Misgivings began as an idea in 2013, after a drunken chat at a squat show In Hamburg. Based in Portsmouth, UK, they combine a love of travelling, touring, drinking beers and bands such as Samiam, Jawbreaker, Husker Du, Strung Out, Alkaline Trio & Title Fight.
We met up with the guys at the main observation deck at the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth where we chatted about imitating Buddy Holly, mute gorillas and Bob Mould, here's how we got on....
Please introduce the band and your music in one sentence....
We're Misgivings, we play loud rock music in empty fields and our main target audience is crusty punks and hippie families.
You’re called Misgivings, how did you come about choosing this name?
We named our band after an episode of the Wire. We had some other ideas as well, but that one seemed to stick in our little minds for the longest. I think Ollie and I were at Groezrock when we decided on it.
How and when did you decide that you wanted to be in a band?
Speaking for myself (Will), I was probably about 12 or 13 when I decided it was more fun to play guitar along to a CD than on my own, and I think I formed a band at that age too. Singing has been something I've always done, my parents like to recall to me that they would play me a Buddy Holly tape in the car when I was very small and I would imitate his funny pronunciations. True story. I can't really remember when I wanted to be in a band per se, just seems to have always been part of the plan.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
Ant from our friends Sombulance once told me 'You can't put a price on music'. Other than that, an old guy who hung out outside my first punk bands practice space once told me 'You're a thrash metal band. You should be called the Storm'. I try and keep both of those with me.
Give me three words that best describe you as a band?
Neurotic. Unorganised. Dependent.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
The Gorilla. I like silence.
If push came to shove and only one answer was allowed, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
Copper Blue by Sugar. Pop masterpiece. Every song is golden and my vinyl copy sounds like an avalanche when I play it loud.
‘Century’ sounds like there are influences in there from punk legends such as Bad Religion, is that the case?, if not who have you always looked up and why?
Yeah, I love Bad Religion. They are maybe not the primary influence of this band but I first saw them when I was 14 and a lot of our influences are punk bands I've been listening to since my teens, namely Descendents, Husker Du, Leatherface. But I'm also a pretty big fan of that kinda 60s thing so I try and think what would the Beatles or the Who when I write. Not too much though.
Touring certain areas of the UK and Europe, what advice would you give to a new unsigned band that is looking to do what you are doing?
Get travel insurance for abroad, don't drink too much at your shows and be careful while driving. Also do the washing up if someone makes you food and don't come on too strong. Promoters surely must get sick of bands and their shtick, and we try and be human beings when we can. Have a nice time, all the time. You don't have to argue or fight.
Your lyrics are a lot about society? What do you think needs to change?
Difficult question, I'm not sure if our lyrics have any great message or context about society in general, as opposed to just mine and Ollie's little lives in our tiny rooms that are less than three feet away from each other. But individual song meanings aside, mine are usually themed around a lack of certainty about the world, and a distrust of people who have got that knack for being sure about everything. Nothing too out of the ordinary. As an idea, I think people should read more books instead of sharing things on Facebook all the time, make awkward conversation instead of using self service machines and stop talking about 'political correctness' without prompt when you're on a ten hour shift with me.
If you had a chance to put together your own ‘super group’, who would be in it? (only living members please)
Bob Mould on guitar and vocals, John Wright of Nomeansno on drums and Rob Trujillo from Metallica on bass.
Being an unsigned band how hard is it to get noticed and how has social media aided your music?
It's difficult to say at this point cause we haven't got a record out yet which I think is important. I think it's all well and good that you can use your bands Facebook as a hub for communicating with other bands and promoters and most importantly the people who want to listen to you. But social media still can't make the horse drink so to speak and listen to a whole record of yours just cause it's right there in the water bucket. You have to play gigs regularly. And be really good if you can.
Have you had any ‘Spinal Tap’ Moments? If yes, please share!
The undisputed champion of this is us playing to an empty (except for a family of hippies with a toddler and one cider drunk guy in a leather jacket) in the vast tranquility of Portsmouth's Victoria Park with me playing through a 20w guitar amp with no gain channel, Ollie playing through a bass amp and Joe playing through the PA. There is a video that exists of this somewhere. Bizarrely it was one of our tightest shows, but very few will ever know. We are all thankful for this.
Who designed the artwork for your EP?
Our friend Myles, you can find him here! http://mylesrolandbartholomewdesign.tumblr.com/
Why did Peter Hardy (original drummer) decide to leave and what was the process that Andrew Summerley had to endure to achieve the role?
Petey sadly left the band because he wasn't up for slumming it on tour (he would have missed his beautiful cat Raffie) and found the pressure of how raring to go with that idea off putting. I still chat to him all the time, and it's nice to have someone outside of the band who actually knows all the words now, haha. Andy learned the songs by drilling them in six hour practice sessions and listening to the new EP and the demo on repeat in his van. I think it is clear to all who got the short end of the stick in his situation.
Is there something you would like to tell each of the band members that you haven’t told them before?
So many things, so little time. Haha.
First gig you ever went to?
First ever proper gig I went to was Reel Big Fish, before that it was my sisters band playing at a church youth hall in my hometown. They were called 'Bass Jumping'.
Where did you record your debut EP ‘Delete History’ and what made you choose that studio?
We recorded the EP with our friend Jon Moon and his portable studio, so we used three different studios. They were Casemates, The Park Studios and we recorded the vocals in the loft of a studio called WMD, which had very unstable floorboards and we had to climb up and down a sketchy ladder to get in or get out. We had the best time making it and can't wait to make another. Jon's a real worker.
What is your favourite joke?
'I cut my hand opening some cheese, but it Gouda been worse. The doctor gave me a sick note, but I stiltoned up anyway'. Thanks to El Morgan for that one.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Local to us, there's Noyo Mathis, Sombulance, Dear Everyone, Bloodbuzz, Shooting Fish, Capsized and Black Anchor. When we were in Belgium and the Netherlands we played with DRS, Harsh Realms, March and the Death Traps who were all so great. Use google to find all of them.
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod, MP3 or cassette walkman?
Preferably not a musician who influences us as I'm sure we'd be too obvious to them. Someone who still has the hunger to check out new bands and go to gigs preferably. Or whoever reads this interview!
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Jimmy McNulty from the Wire. Arrogant, obsessed, but deeply flawed with a sour wedge of Catholic guilt on the side. Never thought of that before!
What are your plans for 2014?
Plans for 2014 at this point include us beginning to write an album with an aim to release it next year. Got a few songs already. We're also playing WTFest with some bands that make it a dream line up for us. Thanks for a great interview.
Coffee or Tea? Cuh' tea mush, especially when it's made by Ollie.
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Drum machine or the real deal? Drum machine. ;)
Mac or PC? A bit half and half on that one, I have a Mac though.
Fry up or Sunday roast? Love a fry up first thing on a Saturday morning, I does. Innit.
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Ozzy. My mum fancies him.
CD or Vinyl? I'm more of a vinyl guy.' said by a guy at a show where we played with a load of d-beat bands in Stockwell.
Car or Motorbike? The bus
White Lightning or Special Brew? Special brew is a good beer with a bad reputation but I think Joe likes K Cider at band practice.
Acoustic or electric? Electric, but we write a lot of songs on acoustic guitars.
Shower or Bath? Shower. Start warm, end cold.
Tattoos or Piercings? Have neither.
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino? De Niro
We'd like to wish the band all the best for the future and thank them for sparing their time to answer our questions, we hope you had fun learning a little more about this great British punk band....Why not spend a few minutes checking out their latest release, you can find it at the Bandcamp link above.
Interview by Mark Wincott