¡Forward, Russia!

on Saturday 24 March 2007

Tom and Whiskas, singer and guitarist in Forward Russia are great blokes, but a sarcastic pair at the best of times. Then again, if I was in a band I’d treat snotty interviewers with a healthy dose of contempt too. As we sit in a London pub, all they want to do is be silly, “We love crap indie. Like ‘Hundred Mile High City’ by Ocean Colour Scene. That’s a bloody great song. So is ‘Sit Down’ by James. Anything by the Stone Roses or Primal Scream too

¡Forward, Russia!

What is it about music you view as junk that you love so much? “Hello. Hello,” Tom answers, “You can sing along to them in the pub, that’s what indie is about my friend. There’s no why about it, just listen to the songs,” before breaking into a chant of “LADS ON TOUR, LADS ON TOUR, LADS ON TOUR ’94” and necking the rest of his pint.

“We also love ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ by The Gossip,” Whiskas chips in with a grin on his face, at the precise moment the song starts playing on the pub jukebox, “...we’re a fan of any band that is a fan of the cast of Skins.” Clearly this whole business of show-business is a bit of a farce for them.

Tom points the finger at me, “You interviewed us in Nottingham once and you thought Rob our bass player was called Bentley, who’s just our mate that follows us around.” It’s true, I apologise. (If you want to check that interview out, go here). Bentley is about and Tom calls him over. Whilst they amuse themselves discussing his moment of fame on eGigs, Whiskas talks about who he’d have replace him if he left the band. “David Siteck, the guy from TV on The Radio is amazing, if I wasn’t already in the band I’d want him to replace me. Also, the drummer from The Mars Volta could replace Katie

Talking of replacements, what does he reckon to The Astoria, one of London’s greatest music venues, being bought up and shut down by developers? “I’m gonna miss the Astoria, it’s such a great venue. We should definitely fight to keep the venues… well, actually we shouldn’t have to fight. Big businesses shouldn’t knock them down in the first place, the world doesn’t need any more shopping centres.”

Who is your favourite band at the moment? “We love The Long Blondes. Kate Jackson is gorgeous, but she’s not how you’d imagine her. She’s very down to earth, a quiet girl. Don’t get any ideas though, a date with you and her wouldn’t work, she’s got a boyfriend with a big beard.”

Klaxons come on the radio. Whiskas wonders why everyone’s so interested in drugs again all of a sudden. New Rave, I remind him. “Do they expect us to say OH ACTUALLY I HAD SOME MDMA AT A RAVE AND IT WAS LIFE CHANGING AND THAT’S WHY ALL OF FORWARD RUSSIA’S SONGS SOUND LIKE THEY DO?” he considers. Tom chips in, “My first drugs experience was Calpol. Then, when I was really really ill, had some Lemsip.” Talk of the music media that at once confuses them and amuses them continues, “The NME make us do some funny things. One time one of the editors came up to me and went, ‘We’ve got an Oasis special, a White Stripes special, a Stone Roses special coming up, we need this, this and this’...then he sat me down at a computer and made me write up my answers. It was pretty funny.” Pretty funny – that seems to be Forward, Russia’s opinion of most things. But what’s wrong with that? The world is pretty funny, to see it any other way would be little more than righteous...

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article by: Alex Hoban

published: 24/03/2007 01:27

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