We reported the news Little Man Tate reforming back in April here. We caught up with the band to find out how they are coping through the pandemic and what they have been up to and their future plans. Read on to find out more.
Difficult times, how has this crisis affected Little Man Tate? All safe and well? Any message to your fans?
We’re all safe and well but when we announced that we were getting back together, we weren’t expecting the lockdown to happen. Discussions were going on over Christmas and into January so everything was in place, photo shoots and rehearsals but obviously that was never going to happen! However, we’ve enjoyed being in contact with each other over the phone and with our fans through social media. We were thrilled to bits with the reaction to our Facebook page getting re-activated as we were able to see how much we meant to some people. Our fans made us and without them we wouldn’t have achieved anything.
Have you been able to keep in touch with each other, or even do anything creative since we went into lockdown?
Yes we’ve got a WhatsApp group between us and phone calls have been made so reconnecting with each other again has been a really uplifting experience, even more so during the current crisis. We had to be very creative when it came to press shots, thankfully Jon had an idea to get a local artist, Sean Salmon, to sketch the four of us as we hand to cancel a photo shoot during Easter. He did a great job from recent selfies we took of ourselves and sent it, we’re a lot more ‘distinguished’ these days shall we say but still very much young at heart.
It has been 11 years since you called it quits – is the music scene, and being in a band now changed beyond all recognition now? How does then and now compare?
The music scene is very much an online affair these days, whereas when we were around you had people like the NME selling shed-loads of printed magazines each week which had a big influence on people’s tastes, especially when it came to indie guitar bands. Nowadays it seems as though bands are a bit more savvy when it comes to social media. We only had MySpace back in the day! There are so many good bands around now (The Outcharms, the Lathums, Red Rum Club, Luca State) and the scene appears to be really healthy, although during 2005-2009ish guitar music in the UK had more of an impact on the Top 40 as people were still buying singles! I think bands are enjoying being more DIY these days and it’s good that you don’t always need the backing of a major label to be successful.
What have you guys been up to over the 11 years. Still involved in the music scene?
We’ve all ventured down new avenues apart from Dan, as he just carried on with the family fruit and veg business which he was running with his dad pre-LMT. Ben’s now an engineer for Yorkshire Water and had to go back to college to get more qualifications. Jon had a decent solo career, releasing a couple of albums and runs various football camps and works in schools teaching football and keeps busy with that. He also works in music management and has had some success with younger bands including one from Sheffield called Red Faces. I decided to re-train as a Music teacher after doing some session work in London for a bit. I’m Head of Department at a school in Barnet now and have been doing that for nearly 8 years now.
It’s nice to see all the original members returning. What was it that had you guys calling it quits all those years ago?
We had a few problems going on during our final year. (2009) We felt as though we had taken the band as far as we could. The Magna show in March that year was our biggest ever gig and although we loved the live aspect of being in a band, we struggled with the politics of how a band is run. We didn’t have a great vision for what was next after our 2nd album came out and creatively I think me and Jon were struggling a bit. We followed the predictable life-cycle of most bands if we’re honest, where you strive for success, get what you want but then find yourselves in a position where you don’t have any spare time to write and you sort of lose the enjoyment a bit. You get a bit envious of people with normal lives and long to be able to do normal things like buy a house and see your mates at the pub on a Saturday afternoon, we really missed that.
What have the preparations been like to get yourselves ready for the live shows? What songs are you looking forward to playing live again?
Well first and foremost it’s about getting physically fit as we’re going to be on stage for over 90 minutes. Having said that, we’re not living rock n roll lifestyles anymore so maybe we’ll be ok. Mentally we’ll have to be on it though, it’s been a long time since I’ve been onstage in front of thousands of people, unless you count school assemblies which are probably more nerve-wracking to be fair. We did 2 fantastic shows at the O2 in Sheffield when we finished LMT in October 2009 so the plan is just to re-create those nights, albeit with a few more grey hairs this time round.
Difficult to talk about future plans, but what does the future look like post lockdown for Little Man Tate?
When all this is over, the future is about looking ahead to these two gigs and enjoying the process of rehearsing and just hanging out together with a few beers on the go. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do, hopefully we’ll be able to give each some big hugs as we’ve really missed each other.
What music are you digging right now? Any particular artists do you think have the chance to be big.
My favourite music at the minute is quite heavy garage psych-rock, with bands like Flatworms, Oh Sees, Ty Segall and the Blind Shake. Closer to home there’s some good stuff going down up North, such as the Lathums who I’m sure are gonna be huge. I also really like the Outcharms as well, another great band from Doncaster.
Tickets are still available for the 19th September. Get them here then listen to one of their tracks from back in the day.