"Sorry man, this fruit salad is f*cking awesome" says Jon Watkin, bassist of NMEs Brummy darlings The Twang. To many people the humble fruit salad is a concoction of various health boosting, yet succulent victuals, that are, last time I checked, available in the first aisle of your local Sainsburys. To The Twang its much more than that. Its a statement. Its a sign. Its Gods way of telling them theyve made it and its the comparative of bathing naked on a nudist beach of sex-hungry female football commentators. But than again it is just a fruit salad.
"Its a big f*cking statement to say were the best new band, but you cant knock it."
Jon Watkin, The Twang
"Its the simple things like..." For a moment I think the Twang are about to get deep. "...seeing your single in the shops man. I f*cking love that. Even coming here with a fridge full of piss (it sounded like piss), weve never had dressing rooms and a fridge full of piss (yep, definitely piss). Weve never had a free can of beer between us (Ohh they mean beer, not piss)".
"Its all new to us man. Thats the thing." Its hardly surprising, Last time I saw someone this enthusiastic about a fruit salad they were off their tits on drugs and trying to engage in conversation with a satsuma. The Twang have obviously kept their feet securely fastened to the ground, which is further evident with their decision to play so many small venues, like Stirlings The Beat.
"If people are buying your records then you wanna go and see them and give them the chance to come and see you, Chimes in guitarist Stuart Hartland. "Id rather everyone was leaving the gigs and saying were ace, than NME saying were ace."
A fair point, but surely The Twang are just another one of NMEs bands being built up to be knocked back down again. Its not something that particular bothers the group though.
"Its a big f*cking statement to say were the best new band" says Jon. "But you cant knock it. People seem to be f*cking believing it man, but, its one of them man, how many times have you read NME man, and they blew things up man, it does die off man, I remember them banging on about Razorlight man, and now NME f*cking ripp Razorlight but theyre selling out f*cking stadiums and getting number one albums" Six mans in one sentence obviously this is something they feel pretty strongly about!
"It can work both ways. The thing is if youve got good tunes and youre a good band then youll f*cking get through it anyway. If you are shit and they hype you up and youve got no tunes then youre f*cked. But luckily...we have."
Its clear they think theyre good but its not the industry that has does that to them. Had The Twang still be playing tiny little pub venues in Birmingham they would probably still think they were brilliant. Its just a streak of confidence that they will always have.
Jon, certainly not lacking ego takes the time out to mention just how great his band is, "Im not going on but we are quite good. Weve got a good drummer. Im good on bass. Stu is a great guitarist. If youve got a weak link a drummer who cant keep time, you can see it and you can hear it when you perform live."
A sudden divergence leads the boys onto a discussion about Jons mum and the current state of his bowel movements.
"I havent had a solid sh*t for about two weeks. Mine was like a cow pat last night. It just stuck to the bowl. And obviously we were all sharing hotel rooms. It smelt like someone had died in there and the cleaner still hadnt found it."
"Before we went on last night literally four of us had a sh*t in ten minutes. They had to evacuate the venue. But enough about sh*t anyway. Youre gonna go back and be like well what good facts did we get?... Well..we know their sh*t stinks."
I tried to direct the interview away from Twang faeces and to the current single, but they found that far less interesting. "I dont think any of us are expecting it to go into the top 10, if it gets into the charts youve f*cking done something. When we set out before were signed - just to get a single out and see it in HMV was great. If it gets a good spot man, it gets a good spot, but theres more than one single".
Far more involved in just enjoying themselves and letting their own music do that talking The Twang are keen to milk this while they can "Were gonna make some mad demands on the rider. Were telling our tour manager that we want a link of sausages on our next one, cooked and steaming. Oh .and were gonna have a monster truck for Glastonbury."
But at least they have things in perspective. Unfazed, slightly uncouth and until just a few months ago unheard of, The Twang are just settling into life in a band that might actually be getting somewhere, and man, they sure are enjoying it. As Jon summarised:
"We know how it is now. We know how its going to be. But youve gotta enjoy it, if I f*cking mope around - what a waste of f*cking time. If I see a f*cking big bowl of fruit Im gonna eat it". And with that statement, he did.
The Twang released their new single 'Wide Awake' on March 19th, and it broke the UK charts at number 15.