Interview Switches

‘It was such a thrill to play with one of my all-time heroes. I’d have to pinch myself every night whilst watching him play to ensure I wasn’t dreaming!’

Formed around the songwriting talents of Matt Bishop, Switches released debut EP ‘Message From Yuz’ back in July, and since then have gone on to appear at Reading and Leeds festivals, support Graham Coxon on tour, and follow up with ‘Lay Down The Law’, released back in September. We love their ‘retro’ pop sound, and so spoke to Matt to find out more.

Are you as influenced by Britpop as your sound suggests?
Yeah sure, Britpop was the moment that culturally I was aware of what was going on around me musically. I was only 11 or 12 when it started, and up until then I was rifling through my Dad’s old ’70s albums. It also caused me to investigate further those groups those bands were influenced by, too.

So, was it Blur or Oasis?
Most definitely Blur. I was in love with them for a very long time. I thought they were one of the greatest bands in the world, and I still do. Oasis were cool, but I soon got bored with their plodding unadventurous musical development, or lack of it. The only other band I really loved during that era was Supergrass. Easily the best of the rest.

How has the tour with Graham Coxon gone?
Loved it. It was such a thrill to play with one of my all-time heroes. I’d have to pinch myself every night whilst watching him play to ensure I wasn’t dreaming! I thought we played really well, consistently throughout the tour as well, which was a relief because you have to do good shows if you’re trying to impress your heroes!

Was your name change due to ‘The Others? Who got there first?!
Oh, yeah, definitely. We were called ‘Matt Rock and The Others’, and then chopped off ‘The Others’, and then changed it altogether. Matt Rock made it sound like a solo project, which this isn’t. It’s funny ‘cause we have the same manager as The Others now. Very odd!

There are a fair few tracks of yours around - when can we expect an album?
Well, we are almost done recording our album. We’ve been doing it in LA with producer Rob Schnapf who has produced legendary albums for Beck, Elliott Smith and The Vines. The record is sounding great, and we’re dead excited about it coming out early next year. It should be ready for mass consumption in Spring 2007.

Coming from Essex, do you feel aligned at all to what’s apparently going on in Southend?
I hate to say it, but not at all. The band formed in Guildford, and we were never part of a scene. We just did our own thing really. A lot of the demos were recorded in my bedroom in Southend, but I have no common ground musically with anybody coming out of that town.

Matt, you claim to have listened to music from a very young age, and it’s mostly ‘credible’ or ‘cool’ artists mentioned. Surely you bought some embarrassing records as a youngster?
Oh yeah I sure did! When I was 6 or 7 I was made on Jive Bunny. What I liked about it was all the old records they used to mix together over a really shitty dance beat. Ideal for snotty little kids like me to prance around to!

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