Interview with Hurray for Tuesday

Just after their gig supporting Dolphin Centre at Gullivers (review here) I had to reach out to the new and quite frankly phenomenal Hurray For Tuesday to ask them if they'd be willing to do an interview for this blog. Thankfully they said yes and here's my full chat with the guys just after one of their rehearsals.

Debbie: Hurray for Tuesday, where does the name come from?

Sean: Basically when we first got together we were like, Radiohead chose their name from a song so we said what's the name of an obscure song? So I was like I'll look through my hundreds of CD's for something obscure that no one will know. The first one was this one from The Minders called Hooray For Tuesday.

Abby: It's such a good song.

Sean: And then we just couldn't think of what name to go for, because the list was too long (we had about 100).

Abby: We liked changed the spelling as well so it would be a bit more verbal.

Sean: We went through "The Moons of Saturn" and shit like that... we went through every body in the solar system but we settled on that.

Abby: Yeah and the song itself is kinda a representation of what we were trying to be at the start of the band. It's got like trumpets in it, kinda jangly old sixties style, really cool.

Debbie: Whats the best gig you done this year so far?

Sean: Has to be that Gullivers gig.

Abby: Yeah, Gulliver.

Garfieh: Factory in April.

Sean: I enjoy doing the Manchester ones.

Debbie: Is that because it's near home so you get your fans coming?

Abby: Yeah the staple group who come every time.

Garfieh: Eagle was good too.

Debbie: I was impressed with the sound as well on Saturday when I saw you guys.

Abby: Yeah we love a good sound, it does make a big difference.

Sean: The same guy did the sound at The Eagle Inn as well.

Garfieh: I actually said to him at The Eagle that the sound was good.. and then he rocked up to this gig and we were like yeah, yeah!

Debbie: It looked so beautiful with the lights and everything on the stage on as well.

Abby: Yeah! I loved it! I'd seen some bands there before but it looked so different. I was like Oh My God this looks amazing!

Sean: They were trying to make it look more like a Pink Floyd type of visual experience.

Garfieh: It did make it.

Debbie: I loved this gig, all the bands were really good. I loved JCK!

Sean: JCK are well good!

Abby: OH My God they were amazing.

Garfieh: JCK were sic.

Sean: They're from Brighton I think?

Debbie: 2 of them are and 1 is from Manchester. I'm interviewing them next week.

Abby: Nice!

Debbie: So what got you guys into playing?

Sean: I just had this guitar in my room and I was bored and I can kinda write songs.... I didn't have much else do to with my time and that's pretty much it.

Garfieh: As long as I can remember I've just hit stuff (band laughs)... I can remember being as little as 3 and my mum would be cleaning in the kitchen and I'd just whip out the pans and start banging on them, I started going on like that. It was 3 years after I saw Bury Music Service come into my school... I was in year 4 when I started lessons and since then I've played.

Abby: I've just sang my whole life. There's this video of me making this Christmas song "Snowman Buttons Are"..... but like through loads of school plays, and in high school and then when I was 12 I taught myself guitar. My dad has always played, I kinda like, on and off started playing... At the same time I was in a children's choir and whilst it's not the same I learned lots of singing techniques and my voice got better. I then just didn't sing or play guitar for ages, or write any music. I then met Sean on Instagram through a common like of Elephant 6 and The Gerbils and then he asked me to come down and do female vocals. He wanted to start a band and I used to go down to their college in my breaks. We didn't have a drummer for like 6 months.

Harry: I started when I was like 15. I don't really know why? That's when I really started getting into music. I was into pop punk and it was really basic, a couple of chords. So I started playing my grandad played and I got his guitar. I just sunk really into it and got really nerdy about the sound... And I started a music course in Bury College. I met Sean and we just started jamming together. We were in a different bands that felt apart... I was in Wendy Go it was like an Oasis tribute band.

Abby: Yeah I was at their last gig!

Sean: It was so bad....

Garfieh: I actually turned up to that one! I didn't actually know Harry but he went to the same high school as me, but my other mate was the bassist at the time.

Harry: So that's kinda how I got started... we just formed a new band together then and we just started writing together.

Sean: I started writing songs that had nothing to do with the sound we were doing.... I then started getting into Always and The Pixies and I was like it would be cool to have a girl singer you know. Then I made a an Instagram account and then I saw Pheobe has a friend named Abby, and I was like oh she plays guitar!

Debbie: It's weird how the universe aligns.....

