“Hitting a pheasant at 70mph” – An Interview with The Bastard Sons
Hard working, hard rocking and with two EPs full of big riffs and big tunes in their back pocket, York’s The Bastard Sons are set to release Smoke, their first full length into the world. They’ve garnered all sorts of attention with powerful live shows and recently managed to bag a support slot with hardcore legends Snot. But what’s the deal with this bunch of hairy northerners and why should you care? Pure Rawk decided to ask them and here’s what drummer Rich Hardy had to say…
So, for those who are unaware – tell us a little about the genesis of the collective now referred to as The Bastard Sons.
It all started when JJ moved back to York after living in Newcastle whilst at uni and decided he wanted to start a new band, so put the feelers out on Facebook. JJ and Ollie were good friends already but the rest of us just kind of knew each other from the local scene or hanging out in the same bars. JJ, Ollie & Rich (me) met up for a jam to see if there was any kind of spark and there definitely was! After a couple of practices we started looking for other members and found Nath & Alex. The rest, as they say, is history.
If you had to describe the noise you make to someone who had never heard of you, how would you go about it?
We’re kind of blues-infused metal with a punk edge. Nice and heavy but with lots of melody and huge choruses.
Your debut album is in the can and sounds huge, what can you tell us about the recording of Smoke?
The recording of Smoke was the best experience in a studio we’ve ever had, we recorded it over a month at Innersound Studios in York. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Joe Graves and Mike Kingswood, as not only are they good friends of ours but they’re also wizards in the studio, so it was a very relaxed atmosphere which helped the songs grow into what they are today.
Your album is being unleashed via your own label Kaiju Records, what made you go the independent route?
Our last EP Roads was also released through Kaiju Records, it came about after we’d finished in the studio and we were looking around for labels. We had a chat with some really cool labels around that time, but for what they had to offer we were confident we could do it ourselves and keep it all a little more in-house, so I set up the label and take care of that side of things for us and a couple of other bands. We like to do as much as possible ourselves, we all grew up being in DIY punk and metal bands so it just feels natural to do it for ourselves and not rely on others too much.
Do you think you’ll always stay independent?
We’re happy as we are at the moment but we’re always open to discussion with other labels for the future! It all depends on what they can offer us really!
In the last eighteen months you’ve been over to America with Throw The Goat and toured the UK with Snot, any rock and roll tales from the road to share?
Both awesome tours which are kind of a blur and a lot of the stories probably shouldn’t be printed! One of the stand-out dates of the US tour was definitely Vegas. We were only there for around 18 hours but we certainly made the most of it, after the show we hit various casinos and bars pretty hard, for the full Vegas experience, gambling and drinking as much as possible in a short space of time! This part isn’t very rock and roll, but we met some awesome people in America who were all very friendly and more than willing to help us out in any way possible. From feeding us to buying us drinks, giving us a place to stay, fixing any broken instruments, they were awesome people and hopefully we’ll see them all again someday.
The Snot tour was one of the best tours I’ve ever done, it was great to meet one of my all time favourite bands and it’s always nice when they’re really cool people too. The best part was watching JJ join them on stage every night for Mr Brett.
In the three years since the release of your first EP ‘Bones’ how do you think the band have evolved, and what lessons have you learned?
We’ve definitely become more of a unit. Our songwriting has evolved massively since the first EP and we’ve kind of found our feet both in a studio and on a stage. We’ve learnt that hitting a pheasant at 70mph will smash the windscreen of a van, and Premier Inns are far nicer than Travelodge. We’ve learnt that 20 minutes is not enough time for a connecting flight at Philadelphia airport, and if your flight has the worst turbulence in the world, Ollie will drink all of the free beer on the plane.
What lies ahead for The Bastard Sons?
Touring, touring and more touring! We want to get out there as much as possible and show people this album, we’re immensely proud of it and want to share it with everyone.
So there we have it. If you like your hooks applied liberally, your riffs beefy, bluesy and sprinkled with punk attitude there’s no reason you shouldn’t be checking out The Bastard Sons.
Catch them on live on the following dates:
25/7/15 – Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent
14/8/15 – The Angel, Durham
15/8/15 – Fibbers, York