“One time this guy in Hull said, “This guy’s a wanker” and turned his chair right around, and sat in the middle of the room with his back to me”. That’s just one of the reviews that twenty three year old Sam Slater has received as lead singer of Antibang.
The six piece who create, “bombastic heavy festival pop that will stroke your cousin, all the time”, made their way up to Leeds from London, Guilford, Essex, Reading, the Cotswolds and Scott ventured down from Newcastle and have all stayed put. The band shy away from interviews through fear of “press people writing stuff that makes us vomit” and agreed to introduce Counterfeit to the faces behind Antibang (formerly Cliff Richard 2).
Lead singer Sam created the band after his plan for creating a cult failed, “it’s based entirely around my face. You need thirty people as your core crew. They are responsible for giving you public equivalents of high fives but much stronger”. After an admission from his best friend about him being an idiot, and not a cult leader but a musician, he decided to form a band. Inviting twelve people to the initial practice Sam eventually ended up with Geordon Reid-Campbell “with hair that looks like a JML duster” on drums, Sarah Zaltash juggling singing, synth, glockenspiel and shaker, Scot Nelson on guitar, Jambo Simpson sings and plays the drums and Louis Nanke-Mannell plays bass and “presses some buttons”.
After creating the band they played with verbs to create their name, they had Pandarise, to Pandarise and gigged under no name and Cliff Richard 2 before settling on the bang. “It was said over breakfast. It was one of those names that wasn’t really said seriously. It was like what about Antibang. Louis hated it”.
By holding back it’s meant that when people do want you to come it’s because it’s really genuine
The band brainstorm horn music additions to include to their performance and discuss drum time signatures in normal conversation, speaking to them was a bit of an education. Each member has their own view point and culminate together, to put the brain behind their music. Excited about their sound, outfits and face paint they would be the kind of act that NME would salivate over, but with the solid hard work that they put in, they are not a gimmicky two second flash in the pan. Working hard is often difficult, Scott points out that it is quite hard to get everyone in one room at the same time. Visionary of the group Sam is hard on everyone by his own volition “you’ve got to practice at the same time every week, you have got to be ready for gigs and you have to not forget your shit. Yeah we’re pretty ruthless about it, but also happy and fun”.
The band are elusive and apart from a few reviews there’s a lack of information on them, but rather than be concerned Sarah reveres this. “By holding back it’s meant that when people do want you to come it’s because it’s really genuine, and those are the fans we have gathered.” Antibang respect the fact that they are recognised for their music, “the fans that we do have are really genuine, and not just because there’s been some spike about us on the blogosphere because some press company has written about us. Any reviews we have got are entirely organic”.
They proved this summer at Beacons festival that they were definitely known by more people than Louis thought, “we were playing first thing on a Friday and you always think that people aren’t even at the festival, but the tent was just rammed, there were people outside the tent. Even the reviews say, there were bewildered looks on their faces”.
It’s surprising that there is a lack of information on Antibang as their watch-between-your-fingers-if-you’re-squeamish video involves cutting up pig heads, meat fight on a trampoline and bucket loads of fake blood. Scott was quick to explain the shocking video “I think it was really the juxtaposition of this really happy imagery and total debauchery. The songs are almost childlike, so we can contrast that with the video”
Sam has a clear vision of the music and videos impact that they want people to experience, “I personally try and find that point in music where if it was anymore you would break down. We always describe things as murderously happy, when you’re just at that point, not murdering someone, but if I didn’t laugh I’d cry, that edge point.”
As well as outlandish videos they have experimented with standout outfits, including Sylvanian families, which Sam easily explains, “it was meant to be large scale, kind of if a hellish Sylvanian family decided to make an orchestra.”
Not all the bands attention is on the look drummer and singer Jambo “I always just love playing music I mean, I don’t think it matters what we’re wearing, it’s just about the feeling: feeling the songs that you’re playing really connecting with people. I just love every song that we’ve got but it doesn’t really matter what I’m wearing. I’m still going to rock the fuck out”.
Apart from Geordon wanting world domination, and Jambo praying for “sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads”, Sarah wants to play on a perch and have live animals on stage with them. The band aim to play big shows in 2013 and most of all have some fun.