A lot of sports teams celebrate their greatest ever player by retiring their number. Pittsburgh Steelers retired the number 70 shirt in honour of Ernie Stautner, the Green Bay Packers did the same for Paul Hornung’s number 5 shirt, Shaquille O’Neal‘s #34 shirt hasn’t been used again at the Lakers, and Paulo Maldini‘s number 3 shirt will retire with him.
Sheffield’s Bromheads Jacket did things almost exactly the opposite. Their number changed from three to two when bass player Jono West left and so they retired the Jacket part of their name, and became just Bromheads. What it didn’t stop was them making memorable, almost anthemic spiky indie pop, enthused with a healthy amount of 50’s garage. Then change to a two-piece didn’t see the end to their almost legendary shows, or the rate which they seemed to be able to release one gem of a single after another.
Of course, interest grew, with the band covering The Streets (Mike Skinner being a confirmed fan of the boys) single ‘When You Wasn’t Famous’, which found its way onto the Birmingham mans 7″ version. Subsequently, their song “Fight Music for the Fight” was featured in the PS3 and Xbox 360 video game Burnout Dominator and Burnout Paradise. Their latest offering ‘Choro’ is out on the 15th April and there is a pretty big tour to go alongside it.
Bromheads – Gonna let you melt, from the forthcoming album ‘Choro’.
We spoke to frontman Tim Hampton to find out more –
How was the recording for the album, where did you do it?
Great. At our studio in Atterclife, it’s classy, next door to a brothel.
And production duties, who took them?
How did the writing process work? Was all of it new or are some of the songs a result of older ideas?
I wrote most the melodies and chords in a couple of 2 hour sessions over Christmas. They all just kind of came out. We wanted to do something fresh and give ourselves a bit of restriction. Dan listened to these demos for about a week then we went in the studio for 7 days. We wanted to capture that excitement you get when you play a song for the first time. We wanted to make something raw and energetic. We left mistakes in and the whole thing is by no means perfect. Because of technology these days most people tend to record things perfect, beat matching and autotune. We wanted to do something different, get back to the old school. Most of my favourite albums have mistakes in, it’s what makes them unique and exciting to listen to. I think you can hear the uncertainty in songs like paranoid by Sabbath. You can almost feel Bill Ward finding his way through the song, because it’s so new, I love that. I think that’s what makes a song like that great.
And any particular things that have been inspiring or influencing you’re writing recently?
And we can hear some of what you’ve been up to with a cheeky free download or two via your website, right?
When can we get hold of the album?
15th April 2013. Oh yeah.
Does this mark a progression in the sound of the band?
I think it’s more a regression. I think certain things happening in our lives were influencing the kind of music we were making. I think we might have forgotten we were a punk rock band for a bit, at least I know I did anyway. I grew up listening to the kind of music we’ve made on this record, I think it’s what we’ve always known and it’s what we’re good at. It’s good to experiment as a band, try out different sounds and explore stuff but this is who we are. You can take the boy out of the punk but you can’t take the punk out of the boy.
I listened to the latest Rolling Stones song and thought it was great. Sounded like them in the late 60’s. That’s the Stones I love and I always want them to be. I thought maybe people might be thinking the same thing about us. And maybe they’re right. Hope so…
And the tour, a big one – you looking forward to living on pasties and Costa coffee and stuff? How do you find life on the road?
Love it. Not done it since 2008 so might be a bit different now. I think Nandos may play a big part in this tour.
But exciting, right? Any thoughts on your rider, beyond (presumably) copious amounts of alcohol and pot noodles?
Neither of the above. I had a pretty bad time with alcohol for most of our first two albums so there won’t be much boozing going on. I’ve managed to get a grip of that over the last few years of not touring so I don’t want to fuck it up again!
Is it just going to be the two of you on stage on the tour, or are you augmenting the band for the live shows?
Just the two of us. We said we’d never replace Jono when he left in 2008. I don’t think we’ll ever break that promise.
You got any festival plans for the summer?
And finally, Sheffield is…?
Better than London.