The Silver Factory were formed in 2008 by brothers Fran and Peter Feely. Both were in the psychedelic band, the Psychotic Reaction, which released a successful EP in 2000, ‘Street Trash’, on Detour Records.

The Silver Factory released their debut EP, ‘The Sun Shines Over You’, on lush green vinyl on the Spanish label Elefant Records in September last year, but decided to launch the single at what was also their debut gig at The Firebug in their home town of Leicester in January.

Peter was the original vocalist in the band, and, although he appears on ‘The Sun Shines Over You’, he left the Silver Factory when ex-Junipers member Marc Johnston joined the band and took over on vocal duties at the start of 2011.

The other members of the band include Paul Hobbs on drums, and Luke Headland, who was formerly in the Carnabys, on bass. New boy Matt Vinall replaces Peter Feely on lead guitar, while the group’s songwriter Fran Feely plays rhythm guitar.

Pennyblackmusic spoke to the Silver Factory at their debut gig.

PB: Why did you call the band the Silver Factory?

FF: It is a nod to the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, and the Pop Art movement. Andy Warhol's studio was known as The Factory, and also as The Silver Factory, because the people that used it covered it in silver foil. The name appealed to me as both a fan of Pop Art and the Velvet Underground.

PB: Have you all been in bands before?

FF: Yeah, we were all in separate groups.

MV: I did solo stuff for a while and I was in and out of bands for years. Then I met up with these lads and we all gelled, didn't we?

PB: Are you all local to Leicester then?

MV: No, I am from Portsmouth originally, but I now live in Burton-upon-Trent. Luke and Paul are from Nottingham. I first got in touch with these guys over the net.

FF: Marc was in a really well-known band called the Junipers, and I was in a band called the Psychotic Reaction, so we both come from signed bands.

PB: How did the deal with Elefant come about ?

FF: I sent off demos to a load of different labels that I thought would be sensitive to what we are doing and we actually got a bit of interest.

Luckily for us Jon Mills, who edits ‘Shindig!' magazine and who is a fan of the band and a friend - We have known him for years - sent a demo off to Elefant, saying, “You have to listen to this band,” and they got in contact.

FF: I love Camera Obscura, who released their first three records on Elefant Records. When we heard a lot of the other bands who are on there as well, they seemed to come from a similar place to us. We signed to them in the summer.

PB: And they are a vinyl friendly label too.

FF: It's brilliant as we all love vinyl.

MJ: The best thing about Elefant is that they are not in it for the money. They have a passion for the music. You can tell when you meet Luis Calvo who runs it. Music is his passion, and he is a nice guy too.

FF: Elefant is a lot like Sarah Records. I loved the way they worked. With them, it was always about putting out good music, not about making money, and that is where Luis comes from.

PB: Leicester is a very young city and very into its music. The youth like their hardcore here, so where do you guys who are all older fit in?

MJ: That's the good thing. I think we are doing something that I haven't heard for a while and which I dont think anybody else locally is doing. It's sunshine pop, isn't it? What's not to like about it?

PB: The biggest band from here is... .

FF: Showwaddywaddy. That's what you are going to say... .

PB: (Laughs)Kasabian. What do you guys think of them?

MJ: I am good friends with them. In previous bands, I have done gigs with them and supported them.

MV: I like them.

FF: Tom Meighan's actually my second cousin, but I don't really know him. I'm not a big fan, but I loved the third album, ‘West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum’.

LH: It reminds me of Pink Floyd with Syd. ‘Goodbye Kiss’ also had a C-86 vibe.

PB: What are the main influences of the band? I have heard you described as “the Byrds playing the Stone Roses B-sides?”

FF: (Laughs) It would be better if it was the Stone Roses’ A-Sides. They did good B-sides too though. I can understand the nod though.

MJ: It is the 60’s every time with me. I prefer the Byrds.

FF: I am influenced by both bands really.

MV: I saw them in 1989 and even went to Spike Island to see them. I have just got tickets for their Manchester shows as well.

PB: How would you describe your sound yourselves?

FF: I just think we are a pop group. I just want to write pop songs. I don't think we have a template in what we want to sound like anymore. As people, we just love all sorts of pop music.

MV: It is just stuff that lets the sun shine in.

FF: I think on the surface we are very sunny, but there is a lot of bite to the lyrics. The subjects of the songs are not always full of sunshine, but it is disguised in a pop sound. To get the message over, we use a happy sound.

PB: This is your debut gig, isn’t it?

FF: Yes, this is just to launch the single, and get our name out there a little bit. We have had shows offered to us across the country, so things are starting to pick up there. At the moment, we don't know who is buying the record, as it has been just us guys in the rehearsal studio.

We decided as a band we really need to start playing gigs. There is only so much an indie label can do for you. We feel we have got to work hard and begin really pushing ourselves.

PB: What are your future plans?

FF: Just to make really good records.

PH: We have got some more studio dates booked in.

MJ: We have got a new video done as well that will appear on Elefant’s TV channel.

FF: There are four tracks on ‘The Sun Shines Over You’, and there will be five tracks on the next EP. That will lead on to an album.

PB: Do you produce yourselves?

FF: No, we have got a guy up in Wigan who loves what we do and does that. We have got our own video maker as well, and, because Elefant have seen the videos, they are putting him forward to do more work for them. We have got our own family around us really.

PB: Is the album written yet?

FF: Pretty much! The songs are all there. We just have to get the studio dates. We will record it though definitely this year. We have got all the material.

PB: Will the album be on vinyl?

MV: I'm sure that there will be a vinyl, CD and also a download for those who must.

PB: How do you feel about downloads?

MJ: As long as you pay for it, they are great. I have never not paid for an album.

FF: I love my iPod, but you can get rid of a track on them very quickly. If you bought something, you are more inclined to listen to it, flip it over and listen to it a few more times. We are all old school really.

PB: Thank you.

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