Who Are You?: an interview with IDLES

Within the pages of Issue Twelve you’ll find a section dedicated to introducing the most exciting bands within the UK and abroad, a section that asks these bands to briefly introduce themselves and the music they make. This Introduction has a purpose, to set your mind, fingers and ears to work as you hunt down their sounds. When we spoke to these bands, We dug a little deeper and encouraged answers that simply wouldn’t fit within the pages of the magazine. With one stone and two birds we bring you the full interview with IDLES, as well as an introduction to the music they’ve been making.

Tell us who you are and where you’re from? 

I’m Joe. I’m from Bristol by way of Newport. Newport is a grey old mess but I love it, the people are tip top but Bristol is my home and it’s fucking wonderful.

Tell us a bit about the music you make, who, what and where influences you?

Our music has evolved into an animal of it’s own. We started out wanting to sound like our heroes. We wanted to be a post-punk band and our influences were clear as day (Joy Division, Gang of Four, Bauhaus etc.) but we found the less we thought about the music we wanted to write and just played, we were writing something more visceral and something more driven. What we were making was half what we wanted to hear and half what we thought we wanted to hear. Our influences now come from all over the shop but what interests me are the artists that gave us the bravery to be ourselves. At the time of writing Brutalism we were fuelled by ‘Yeezus’. Kanye West’s album confronted standards of what was expected from an artist of his stature and level of fame and that was exciting. Having already spread his wings with ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’, he then went further with ‘Yeezus’ and potentially fucking himself off with batshit lyrics and Rick Rubin’s cut and shut editing, he was showing us that there is beauty by embracing your limitations and the clusterfuck. That album also taught me that humour doesn’t correlate with integrity.

Least favourite musical comparison?

I don’t tend to worry too much about comparisons, it’s an easy tool to help people open their ears to new shit. Just because I don’t think we sound like Fat White Family or Sleaford Mods doesn’t mean that someone else cant hear a similarity, plus they’re fucking good bands. I’d like to cut anyone that say we’ve copied anyone though, that’s fucking ignorant.

Something you really like?

 Chocomel. It’s a chocolate milk drink I discovered in Holland. It’s bang tidy.

Something you really dislike?

 Offal and stupids.

If you could change one thing, be it personal or global what would it be?

Reverse Global Warming completely, I guess. That or have two worlds, one for us and one for them.

 Your favourite show you’ve played so far and why?

The best show we’ve played, for me was at The Bristol County Sports Club for Simple Things festival. It was carnage. We came on after Shame who killed it. What came next was nothing short of a perfect gig, the room was full of love and I’ll never forget it.

Aims and plans for 2017?

 I just want to carry on playing live and become the best we can be for the second album. Jools Holland would be a treat as well.