Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Interview: Presley Johnson

Presley Johnson are a hotly discussed topic on several musical blogs and websites at the moment. Talking to Bedge, here's what Wesley from the band had to say about their brand new(ish) album 'Images of Youth' (along with some images of youth of his own):

How was the process of making your latest album?
We were jamming. We jam quite a lot, and if something nice comes out myself and Jon sit down and work something out. Or we come together with a song. There's quite a variety really in the whole album but I think that's why it's so diverse. It was a very enjoyable thing to make.

The first album we did was our self-titled EP. That was me and Jon coming together, just the two of us, and we did everything on the CD. And then we got a band together around 2010 when we released our first album. But as we got a band together we were writing new songs with a slightly different take to the first album because there were four heads involved rather than just the two. So the album came together like that.
So how do you think you've changed since the first album?
We've become a lot tighter as a unit. The live shows are a lot tighter than they used to be. And I think there's a lot more influence now and you can hear that in the music. You can listen to a song and pick out a bit of Tom Petty or a bit of Neil Young or Robert Johnson or stuff like that. And now Alex is playing the drums he sings a couple of tracks himself and we've all got different voices so the vocals just tie together nicely. It works a lot better as a band.
And are you hoping to release any more singles from that album?
Yes, we're going to release 'Sinking Ships' and 'The Tuna and the Sweetcorn'. It's become a favourite that one because it's probably the most nonsensical song on the whole album. All of the other songs have a meaning behind them but 'The Tuna and the Sweetcorn' started off when we were in a strange frame of mind and we came to write this song about a tuna and a sweetcorn coming alive and torturing this bloke. It's quite funny because we lived with a bloke who's into weights and all he ate was tuna and sweetcorn.

Have you got any festivals coming up?

Quite a few actually. The first one's this month [June] in Potsdam, Germany. There's one in Marburg in July and then there's also one called CockRock in Cumbria where The Cribs and Reverend and The Makers are playing so that should be good fun. After that we've got one called Joystock on 3rd August which we're putting on ourselves in a great little setting in Farthingstone and we're just putting on a day festival there. It'll be really nice.

So you enjoy playing live?

Love it. Absolutely love it. Every time we play - whether there's a thousand people there, a hundred people there, ten people there, or one person there - it's always the same feel because our personality comes across when you do it live. There's no point hiding it. You get these bands sometimes who hide their personality by putting on a pretence, almost an act, and then it comes across quite nicely but it doesn't feel real. Whereas when we're live it's very real. We're as stupid as that on stage as we are in real life.

It's great playing live. Especially around Northampton because it's our hometown and when we play up and down Northampton we get to see people we know. It's quite an underrated music scene when you get to the bones of it. But I think playing live is my favourite thing.

The album's called 'Images of Youth'. I was wondering what your childhood memories are.

We sing about a lot of them. There's a theme if you listen to the album where there's a lot of talking about what you've done or where you've been like 'We Had It All' or 'My Muse'. But my childhood memories are very good. I was brought up in a big family, there were five of us kids. And we had quite a laugh. Always messing and joking about. Setting fire to things. It was a lot like that Toy Story where you get toys and rip them to bits and make angry evil toys out of them.

I've got a lot of images of youth. But that's the good thing about being a four-piece, it means we've got lots of images of youth and they all get thrown in. Like I said, it's a very personal touch.

Presley Johnson's 'Images of Youth' is now available for purchase on Stalkers Records. You can order tickets for Joystock Festival by emailing

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