Headline Act: WEAK13

We have featured WEAK13 loads of time over the years, from videos to release news to a Classic Cover to a Band of the Day! But we’ve never actually talked to them! With the release of their latest single “On The BBC”, we grabbed some words from frontman and guitarist Nick J Townsend…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

The Black Country in the United Kingdom. We re-launched WEAK13 here in 2010 and it’s the best decision we ever made. It’s a superb area for music; the people there really respect musicians and ever since we landed here it’s always been fun.

How did you meet?

In 2009 I recruited the best drummer and bassist on the live circuit; we all met in 2009 at an audition at Base Studios in Stourbridge to perform in WEAK13; the following year we began playing live shows. Neel, Wesley and myself are hot as shit; it’s the dream team.

How long have you been playing as a band?

WEAK13 as the lineup is known today has been active since 2010 but originally the band was founded in 1999 in Kidderminster by myself and I worked with the awesome musician Jim Taylor.

The band relaunched in the twenty teens as a three-piece consisting of myself (founding member Nick J Townsend and singer & guitarist) with Wesley Smith (Bassist) and Neel Parmar (drums).

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

That’s classified information for now; certainly not for a questionnaire; that mystery will happily be answered in a more formal interview. However, we will address that it’s one of the best band names and the logo is worn by lots of fans who proudly wear our glorious merchandise.

What are your influences?

I could have the most difficult day ever and cite that as an influence. If I write about something then it’s often from personal experience or a refection of the world or events around me and my opinion on them. When I see something on the news which is an obvious lie then I’ll counteract that and write about reality.

Anything can be an influence. You know I could just reel off a hundred musicians that I’ve heard over the years but we don’t try and sound like anyone; WEAK13 just makes original rock music.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

No one sounds like WEAK13 but as soon as you hear a tune you know it’s us. We’re a loud metal punk rock band with catchy choruses, the greatest guitar riffs and we do whatever we want musically whilst often being heavily satirical with no fear of any backlash.

No genre is out of bounds to us and it’s always sprinkled with metal, punk and rock. If you listen to the music you’d better understand.

What makes us unique? Well, ten years ago you made us ‘Band of the Day’ and I think all the other independent bands you featured around that time are no longer active so that’s pretty unique.

WEAK13 is consistently releasing top songs and we’re thankful that a lot of countries are aware of us. We have a good reputation and we keep pushing upwards.

If you like what we do, consider joining us on Patreon for as little as £1 per month!

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Oh god, yes. Very particular ones. For example; one of last year’s singles “I’m more metal than you” (released on Sliptrick Records) embodied the theme of metal. Not only did we successfully convince people we were metal but also more metal than anyone using that same description of themselves.

This was further demonstrated visually by covering ourselves in metal paint and adorning chain metal provided by the alternative jewellery company Scarlet in Chains’ in the official music video to “I’m more metal than you”.

We concluded that WEAK13 were more metal than metal itself despite using words not associated with metal in the lyrics such as ‘Christmas’, ‘Pyjamas’ and ‘Farmers’.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We’re a tight and engaging live band and have lost count of how many shows we have played. All WEAK13 live shows are special events to us, as a three-piece we take full advantage of our talents and do as much between us as possible. I feel for bands with more than one guitarist as they often have zero dynamics and ignore the bass player. Also there’s nothing worse than one guitarist going out of tune and automatically sabotaging the sound of the other player.

We read the room when we play; do our best but we know when to stop. I’ve seen bands open magnificently only for them to bore the audience by playing for far too long. WEAK13 play an exciting action packed show and leave folks entertained.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

What is considered wild to some is tame to others; people think it’s insane that we have performed a full set live wrapped in newspaper but that’s was just what we were wearing at the time.

We’ve had a real dominatrix performing a routine on stage with us while we play and also tied an actor to the front of the drum kit during a gig with the words ‘Sex pest’ mounted on him; mainly because we thought it was funny.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

A few musicians get hard-ons describing the equipment that they use; we’re not one of them. I remember this guy at college who used to boast to me that he owned 20 guitars; he’s never written a song to this day.

No matter how heavy or light a WEAK13 song is it’s always first written on an acoustic guitar; anything can sound good when you add FX to it but when you write on an acoustic instrument there’s nowhere to hide. If it sounds big on the acoustic then it’s guaranteed to be big on electric. I don’t swear by any specific make or brand and I don’t need to engage in a dick measuring contest; especially as everyone in WEAK13 has a massive dong.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Right this second I’m building the set for a music video for one of the tunes off our double album out later this year. As far as plugging I recommend you follow the band on TikTok, YouTube, Spotify and any platform you use; there’s always new developments happening and it’s best to keep updated by following us.

Tell us about the new single, “On The BBC”. You cite some interesting influences, such as Kenny Everett, Morecambe and Wise and Les Dawson!

The song is in many ways a tribute to early 80’s Saturday night entertainment, you’d have television shows like The Kenny Everett Show and Morecambe & Wise which, at some point in the show, would break the fourth wall and oust the BBC. It was always tongue in cheek and we’ve kind of done that musically for a modern audience.

We even have a tap dancing solo on the song performed by musician Laura Stanyer (from the band Naked Sunday) and you don’t see it coming but it works and that’s because we know our songwriting.

Some missed the point of the tune after it got played on BBC 6 and assumed we got what we wanted. It’s a piece of art, it’s satire; I couldn’t care less if the BBC played it five times a day (which they wouldn’t do anyway). The song is here forever and it’s just here for the little guy. I hear bands and musicians complaining about not being played on BBC radio all the time; well now they have a song.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

In 2024 the band will release more music than in any previous year but before that happens we take some time out producing all the visuals, giving fans lots to talk about. There’s no point us just firing out a huge number of songs unless you put the work into making sure each tune has plenty of artwork, music videos and a story.

Our fans expect mighty things and that’s what we give them. They have spread the name of the band because we give them something worth talking about. When we did a very successful cover of a classic Otis Redding song we gave the music video and artwork a science fiction theme. We could have just released the tune on its own but when you give a song extra layers with thought put into it then fans appreciate it more.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

I only play with bands I like. I’ll say Man Made Hell can open and The Humdrum Express can headline. Both from my hometown so there you go. Check them both out.

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If you want to check out more new music, then fire up our Headline Act playlists on Spotify and YouTube!

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January 24, 2024 4:06 PM

Wow! A doobl! Didn’t think bands did them.