The Twang's Martin Saunders at Barfly
Interview: The Twang
By Faye Melhuish
Rising stars The Twang were back in Birmingham, at the Barfly on 27th July 2007. I spoke to co-frontman Martin Saunders.
The Twang, from Birmingham, have been given rave reviews, got into the charts and toured the country, so of course, I began with the most obvious question.
How does it feel to be really big now?
"I dunno if we're really big, we're doing alright aren't we, I wouldn't say we were big and that 'cause you can't just start believing that you're this big band. We're a good group of lads, man, and we write some alright songs and we're doing alright with it.
The Twang performing
"We're mates with Editors and people like that and when you see their shows and things like that, you see them as a big band. Let's just say we're a medium size band"
Have you got anything particularly cool because of your status?
"The free clobber is ridiculous; at video shoots and that we get a big rack of clothes and we go there with an empty suitcase. It's good 'cause you sort out what you like and you've got shed loads of stuff left. So like our Oxfam has got like cutting edge stuff there.
"But our mates benefit as well, they call them 'Twang me downs'"
So many gigs, so many of them already sold out, how does that make you feel?
"It's alright yeah, I think the press have sold half the tickets themselves with all the hype.But on your first album tour with only a couple of singles, to be selling out venues is pretty good. You know, we're thankful for the press for bigging us up so much, you know what I mean.
"But I think that people have got the album and they're thinking, its alright man, and they've seen our shows and that's why I think we're selling."
Enjoying playing back at home
Which venues did you use to play?
"I tell you what's quite mad earlier, 'cause we used to play the Barfly.
"We were on stage earlier and this sounds really arrogant as well, but I turned round to our bass player, John and said ain't this tiny!
"I remember the first time we ever played here, we were like wow we're playing the Barfly. The stage was like so big, but now... but its good though you know, 'cause we haven't played barfly for a long time.
"We've always had good gigs here and we're back here, we're back in Brum and its gonna be a bit more intimate, which is good."
The Twang's Phil Etheridge
How was it playing Glastonbury?
"It was unbelievable as you can imagine, there was a lot of mad things about that. it was our first Glastonbury, we got the John Peel stage and it was the first time it was ever called that and we got the headline slot.
"It didn't make me feel like we made it, we felt like we had a lot to prove, because Glastonbury is Glastonbury and you've got to pull off a blinder haven't you there, you can't do it half heartedly.
"I've been before, but you don't have to queue for anything do you when you're in a band, you know what I mean.
"We were buzzing about the gig, and there was a lot of festivals at that time and that is the one to play and we had a blinder, we really enjoyed it, man."
Do you think fame has changed you?
"It does, you're life is completely different and as silly and as bad as this sounds, if I went out into the crowd now, everyone would want to say hello. It's not a bad thing, 'cause they like your music, but I had have gone out there six months ago no-one would have said anything.
"I was looking at some sunglasses [attempts to plug for some free ones] and some guy was like 'Hi Saunders how you doing' and I was like 'you alright mate how are ya' and I suddenly thought, I don't even know you, so that was different to like six months ago".
Is it always better playing in your home town?
"I dunno, obviously we've played here a couple of times now as a signed band. And this sounds a bit harsh now, and every Brummie is probably gonna hate me, but it's like every place but there's a bit more pressure on you.
"I think I read somewhere 'Oh they're coming home, they're gonna pull a mad one' but no matter where we play we try and pull a mad one anyway. But we love Brum as well."
How did you feel when you found out you had won NME's Philip Hall Radar Award?
"We knew we had won it like a week before, but it was another one of them man. I think that award is for the most hype of a band. It's not actually what you have done, but still, I've got an NME award man.
"You know what I mean, and if we don't get one again and if they go off us, it doesn't matter 'cause we got one! It don't matter man, we got one."
At this point, I'm sure I had bored poor Saunders to death with my questions and he was desperate to watch the support act. So I let him go and he made sure that I got an all important hug before the gig and as far as I'm concerned they pulled an absolute 'blinder'!
last updated: 30/07/07