You wouldn’t have thought Hanson would be listed among the influences of the hottest new pop punk band in the UK right now. But Southampton five-piece Not Advised, who are personal favourites of You Me At Six, are not afraid to admit their love of 90’s pop, as well as deep fried food, comfy chairs and their blossoming bromance.
You’ve been together for quite a while now, how did the band come about?
Andy (drums): The band came about when we were 14 years old, just jamming in school practice rooms. I didn’t know Jack before I started secondary school, that’s where we met.
Jack (guitar): Rock brought us together.
Andy: Then we started playing as the band Not Advised with different members. Then we stole Jim and Ash from other local bands to make a supergroup and decided to go out on the road and start playing music.
Which bands influenced you to become musicians in the beginning?
Andy: Blink 182 got me into music.
Jim (vocals): There are two for me. A band called New Found Glory and a band called Goldfinger, both got me into the rock circuit.
Ash (guitar): Hanson was the first CD I ever got. I listened to that a lot and I always wanted to play drums, but I wasn’t allowed.
Did you have the long hair to go with it?
Ash: Well, not straight away.
Greg (bass): Anyway, yea I think Blink 182, New Found Glory and, when we got a bit older, Fall Out Boy got us motivated.
Jack: Yea and I was big on my Oasis when we were first starting out.
You guys are from Southampton, just up the road. How is the music scene over there these days?
Andy: It’s alright. When we first started touring and playing properly, Southampton was a really cool place to play. Really great local bands and Joiners is a great venue. But I couldn’t really tell you now. We tour quite a lot so Southampton is just like playing any other town now. We obviously enjoy it because we get to see friends and stuff. We have friends in bands there. A band called Lost On Landing are really good. There have always been good bands in Southampton and I’m sure there still are.
Gary: People are doing well, you never hear of people not turning out to shows.
Jack: It was definitely a cool place when we were starting out. It definitely helped us as a great place to build from.
Where is your favourite venue to play in Southampton?
Andy: We’ve only ever played one!
Jack: Yea, Joiners has been great because we played out first show there and then we built up over the years and now it’s a case of Joiners being the smallest venue on our tour, which was a nice place to end it. It’s always been a cool place for us, it’s where we started.
Which UK bands are you guys excited about at the moment?
Gary: The guys we just took out on tour, Pegasus Bridge.
Jim: Canterbury as well, they’re really good.
You’re quite good friend with You Me At Six and have supported them in the past, will you be bribing them for backstage passes for the Blink 182 tour this summer?
Ash: That was the first thing we confirmed last time we saw them.
Andy: Nah, we tried in January but it didn’t work. The amount of people that will be calling them, pretty much everyone they know, plus a few others.
If you could support any band, who would it be?
All: Blink 182
Jack: They are the kings of pop punk. It’s the dream.
Andy: They came back at Reading and it was insane
Greg: I’d say Iron Maiden.
Jack: All those pop rock bands that can break out onto the radio really. Like Blink 182, Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy. Those sorts of bands are the ones we look up to. That’s where we want to be so any of those bands would be cool to play with.
Pop punk is quite a saturated genre, how do you guys keep your sound fresh and different from the competition?
Andy: We stop worrying about everyone else and just do what we want.
Jack: People call us a pop punk band but we never set out to write pop punk songs. I think if you just listen to our band without looking at us or the bands we play with, you’d probably just think we’re a rock band or an alternative band. We don’t have a problem with people labelling us but we never really care. We just write songs that we want to write and if people like them then that’s cool.
You’ve done a hell of a lot of touring, where is your favourite place to play?
Greg: Mine would be Newcastle.
Jim: Scotland is always good.
Jack: Scotland was really supportive early on. Now, we’re lucky that we have a good fan base so we have lots of nice fans everywhere. But when we first started touring, Scotland was one of the first places that caught on and really helped us out. I remember when we turned up and played our first show in Edinburgh, there was a big queue of people to see us even in the morning. And that had never happened for us before. So it’s always been really cool to go back there to see new faces as well as the people who helped us out from the start. It’s a special place for us.
Did you try any deep fried Mars Bars while you were up there?
Jim: Jack did!
Jack: Yep, I like everything deep fried, even haggis. No straight haggis.
What is your favourite track to play live?
