Most university bands don’t last the distance. Forget about The Pixies, or Talking Heads, or Alt-J for the time being. What usually happens is that everyone goes their separate ways to pursue jobs, lovers and/or fun times abroad, and those rock’n’roll dreams recede into the rear-view mirror.
Forever Cult are the latest band to buck this trend. Formed at university in Huddersfield, the guitar-drums duo of Kieran Clarke and Aaron Snowdon have since become a trio, adding Alex Greaves on bass to fill out the sound.
The run of singles they’ve shared on SoundCloud proves that they can move from the sludgiest of grunge (‘Winter’s Glow’) to the punchiest of garage rock (see new single ‘Tunnel Vision’) without breaking a sweat.
Having stuck together post-uni and moved the short distance to Leeds, the band have played their part in the buzz around the city as a hotbed of low-slung guitars and reverb. Just nobody call it the new Seattle, right?
Ahead of a short run of shows to promote ‘Tunnel Vision’, we caught up with Alex to talk about being labelled ‘grunge’, the Yorkshire music scene, and their favourite Antonio Banderas film.
Introduction time. Who does what in the band?
Kieran Clarke – Guitar, singing, smoking extraordinaire
Aaron Snowdon – Hits things
Alex Greaves – Plays three root notes repeatedly on a four-string guitar thing (bass)
How did you meet and form Forever Cult?
“We met at university in the glorious land of Huddersfield.”
Your music obviously has a strong grunge element, but what kinds of music inform what you do?
“All kindsa stuff. We never set out to be a grunge band. We just ended up being really loud so it just happened that we got that label. We listen to all kinds of stuff from pop like Blood Orange to super heavy stuff like Deafheaven. I guess bands like Wavves and Cloud Nothings are probably our biggest influences though.”
It seems like bands like Drenge, Eagulls and Metz are all helping to bring that Seattle sound to a new generation of listeners. Do you feel part of any kind of grunge revival at the moment?
“Yeah I guess so, although it’s obviously not a conscious thing to try and sound like Seattle grunge but it’s inevitable that it gets mentioned. There’s loads of cool bands in Leeds doing a similar thing to us so it’s great to be part of a scene of people who dig what each other are doing.”
You started off as a guitar-drums combo. Why did you decide to bring in Alex on bass?
“It was as a result of recording our first EP. Alex produced it and ended up playing bass on it during the sessions. And that was that.”
It seems (from the outside anyway) that there’s a really strong scene in Leeds and Yorkshire just now. Do you have a sense of that too, or is it just a media thing?
“We’re aware of it because people mention it a lot in interviews and to us in person, I think. But it’s definitely a good thing. Leeds is amazing place to be in a band starting out. We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
You have a single called ‘Antonio Banderas’. Favourite Banderas film?
“Desperado? Zorro? Spy Kids? Who could possibly choose?”
What’s been your favourite gig experience so far?
“Best gig? Probably at Brudenell Social Club for the ‘Antonio Banderas’ single launch. We were scared people weren’t going to come and then people did and it went crazy. Hoping for more of the same this Saturday!”
What’s on your rider?
“Beer. And then more beer. One day we’ll ask for humous and chipsticks.”
What’s on the immediate horizon for Forever Cult? Any album plans?
“We’ve got ‘Tunnel Vision’ out currently on 7” vinyl via Too Pure Singles Club at the moment and that’s what we’re launching this weekend at the Brudenell. You can buy that via Rough Trade or any good record store.
“We’re not ready for album time just yet but it does keep coming up in conversation. We’re finishing writing an EP to record in the new year. It’s about time we released something thats longer than eight minutes like the last one isn’t it?”
Forever Cult play The Old Blue Last, London tonight (2 Dec), Le Pub, Newport on Friday (4 Dec) and Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on Saturday (5 Dec)