From left to right; Chris, Mike, James, Adam and Dan (our main interviewee), the boys who make up the rock/pop/funk/blues/alternative mix-mash band from Romford, Essex
Dan, tell us a bit about your band. Where to start... basically it's more about a group of friends who enjoy playing music, we all have very different musical backgrounds and tastes, and a few common loves too which helps. So if you combine all our different musical tastes and personalities you end up with One Tonne Baby, a band that plays good, fun music that people can dance to.
One Tonne Baby have been around for several years now with different band members in the past. Now you've got the band finalised,are you enjoying being in a band and making music with your friends? In my opinion it rarely gets batter than this. What could be more fun than hanging out with your friends and making music at the same time? The fact that we are getting more and more gigs at better and better venues as well as working on a demo is just a bonus. Sometimes it can be tiring and yes, personalities can clash but rehearsals are the highlight of my week!
Do you think it's getting easier to make it big as a band, with stuff like Myspace and Twitter enabling you to advertise yourself freely? Yes and no. Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter etc make it easier for a band to get their music out to the masses, but just because your bands Myspace has 1 million friends of whatever, doesn't mean your going to become a big band. Personally, I think that these sites are a brilliant place for people to be able to easily find music and artists, but they aren't the be all and end all.
So you think people like Lilly Allen should shut the f*** up then? Ha, ha. Not exactly. What I mean is that a lot of bands that I know of or have heard from, put SO much energy into making sure that they get as many Myspace friends as they can and surely you should be more interested in actually playing your music in front of people. Isn’t that the idea? I also happen to quite like Lilly Allen, although she needs to lay of the twittering though, it's a little bit sad.
So, if Lilly Allen and Katy Perry were having a mud-wrestling match, you'd be cheering on the Londoner? Not half mate.
So tell us about this demo situation. Ok well, as it stands we have probably 5/6 songs in different stages of completion. 'Sinopea' is complete and can be heard on our Myspace (bit hypocritical perhaps, but I’m not perfect!) and we are currently adding some finishing touches to a couple of other songs. The main goal is that if someone comes to a gig and likes our music, we can give them a demo there and then, rather than saying, "oh yeah just check
out our Myspace", it's a bit more personal I think.
Who's the mind behind the songs, or is a joint effort? The main driving song writing force behind One Tonne Baby is a Mr. Adam Sampson, he will generally come up with the basis for a song and then we each add our own little bit to it and then the song reaches a new level. We also come up with songs from just jamming which I think is brilliant, there’s nothing better than seeing a song take shape from nothing. I’ve also contributed a song from my own acoustic "side project" if you will.
Tell us more about that. Basically this came into fruition before I joined One Tonne Baby, so about a year ago now. I was in-between bands and I'd never previously tried writing a song, so with nothing else to do I stumbled through a few songs and then more followed. About 8 months ago I start to actually write lyrics for these songs and I can normally be heard singing them to myself in the background at parties and BBQ's etc. So yeah more songs followed which I personally think are far better than the first few attempts, coupled with the positive response from singing in One Tonne Baby has pushed me to take these songs more seriously. I chose the name 'Between The River' because I think my own name is far to boring to be a 'solo artists' name. I'm currently recording a 6/7 track EP as well as trying to get myself out there, playing the music in front of people. It's basically an outlet for my more personal songs as opposed to the more upbeat songs in One Tonne Baby.
So you're venturing up other avenues whilst working with the band? Yeah pretty much, I mean I never used to write songs or even dream of playing them in front of people, but now I’ve starting writing my own material, which is a lot darker and much, much more personal than One Tonne Baby's stuff. I couldn't ever not do my own thing. I think deep down I’ve always been a very creative person but never found a way of using it until I started making music, and now that I found it I can stop. I mean yesterday I came home from 4 hours practicing with the band and spent another hour working on the newest Between The River song. When it comes to music I cant really get enough.
If your band were offered the contract of a lifetime, but you had to assassinate the president of the United States, would you do it? Damn, see I think that guy had a positive effect; maybe I could just beat him up a bit and let him go with a warning?
Who in the band smells the worst? Chris because he's Greek
Is that based on the fact he's Greek or the fact he actually stinks? A little bit of both perhaps.
If you had to have your feet locked in a set of medieval stocks and tickled, how long do you think you could stand? Until I got tired & fell over!
So a long time then? I’d say at least 2 hours.
God that’s a long while for someone who's infamous for having ticklish feet... Ha, ha. Shh, that’s not meant to be public knowledge. (It is now! -EDIT)
So, in 5 years time, you see the band... I'd like to think we'd still just be 5 blokes having a laugh to be honest, that's all I could hope for. Obviously a record deal, lots of money & groupies wouldn't hurt either.
One Tonne Baby will be at Punk in Soho, London on the 23rd of June. Listen to their music at their myspace page and catch Dan's solo material at his official Between The River myspace.
Words: Matthew Skingsley