Jack: The new ones I guess. Because we toured the EP ‘After The Fight’ quite a lot, we play those songs time and time again. So now that we’re writing the album we get to test run the new songs and that’s exciting not only for us playing them but also to see people reactions.
Andy: I still like playing ‘Right Now’ though.
Gary: I like ‘The World’s Not Ready’ as well because it always gets a good reaction.
Ash: Mine would be The A.R.K.
Andy: So to answer your question, all of them.
Jack: Anything that gets a reaction from the room. That’s the most important thing. So any time when people are jumping or singing, that’s the coolest part of the set.
Have you ever had any crazy fan experiences on tour?
Andy: We got a lot of gifts in Scotland. Jack, tell your story.
Jack: Well I was sat upstairs in Glasgow, minding my own business and Ash text me saying I’ve got to come outside the venue. So I go downstairs, not really knowing what to expect, and this lovely girl had made her own Jack hoodie. She got it printed with ‘I <3 Jack Fairbrother’ on the front and a picture of me on the back. That was the most ‘out there’ thing that I’ve ever had. It was really quite sweet.
Jim: There are actually two girls coming here tonight who have come all the way from Edinburgh, which is insane.
Jack: I sound like a fatty, but food! We get a lot of food. We get baked goods like cookies and cupcakes and Danishes and sweets.
Ash: We’ve also got some scrapbooks of every time people have seen us play and what we mean to them.
Jack: And globes as well. We shot a video which involved a globe and so people make globes and bring them to the show. That’s really nice.
What could you not live without on the tour bus?
Jack: We drink lots of vitamin water, play Tiger Woods, and watch films.
Andy: Ash smokes quite a lot out the window.
Jack: We’re not really fussed about the travelling; it’s all about the gigs.
Andy: On the last tour we just did, the travelling wasn’t that long because the dates were planned quite well. So I think we mostly just watched Pineapple Express.
Jack: And some Star Wars. I think it’s gone from not what features the van has but to how comfy the seats are. If you get a nice leather recliner like we had on the last tour them I’m set.
Andy: We talk quite a lot too I think.
Jack: We just amuse ourselves with stupid in-jokes. We’re all good friends. It’s a bit of a bromance.
I understand that Ash had to take over vocal duties when Jim got ill on tour last year, are you all quite multi-talented in the band?
Ash: Definitely. If Greg can’t make a practice or something then Jim steps in on the bass
Jack: As well as playing drums, Andy writes loads of the initial guitar parts, which is quite unusual for a band I suppose.
Andy: Yea, we’re all really multi-talented.
Jack: We’re actually the best musicians, times about five.
Greg: I play every instrument. Even the oboe.
Andy: Nah seriously, when I first started in the band, I couldn’t play guitar or anything like that. I think it’s just the fact that you’re around these instruments so much that even if you just pick it up and mess around on it for five minutes a day, you end up playing those five minutes so many times that you’ve probably played guitar for about three days straight.
Jack: I think I’m the exception to the rule. I can’t play drums. But I think it helps with writing as well because when people pick up an instrument that they’re not used to, they’ve got a new perspective and come up with ideas that perhaps we wouldn’t normally think of.
Talking of writing music, how is the new album coming along?
Jim: It’s going really well actually. It’s in full flow now.
What can we expect from the new record?
Jim: Tunes. Absolute tunes.
Andy: Chugging riffs. More of the same feel and emotion that we put in to our songs but maybe in a slightly different way.
Jack: It’s cheesy I know, but it is a natural progression really. There’s more depth and more going on. But we’re not trying to be anything else, we just thought, lets write some songs and see how it comes out.
Andy: We still always go with the songs that when we’re jamming and we get that funny tingling feeling inside and we start smiling. And we all stand there smiling at each other, again it’s a bromance. We tell each other “You’re the best! That riff is the best!”
Greg: We’ve got some monster riffs on this record.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Jack: We’re on a tight schedule to get this album done. So we’ve postponed summer and we’ve just been sat in our practice room trying to get the songs written and ready for the studio. Then we’re going to record in early summer and hopefully tour. But the focus is the album so next year we’ll be doing all the stuff we’ve missed out this year.
Andy: I think we’ll be doing a few support tours in the summer and do an even bigger headline tour in October/November time when the album comes out.
Jack: But for now we just want to get the CD right. We’ve got a strict deadline that we’re working towards.
Andy: We’re about a third of the way through with enough time left.