We were invited along to interview the super talented (and very handsome) guys from Reigning Days ahead of the final night of the UK tour with rock legends FEEDER, we decamped to their dressing room where Dan Steer was playing some splendid piano music whilst we waited for Johnny and Joe to arrive….
That looks like a Steinway piano Dan, did you ask for it as part of your rider?
Well you know, it’s the bare minimum that we ask for these days! It’s actually John Lennon’s piano and Yoko let us use it for the tour, we had to take a wall out to get it in the room!
I can well imagine….. Is that a box of kittens in the corner I can hear?
Yes, I asked for white but those are ‘off white’ so they’re staying in the box, you just can’t get the staff!
I agree, a band of your magnitude and they can’t even get the simple things right!
Pre interview banter over, Joe and Johnny arrived and Sarah (Manager) spent a few minutes talking about the merchandise, Dan kindly offered us a Dorito (other savoury snacks are available), we declined, Sarah left to set up the march table and it was all systems go!
So, it’s the final night of the UK tour with FEEDER, what would you say has been THE best moment of the tour for you?
All - Manchester Ritz, we introduced a new song on the tour that’s yet tone released and we asked the audience to get their phones out and turn on the torches, it looked like something from a Coldplay gig, amazing! We LOVE playing at the Ritz, it’s such an old school venue, really well laid out, nice high stage, perfect!
How did the opportunity arise to actually join FEEDER on tour?
Dan - Our manager knows FEEDER’s manager really well and they really liked our music and we were invited along for a bunch of dates. We all grew up listening to FEEDER and their music is pretty much the soundtrack of me growing up, being a little shit bag and attempting to kiss girls….
Johnny - Ooh, kiss chase…..
Dan - Yep, happy days!
So all the songs bring back good memories then?
Dan - Absolutely!
Any tales from the road that you can share with us?
Dan - There are plenty that we can’t share!
Johnny - After the gig at The Ritz in Manchester, Joe and I decided to head out for some drinks, Dan stayed in to preserve his voice, the hotel that we were staying in was slap bang in the middle of the gay quarter in Manchester and two buildings from our place was the famous G.A.Y. bar. We headed out for some food in a really nice B-B-Q style restaurant, had a great meal and then we moved on to Club Tropicana (where drinks AREN’T free - George Michael is a liar!) and it was just dead, I guess not much happens on a Wednesday night, so we moved on to G.A.Y. and it was amazing!
Joe - We arrived and had already said that we’d only stay for one drink (famous last words!), it was our only day off the next day and we really needed to catch up on sleep and generally kick back, I got a round which was 4 double rum and cokes, a couple of pints and a couple of shots, there were a LOT of drinks and it came to £16! I literally walked back to the table and said to the guys that it WASN’T going to be an early night!
Johnny - They were that cheap that you’d get an extra shot in at the bar and neck it before you headed back to the table with the rest of the drinks!
Exeter is pretty much a homecoming show for you, are you expecting lots of friends and family in the audience?
Dan - To be honest, we’ve done our best to get as many along as possible, the show was announced (and sold out) before we even knew that we’d got the support slot so it was hard for our people to get tickets but FEEDER have been great and gave us a load of their guest-list allocation to use as they knew it was local to where we’re from and then we were able to get some people along. I must say now that these guys are the nicest people that I have ever gigged with, they’ve really looked after us on every step of the way….I mean, I’ve got a piano in my dressing room so that says it all!
Johnny, have you missed little Freddie (6 week old son) whilst you’ve been on the road?
Johnny - I have, big time, it's as if I’ve been watching him grow up via photographs for the past week! My other half will be here tonight and it’s her first night out drinking alcohol for about a year!
Dan - She’s gonna be sh*t faced by the end of the night!
Joe - But Johnny, you were saying last night that Freddie does the strangest things when you’re at home….
Johnny - come and see my other half later and I’ll get her to show you the noises that he makes, he’s really ‘needy’ at the moment….
