1. Growing Up
My parents weren’t particularly interested in popular culture, which I think is typical of people from what is known as the ‘silent generation’ – born 1925-1942. My older siblings were much more so. My earliest memories are of being three to four years old and sitting next to the family hi-fi listening to the first Van Halen album, David Bowie’s Scary Monsters and Blondie’s Eat To The Beat. The VH influence manifested in my being blind to anything but shredding ability for a long time.
I’ve been immersed in many stylistic epochs – at times multiple styles and non-complementary styles simultaneously. The zenith of this capriciousness was when I was 16 and had myself convinced I was a proper fan of metal, gangsta rap, straight edge punk, shoegaze and ’70s blues rock (to name a few).
My musical heroes are Mark E. Smith, Curtis Mayfield, Todd Rundgren, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Stevens and Lawrence Hayward but there are many more.
3. Your Band
The band has had a revolving lineup. Georgie Ward (bass guitar, vocals) is the only other member who has been on all three album releases. Julian (drummer) was also in Breaking The Law and Mum Smokes with me. He joined The Ancients when Raquel Solier (Fatti Frances, Geoffrey O’Connor) left the band. Hamish O’Neill (Moon Dice) was my main tennis adversary before chucking in the racquet for the guitar upon the completion of Night Bus. Yuko Kono (My Pal Foot Foot, Kes Band, Wirewalker) played keyboards on Night Bus and has since been replaced by Sophie Perillo (Hi God People).
4. The Music You Make
The Ancients have released three albums – The Ancients (Moteer, UK, 2009), The Ancients 2 (Sensory Projects, 2010) and Night Bus (Chapter Music, 2013). We also released a split 7” with Twerps in 2010.
Initial tracking on Night Bus was done with Neil Thomason at Head Gap Studio. Guitar, keyboard and vocal overdubs were done by Jon at Messy Room Studios and then the album was mixed with John Lee (Lost Animal, Pikelet, Offspring – the TV show not the band) at Phaedra Studios.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
Recent inspiring performances I’ve seen include shows by Darren Sylvester, Pikelet, The Ocean Party, Inevitable Orbit, Fatti Francis, Matthew Brown, Bushwalking, Milk Teddy, Hot Palms, Angel Eyes, The Stevens and from the US Chris Cohen (Deerhoof, Haunted Graffiti), who is one of the best songwriters and arrangers I’ve seen.