Reptile Interview (07/10/2016)

So this is a first for the site since re-launch! Although you may of seen prior interviews posted, they are from our parent site Music Season and are just re-uploads. This time round we have a Q&A straight out of the oven!

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So meet the talented lot over at Reptile, the London based group have a killer sound and an immensely stylistic approach to modern rock music. They’ve very kindly answered some questions we had sent and now here it is, our interview segment with Reptile!

Q. How would you describe your music/style for those in our audience who are just stumbling across you guys?

A. Luke Cloherty, lead singer/rhythm guitarist: “This is always a difficult question for many reasons. If I’m ever asked this in a pub or wherever, I tend to glibly dodge it by saying ‘take a listen’ or ‘well, you’ll have to come and see us’, which obviously won’t work here. I mean, we’re a rock band first and foremost.

“We apply a musicality to what we do, but try to wrap that into a simplicity in the writing. Melody is really important to Bill and me (we’re the main songwriters in the band), but then Jordan and Shez (Graham, drummer) both possess high technical ability and inventiveness on their own instruments, which always brings something to each tune. The lyrics have to have something in them as well. Some substance and a point, as well as a poetic sensibility.”

Bill Gough, lead guitarist/vocals: “Rock – a blend of indie, metal, pop – but overall, rock.”

LC: “There you go – far curter than me! We’re a rock band, kids!”

Q. You’ve got three sweet gigs lined up coming soon, when looking back, what have been your favourite moments on the gigging scene?

A. Jordan Tozer, bassist: “Our most recent gig, the Good Ship in Kilburn. By far the most fun I’ve had playing a live show. Great energy from the crowd, playing a few classics and chucking in a newbie was great!”

BG: “The first time we played the Camden Barfly was awesome, we shocked ourselves with the way we played and the attendance was probably the biggest to date. But both times at the Good Ship were equally as cool.”

LC: “The Good Ship is a great little venue and we seem to play really well there – there’s always a decent crowd there. We played the Amersham Arms in New Cross earlier in the year and I really enjoyed that. The first gig we ever did was at the old 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street in Soho and that was great as it was the culmination of about 3 or 4 months of writing and rehearsing coming together. It’s all been great in its own way, but I’m really looking forward to getting out of London and playing some shows elsewhere in the next couple of months.”

Q. Has your group ever hit any hardships or difficult times over the last two years?

A. JT: “Does Shez count as one?”

LC: “Haha! How long have you got for this question?”

BG: “To answer the question… Yes!! In 2015, we spent a lot of time playing stupid midweek gigs to nobody, wasting our time with the way we tried to record and the people we associated with.”

LC: Finance is always one – we pay for the band with nothing but our own cash. Not as much as David Brent but probably not far off haha. In terms of what Bill’s saying, I think last year we were as much to blame as anyone. We got our acts together towards the end of last year and stopped using gigs as an excuse to get fucked off our heads, which helps. It’s about saying to yourselves: ‘Do you want to do this and make it your lives?’ Thankfully the answer was yes.”

Q. So tell us more about the single, how did you find the production process for the track?

A. BG: “It was done on a budget. Recording was done at a school with a studio built in and the editing was done at home. The mixing and mastering we paid for and it wasn’t too badly priced at all.”

LC: “Yeah, we sent it off to a guy we know called Glenn Osborn, who’s a really good bloke and really knows what he’s doing. I wish I’d re-recorded the vocal and we’d had more time for overdubs, but overall I’m happy with it. In the end you’ve just got to get stuff out there or you end up in a situation like Metallica taking eight years between records. Still, headlining Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds among various stadia in that period… maybe we should take longer.”

Q. Could you explain the lyrical content of the new tune?

A. BG: “Not to ruin it, but… two twins, one slightly more mentally ill than the other.”

LC: “Haha! It’s about the Kray twins. I’ve always had this strange fascination with them and have read loads of books and watched tons of documentaries on them. I’ve always wondered if they were just a product of society’s own gulfs. I wrote the lyric trying to assess that. The verses are mainly reportage, whereas the choruses oppose each other as arguments – the first decries how long they spent inside, while the second sits on the other side of that fence. That’s always a big argument in Krayology – which is a term I just made up.”

Q. How would you describe the London music scene?

A. LC: “Fucked. A sea of shark-like twats ripping bands off. Great otherwise.”

BG: “Falling to pieces. In-house promoted gigs are always the best and we try our best to stick with people we know, who actually promote gigs rather than demanding we bring 50 people to there 0.”

LC: “There’re some good bands out there and there’s an appetite for them in London, but for a litany of reasons the two aren’t reaching each other. To be honest, London as a whole is fucked. It’s a city that doesn’t know what it wants. There’s all this nonsense that crops up about it being a cultural centre, but in the meantime every music venue, gallery, nightclub and every other beacon is disappearing to be replaced by fucking hotels, chain restaurants, coffee shops and trains that get you from Berkshire to Essex quicker. I’ll stop now before this turns into a full-blown rant.

Q. What was the last song you listened to and would you recommend it?

A. LC: “Well, the last song I listened to was High Tide or Low Tide by Bob Marley as I just put it on. Would I recommend it? Fuck yeah! Get it on now, it’s a fucking beautiful tune.”

BG: “I just listened to Slipknot’s third album, Subliminal Verses. I’d recommend the whole thing.”

LC: “The new Reptile single, Echoes of Twins ain’t bad I hear. The whole back catalogue is supposed to be quite something.”

So there we have it! The folks at Reptile are a great bunch with a really sweet sound, so be sure to check out their music and send some love! Also you can catch them on a double feature on our upcoming radio broadcast so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that!

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Reptile links:

Instagram: @reptiletheband
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