Abby: You actually replied with... I like The Gerbils! (laughs) That's all you said.

James: When I was 9 my grandmother bought me a keyboard and that's the whole story. Around year 9 my mate started to learning how to play the drums, so I got quite jealous so I learned to play the drums as well. I then picked up the bass.

Garfieh: You were probably a better drummer than me at that point.

James: You'll make me cry Garf!

Garfieh: He used the same kit as I did at school and he plays left handed! It was my kit and I was like you're not moving it about... he still plays drums in his other band left handed on a right handed set up!

James:.. Yeah, I've never fixed that!

Sean: Recently we've had change in the line up of the band as well... Lewis left then band.

Debbie: Why and you don't have to answer that if you don't want to.

Abby: We just kinda wanted to change the dynamic..

Sean: And he couldn't make the commitment we wanted him to, to the band. He would miss some practices as well.

Abby: He is a lovely person, we love him and we're going to support him in his solo career.

Sean: When that happened there was only one person we who wanted in the band and that was James.

Debbie: I actually saw that someone put a hat on him halfway through the gig.

Abby: He's always been like a roadie anyway. He's always been helping us set up and stuff.

Sean: The last gig (Gullivers) James had been playing bass in the band for a week and a half and I'd been playing keyboards for a week and a half.

Garfieh: It's mad cos he's like our number on fan.

James: I went to the first Wendy Go gig. It's now weird because I'll never be able to go to another Hurray For Tuesday gig.

Debbie: So other than Oasis who are your influences (band laughs)....

Garfieh: Do you mean for the band or like for individuals?

Debbie: Either or?

Sean: We all have our own influences. The way the band sort of works. I write the songs and then I bring them to the band and then everyone sort of adds their own thing. Depends what I'm listening to at the moment. I like really badly rip off a song I really like, and then I write a version of it that no else will have really heard and then bring it to the band. And then when they add their own things as well, it becomes something completely different.

Debbie: Musically rather than lyrically?

Sean: Yeah mate no lyrics. Just music.

Garfieh: He just writes whatever comes out of his head. There's a song about Tea & Toast!

from around his 18th birthday.

Abby: Oh my God (laughs).

Sean: That became Summer Again.

Abby: One of my friends became really drunk at my party and my mum had to keep feeding them tea and toast.

Sean: Here I Go Again was influenced by Somebody Told Me by the The Killers..... So I'll bring a song and do it in a way that no one has ever heard and so what you end up with is really unique. If it works it works.

Sean: We're trying to go more modern psychedelic feel. Arcade Fire, MGMT that kind of sound.

Abby: Mainly like Elephant Six Collective, Of Montreal.. We kinda just like mix it together.

James: I like Joy Division

Sean: Garfieh came from a heavy metal, rock swing but that's good because none of our songs sound really quiet. There's a lot of energy to them.

Garfieh: Me and my mate Lewis jam at home and he plays something and I play something different. I'm not gonna lie every time I play it's slightly different.

Abby: The start of Tunnel is really difficult.

Garfieh: It's because I've played for so many years I have so many styles to pick from. I don't want to stick to one style I like to mix then together. In Tunnel it's like a Ska beat mixed with a Reggae beat. Here I Go Again it's got like a Surf/Punk beat to it.

Sean: That's what makes our songs so different. Here I Go Again, it's got the Surf/Punk beat to it, with Buzzcocks guitar, with some Smiths in the verse and then like really heavy synths over it.

Harry: And like a Brian May kinda chorus.

Debbie: That's what makes a great band though. If you listen to Wolf Alice one of my favourite bands every song sounds so different. You couldn't put 3 of their songs together and they'd sound the same.

Abby: Yeah that's true.

Sean: I got that with like The Beatles. Sgt Peppers & Revolver they're so different. That's where I got the idea you don't need your songs to all sound the same.

Garfieh: You're not gonna appeal to everyone.

Abby: Loads of people who come to see us they all have a different favourite song.

Debbie: What's the biggest challenge you guys face being a young band?

Sean: I think the biggest challenge is finding time to practice.

Debbie: Is that because of college and uni?

Sean: Work, college, Uni.

Garfieh: Moving about and trying to get places. Especially before I was able to drive. I'd be like Mum can you finish early? I need to get to a gig and sometimes she couldn't. Now it's much easier.

Abby: I'm learning to drive so hopefully I'll be able to soon as well.