Dan - Like father like son!
Johnny - You put him down and he’ll be smiling cos he’s just had a belly full of milk (referred to as being 'Tit Faced') and then 30 seconds later, he realises that he’s not sat with anyone and he starts making these strange alien noises....
Dan/Joe - But we’ve both seen you like that, it’s the same noise you make when you don’t get your pizza at the end of the night!
Johnny - Here’s an exclusive for you, normally, I end up getting banned from eating pizza on tour!
Dan - He gets drunk and it’s been known for me to drive all the way across London to find a Papa Johns (other pizza joints are available) that’s open after a gig.
Joe - The first 5 days of the tour, he’d had 7 pizzas!
Johnny - The favourite part of this story is that every time I have pizza, at least one member of the band or crew also partook in the devouring of the pizza so it's not just me!
Joe - Which, if you work it out, means that we ALL have at least one pizza a week! We all get involved!
Johnny - Dan can eat an entire slice in one go, its like watching someone eat an oyster!
Dan , the last time we chatted was very early on a Sunday morning at Boardmasters Festival in Newquay, looking back over the summer, which ones were most memorable?
Joe - Why wasn’t I there? Oh yeah, I was in Amsterdam doing some sightseeing!
Dan - I did ask you but you were hell bent on doing that tour of the tulip fields and visiting that clog factory you’ve been harping on about for so long! We met up with Daniel P Carter at 2000 Trees, had a good chat with him, he’s an interesting guy!
Who would you say made you want to get a band together in the first place and start to write music?
Joe - For me, it was Sum 41, up until I was 13, I just wanted to be a footballer, I broke an ankle during a game when I was about 14 and that was the exact same time that I got interested in bands, alcohol and girls and I just went from one extreme to the other. The first live show I ever went to was Sum 41 when they played in Plymouth, they were my favourite and I had never been to a gig before and seen one play live, there were loads of people, I was proper star struck and it was just such a great show, when me and my mate got home, we formed a band right there!
Johnny - I’ve been playing in a band from the age of 11, I’ve been playing with Joe for the past 11 years, back at secondary school, you got your first glimpse of the music room and there was a drum kit in there and everyone wanted to be a drummer (I am grade 5 drums BTW!). I got a guitar for my 11th birthday, it was either that or a party and I opted for the guitar, they thought it was just a fad and a couple of thousand pounds later, I was still into it!
Joe - So Johnny, going back to the question of which band made you want to get a band together yourself?
Johnny - OH! Sorry, I thought you wanted to know how I got into music….
Joe - Sit comfortably folks for chapter two of the life story of Johnny Finnis!
Johnny - I don’t know, probably someone like Foo Fighters….
Dan - Yep, that’s a good one, NEXT…. for me, it was The Killers, I was a right indie kid so they suited me perfectly!
All - Please would you describe your manager Sarah Woodward using just 3 words, one word each please…
Johnny - Very Excitable Person
Steve - that was three words Johnny, I want one from each of you
Johnny - I thought you said three words
Steve - I did, but one word from each of you
Johnny - okay, BRILLIANT
Dan - AMAZING
Joe - FANTABULOUS
Joe - Sleep?
Dan - I guess it’s to continue trying to get booked for support slots on tours, write better music and think of a way to get more tracks out there. There’s been a couple of bands recently that have released an album and then gone back in the studio and recorded an absolute banger of a track and then just released that in its own right, that’s what I want to do, write a load of strong tracks and get them out there, failing that, I’ll just become a roofer!
Guys, thanks so much for your time, pleasure to catch up, we’ll be watching your set and grabbing a few pics too so all the best and we’ll see you after the show for a beer in the bar
All - Thanks Steve, great to talk to you, enjoy the show!
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PS. It wasn't really John Lennon's piano and there wasn't a box of off white coloured kittens stuck in a box, they were actually barley white Persian kittens - Just thought I'd straighten that up!