2012 is looking good for the boys from Manchester after The Janice Graham Band played a short UK tour warming up for their support slot with The Inspiral Carpets this month. Character is not in short supply with the band as singer Joe and drummer Tom let Live4ever contributor Carl Stanley know how things are with some straight Mancunian talking…
Great to see you lads playing the smaller towns, anymore to come?
Tom: Yeah, well it’s part of a mini tour I suppose, we’re just playing around the country. It’s not the first time we’ve been to Scunthorpe, we’ve been here about four times and I’d say we’ll probably come back again.
You’ve put the work in and Manchester and the city is loving the Janice Graham band. Do you find the word is spreading in the smaller towns you play in?
Tom: I don’t pay that much attention to it personally to be honest, but I hear good things and that people are enjoying the album which is just great because we worked hard on it, and people keep turning up and we really appreciate that as well, so we don’t take it for granted.
Joe: Yeah definitely. I think people anywhere can find what we do refreshing so it spreads; people tell their mates and it spreads and that’s the good thing about it because people are bored. They’re bored and getting rubbish pumped down their heads morning noon and night.
Going to Europe and playing a few gigs just before Christmas, how did they go?
Tom: It went really well actually, we got a great turn out. It’s called the Trans Music Festival in France and it’s really well organised. There’s been a few bands who have played it and gone on to do something; bands like The Ting Tings, and they look after you in France as well – they feed you and everything, they treat you right.
Joe: You don’t just get a crate of Carlsberg, put it that way…
When you look back on some of the past Manchester bands they sort of went big in the city but never took it national the same way – like The Chameleons for example – though other bands like The Roses used the city’s support to the max. Is it something you’re aware of?
Joe: Yeah definitely, and we’ve always stayed clear of clinging on to the city you know? There’s been lots of good things to come out of Manchester, Manchester is one of the most innovative cities in the country, but to cling on to it is what the Scousers do. Let’s have it right, we don’t want to get stuck on that path, we do what we do not because we’re from Manchester but because we’re four lads who want to play music. We’re not Mancunians, we’re not English, we’re not nothing, we’re the Janice Graham band and that’s it.
How about interviews themselves, do you find you get asked the same questions a lot- am I asking the same questions…?
Joe: Er…yeah, pretty much. But you’ve got to do them you know what I mean? And I don’t mind doing them though sometimes you do regret saying things, but you’ve got to say things and you’ve got to talk to the people. Everyone who likes a band likes to hear what they’ve got to say, but I do feel a bit conscious about doing it sometimes. But like I said you’ve got to do it.
The Wythenshawe scene – which is you and others bands like Frazer King and Dirty North – do you like that tag?
Joe: Well that’s a bit wired really because only Tom grew up in Wythenshawe. I wish there was a scene in Manchester but I don’t feel like there is a strong scene going on to be honest. I mean those bands are great, I feel Dirty North and Frazer King and us are probably the best bands in Manchester right now. No matter what city you’re in or what people you’re talking to, people will always make out there’s a scene going on. But music’s getting that diluted these days it’s hard to make anything stick.
How about the London crowd, do the band get good reactions down south?
Joe: Yeah, but they can be a bit funny and picky can’t they? But we’ve done really well which I’m happy with. We did surprisingly well actually because I think they like the northern thing because it’s not the standard Manchester band/guitar music they got onto so yeah, I’m liking that. I mean, northern bands are far superior to the bands in London; bands in London look at their fucking shoes and that but the London crowd are enjoying it, and I’m enjoying playing to the London crowd as well.
Best thing that could happen this year?
Joe: Well knowing our luck we’ll end up getting loads of fucking gigs and loads of exposure and then the world will end, so I’m hoping the world doesn’t end and we do all right.