SLEAFORD MODS The X-Press Interview

Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods proved so popular on their first trip to Perth that a second show was added to satiate popular demand. With the Rosemount show on Friday, March 13 sold out, Freo fans are also getting a slice of the action at Rock Rover this Saturday, March 14. Their aggressive yet stripped-down sound has made them the darlings of critics, as they diffuse their political post-punk vibes across the globe. Embittered rants about all things relating to the working class are infiltrated throughout their songs, as heard on their studio album from last year Eton Alive, as well as upcoming career retrospective All That Glue (out May 15). BRAYDEN EDWARDS chats to vocalist Jason Williamson about their British sound going global, the Australian bands they are fans of, and their broad influences. 

It’s great to have you heading over for your first ever tour of Australia. It’s been a while coming though, why was now the time?

Thank you. It felt right to do it now. We aren’t making much money but it’s not about that. The response to the gigs has been wicked. We’ve sold out a load and added extra shows.

From your accent to your use of slang and the topics covered in the songs, your music is unmistakably British. Did it surprise you when people from other countries started listening to and relating to these songs?

Yeah definitely. We didn’t think it would leave Andrew (Fearn, producer and instrumentalist)’s flat!

There aren’t many influences that spring to mind, British or otherwise that seem to explain your very unique approach to vocals and music as a whole. What music do you feel led to that or was it more a matter of figuring out what worked for you?

Both. Music influences are wide-ranging. Rap, electronica, punk, indie, soul, rave, rock. Tonnes of shit. We studied songwriting in our own time for over 25 years before we met. By then we were ready, I guess.

You’ve said your latest album Eton Alive is more mature than what has come previously. Is it possible to move with that progression in your sound and maintain the punk ethos that is central to what you do?

When you start worrying about not being punk, then you’re fucked. We never think about it. We just write. If it’s shit, it’s shit. If it’s good, well that’s better.

When this tour was announced you said you and Andrew were big fans of the Australian music scene, with some quality bands breaking through. What music are you liking that’s coming out Australia at the moment?

We like a few. Amyl & the Sniffers, RVG, The Chats, Cuntz, Alex Cameron, Confidence Man, Aldous Harding (who is from New Zealand) are some. We’re not massively up on stuff but we like a few bits.

And if you were to write a song about Australia, what kind of topics, people or institutions would Sleaford Mods likely to be taking aim at?

Oh god. Who knows. Give us a few weeks.

Where do you see things going next? Unfortunately, it seems the political situation in the UK is going to keep dishing up fresh things to have a gripe about…

Yeah we’re fucked. Properly fucked.

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