Interview The Answering Machine

We meet up to talk about bowling, lucky drinks, and inventions.

Up and coming Manchester indie band The Answering Machine has been on DIY’s radar for a while now, and we figured it was time for another quick chat to find out things are going. We met up with the band at the coolest venue in London, the Bloomsbury Bowling Alley, to talk about bowling (obviously), lucky drinks, and inventions.

How do you feel about playing a bowling alley? Do you guys intend to bowl later tonight?
Gemma: Definitely!
Martin: Gemma’s quite good actually.
G: It’s quite a sad sport to be good at.
M: For her birthday we went bowling.
M: So yeah we’ve played a lot in London, pretty much everywhere we thought, but we’ve never played here before. It’s somewhere unique and it’s got a lot of character as well. A lot of venues just look the same; it can get a bit boring. We need something different, they still carry on bowling!

I read that you guys played a set in a fan’s garden, do you guys like playing in unique environments?
G: Not actually. It was a golden ticket thing with our single.
M: We wanted a Willy Wonka theme. Yeah, Johnny Depp was going to come to the party, but no one wanted us! Sorry to void that question.

Is there anywhere in particular that you would like to play?
M: There’s a place next to our University called the Squirrels Bar. It’s part of Manchester University and Pat and I used to go there and get pissed like every night. There’s an old woman behind the bar and she’s fucking ace and she makes a little appearance in one of our songs. She doesn’t know it though. So we really want to play there, it would be amazing.
G: The place is horrible but it’s amazing in there, it really is.
M: Yeah that would be really, really cool, there and Jools Holland.

Are you on a record label right now?
Patrick: We’re not on a label, no.
G: We are trying to sort it out. We’d really like an independent label, but we’ve been fairly DIY.
M: There’s a guy we know who is really interested in signing us but he doesn’t own a label, but he’s very artist friendly and do it all yourself like Gemma said and it all comes off and puts us in a really good position to bypass that whole industry. I think the industry is in such a weird position at the moment where it kind of gives the bands the power at the moment and a lot of bands don’t realise that.

Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
P: Oh yeah, vodka. Vodka-redbull.
M: We have a little drink chain we have to do. It’s kind of superstitious, we played in Texas at South by Southwest. Me and Pat were on for a vodka red bull, followed by a JD and coke, and then a beer and we drank them in the space of like half an hour then we had a really good show!
P: It was genius!
M: Gemma’s got a special dance too.
G: That’s not for now!

What’s your favourite gig outfit and why?
M: Chequered shirt.
G: My thing is I never like to wear the same thing onstage; it’s pretty weird I don’t know why, but any dress will do.
P: We go through stages don’t we?
M: When we first started out it was all about shirts and ties and cardigans, we made such a big effort. Then we kind of went backwards while the band kind of finds its style. Generally we don’t try to think about it to much.
P: We are trying to bring the blazer back in a big way, with like sleeves rolled up to the elbows.

What do you like to do when you aren’t playing gigs and making music?
M: Drink?
P: Indie disco.
M: To be honest we just make a lot of music. We just get in there all the time, almost everyday, and we write ideas kind of outside of The Answering Machine as well. We’ve all wanted to be in bands since we were kids so we are just always making music I guess.

In an interview you did with us earlier this year you mentioned that you were working on an invention to get you on Dragons Den that would enable you to secretly make your own drinks in pub, have you come up with any new inventions since?
P: Well we are inventing all the time obviously. I don’t know if the world’s ready for it though. If we tell you, you might tell someone else…

What does the rest of 2008 hold for The Answering Machine?
M: Making an album and a ton of touring at the end of the year.

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

February 2024

Featuring The Last Dinner Party, IDLES, Yard Act, Crawlers, Remi Wolf and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY