Their silky new single ‘Eating Good’ is out today.
Here we are in a Wetherspoons, and I believe you both met in one?
Bruce: We did. We met through a mutual friend. I’d been making beats for years, and my friend was a drummer – he introduced me to this guy [pointing at Simon]. He said you’ve got to meet Simon, this Lithuanian guy who plays guitar and looks a bit like Mick Jagger; he’s great. So we agreed to set up a meeting in Spoons, the Montague Pike, which we very nearly named our initial project after.
How did this project transition from the punk band you initially formed?
Simon: So we were in a band, doing bits and bobs. A couple of other people were obviously with us, but it was never right, didn’t click. Lockdown gave us a chance to make music away from the distractions of the studio; we both continued making music and not just jamming.
All of a sudden, the two of us were going back and forth, and it opened up a whole new world of opportunities. We would send each other tracks, and it felt a bit more like what we wanted to do all along. In that experimentation, we discovered more of what we wanted to be. The band was sort of tired out, and the two of us went it alone.
B: Even though we’re very different, we’ve always really got on and been in sync with each other. So it worked, and here we are now. We created ‘Good Health, Good Wealth’ as a positive message for a band. It’s how we all used to cheers each other.
What were your early influences growing up?
S: My dad was a big music guy – a blues and classic rock guy—a lot of Zeppelin. I remember finding the Pistols because my dad would buy these pirate compilations that had all the best songs in them. And because they were pirated, they had these super weird different covers. We grew up in that MTV era, it was a great time. There was so much good music on, and that got me into hip-hop – and a little dance music too, St Germain, Dimitri from Paris, Daft Punk, that kind of stuff.
B: Early musical influences for me were just from having the telly or radio on, I suppose. My big tune in that period was ‘Return of the Mack’. Even from film, I loved the soundtrack to the Rugrats Movie, all the Busta Rhymes tunes. In the car, my old man would have Madness on, Thin Lizzy, Tom Waits, and The Clash. Then I got into Eminem and The Streets from there. I even had the full G-Unit clothes, including the spinner chain, in secondary school. I was old enough to know better.
How would you describe your music?
B: It’s the sound of our London. It’s an eclectic mix of our two minds. It’s got the guitar influence and rocky element from Simon but is also very much the everyday geezer, a real-life thing. It’s not lyrically political or anything like that, it’s bringing everyday conversations to life. In an iTunes box, ‘alternative indie’ is probably the closest thing.
How did your track ‘Snatch’ come to fruition?
B: I’d made this baseline for it; it sounded like something you’d hear in a chase scene or a movie montage – like a scene right out of Snatch. I went with it and, from there, created this little story around it. I’d annoyed my girlfriend a few nights before, not by being an arsehole, just a normal fella irritating. I didn’t know what I’d done, and from that came the story.
The track arrived with a colourful music video. How are you involved on that front?
S: It’s super important to us. A lot of our influences derive from film. We’re lucky to find these amazing videographers who are very much on the same page as us and are happy for our input. It’s super important to the image of our brand; as a kid, a lot of what you take away from something are those visuals.
It’s as important to nail the artwork and the video as anything else. Music is one input of expression, but for us it’s a whole brand, a whole concept. Because we grew up with that MTV scene, looking back at Pharrell or Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ videos, it’s such an important part of that time.
How does it feel being championed by the likes of 6 Music and BBC Introducing?
S: It’s a bit mad that we’re on the radio now, but it’s nice to have that recognition for the art you love and find people who get it. Yet it feels deserved; we worked hard for this.
B: For me, that first time [being played] on Jack Saunders was amazing. We all had it on the telly, with the radio on. We were sitting at home waiting for it to be played, I don’t think it was confirmed. I went to bed and was told it was playing, so I sprinted down the stairs. That was the first ‘wow’ moment where we aren’t just hobbyists.
Where does your love lie – in the performing or writing?
S: It’s a bit of everything. Shows are always great, they’re always such a great vibe, and you’ve got your people with you.
B: For me, it’s writing. Once the song is out, it’s a bit of a weight off the shoulders. I love a show, but we do music to make those songs. Having said that, our last show at the Hootenanny in Brixton was awesome. The venue has a good history to it. Everything came together perfectly, we were scared of doing South London on a Thursday turnout, but everyone turned up and had a banging night. We saw loads of familiar faces but also loads of new faces, which made it exciting.
S: That was the first show that people were properly singing songs back to us. Even sadder love songs like ‘Guinness’. When people sing back, it’s the best thing. It’s the purest form of validation, a real punching-the-air moment.
Where do you want to take things next?
S: The number one goal is more shows, more music, and reaching more people. Finish the EP this year, hoping to do an album soon. We’ve got ideas for it and just need to storm it. The ‘Good Health, Good Wealth’ message is so important, and just the other day, we lost a dear friend to a shitty situation from an unhealthy lifestyle. We’re getting older, and it may have been silly when we came up with it, but it’s actually a fucking important message. And have fun.