With their debut album released on the 8th of October and a UK tour confirmed I wanted to get to know more about the highly rated Leeds band This Many Boyfriends. There is a lot of buzz surrounding them since their support slot for The Cribs and Ryan Jarman producing their album. I interviewed lead singer Richard Brooke, drummer Laura Black, guitarists Ben Siddall and Daniel Goux and bassist Tom Mellor.
This Many Boyfriends are a relatively new band and have only been going a couple of years, with some changes in line up along the way. Their unusual name comes from the title of a Beat Happening song, and not from Richard having lots of boyfriends as Laura quipped.
Listening to their music you can hear elements of each individual’s influences, with the members stating The Strokes, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, The Cribs and Joy Division as favourites of theirs. They also agreed that the videos played on MTV2 during the good old days of the channel and their teenage years had played a big part, ‘it was a lot different back then’ Daniel reminisced.
I get mega nervous playing live. Being in front of people with them watching me makes me feel a bit sick. So I just get really drunk and try have fun
This Many Boyfriends is a coming together of talent and not just a platform for one individual as Richard explains ‘I write the lyrics and Dan/Ben do guitar stuff. And the rhythm section makes stuff up to fit.’ Although they are a creative outfit they are also noted for their live performance, and you would never guess that playing live is something Laura isn’t entirely comfortable with. ‘I get mega nervous playing live. Being in front of people with them watching me makes me feel a bit sick. So I just get really drunk and try have fun. I still enjoy it loads despite nerves. I enjoy recording too. I really enjoyed recording our album ‘cos even though I know shite all about music it was really interesting to learn stuff. Seb and Ryan were lovely and didn’t make me feel stupid about being a novice. Also I got to play Paul Cook’s drum kit. So that was better than stage-vom.’ Ben seems to love both aspects of being in such a band ‘I’m really into recording both This Many Boyfriends and other bands. Pointing microphones at people and the mixing together the results is one of my jobs. Playing a gig in front of loads of people who like it is pretty unbeatable though.’
Their support slot on The Cribs tour has given them the large venue experience they will need for touring as a headline act in the coming months with them stating The Ritz in Manchester among their favourite venues they performed at. When asked about their favourite venue in their home town of Leeds every member of the band agree that Brudenell Social Club set the standard in the city, Laura summed it up ‘They book the best bands and it’s our local. We play a lot of table football at the Brudenell.’
Their debut album has already received great reviews; Tom said we can expect ‘Jangly, shouty, super-mega-guitar-indie-pop hits.’ Ryan Jarman produced this album and most people will see that as a huge endorsement of the band and their potential, I wanted to know how he became involved and what the experience of working with him was like. Daniel was particularly impressed ‘Pretty cool obviously, never worked with a “producer” before, but he did an amazing job and added some very cool ideas.’ Jarman is of course know for his slightly off the wall behaviour (we all remember him diving on a table at the NME Awards and ending up in hospital) and from what Richard told me he is similar behind closed doors ‘I think he liked us and thought he could make us sound better. He has definitely succeeded. He was ace, really fun. He got in a piano to see what it sounded like.’ The whole band seemed to be honoured that someone of that stature believed in them, even him mentioning their band could get them hundreds of extra fans such is the influence that he has over his followers.
This Many Boyfriends are a prominent part of what is a very exciting plethora of band currently on the Leeds circuit. I asked which of their Leeds contemporaries they admired and Richard had a long list ‘Moody Gowns ‘cos I think they have the same element of fun as us. And they’re very nice guys. If you ask their singer Nathan to give you a tomato plant he will. That is true class. I also really like Post War Glamour Girls. Wind-Up Birds too. And Super Luxury! Oh also we saw Take Turns the other night and they were really slack and fun.’ Other bands mentioned in that conversation were Just Handshakes, Birthday Kiss, Theme Park and Swimming Lessons. Moody Gowns will be supporting them at the Leeds leg of the Tour with Evans The Death doing London and The Spills in Sheffield.