Charlotte Oxnard heads over to Bradford's Love Apple to talk to Help She Can't Swim
Describing themselves as sounding like "throwing our instruments down the stairs and shouting loudly as we do it!" Help She Can't Swim were a band I was looking forward to talking to. I caught up with them at Bradford's Love Apple to ask them about releasing a second album and their upcoming tour.
"It's hard touring when you're only away for a few days, then you go back home and back up the country again, returning to normality too often is actually harder than being on tour full time. Our official tour kicks off in May so we are looking forward for then where we can properly wreck our bodies!"
Tonight, the band weren't drinking due to the seven hour drive home and the constant need for toilet breaks... "We're not really that hardcore on the tour anyway. I'd be frightened to write on the dressing room wall in case our tour manager was like 'what the fuck is that?!' We're not important enough to steal things either, apart from a Travel Lodge pillow... and that was only to rest on in the van!"
As for their shows, Help She Can't Swim are well-known for attacking their music like an angry child's tantrum, yet tonight the poor attendance in Bradford didn't allow for much of West Yorkshire to see this. "Our gigs are strange; we think it's good when there are actually people there! Often we see a full crowd and we think 'yes, this is gonna be ace' but they all stand there sour faced. At times, when there have only been 20 people there it's been amazing, it just depends on how much people want it".
Maybe the sour-faced people didn't want to show any emotion to look err... 'cool' I suggest.
"We don't look cool - we're on stage and we look stupid! Tim is currently wearing a Help She Can't Swim t-shirt inside out... this proves that".
HSCS are a band who aim not to conform to anyone else's plans and are determined to do what they want, which can be heard in their new album 'Death of nightlife'. "It's still unbelievable that we get to release a second album. The first one was a bit by accident" (Fashionista super dance troupe which has the songs 'Sensitive Youth' and 'Bunty vs. Beano')
"We didn't really know if people we going to hear it as we never thought it would get recorded and released".
So what can people expect from the latest, more mature Help She Can't Swim? "This record is a lot more considered as we've had more time to do it and have been writing songs for ages. We thought 'lets actually try and make a good album rather than do accidentally'. It's just had more reflection put in it".
Help She Can't Swim are used to being compared to other bands, with a small likeness of Huggy Bear and The Blood Brothers. "That's great to have comparisons to them, but when it's to Test Icicles it's annoying 'cos we were a band before them! We toured with them and they're nice but it's irritating when you get messages from thirteen-year-olds on MySpace saying 'wow, you totally ripped off Test Icicles!' It's like 'what do you know? You were eleven when their album came out!'"
As for The Blood Brothers, "touring with them was fantastic. Except crossing the European borders for gigs was hard as it involved the van continuously getting searched for illegal substances..." [read into that what you will]
"But touring is great, we've been able to play with bands we really love and meet new people. We've gotten to go to Europe for free and you just never think those things would happen to you! This whole band thing came so fast, we never really had time to send demos out and everything snowballed; we didn't even have a game-plan for World-domination prepared".
How have things changed for HSCS? "When we first started, there was none of this MySpace or downloads shit, so that's all fairly new to us. And our album has been pushed back a month because of claims it will do better in May than in June, it's fucked up a lot of labels and record shops which are getting undercut by Tesco! Tesco aren't stocking any singles that won't go Top 10 or any albums that won't go Top 100. But we have decided... we're gonna do an in-store at Tesco! So the mums can come in, do their shopping, pick up a copy of My Chemical Romance's 'Black Parade' and see some free live music from us! The problem is where we would play in the store. The decision is between the delicatessen, the clothing section or the bakery..."
The band's new album, 'The Death of Nightlife', is out on May 7th.