If I had one complaint about Wildfire this year – and it would be the only one! – it was placing the media area right by the main stage. Thus, if your interview clashed with anyone playing then your recording was pretty much not going to be much use for streaming…
Hence the delay getting this little chat online that we had with Worcester-based alt-rockers and one of the most entertaining bands of the weekend, Ronin. The conversation involved the whole band and I can tell you they’re as lively and fun to talk to as they are to watch!
So where exactly is it you guys are from?
Worcester sauce country! South of Birmingham and north of London… and better than both!
So technically “the north” because you’re on the right side of Watford.
Well, they’re called the “Midlands” for a reason. We’re in the middle!
That’s what counts – you’re not that foreign! Is this your first time playing in Scotland?
No, we’ve been here… three times before. They’ve all been great shows. All just “gigs”. This is our first festival.
Give that you were coming all this way, north of the border, playing pretty early in the day… what were you expecting?
It was a bit frightening, because Friday daytime you expect everyone to still be at school or work, but it was great. Mind, every time we come up here it’s great because everyone we meet up here is awesome! It was much busier than we expected. The tent was packed – great atmosphere.
Couple of bands on before you to warm the crowd up…
Well, thanks to them obviously! Nah, it’s good when a room feels like that. It makes everything easy.
So how would you describe your sound to someone who’d not heard you before?
Recently we’ve been described as classic rock. I never thought we were classic rock. We’ve heard “art rock” which sounds a bit poncey. But someone else said that, not us! So art rock it is! No – ponce rock! We’re quite difficult to pigeonhole, and I suppose a lot of bands say that. We don’t stick to a single thing when we’re writing stuff. We’re always open to new ideas. I think it’s because we’ve all got different tastes. We dip our toes in “heavy” occasionally, but one foot is always in rock. The other’s just splashing in other puddles – ballad-y stuff or driven stuff or heavy… it’s why we’re all so good at hopscotch.
How long have you been together as a band?
We three [Kit, Loz and Jake – Mosh] have been together for four years. Carl is the new addition. Baby-faced Carl! Baby in face and in business… overall about four and a half years.
How did you meet? You’re all so young – kindergarten, perhaps?
No! Mainly through the Worcester music scene, common interests and stuff like that. We’ve known each other for around seven or eight years now and we’ve always played music together. So pretty much straight out of school. We manage to drag something good out of each other so it makes sense to stick together. Loz used to work in a guitar shop full of guitars Kit couldn’t afford… while poor Loz worked in a guitar shop full of guitars he couldn’t afford. So we had that in common.
We found Carl in a skip. We were digging around for some kit and came out with a Zoom pedal. Which it would probably have been best leaving there to be honest.
I gather you pretty much make your mind up how to start your live show on the day?
Yes. Depends how it feels. You get there and there’s a kind of feeling, a vibe – how the people are and so on. We’ve started off with a snare drum in the crowd, just running round hitting the snare but it’s a bit difficult to get on stage with that. You do tend to start in the crowd but it’s nice to have option.
You couldn’t survive with a cabled guitar, could you?
God, no [Kit’s expression was pure horror at the thought of being tethered – Mosh]. I get wrapped round enough in one cable, let alone two! Two’s too many cables!
You had a short set today, around thirty-five minutes. Do you play a full length headliner?
We’ll keep on playing until you tell us to shut up, basically.
What’s the maddest thing you’ve done on stage?
Quote often during the last song, Kit will make a “tripod” for Loz to stand on and play guitar. We could say he gets on all fours and Loz mounts him, but… Kit used to do a lot of back bends until someone told him his arse was hanging out. So now it’s just front bends. We’ve had a lot of speakers fall over. Our old bassist got smacked on the head with one at a gig. We were bouncing all over the place and it was quite a flexible stage, so it made one of the speakers move and fall on him. That’s why we needed a new bassist. We killed the last one. I’m not saying we pushed the speaker, but…
Have you toured with anyone we may have heard of?
Yeah, we toured Europe with Magnum last year which was excellent. And we toured with Bam Margera and his band FuckFace Unstoppable. He was asleep or drunk all day and didn’t sound check. A complete rock star! Mind, this was around the time that Ryan Dunn died. He’d hang around and then as us for a cigarette, until we told him we don’t smoke – and then he stormed off saying “What are you good for?!”. Sorry, Bam – I’ll work my way up to forty a day for you for next time! It was a great show – everyone just went mad.
We supported Graham Bonnet [ex-Rainbow – Mosh], The Blockheads – that was a great one as well – Then Jerico… quite a few older acts, but we appreciate the old-school rock sensibilities. Ian Dury and the Blockheads were one of the first cassette tapes Kit ever got, so opening for them was a big moment for him.
If you met a group of kids the same age you were when you started out, what advice would you give them?
Gig like crazy. Stick to who you are and do what you want to do. Wait for the band to do all the hard work, wait for the bassist to leave and then join them. That worked for Carl!