Interview: Talkboy

Talkboy

Words and Photos by Gary Lambert

Talkboy 1Hi!  Would you please sign my crutch?”.  Even if the interview with Talkboy had been cancelled at the last minute, this moment as the band sat having a pre-gig drink in Jimmy’s Liverpool would have been forever etched into my mind.  It turns out that a crutch is easier to write on than I expected too.  Luckily this was only the start of my time with the Yorkshire-based six piece as we finished our drinks and went for a wander around Liverpool’s Chinatown on a briskly cold autumn evening.

The interview got off to the most relieving way possible as I set up introducing myself to the band and explaining what we would do.  “We’re not a controversial band”.  Now controversy might mean loads of hits to Popped Music, but I really couldn’t be bothered with the amount of notifications I’d be getting as a result so I was instantly in a good mood.  But what mood were the band in?  “Well it’s really good at the moment.  We’ve had a busy few months with touring and what have you.  We’re now doing a few dates with The Howl and The Hum, and we’ve done some with Declan Welsh and the Decadent West.  It’s been great.  We’ve been able to get around the country playing gigs in new cities, so we’ve got out of Leeds for a bit.  But we did get to do a gig in Leeds to so we weren’t out for that long.  Tonight is our first time gigging in Liverpool”

Talkboy 3“It’s all being going great though.  Especially the Leeds show which was at The Brudenell (Social Club).  It’s one of our favourite venues in Leeds and it was sold out all credit to The Howl and The Hum.  It was just a ridiculous experience that we never expected to happen to us.  Playing at The Brudenell to a sold out show was just fantastic.  But all the gigs we’ve done have had a really good turnout, and we’ve got to meet some great new people as a result.  They’ve been alright you know”.

Focus had to go on the Over and Under EP which Talkboy released at the start of November.  The EP is a collection of the singles so far released by the band, the last four of which have been covered on Popped Music so it’s fair to say that as a collective we are fans of the band already.  “It’s weird to have it out now.  We’ve lived with these songs for quite some time now so to have it out there for everybody on Spotify and the likes is good, really good.  Because we’ve released everything as singles since Mother in July 2018 to Hollow Spheres more recently, it isn’t like an EP of fresh new tracks.  So to be fair to it, the reaction has been to each single rather than the EP.  But that’s been good all along.”

Whilst Hollow Spheres, the last of the songs to come along, is new to the rest of us, for Talkboy it has been bouncing around for three years now.  “It’s been a bit of a mix-and-match process for us along, so even though we had that song a while ago it has moved us along into different areas as a band.  But that’s taken us around full circle as a band to where we are back with one of the songs we started with.  It’s weird that it has come out last, but it’s a personal favourite for a couple of us so it is nice that it has seen the light of day in this way.”

Although members of the Popped Music team have been fans of Talkboy for a while, I had not come across them before as I spend most of my time with live music rather than dabbling into Spotify.  So listening to Over and Under, I thought six tracks, six band members, and none of the songs sound similar, they must have written one each.  “That would have made a lot more sense than the reality.  Because there are so many of us in the band sharing responsibility and bringing our different tastes into the mix it means that we push ourselves and take the music into new directions.  We can still hear that it is us throughout the EP though, but it’s great that it sounds so different”.Talkboy 2

Non-scandalous confession time, I assumed that Spotify had jumped to a non-Talkboy track when I was listening to Over and Under.  Wasting Time and Someone Else for You sound so far apart that to my ears it was impossible to be the same act performing.  “They are pretty different.  You go from carnival pop sort of song to an English rom-com of a single.  Most of them were recorded at a similar period so it is testament to our collective songwriting”.  Carnival Pop and English Rom-Com are now my new favourite genres.

Listening back on the interview, I got a great sense of the camaraderie within Talkboy as they shared responsibility for answering questions, whilst also taking the piss out of each other on a near constant basis.  It was actually quite difficult to focus on what was the interview and what was just a group of mates loving life and their friendship together.  At this point, as the band were brushing with death trying to cross a busy city centre road whilst recording a collective monologue into my iPhone, that the interview was basically a low budget version of Vogue’s 101 Questions videos.  “We are just like Phoebe Waller-Bridges” was never something I had expected to hear.  But then again I didn’t expect someone to ask Talkboy for an autographed crutch.  From start to finish it was full of surprises and smiles.  Just like the Over and Under EP really.

Listen to the Over and Under EP here:

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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