How would you describe your music?
You’ve just released a new single ‘My Gun’ can you tell us about that track?
‘My Gun’ is our oldest song and I originally wrote it for our previous band. It’s a black comic tale about a paranoid young man whose isolation leads him to fantasise about some unpleasant things. I’m particularly fond of the lyrics as they’re very indicative of what I want to do with Gag Salon which is to tell stories of the twisted and the macabre and to indulge, artistically, in the intrusive thoughts we all have - anyone who tells you their mind is pure is lying to you! I think it’s good to use art as a way of processing some of the less desirable aspects of our own personalities. There are too many bands that like to discuss controversial topics or social issues from the point of view of a righteous observer making funny quips. I think it’s infinitely more interesting to investigate these things from the exact opposite point of view.
Radio 6’s Tom Robinson praised your last single ‘Horses’ as ‘not a note out of place’ you must be pleased with the way the song has been received. Why did you pick that track as the debut single?
Yes we were very pleased with the way ‘Horses’ was received, and to get comments like that from people like Tom Robinson is of course very satisfying and fulfilling. ‘My Gun’ was actually our original choice for debut single, but we found out at the last minute that it had been rejected by streaming services due to the lyrics - I think this was mainly because of sensitivities around shootings in America. So the version available for streaming has slightly different lyrics as I had to go and re-record a few lines. The original version is on the video and available for free at our Bandcamp page.
I suppose we picked ‘Horses’ as our alternative debut as it’s a pretty immediate tune that bashes you over the head quite a bit.
The videos for the singles ‘Horses’ & ‘My Gun’ are very creative, were they fun to make? Who came up with the concepts?
‘Horses’ was an idea we had to come up with very quickly as we only had a few weeks to get it sorted, hence it being collaged with a load of stock footage. I wouldn’t say it was particularly fun to make, I’m very unfit as you might be able to tell from watching it and shooting that video was probably the most amount of exercise I’ve done this year. I also had to eat hay, which wasn’t good. Our friend Sam Jones shot it for us at his flat and near a stables by Epping Forest.
‘My Gun’ was an idea our friend Campbell McConnell had. We got in touch with him about making a video for us and he had the idea to make the castle out of cardboard. Originally he wanted to have us all in sculptures and part of the environment like Tom (keyboards) is, but we realised it’d probably be a bit more of a dynamic video if we could actually move around. We shot it at Condition Studio in Croydon, where Campbell works, and it was actually very fun; until we got the news halfway through the day that we wouldn’t be able to release ‘My Gun’ as the debut single - that was a lot less fun.
You have been getting a great reception at your live shows what have been the highlights so far for you?
Our headline at the Windmill was definitely a major highlight - it was packed out and people were going nuts, and we played really well too. Normally the gigs you enjoy the least end up being the ones the audience think were great, so it was nice for us to be on the same page as the crowd. Our first gig in front of a non-seated audience at Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes was fantastic too, that was the first time any of us had played live music to a proper crowd in years and it was pretty euphoric.
You are playing a hometown gig in Reading for AYL festival on 7th May, are you excited to be back in ‘the ding’ & what should the audience expect?!
Yes, very excited, and especially excited to be playing at Purple Turtle again which is where we kind of cut our teeth as musicians in the early years of the ‘Reading scene’ (RIP). The audience should expect to get their asses kicked!!
Aside from AYL what other gigs are coming up where we can catch you live?
We’re supporting Saloon Dion on Tuesday 26th at the Shacklewell Arms (London) which should be great, and we’re going to be announcing plenty more in the weeks to come, so I would advise people to keep their eyes peeled.
The singles 'Horses' & 'My Gun' are out now on Blitzcat Records!
Photo credit - Rosie Alice Wilson