I've had a few lively discussions with a familiar face on the South Wales rock circuit at a few gigs recently, Scott Lee Andrews.
Scott's name kept cropping up in my recent research into south Wales rock and rightly so: he has been a vital part of the scene since the forming and relentless gigging of his former band Midasuno, so it's good to see him back with a vengeance with his new band Exit_International.
Exit_International are very much one of the hotly-tipped new bands from the area at the moment, with management support on board from south Wales promoter Greg Barton, who gig goers in Cardiff will be more than familiar with. However, the band probably don't quite fulfil our normal expectations from a rock outfit what with two bass players for starters, but the press have been exited enough regardless. Check out these reviews...
"....Two bass guitars which duel each other for supremacy using a deadly arsenal of fuzz boxes. I'd hazard a guess that the band's hobbies include audio terrorism, and eh...well, that's probably it - but they're definitely worth seeing!" Artrocker Magazine Oct 2009 (Issue 94)
'It's plain to see by the hoard of snappers hovering around the tiny stage that there's already a buzz surrounding them....The three piece smash out tunes into oblivion with rip-roaring ferocity' (8/10) Rock Sound Oct 2009
"....Duel attack basses and feral bubblegum rock. Like Girls Against Boys gone evil. And winning." Swn Festival 2009 Programme.
With a new EP in the pipeline, and loads of gigs on the way, I thought I'd catch a quick word with Scott to get the low down on the band's story so far.
Who exactly forms the outfit that is Exit_International?
Exit_International are Fudge Wilson (bass/vox), Adam Thomas (drums) and Scott Lee Andrews (vox/bass).
What's the band's potted history? How long have you been together?
Myself and Fudge formed the band in late 2008, with original drummer Richey of Stray Borders fame, to open for the Melvins at the Cardiff Barfly - but we ended up being pulled from the bill at the last minute. So we carried on with what was a 'project' band and turned in into something focused.
After Richey changed jobs and his ability to commit was stunted by his long shift patterns, we brought in Adam and the sound of the band became more in-line with what we are today. The whole dynamic shifted into something tighter and sharper.
What are your musical influences?
Anything loud and sexy really. Everything from The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, The Jesus Lizard, Girls Against Boys, Guitar Wolf, The Birthday Party, Nirvana, Evil Superstars, The Melvins, Big Black, (Early) Placebo, The Pixies, Blood Brothers, Gay For Johnny Depp...
Is this your first release? Tell me about the label releasing it?
This is our first release, which we original intended to be a demo. We went down to Newport to record with Carl Bevan, having heard the Science Bastard material, and guessed he'd have a good crack at nailing our sound.
We recorded everything in five hours and that was that. When we started sending the 'demo' out, Darren Sadler of Undergroove Records, who has been a mate of mine for years - stepped up and thought it was good enough to release! Undergroove have released records by the likes of The Ghost Of A Thousand, Hexes, Minus The Bear. Even though we may seem slightly 'lighter' than these bands, I think Darren sees something inherently powerful in what we do!
I hear you've created a bit of a stir with the pre-orders. What were you promising to send people with their music?
When we got our CDs back - which ended up being to late for our tour with Blitz Kids - we decided to shop it online ourselves and the orders started coming in from the get-go. I started picking up various bits and pieces hanging around at the time as I was packing them up - so lighters, my hospital ID tags, candles, pants and other weird relics ended up being shipped to LA, Tokyo, etc. Customs are going to have a field day.
What have been some gigging highlights so far?
Our first London show for Artrocker Magazine was amazing - when we play London now we have a strong, loyal following up there.
Locally we have played with some amazing bands - The 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, The Computers, Crime in Stereo, Baddies and The King Blues and were amazed to be asked to perform at last years Swn fest - that was a honour.
The Blitz Kids tour was a blast - what a awesome bunch of lads and will be going places very soon. Our recent support slot with The Bronx was amazing - we seemingly went down really well and got to share a stage with the wonderful Pulled Apart By Horses who just happen to be one of our favourite bands.
With your previous band, Midasuno, you influenced a lot of the current crop of new welsh rock. Is that a frustrating fact or a source of pride?
I think it's a great testament to what we were, and if that lives on in the spirit of new bands thats a great thing - although I must say - we were never a truly 'safe' band in every aspect, so it would be nice to see a few more hellraisers born as a result. I think also that the fact Midasuno has produced three strong bands - Matt and Gav now have All The Damn Vampires and Chris fronts Accident Music who also feature Mike (ex-Lostprophets) and Darren (ex-Funeral For A Friend) - it shows Midasuno had a strong musical DNA across the board.
What'll be the plans over the summer?
We will be gigging in support of the street release of the 'Sex W/Strangers EP and hoping to grab onto a few choice festival slots. Also, we are waiting on a few slots as support on some tasty tours. We will then hit the studio with Mr Bevan to finish our debut LP, which will be out before the end of the year.
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