With support slots for Oasis and Paul Weller already under their belts, Oldham's Twisted Wheel look destined for bigger things. We thought we'd catch them before they take off...
The band, who recently released their self-titled debut, are set for a busy summer starting with a performance at Mini Untied alongside the Modfather (again) before jetting around the world for the likes of Fuji Rock and Jersey Live. We chat with singer Johnny Brown to talk pirates, bog-washing and the impending summer.
Virtual Festivals: You already had quite a year, your debut album dropped and you’ve had support slots with Oasis and Paul Weller. How does it feel to be playing with your heroes so early on?
Johnny Brown: “First things first, it's good to know that they are into us – they like what we do, which means a lot to us. We’ve got to be doing something right if Oasis are into you. Weller is a massive influence to us and to be playing alongside them and to be supporting them it means a lot. It's inspiring and it looks good on the CV doesn’t it?”
VF: Yeah of course. Is there anyone left that you’ll like to support?
JB: “We’re sick of supporting people to be honest, it’s all we fucking do. Nah, it would be nice to support The White Stripes or maybe Kings Of Leon. Sorry that’s all I can think of at the moment.”
VF: Away from the gigs, have you got quite a hectic summer schedule festival-wise this summer?
JB: “Yeah we’ve got some forest gigs with Weller [Forest Commissions Forest Tour] which are outdoors on his tour and we’ve got the Oasis gigs at Heaton Park [Manchester]. There’s also one in Coventry and we’re doing Fuji Rock over in Japan. We’ve never been over there before but we’re getting quite a lot of good feedback from people on the MySpace in Japan. We’re doing a festival in Jersey [Jersey Music Live], which is fucking good. It’s another new place to go to. We’ve got a few in Italy and there is a one in Germany that’s been booked, but there’s a few more to be confirmed, some of the big ones, but we’re waiting to announce them, but I’m not sure we can do that just now.”
VF: It sounds like you’re going to be spending a lot of time out of England and in Europe.
JB: “Yeah, it’s looking that way. We did a little tour of Italy this year and it was absolutely amazing – one of the best tours we’ve done. So we’re really looking forward to getting back over there. It’s just good to get out of Britain and play to new crowds and obviously it’s a different reaction because they can’t get your words straight or stuff like that, but they feel and stuff, which is good.”
VF: Is there any of the bigger UK festivals you’d like to play at?
JB: “I’d love to play at V [Festival], I’ve been there before - that’s a great festival. We like to play anywhere man. Latitude looks like a good festival to play, I’ve not been myself, as does Secret Garden Party. Glastonbury is on the cards as well. Any decent festival with good people is good for us man.”
VF: What are you festival essentials and your festival tips?
JB: “Don’t camp in a ditch. I camped in a ditch at Glastonbury and my tent was bog-washed it was actually underwater. Don’t camp in a ditch, especially at Glastonbury. Make sure you take your wellies and that’s it man – have a good time!”
VF: What about money saving tips with the current credit crunch?
JB: “Take loads of drugs and sell them.”
VF: Who has been the best festival performance that you’ve seen over the last ten years?
JB: “For me, not last year but the year before, was The White Stripes at Glastonbury. That was a legendary performance. I had no shoes on at the time, I’d lost my shoes when I’d lost my tent, so I was in a bad mood and they really livened me up. Primal Scream, they’re a great band to see at a festival, especially at night. The Prodigy – they’re an essential at a festival. I’ve seen them twice, once at Leeds and once at V Festival. They’re outstanding, just what you want at the end of the night.”
VF: What about the biggest disappointment at a festival?
JB: [Turns to his band mates] “’Have any of you seen a shit gig at a festival?’ Our drummer can’t even remember being at a festival. I saw a band called The Others once at Glastonbury - that was pretty appalling. I don’t watch things that I don’t like anyway. I’ve come across a few things at Glastonbury that I’ve never even expected to enjoy, like world music and stuff so I’ve not really had any negative experiences to be honest.”
VF: What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you at a festival?
JB: “On the last night at Glastonbury a few years back, me and a mate got in a bin bag together, stood up – I don’t know why, we were off our heads or something – and we were spinning around and we stumbled down this dirt track and came out of the bag like monsters. We came out right next to this really big pirate ship, I don’t know where the fuck it was, but it was a really fucking big pirate ship made out of wood and there were loads of people dressed up as pirates on it. They were like, ‘ahoy, get on board,’ and we got given a bit of roll play, my mate was a ghost and I was the entertainer. We just talked bollocks on this ship like sailors from about three hours – that was pretty funny.”
VF: Who should we be looking out for in the coming year?
JB: “I don’t know if The Kills are playing, but I love them and I’d like to go and see them. And Kid British, check them out.”
Click here to check out the Twisted Wheel MySpace.