Friday 3 November 2023

The 76 Club - Interview

The 76 Club release their new single Beside Myself today. We caught up with drummer Riley for a chat about the single, how their name pays tribute to an iconic venue in their home town of Burton-on-Trent and how they've built up a following further afield as well as their plans for the future.

Could you introduce the band please and tell us how you got together?

Yeah we’ve got Riley Gillard on drums, Joel colmey on Guitar, Rocco Jones on bass, Harry Barlow playing rhythm and Anna Milne singing for us.

I suppose we were born from Riley and Joel playing together in Riley’s basement, just messing around really - both of us picked up our instruments at about the same time, so we’d end up working on the same kind of songs. Rocco then approached Riley at school asking if we needed a bass player. Riley then asked friend Harry Barlow if he wanted to play rhythm, as he’d recently picked up the guitar. Riley had been friends with Anna previously and knew she could sing, so asked her if she fancied singing with us. Before we knew it, we had ourselves a “band” of some description.

How did you arrive at your name?

Our name pays homage to the iconic venue “The 76 Club” in our hometown Burton on Trent, that hosted band such as: The Sex Pistols, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead and AC/DC. We were initially quite frustrated with the lack of music in Burton, so the club was a prominent point of inspiration for us when we were getting started.

Who are your favourite bands and who has influenced your sound?

Before we had Anna come to us, we were listening to a lot of the Sex Pistols and The verve, bands like that. But then when we started playing with Anna, we realised that we’d have to alter our style slightly. So, then we ended up listening to a lot of bands like Wolf Alice, the Sundays and more recently, Swim School, who have all influenced us in our own ways. But I also like the fact that we all listen to completely different genres in our own time, so its nice to see each of us draw inspiration from that as well.

Do you have a typical songwriting process or is more fluid?

There’s not really a definitive answer here, it varies. Sometimes Riley will come to us with lyrics that he needs music for, or sometimes one of us has a full arrangement that just needs some words putting to it. And occasionally it happens that one of us come to the rest of us with the finished article, which we then work on together, each adding our own individual nuances. I’d definitely say it’s a more fluid process, or at least it feels that way.

Coming from a town not on the traditional gig circuit, how have you built your following and what’s been important in doing that?

The fact that all 5 of us went to different schools definitely played a big part in this when we were starting up, it gave us a much wider reach and each of us were able to access different groups of people. This continued when Riley, Joel and Harry went to college in Birmingham. They were able to meet a lot of people in bands who were gigging the local venues and put them in touch with a lot of the people who put on shows round there. Going to other people’s gigs was also a great way for us to get to know people, but also getting ourselves known. We had mates who were in bands and we’d go to their shows and then word soon gets around that were in a band as well. We managed to get on a lot of shows that way.

You've got a new single Beside Myself. Could you tell us a little about what the song means?

Beside myself is a bit different to our other songs. It is probably our most collaborative effort yet, being written by Rocco, Riley and Anna collectively. So, I don’t think that there is one specific meaning to be taken from it. Each of us wrote our own sections, so it means different things to all of us, and there are many ways for you to interpret its meaning. We quite like that it encompasses a range of our own songwriting styles, its not something that we usually do.

You recorded it at the Albion Rooms in Margate.  How did that come about and how was that experience?

Yeah that was a great experience. Being fans of the Libertines, we’d heard of The Albion Rooms and knew that they had a studio, so when it was time to record, and our previous studio in Sutton Coldfield was unavailable, we thought that we’d go down to margate and make a weekend of it. It’s a great environment down there, the building, the studio, everything. It’s a really creative space and it puts you in the right mindset, even before the red light goes on. Jason, who produced it, did a great job, he really knows his stuff.

What are your plans after the single?

We’ve got a few local shows coming up, which we’re really looking forward to. On release day (3rd November), we’re playing with our good mates ‘The Public Eye’ at The Bless in Derby, which should be a great gig, especially with the new tune coming out the same day. Then we’ve got gigs coming up in Birmingham and Nottingham, which haven’t been officially announced yet, but you should hear about those soon. We’re also working a date for a big hometown gig in the new year, but we’ll keep you posted on that one.

We’re back in the studio in December as well, which is exciting. We’re coming out with a fair bit of music as the moment, so we’re keen to get that recorded and ready to go while its still fresh. 

And finally if you had to describe your sound to someone, what would you say? 

Think Wolf Alice, if they had Stevie Nicks singing and Dee Dee Ramone playing bass.

The 76 Club play Derby Blessington Carriage (November 3), Burton On Trent Brews Of The World (4) and Derby Hairy Dog (24)

They are on Facebook and Twitter.


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