Sitting under a dusty window in a small snooker room at the Carlisle Brickyards with The Five 'O’Clock Heroes I was immediately struck by their enthusiasm and determination to have a good time.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Antony Ellis handed around the beer while the rest of the band, bassist Nader Kheirbek, drummer Patrick Fowler, and Elliot Thompson who also plays guitar settled on and around the snooker table.

The band have hardly stopped for air after finishing a tour supporting The Bravery and then launching their own headlining tour of the UK and New York. Their next single, ‘White Girls’ will be accompanied by another UK tour at the end of the summer and their current single, ‘Head Games’, is generating a lot of attention for this half British, half American band. The Five O' Clock Heroes also have their debut album on its way.

The New York rock scene is an obvious influence on the band but their sound also has roots in New Wave with influences including Elvis Costello and The Police. They are generating a reputation as a great live band which is a fantastic achievement, especially as they had to find a drummer 24 hours before they left on the Bravery tour.

Next door, in the main gig space, the support band began their sound check as we started the interview. Shouting over the racket I got on with my first question.

PB: This is your first headlining tour. How is it going so far?

AE: How is it going so far … what I’ll do is you ask the question and I’ll repeat it.

NK: You’ll be the translator because we can’t understand your Geordie accent.

AE: Yeah (Laughs then whispers). Holy shit, man ! You’re knocking Newcastle.

NK: (Laughs) It’s been good. Some cities are better than others

AE: But we’ve had some good shows.

PF: Nottingham has really been the strongest so far.

AE: Yeah, we sold that one out.

NK: Nottingham was really the strong town.

AE: And Leeds was pretty good.

NK: Leeds was pretty strong, but Manchester was a tough one.

AE: We hadn’t played Manchester before, so it was kind of tough for us.

PF: Plus it was the same night as The Bravery’s sold out show, so a lot of people that might have come were there instead.

PB: Where about in Manchester did you play?

AE: At the Night and Day. IJt was alright. Not bad ! Manchester was one of those places we hadn’t been before, so apart from there and I think Sheffield, it’s been really good. We’ve played some really good shows up until now. We're really looking forward to Glasgow and Newcastle. I’ve got a lot of friends in Newcastle. Newcastle’s good actually.

PF: This is the first solid week of the tour without returning back to London where we are sort of based.

PB: How did you meet The Bravery?

AE: We were on tour with them in March, and that was good. Their bus was bigger than ours though.

PF: Their trailer was bigger than ours.

AE: We got on very well with them. We clicked well with them, and I personally like their music a lot. People knock them but obviously a lot of people must love them too because a lot of people go and see them

PB: Would you call them good friends now?

AE: Well yeah, I’d say so. We grew pretty close, and when we were in London they came to our shows and vice versa. It was the same in New York. We played a couple of shows with them there as well. That was really good. They could have picked any other band but we had such a good tour here in February and March that it was good to go back to that again.

PB: Your new single, 'Head Games', is gaining quite a lot of media attention. How does that feel?

AE: Is it? Says who?

PB: You’ve had quite a few reviews.

PF: Are they good ?

PB: Yeah they were. You even had one from the Guardian I think

ET: We didn’t know about that.

PB: The video is also on the single. How was that made?

AE: One of our good friends came over on tour with us for three weeks and we just went everywhere and had a great time

PF: You can see from the video that he was just turning his camera on at random moments and filming us, and at first I thought how are we going to get a video out of that but I think he’s done an amazing job. It really has character.

AE: What do you think about the single?

PB: I like it. It’s good. When will the album be released?

AE: Hopefully October. We’re just re-mixing stuff again and putting a couple of new songs on there. We wanted to extend it a little bit. We’ve got one more single to come out here which is 'White Girls.' That’s going to be released on both sides of the Atlantic in the US and the UK.

PB: How did the recording for the album go?

AE: It was pretty easy to record.

ET: It was just a bit rushed. It would have been good to have more time

AE: We were lucky in that we had a nice studio, not much time but we also had a great producer

PB: That was the DFA. The guy that worked with The Rapture….

