Interview: Kieran Webber | Header Image: Em Marcovecchio
As you’ve probably seen we had a lot of fun at this years Leopallooza, it truly was a weekend to remember. The music, the sunshine & the good times it was all there. Floating around we even managed to get some interview time with one of our favourites Heavy Lungs. The punk outfit from Bristol have been causing a stir with their intense, frantic and frankly brilliant live performances. Not to mention that the IDLES track ‘Danny Nedelko’ is based around the lead singer. They were an absolute delight to interview and may well just be the funniest, most charming and welcoming guys i’ve ever had the pleasure to speak to. The stories that they regaled to me towards the end legitimately had me crying with laughter. Enjoy.
Kieran: So how did it feel to have a song made about you by IDLES?
Danny: It’s very surreal, it’s a beautiful thing. The first time I heard it I teared up, it’s not just about me though it’s about immigration. It’s crazy”.
George: When we go see them live you can see Danny looking around to see if anyone recognises him!
Danny: They very rarely do!
Kieran: There is a wave of politically charged punk music at the moment, why do you feel that sound is coming through?
Oli: The political climate is in turmoil and it’s resonating with people to speak out and know that your opinion is the same as someone else’s. So you don’t feel alone.
Danny: Although we are not political necessarily per say but we share the same sentiments.
Kieran: What impact do you think that music such as yours will have on people coming through the generations?
Danny: A cathartic release is always necessary in different times of history and this year it’s premonant. A lot of people are speaking up and it’s a beautiful thing.
Kieran: What is your opinion on the political climate at the moment, clearly it’s pretty bleak but how can we combat it and get through it?
Oli: It’s about energy, this kind of music gives people energy to actually look into politics and that kind of stuff, or even just community.
George: A lot of people can be docile, you can beleive in something but not actually act on it.
Danny: I find that bands such as IDLES are really good at articulating and tap into that voice that perhaps you have in the back of your head. When you hear it in song form it makes you think and helps you form your own opinions and become more aware.
Oli: It’s not always just about politics too. It’s about being energised, music can do a lot for people. It can make you feel happy.
Danny: It can make you look inwards and relise your own worth too.
“It’s about energy, this kind of music gives people energy to actually look into politics and that kind of stuff, or even just community“Oliver Southgate
Kieran: Do you think there is hope on the horizon?
Everyone: Yeah totally.
Danny: It’s always important to stay optimistic and strong. You should beleive in yourself, if you do then the things you can achieve are infinite.
George: It looks bleak but seeing how much support musicians are getting is a shining light of hope.
Oli: For years young people were pushed down in certain aspects. It’s only in the last 20 years that has died down. The younger generations are getting more into music again.
Danny: They are getting their voices heard and are more confident to beleive in themselves.
Kieran: When you guys started did you have an idea of a message you wanted to spread?
Danny: It was more of a natural growth. I met this three incredible people and the band gained form and the process was really natural and growth was very instinctive.
Oli: It came from power and energy as well. Then whatever comes from that is what you hear now. It’s all about about being big and loud. The amount of times you see a band and it’s not loud enough, we want out music to really kick you in the stomach.
Kieran: What music has helped shape Heavy Lungs?
Danny: For me a band called Iceage from Copenhagen and our dear friends IDLES.
James: The Oh Sees!
Danny: John Dwyer called me a fucking weirdo and Alan Partridge, people keep telling me I am turning into him. I’ve never seen the show though.
Oli: Ty Segall and all that West Coast America stuff i think that is resonating with a lot of British music at the moment. For a long time louder music was sidelined.
Danny: Also not forgetting our friends Crows from London and JOHN as well as DITZ and METZ.
Listen/watch ‘Blood Brother’ here:
Kieran: So, you could argue that there is a similar scene rising here in the UK?
Danny: I think the UK scene is incredibly strong, it’s very powerful.
Kieran: I agree, it is very exciting and there is a lot of great music coming out! Why is it a lot of it is coming out of Bristol?
Oli: It comes down to having the opportunity to play, there are a lot of cities that it can be really hard to play in a big venue or even a medium venue. Whereas in Bristol it’s the done thing, you play wherever you want.
Danny: There are also an amazing amount of independent venues, such as The Louisiana, Crofters Rights, The Exchange.
Oli: Also people want to see these things, people come to the gigs and that feeds it. If people weren’t coming to the gigs there wouldn’t be any gigs.
Danny: Just like Feeder who are feeding Cornwall with their absolute hits right now!
(Feeder were headlining the main stage at this point)
Kieran: Lastly, we like to end our interviews with a story! So can you tell me anything weird, strange or gnarly that has happened to you guys?
Danny: There was a funny thing that the boys noticed at 2000 Trees, there was a geezer watching Pulled Apart By Horses who decided to piss in a can in the middle of the crowd. He thought he was being discreet but he clearly fucking wasn’t. He then poured it down by his flip flops.
George: That is probably the tamest story I have ever fucking heard!
Kieran: Do you have something more juicy?
George: Oh there is but i’m not sure if im liable to talk about it. We don’t do anything, we’re good boys.
Oli: We have had people flip the bird at us for a whole gig.
Danny: Yeah that happened to us at Farmfest and I saw the guy and he was like I loved your set and said dude you were giving me the bird. He just said yeah I frickin loved it! He was a weird guy and he kept offering me ciggeralios. I was like no thank you we’re good!
George: We did break into the Q awards.. Right, we were on tour with IDLES in October last year. The second show of the tour was in London and we were a little hungover from the night before. We parked our van at the carpark at The Roundhouse and we didn’t have any passes for the Q awards.
Danny: But boy did we get in!
George: We weren’t invited, we weren’t even supposed to be there. We got to a point where we were like fuck this and went to accreditation desk and told them we were photographers for IDLES.
Danny: Erm free prosecco thank you very much!
George: They just gave us wristbands and we walked in and acted like guests. When they asked us to take seats at our tables we freaked out as obviously we didn’t have one. We thought at this point they were going find out. Then there was a table free so we sat on it, turns out it was Bono’s table, we sat there for the entirety of the Q awards. Yeah, so got fully wasted and were surrounded by people we shouldn’t have been. I kinda blacked out so don’t really remember too much. I think you met Matt Smith in the toilets didn’t you?
Danny: Yeah, basically I was having a piss and he was like alright? I said Matt Smith i’m taking a fucking piss.
“I said Matt Smith i’m taking a fucking piss”Danny Nedelko
Oli: Didn’t you say don’t touch me Dr. Who!
Danny: It was like read the room, dude I am trying to have a piss I don’t give a fuck who you are! I am trying to have a moment.
George: Oh I also found an ironing board and found Bowan (Guitarist for IDLES) taking a shit and elbow dropped it on him. That was pretty much how the evening ended apart from we drank all of Wolf Alice’s rider. (lots of laughter at this point) And Dan slept in the street and I had to climb into the 02 Academy car park and went through a building site and I fell of the fence and ripped my jacket. IT’S ALL GUSHING OUT NOW ISN’T IT!
Danny: To be fair Matt Smith did look well hench and he was wearing the tightest t-shirt, you found the gym I get it! Also we were there for when Noel Gallagher was getting a lifetime achievement award, im shouting GO ON NOEL, YES NOEL, YOU’RE A LEGEND NOEL. He didn’t hear me but that’s okay because I knew I said it.
Kieran: Thank you guys for giving me one of the best stories I have ever heard. Enjoy your ride home and hopefully see you again soon!