey?
Nathan: “You've seen our van then, yeah?”
Lee: “That rat, we have lost two roadies to that thing.”
Andy: “It really does get a bit cagey in there after a while.”

VF: So travelling around in that atmosphere, do you think it has an influence on your song writing?
Collee: “Yeah it makes us want to write better songs and get the fuck out of there.”

Do you think this experience will influence your music in a different way?
Nathan: “I'd like to think so. I like to see everything as a different influence, it doesn't matter where you are you just take it in and it comes out in your style.”

VF: So you are going to start listening to Wham now?
Lee: “I was out until five this morning drinking cocktails there were pineapples everywhere.”
Andy: “I'm bang into ‘Club Tropicana’ now.”

At the gig itself, the band are on volatile form in the packed out venue. Andy scales the rafters and leaps from the bar onto Nathan, they’re an explosion that resonates through the venue against an town that's otherwise garage-laden, dance haven occupancy. It’s a refreshing note of change as the rest of the bands prepare for a week of rock n roll.

The following day, as the band take advantage of the poolside cocktail bar, Andy feels the pinch and throws a TV off the balcony of the hotel. John, the band’s bass player tells him: "We're not the fucking Wombats." A reference to when The Wombats threw plasma screens from their hotel at Dubai Sound City.

Tomorrow The Enemy play at The Chameleon venue and we say goodbye to the northern uproar that is Sound Of Guns as they leave to finish off their new album in London.


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