Interview with The People Versus
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
The band have done a variety of different jobs from art restoration to working in a literal coal factory, so probably somewhere between those? Doesn’t pay to think about.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Alice is big into The Sims, which has in fact previously been the basis of a song or two, I (Jack) am a bit of a one track mind workaholic unfortunately, the music industry and its weird internal relationships fascinates me, so i'm often emailing or reading.
How long has your band been together?
We started up about 6 months before the first lockdown! (Hate that that is how i measure time internally.)
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We’re based in Oxford these days, but we’re from all over the UK originally. I think Oxford being a very cosmopolitan but transient city meant there was no shortage of different music styles always flowing through the town. During the Pandemic we were firmly “based” in our houses and that certainly made us get creative with our writing and processes.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our hometown show at Oxford O2 on our first ramshackle set of dates I had the nerve to call a tour was an amazing experience. Proper deep down catharsis getting to play our tunes to people who knew them. I remember our friend Sam finishing our intro spiele on stage and us walking on and realizing we’d filled the room, that will stick with me.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I’m not sure we’ve played a venue twice yet officially speaking, maybe the Hug and Pint in Glasgow? lovely venue, amazing food, brilliant staff. Top notch. Red Rocks in Colorado and Brixton Academy are my targets.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I’m gonna limit myself here to line ups that are alive, and would make sense with us? Otherwise it gets real wishy-washy-music-history BACH/BEATLES/BEACHBOYS real fast.
→ The People Versus → Orla Gartland → White Lies → Dayglow → Bon Iver / Fleet Foxes mashup collab album. Yeah. that'll do.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Be a good hang. Sometimes it sucks and you’re carrying flight cases up cast iron fire escapes before driving 5 hours in a dubious transit van. Sometimes you’re backstage at a festival watching your favourite bands play, no-one is perfect and no-one is an angel, but being a good hang means you’ll put up with the first long enough to get to do the second.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
“Don’t worry too much about what could have been done differently , focus on the now” - Alice
“Dude, maybe it really is your thyroid.” - Jack
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I'd say right now that's lonely teen, not just because it's the most recent release so it's on my brain, but because it's perhaps the most personal thus far.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Witch is a firm fan favourite, but we’re lucky that our audiences seem to have a real variety of favourites, we’ve not had our Smells Like Teen Spirit moment yet.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I make up lots of terrible guitar riffs/chord structures, show Alice the best 40%, She writes incredible moving lyrics off the bat with catchy melodies, and also often brings a fully fledged song of her own. We also wrote a “Heineken album”, but that's a story for another time.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
They are often stories in my experience, not necessarily always with a clear parable type of punchline. We are from a variety of backgrounds so I like to think the music we make is welcoming and inclusive. So the main one is “if this resonates with you, you are welcome here”.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We have never disagreed about anything. That is one of the benefits of becoming a cloud based hivemind. Downsides include when Danny is using all the brain cells at once.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We toured pretty relentlessly this year, so we’re excited to get into the studio and record some new material. We've got to work out some game plans; we’ve just brought on some really exciting people into the family that we can’t wait to introduce. Sorry to be vague, but underpromise / overdeliver has got to be the aim.