Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Jonathan from Cross Wires find out more about them...
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
Cross Wires are myself (Jonathan Chapman) on Vocals, Pete Muller on Guitar, Pete (Pablo) Letch on Bass and Ian Clarke on Drums.
Peter (Guitar), Ian and myself were already in a band that was sort of finished. Pete had joined as an extra guitarist after the bass player left and pretty soon the original guitarist followed leaving the 3 of us. We ditched the name and started again. We wrote a bunch of songs while we looked for a bass player. We tried a few out but none fit until we met Pete (Pablo) through a friend. He came and met us in the pub and we were ridiculously drunk. He didn’t even play bass at the time but he liked drinking and was wearing double denim so he was in. We are named after a XTC song from their first album White Music.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Personally Blur were the band that made me want to be in a band and The Doors were the first band I became obsessed with as a kid. The stuff I’m listening to now ranges from stuff I’ve listened to for years - Blur, Bowie, Pulp, Joy Division, The Clash, Magazine, XTC, Buzzcocks, Interpol, The Walkmen, The National, The Strokes etc and new stuff like Protomartyr, Ought and Idles. We all love bands that cross over but Pete (Guitar) loves stuff like Ryan Adams and War On Drugs that kind of sound and Pete (bass) loves his 60s stuff and his 70s glam. Ian and myself probably have the most in common with musical taste. He loves a lot of the Punk/Post Punk I’m into and we go see a lot of new bands together but he’s also really in to Ska/Reggae/Dub that comes out in his drumming.
How would you describe your sound?
We mostly get referred to as Post Punk and it’s the answer I give to people I meet at work in my day job etc who find out I’m in a band but Post Punk is so vast it can be used to describe anything from Joy Division to The Pop Group so it doesn’t really help. We like to write songs with pop hooks. We try to not just settle for ok now. We’ve done that in the past and regret some of those songs. We are always trying to improve.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
I suppose I Want Radio and Pink Dogs was the only proper single we’ve put out. It was a AA side that we released on cassette. We had a single launch at The Victoria in Dalston and had some friends bands play with us. Pink Dogs is probably the song I’m most proud of up until this point. I love playing it live.
What’s your local music scene like?
Well the media are really obsessed with the South London scene at the moment. There are some good bands from that scene but also another 300 that sound like bad versions of The Fall. Watered down Fat White Family. Fat Lite Family? The same promoters putting on the same bands. The same thing happened with Shoegaze and Grunge revival bands a few years back and bands who wanted to be The Libertines before that. Do your own thing and at you might not be “cool” but at least you’ll be true.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We released our mini album Living In A Radio City in December and that’s had some great reviews and radio play which we are really grateful for and it’s even sold a few copies. It was produced by Rory Attwell (The Vaccines, Telegram, Palma Violets). We’ve got loads of new songs that will make up our debut full length album that we hope to start recording soon. We’ve got our first gig of the year at The Beehive in Bow, East London which we are putting on ourselves. Gonna have a few bands we like playing with us and give the new songs an airing. Looking forward to that.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Well at our last gig at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch Pabs' Bass Guitar decided to stop working through the entirety of the first song despite being perfectly fine in Sound check. On the next song my lead fell from my microphone for no reason in the middle of the song. It was starting to become a farce. Like a Post Punk Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. This is after Ian and myself had earlier attempted to get a cab to a studio round the corner of the venue to borrow a piece of drum kit that was missing and the driver drove round in a circle for 20 mins before running someone over. I’d like to add the person was fine. The drums were not.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
We are really good. Tell everyone.