Now in their fifth year, Exeter quartet the Computers have developed into one of the most visceral and exciting bands around. With their mighty debut album This Is The Computers stripping paint from woodwork wherever it is played, and a hectic schedule of late summer gigs ahead of them – including appearances at Reading/Leeds and a European tour with the Subways, I caught up with the band’s drum titan Aiden to find out more:
For those of our readers who are unlucky enough not to be hip to the Computers, could you tell us a little about how you came together and what made you decide to form a band?
We had all grown up together, playing in different bands over our teenage years, hanging around the Cavern. Once these bands had split, Al wanted to start a band that infused his love of soul, garage, punk and rock n roll. Luckily he found another couple of cool cats who shared his vision, and so The Computers were born.
What are the common influences that unite you musically?
We all love garage, we all love soul, we all love punk and rock n roll. That’s all you need.
You’re from Exeter – is there much of a scene going on there, or do you pretty much stand alone?
We are very lucky to have a brilliant venue in Exeter called the Cavern. It’s more than just a venue though. It is the central hub of all alternative souls who roam Exeter, it’s a night out, it’s where we all work it’s where we rehearse; it’s where we eat, drink and sometimes sleep. Having this creates a scene, almost everyone we know plays in a band, it’s weird if you don’t. But none of it would exist if it was not for the Cavern, and the brilliant people who run it.
Given the visceral nature of your rock’n’roll, ‘The Computers’ seems a little antiseptic, how did you come by the name?
We were looking, we saw and we said – The Computers. The name came first, then the band.
How do you think that you have developed as a group since you first got together, five years ago?
Well, we always set out to be a punk/soul/hardcore band. But in the earlier stages the punk and hardcore seemed to shine through over much else. This could have been because of our age, surroundings, knowledge and experience. But through many of years of development, we are starting to focus more on the soulful, garage sound of our band. The best is yet to come.
You recorded This Is The Computers in just four days – was it an enjoyable process? How did you come to hook up with John Reis and did you enjoy recording in the US?
It was a hard task, but very worthwhile. We sound best when we are standing next to each other. We played with John’s new band the Nightmarchers, and it was as simple as just asking him if he wanted to record us. We had nothing to lose. He said ‘Yeah’, and four months later we were jamming in his San Diego basement, and of course it was the best thing we have ever done.
Did you get to play live while you were in the States? If so, how did the band go down?
For visa reasons, no we did not get to perform in front of people, but if we had I’m sure they would have dug it, San Diego is very cool.
Did the eleven tracks on the album come together relatively quickly or were these songs that you’d been developing live over the past couple of years?
Half of the album’s songs were fully nurtured, and had been performed live in many sweaty venues. The other half was finished on the plane or in the basement of the Swami. See if you can guess which ones.
You’ve been touring with Gay For Johnny Depp and Alexis On Fire, how were those gigs?
The Gays are old friends of ours; we did one of our first tours with them. And so our time spent with them is always fun, and they always have a new drummer to get to know so it’s never boring, and the shows are mostly good. As for the shows with Alexis, that was a whole new experience. They were the biggest shows we had played at the time and so it took a while to find our feet on such a big stage. But we got there, two shows and 8000 people later we felt comfortable delivering our weirdo rock n roll to the Alexis masses. The band was great to us too, we gambled, we drank, we sang, we partied every night, good dudes, good dudes.
What kind of following have you developed?
We are still developing the complete following. But if we see someone at a venue with slick back hair, a few tats, and a good pair of shoes on, we often guess that they are our people, and we are never wrong on that.
Press response to the album has been overwhelmingly positive; do you think that the band is now moving up to a higher gear?
That is the aim. As Yaz once said ‘The only way is up, baby!’
What could gig virgins expect from a Computers live show?
Expect the unexpected. But if that’s not enough for the virgins, hear this: Five guys dressed in white, dripping in sweat and splashed in blood playing as tight and as groovy as humanly possible. And unfortunately a fair amount of spit. The Computers hold no responsibility for any infections/illness caught at our shows. Enter at your own risk.
Having worked with John Reis, is there anyone else that you’d like to record with?
I personally love the sound of Steve Lilywhite’s sound of the new wave punk in the late 70’s/early 80’s. But you know, it doesn’t get much better than working with one of your musical heroes.
What’s next for the band?
Many more shows, a few festivals including Reading and Leeds, trips to Europe. It’s all on the website. I can’t say too much because I don’t know what’s announced officially, but watch this space, we have a lot going on. Then a second album for 2012, and like I’ve said the best is yet to come.
Originally posted 2011-07-29 14:12:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter