Interview: Bright young things: The Britanys

Bright young things: The Britanys

New York’s buzziest newcomers are upping their game and leaving their heroes behind.

If The Britanys told you they were the stars of a sitcom about a Brooklyn indie band, you’d probably believe them. Sat in their shared Bushwick apartment, it doesn’t take long for the conversation to devolve into tongue-in-cheek defences of School Of Rock, courtesy of guitarist Jake Williams, boasts of expensive gin from bassist Lucas Carpenter, or generally outlandish statements. “This is the band that’s going to make Juuls cool,” declares frontman Lucas Long of the “iPhone of e-cigarettes” while his bandmates vehemently shout him down. 

Since forming in 2014, the unsigned New Yorkers have gone from playing parties for friends to causing chaos overseas, all with only a handful of songs online. The UK especially seems pretty taken with them. Their last trip to London brought carnage to the Sebright Arms - just watching video clips will make you feel the sweaty thrum of the moshpit. The likes of ‘Basketholder’ and ‘In Yer Time’ have drawn comparisons with The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys, as well as fellow countrymen The Strokes, due to their underlying Britishness. 

Don’t get too used to that, though. The four-piece have been laying low since last summer, working hard on forging something new and less indebted to their heroes. “It was time to make something that we can call our own sound and try to be more unique,” explains drummer Steele Kratt.
Ironically, the band had a helping hand in shrugging off those influences from a character from Britain’s golden days of indie. They met Joe Van Moyland - better known back then as Joe Lean of Jing Jang Jong infamy - through mutual friends and spent a couple of weeks working with him on their songwriting. Since then, they say they’ve written “probably a hundred songs” and “haven’t even gotten to recording the best stuff” yet.

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“[Some bands might say] technology isn’t rock’n’roll, but what the fuck is rock’n’roll?”

Lucas Long

If there’s better than ‘When I’m With You’, the track they shared last month, then there’s exciting times ahead for The Britanys. An ode to “the turmoil” of relationships, it swaps your traditional garage band setup for something more advanced. Casio drum samples open things and a burst of glittering electronics elevate the jittery guitars to more ambitious heights. “We try and take the Steve Jobs route and find whatever’s the most technological, cool thing we could do and incorporate that,” Long says. “[Some bands might say] technology isn’t rock’n’roll, but what the fuck is rock’n’roll?” Stay tuned and you might just find out.

Taken from the March 2018 issue of DIY. Read online or subscribe below.