Interview with Sly Antics’s Sam Hudson: Part One

By Jack Holmes

We finally had a chance to sit down with up and coming Manchester based indie rock band Sly Antics’ frontman Sam Hudson. The trio have just played a sold out gig at Gulliver’s in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which you can read our full review of here. Here’s part one of our interview.

Just to start we loved your set on Saturday night

Cheers, I was actually really stressed before I went on, just because it all went on so late. There was a guy next to me who’d come all the way from Warrington on his own who had to leave before we started, [for] last trains.

£5 for a four-hour gig isn’t bad though, definitely got our money’s worth

I was gonna say. The bands were good, it was a good line-up. You weren’t sitting around waiting for ages.

How would you describe your sound for people who didn’t manage to catch that gig? Any core influences?

People say it’s kind of like, noisy, which sounds like a simple word but, we don’t like to be too clean and polished, I think our sounds quite jagged. [It’s] lots of distortion, lots of feedback, that kind of stuff, lots of influences from old style grunge bands, your Sonic Youth and that kind of stuff. It is polished to the extent that there’s quite a poppy nature to our choruses, they’re quite catchy. You kind of have the Northern Arctic Monkeys Northern rock style sing-along sort of stuff going on, but also some real heavy, old school 90’s, like some Rage Against the Machine style riffs, early Muse stuff to give it some meat on the bones.

Would you say you guys have changed that sound much since you’ve formed

Our first gig was October last year, so it’s been a while, but at the same time it’s gone insanely quick. We have changed a lot, our performance is much more confident, I’m sure you’ve spotted that [he laughs]. The music’s second nature now, it’s more about the show. We’ve done these songs a lot but now we’re adding things to them, adding breakdowns, trying to do something where when someone hears it live it’s got something that’s giving them some extra value. We’re throwing snippets of covers in, a bit more crowd interaction, just trying to put on a better show than we used to put on.

For people who haven’t heard you yet, which one track summarises the band best to you?

I think Captive City is the track at the moment. It’s the title track off the Ep, it seems to be everyone’s go to. We put all those first tracks out there at once because that was our first music, to try and see what was the most popular and what people like about the band. It always seems to be that and then Lights Go Down, which is a completely different kind of track, still heavy but it has a funky disco kind of vibe. So Captive City is probably the best, I think it shows every element of the band in that song.

Since October you’ve done plenty of performances, do any stand out in particular?

We’ve done such a broad scale of gigs. We’ve done some pubs, then we’ve done massive ones. I think the best one for us was the O2 Ritz, which is clearly the biggest stage we’ve ever played, and will play for quite a while, they get some huge bands in there. I think that as the first time when everything was just taken care of, we had a sound tech on stage it’s that big, which is just complete madness we’re not used to that. Lots of space to run around which we really use if we’ve got it, trying to jump around on small stages just doesn’t really work. The sound was phenomenal. And the fact that there were 1000 plus people there which makes a massive difference to the show, with more people there you play 10 times better. That’s definitely the flagship. The EP launch we did at Night and Day Café was really good, it was nearly sold out but with such a small space it was like the craziness of the Ritz condensed down into a nice cosy little space. Again, it was really cool I think those two are the standout ones at the moment.

What can we expect from you guys in the near future?

So, we’ve been in the studio last month, we’ve recorded three new tracks. They’re recorded, mastered and ready to go but we’re going to be releasing them one by one as singles next year. We’re really really impressed with everything, the confidence and the character comes through a lot more on these new tracks. Each one of those will have a huge, individual launch night at a venue probably in Manchester as it’s our hometown and following up with gigs across the country as well, which is good as we’re getting out of the city and doing stuff in Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and London and some others. Each of those will have a music video as well, we put a lot of effort into our music videos, they’re always quite mad and out there, they’re something to look forward to. We’ve got a huge show at a special venue coming up on the third of February. It’s not usually a venue, so I can’t tell you too much about that just yet.

Are those three tracks going to become a new EP?

They’ll be singles at first but I think in terms of us handing physical things out I think it’d be mad to hand out a CD with just a single on it these days. Each time a song’s released just compile it with all our other tracks and just get a bigger CD every time we hand it out. I think everyone would rather have as many tracks as they can and CD’s aren’t that popular these days, but in terms of digital, Spotify and all that stuff, it’ll be a single really it’ll feel like one of it’s own. They fit together but each one’s quite unique in its own right.

You can read the second half of out interview here.

You can catch Sly Antics at Kazoopa Festival later today if you’re near Leeds or at the Manchester Crafted Beer Festival on the December 10th.

Jack Holmes

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