Hailing from Exeter, The Computers are a rock band whose sound has progressed from a hardcore punk genre to more of a blues and soul vibe, whilst maintaining the catchy riffs that make rock bands stand out. We caught up with the drummer, Aiden Sinclair, on the night of their Southampton show at The Joiners. Settled on a red couch, with a glass of something red in his hand, we discussed their new EP, Want The News, Here’s The Blues, their tour in December, and how the 80’s is making a return and influencing today’s music.
HOLDUPNOW: Do you feel that the track Want The News, Here’s The Blues was positively received?
AIDEN SINCLAIR: Yeah, it’s been great. It’s been positively received so far.
HOLDUPNOW: What led you to calling it Want The News, Here’s The Blues?
AIDEN SINCLAIR: Well, we had the song title first. As with a lot of Computer’s songs actually, Alex comes up with what he considers to be great titles, and then we write the song around the title of the song. It’s not always the case, but there’s a particular few tunes, certainly in the past, where the title came first and then the song came. We just thought that it’s a really clever play on words, it kind of indicates a modern commentary of what it is to be living now, in our shoes, that hopefully people can relate to. Also it’s a kind of reference to the blues music, you know, a big influence to The Computers in the past, and the song itself is quite progressive from what people would necessarily expect from The Computers. So it’s just a nice way to bridge from our roots but into a new sound, you know? It’s kind of contemporary but you could strip it down and it could be a Chicago funk blues tune as well, like depending on who played it. But yeah, we kind of do it in a more progressive way. It’s a clever title, it just sort of sounds good.
HOLDUPNOW: Are you happy with the outcome of the EP?
AIDEN SINCLAIR: Yeah, really happy, and excited for people to hear it. It was interesting how it formed really, it was just a single Want The News, Here’s The Blues, and then we had a few other tunes that just weren’t quite right for the record, so instead of just releasing a single with a B side, we thought let’s just make it like an extended single, you know as bands used to do. And then there’s a cover version on there as well, a Devo song. Again the choice of cover was quite important, in the past we’ve covered bands like Elvis Costello and The Clash, who you would very much expect The Computers to cover. Whereas Devo, although we’re all quite big fans of Devo, no one would necessarily expect us to cover a song by them. But it’s a way of highlighting the other side of our influences, which is a bit of an indication of what the record to follow is going to sound like. There’s that new wave electronica influence, it’s the other side of our love of music. It’s thought out quite well. There’s a song on the EP called Crucifixed On You, a nice little title I thought, and people have been really, really responding to that one well live. We’ve been playing it live now for a couple of months and people are amazed it’s not on the album, it’s a lot of peoples’ favourite song. But it will be on the EP, it’ll still be out there for all to enjoy. We’re very happy with it.
HOLDUPNOW: How does the EP, Want The News, Here’s The Blues, pave the way for the album?
AIDEN SINCLAIR: The EP is, like I said like an indication or a hint of what is to come from the album. So if you like the EP, the sound on it is quite mixed but it does sort of, showcase each different element of what the album will be. There are only four tracks on the EP but each one is quite different but it should lead you on quite nicely to the record. So when you hear the full album it won’t be such a ‘woah, where did this come from?’ It’s almost a reference point; it’s a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel.
HOLDUPNOW: What do you think the most innovative sounds are in music at the moment?
AIDEN SINCLAIR: Hmm, that’s interesting. Well this will probably surprise you but there are bands I really like, like Years & Years, things like that. I mean I’m not the biggest fan of bands like that, but when I hear those sounds, if you’re talking sounds particularly, it’s very throwback to 80s electronic and new wave kind of sounds. But I like how they’ve got that with a contemporary vocal performance on top of that because a lot of people do just say: ‘oh it sounds like an 80s song’, the production of the music does, but the take of the vocals and the delivery of the vocals, I think, are quite contemporary. It doesn’t sound old, it’s quite new, and I like how bands can amalgamate certain decades like that, you know it’s something we’ve always been interested in doing. And of course there are bands, Death From Above 1979, I really like that band, and I really love their album Physical World, I think it’s incredible how they can make such a sound out of two people. I like the idea of that force again, from just two instruments, and as the production sounds, I think it’s great. People think that music is just crap now but it’s not! You always hear old people saying: ‘it’s this’ and ‘it’s that’, but you really don’t have to scratch down too far from the surface to see how much great stuff there is out there at the moment.
HOLDUPNOW: Are you looking forward to playing Manchester, London, Brighton and Exeter in December?
AIDEN SINCLAIR: Yeah of course, it’s always nice to play on home turf, which in Exeter we haven’t played in a few years now and it feels like we’ve got a bit to prove there at times, it’s kind of where our family and friends all are. So yeah looking forward to that, also dreading it a little bit but of course it’s excitement. Manchester’s always great, it’s a lovely venue up there, The Deaf Institute, we’ve played once before, really love it there so it’s going to be good. Brighton’s great because you can’t put a foot wrong in Brighton. It’s just a brilliant place we love being there. The show could be whatever we enjoy being there so it’ll be fun. What was the last one? London? Yeah should be good, last year was good and hopefully this year will be just as good. It’s a new venue as well; we haven’t played so it’s cool.
HOLDUPNOW: What made you decide on Then Thickens as your supports?
AIDEN SINCLAIR: Well, it’s as easy as this. Me and James were just listening to them one night with our sound engineer and tour manager Dean, and we were just listening to them in the van and he said: “this would be a right good band to support ya”, and I was like: “yeah, it bloody would.” So I text our manager, Will, the next day and said to get Then Thickens and he did. A couple days later they were like: “yeah, alright.” And that’s how it happened, which doesn’t happen often, you know, sometimes you want these great bands and they’re either too busy or too big or something and I thought they might be a little too big to support us at the moment but they were happy to do it and we’re happy to have them so it happened really quick, quite stress free. So we’re looking forward to playing shows with them, definitely.
The Computer’s EP Want The News, Here’s The Blues is out now.
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