Sean: I guess at first as well because we were new, it was hard to win the respect of your peers. For ages I was down about the fact that we weren't getting any real offers to play gigs other than the ones we put on. But now recently we've had so many offers, we've been having to turn down gigs. We've been invited to HMV in Bury to do a set.

Harry: Because we made such a good impression on them at the last gig, Dolphin Centre have said that they'll come and support us. Also because our crowd is immense.

Debbie: I was honestly blown away by your crowd at Gullivers. I was like is this happening?

Garfieh: I was looking up from the drum kit and I was like this is amazing!

Abby: Without them.... they're amazing. It's the best support.

Garfieh: It blows me away that means people comes to see us.

Sean: Considering our first gig was last October it's amazing.

Debbie: You're kidding?

Abby: I still feel like we're no bigger than a charity Hugh school gig.

Sean: We've just done like 10 gigs.

Debbie: That's amazing.

Debbie: So we've gone through the challenges. What's the best thing about being in a young band?

Garfieh: It's seeing people's reactions. You know having other musicians coming up to you and saying, "That was really sic". You know all your hard work has actually paid off. You know rather than people just going, "That was nice".

Abby: When we have a song... and say Sean brings a new song and we all play and when we play it and it's the best its ever sounded. Like with Edinburgh I love that.

Sean: It's having the reaction we get from our crowd as well.

Abby: I wanna join in! (laughs).

Garfieh: When we first played When Rains Gonna Fall and it got to the silent bit and then everyone just went WAH! I get like shivers down my back.

Sean: When we first did it at the end, people really did cry... I always thought that if I could make someone cry from writing a song then that would be the ultimate and so I've already done that... Maybe I should quit now (band laughs - Sean jokingly runs out of the studio).

Harry: I love it as well when you're just walking along and someone says, "Oh you're in Hurray For Tuesday, I really like your band". I love that. It's such a nice feeling.

Sean: The fact that people know all the words to your songs and they're not even released, it's well weird. Even the song, The End.

Garfieh: Like when we first sold our singles and people were asking us to sign it! We were like what?!

Debbie: It's really cool to meet a young band fronted by a female. There's a real movement to get more women involved in music and represented at festivals. Do you think it's important to female fronted bands?

Abby: I wasn't even going to do it, because I didn't know anyone else is a band.

Sean: There are so many female singers who have a pop vocal kind of approach and some bands who's singers sound the same, but Abby sings like she talks.

Garfieh: That's Abby!

Abby: I still have my accent.

Debbie: I love that though. There's a band from Wigan called The Lathums who do that and of course Miles Kane does too.

All: We're proud to be northern.

Sean: It's like Static when it starts, "I Heard You Say" (it does sound very northern).... you can go outside any of our gigs and sing, "I Heard", and people will sing back the rest of it.

Debbie: Who's on your playlists.

Garfieh: Who isn't?

Sean: I've got 465 playlists on my Spotify!

Abby: Montreal, The Microphones.

Sean: My most listened to band of all time is Animal Collective 460 hours. I love Arcade Fire, MGMT.

Abby: I like rap as well.

Garfieh: My stuffs all like Pink Destroyer, Die Hard is Murder, I'm really into Damien Marley as well. I've got reggae, classical, rap I like all sorts.

James: I've got into weirder stuff thanks to the influence of Sean and Abby.

Debbie: You guys had an amazing following at Gullivers. Is it like that at every gig?

Band: Yeah

Sean: It's like that at every gig. At The Eagle they were worried because they thought people were gonna get hurt.

Debbie: They all look out for each other, it was really cool watching that.

Debbie: And finally lying down at the end? You've got to tell me what's all that about?

Band: laughs

Sean: We did a video saying that this is what Static is going to sound like live, then we all laid down at the end. We said we should do that at a gig. The idea is stolen from when James do it at Sit Down. The songs so recognisable that we go in with just the drums, then the bass.... That's what James used to do with Sit Down. The songs so short, we do it that way.

Abby: We do it at every gig and because we do it every gig they sit down.

Debbie: For someone who's never seen you guys, it was such fun to watch. It made me want to find out more about you and interview you.

Sean: That's the whole thing. We're having fun with it. It's like we're serious but we have such fun with it.

If you want to see Hurray for Tuesday on tour and I really recommend you see them they're playing 4 gigs in the next few months full details are here

Thanks a million to Abby, Sean, Garfieh, Harry and James for taking the time to do this interview after your rehearsal. Can't wait to see you guys play again..... I may even lie down next time!!

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