Gemma Rogers is a musician I’ve had the pleasure of hearing on numerous occasions with her previous band Gemma and The Milmen. A unique wordsmith has joined forces with Alfie Jackson, to become, Two, I almost broke into a Spice Girls song there.
Two are throwing a single release party on the 14th of December at the Empire Bar in Hackney East London, it’s free entry with an abundance of fun and frolics. Follow this link.
Alfie is from Leeds and I’m from west London.
Gemma, you were lead vocalist of Gemma and the Milmen. How did you meet that band and where did the name come from?
I was. I met all 20 of the players over the years, gigging, partying and festivaling. The 3 original Mil Men were all residents of a squat I lived in on Milman road – Queens park.
You and Alfie Jackson are about to release your debut single under the new guise of, Two. How did this come about?
Yes, we are, it’s called “Angels” and is a song off our debut album due for release early next year. Alfie and I met a couple years ago when we were both on the same line up for a gig, ended up going for cheesy chips and knew at some point we’d work together. When you know, you know!
Debut single “Angels” is impressive. What is the story behind the track?
Thank you. It’s about escaping loneliness, breaking a curse, and not ever looking back into the darkness again.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We’re not trying to be unique. There are no influences. It’s not something we thought too much about or tried super hard to make. It just happened naturally. Unique features of us are perhaps that we sing in unison. We write the songs together. There’s a love-hate thing going on which comes through in some lyrics but particularly live.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Loss, sadness, anger, despair, hope, life, the world, the lack of balance, temptations… Our lyrics are generally about turning the pages through life’s bad chapters. It’s about honesty. We care about the world. We acknowledge the dark regrets and hold hands up to guilty secrets. We don’t shy away or beat around the bush.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Nancy and Bill Sykes from Oliver Twist. We also took inspiration from the book A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Alfie – climbed the stage rigging at a gig in Ibiza whilst intoxicated and swung there back and forth – pretty fucking stupid but it felt right at the time.
Gemma, you’ve been known to do a bit of acting. Have you anything lined up for our readers to come and see you in?
Gemma – Not anytime soon Moshville Times, but I’m always open to putting that cap on. Actually, when I’m on stage as part of ‘Two,’ I see it as brushing up my skills.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I play an electric ukulele Alfie plays acoustic and when we are doing bigger gigs, we bring in Violin, Cello, drums & piano.
Who came up with the idea for the cover artwork for Two?
We both did. We both dress in mostly dark colours anyway and like everything with Two it was the first idea we had and we just went with it. Same with the songs, the look, the sounds… it’s all felt very ‘organic.’
What are your plans for the rest of 2018 and the start of 2019?
Releasing further singles and videos and making an EP. Doing more gigs in London but also further afield. We’ve been offered festival slots in the UK and also in Hungary and France.
You oversee your own festival… what would you call it? Also, you get to choose three bands to perform with, who would they be? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before.
Gemma “My festival is better than yours.” I would choose Matthew & The Palace, ‘Boss Terror’ my brother & two of the original Mil Men’s band. Lloyd Williams who’s one of the most impressive guitarists I know and based in Brighton.
Alfie – I’d have Toby Connor I think. He’s a great artist live and deserves more exposure.
A question from the previous band of the day, Crystal Ignite:
Have you been to Australia? Do you think it’s true they have pet kangaroos in their backyard and what is your opinion on drop bears?
Alfie – been to Australia and I loved it – particularly Melbourne. Cool city.
Gemma – I have. My stepdad is from there. He’s an original Sydney high guy- Bondi Beach is dope. I had a fun 48 hours sleeping under the stars.
Yes, I’d say kangaroos for the Aussies are like cats for us Brits.
Alfie – Drop Bears – I frequently rant online or in the pub about my disbelief of the number of bands with the word “bear” in the title… and low and behold there is another one… for the love of… I’ll leave it there. There are more bands with “bear” than there are bands with all the other animals put together.
And from The Bend, what do you put on your toast?
Gemma – Crunchy Peanut butter every time
Alfie – Butter. Hot toast and butter. it is perfection. Get the right amount, don’t let it melt in too much.