AE: Right yeah, and he was great to work with.

PB: Is it important to you to get a good producer that you can interact with?

AE: I think so. Yeah absolutely. The mixing process was a whole new thing to me and it’s important to have a different set of ears, because when you're recording it is one thing. You're listening to it all the time. You're playing it all the time, so its good to have another set of ears to come in and mix it and maybe add a different personality to it, because we were playing those songs a lot.

PB: What are your influences within your music?

AE: Well mine are Elvis Costello, The Police, that’s the kind of thing I listen to while I’m writing songs. And 10CC I think that definitely comes across in some of the songs.

NK: And a bit of Lionel Richie.

AE: (Laughs) That’s a little inside joke.

NK: I’m into a lot of stuff.

AE: He’s into Gothic music.

NK: (Laughs) I’m into a lot of the early British punk rock, like The Clash and The Kinks, and also some harder stuff that we don’t sound like at all, like Minor Threat. I really like The Alkaline Trio.

PF: What am I into…. loads of different things, I’m into a lot of heavy stuff. I also like the Police, a broad spectrum really.

AE: Sarah, look at the camera, (Pointing a camcorder )

ET: Where did you get that? I think we are going to break it.

AE: Shit (Pressing a wrong button) !

NK: Back to the interview !

PB: Was there a certain band or a certain song that made you think that’s what I want to do?

PF: Yeah the album that got me into music was Slayer’s ‘Seasons in the Abyss.’

(Everyone laughs).

PB: How did you all meet and form the band?

AE: Do you want the long version?

PB: Yeah

AE: Ok, well the three of us met in New York, me, Nader and Elliot, and we had a big long tour set up in February and March. But the original drummer couldn’t do it so we had to find a drummer within 24 hours. It took about twelve hours to find a drummer

PF: I had finished work on a Tuesday when I got a call from the manager Pat, and I was told they needed a drummer. That night I received the album then went the next day to rehearse and that evening we went to Hull to start the tour. So I had very little time and it was very stressful.

PB: So how did the first show go?

PF: It was quite daunting for me because we were playing with The Paddingtons and they had all of their home crowd in but we got through it. I heard two songs on my ipod in the back of the van and had to learn to play them then.

AE: That was a good tour, man.

PF: It was kind of weird meeting the guys for the first time and then waking up in the morning sharing a bed with one of them. It was you Elliot I believe, and a blow up lilo.

AE: Oh yeah….

PF: We’re not rich so we just share a hotel room and sleep on the floor.

ET: I didn’t share a blow up bed with you.

PF: Yes, you did.

ET: No way (Everyone laughs). It would deflate in like half an hour.

AE: We’ve all shared a bed at some point. Don’t worry about it !

PF: I know for a fact that I woke up, in Hull, hung over, lying next to you!

PB: What’s next after the UK tour?

AE: We are heading back to New York and probably doing a couple more shows and then we will probably come back here in September, and then maybe do another tour here.

PB: Where do you want to be in five years time?

PF: Wealthy (Laughs).

AE: Fat and bald, I don’t know, who knows, just playing music to more and more people.

ET: We only look a few months in advance really.

AE: I think when you first start a band you have all these great expectations and then when you actually get into the thick of it you relise you just have to take it step by step, making small goals first. We just try to fill rooms here, like at places like the Brickyard, then if we can we’ll go to bigger rooms and fill them and I think everything will just happen quite naturally. We are just really working our arses off, but it’s good fun and I think we get better and better every time.

PB: So is it living up to the dream?

AE: Well we’ve definitely got better and I think we have a bit of a reputation as a live act. That’s what our real talent is, but we haven’t really got much of a choice at the moment because we are basically playing all the time.

ET: We can’t control what people think of us. All we can control is how well we play really and how well we play the instruments, so we are just putting on the best show we can and seeing how things go.

PB: Thank you.











Related Links:



Commenting On: Interview - Five 'O'Clock Heroes








ie London, England

tick box before submitting comment
 


First Previous Next Last