Gobsmag interview: Brother & Bones

“I reckon Obama loves to air guitar when no one’s looking.”

James WillardOp de Gobsmag redactie verwachten we dat de Londense band Brother & Bones veel potjes gaat breken in 2014. Bewijsmateriaal is er met het eind vorig jaar verschenen ep’tje To Be Alive. Vier liedjes en alle vier raak. Een van die vier, de huidige single Long Way To Go, kreeg van ons onlangs zelfs een klinkende 8.7. Dus ja, wij vinden Brother & Bones bijzonder veelbelovend. Hoogste tijd dus om ze eens aan de tand te voelen over de belangrijke dingen in het leven. Gitarist James Willard was zo aardig ons te woord te staan.

So James, what’s your location at this very moment?
“At home in Kent (south east of England) in my ‘Office’, fully equipped with lazy-day clothing.”

Nice. Lazy-days always for the win. But now it’s time for some serious business. Our first real question: Good old Barack Obama is having a party and all the world leaders are there. Obama asked you to play a few songs for his guests. What’s the song you’ll open with?

Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin. Arguably the best opening track for any album. It’s upbeat, and fun, a proper party tune and has THE Drum intro of all drum intros. Everyone would know it or at least recognize it. And not only that, every member in the band gets to let rip! Plus I reckon Obama loves to air guitar when no one’s looking!”

Who doesn’t! We think everybody should play their air guitar whenever and where ever they like. Even presidents. Speaking about cool dudes: if you had the chance to add an extra member to the band, dead or alive, who would that be?

“It’s gotta be Hendrix surely? Not only would he be constantly thinking outside the box in the studio or on stage. But he is probably one of the coolest guys there is? He could give us all guitar lessons when no one’s looking and the odd fashion tip too! Having someone like that around is bound to make you up your game right! On a serious note I’d just love to see what type of music he would be making right now, with all of the new technology and other styles of music to take ideas from.”

And on top of that: would Hendrix play air guitar and would he be awesome at it even when nobody’s looking? Sorry, we’re getting a bit philosophic here. But think about this: even though it isn’t about coffee, we really like the quote “So I drank one, it became four / And when I fell on the floor I drank more” from Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before by The Smiths. What’s your favourite quote from a song?

“He not busy being born, is busy dying” by Bob Dylan from his song It’s Alright Ma (I’m only bleeding).”

Nice one. We all love some Royal Bobness from time to time. And since you artists clearly are so handy with words: What’s the handsome blonde guy saying in this picture:


“Is it: “I love those headphones, they are so discreet and cool.” No actually I think he is just casually burping on live tv.”

Yes, it’s definitely burping. Okay, famous last questions. If somebody was to write your biography:

A. What will be the title?
To Be Alive. We have had lots of ups and downs since the birth of this band, and that line puts it all in perspective either good or bad. Usually good for me though. It’s the reminder that no matter how tough it gets, or how many set backs, that at the end of the day we get to play music together every day, and share that music to people that want to hear it. It puts everything into perspective. Not many people get to live the life we do. So we just have to embrace everything it has to offer.”

B. Who will play you in the movie?

“Erm, Well I would want someone like Leonardo DiCaprio as I think he just nails every part he plays in a film. However, my ‘London’ accent might be tough for him to pull off. So maybe someone like Tom Hardy, as again I think he’s an amazing actor, plus he’s a little more rough round the edges and broader than Leo, so would be a bit more convincing!”

C. Books are pretty stupid, aren’t they?

“I’m torn. My attention span is so short and I’m so easily distracted that reading books in my house is not a common thing. However, I do really enjoy it when I find a good one. Rich and Si are always reading and have suggested a few good ones in the past. My favourite to date is ‘Papillon’ by Henri Charrière. This was one of Rich’s recommendation. I’m currently reading a book on WWII though, which I find really interesting.”

Brother & Bones live zien
17 januari 2014: Groningen, Eurosonic festival (3FM Cathedral Tent)
31 januari 2014: Amsterdam, Club Ziggo
22 februari 2014: Rotterdam, Rotown
23 februari 2013: Nijmegen, Merleyn
24 februari 2014: Amsterdam, Bitterzoet
26 februari 2014: Brussel, Witloof Bar

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