Bristol punk band Heavy Lungs are George, James, Danny and Oliver with a debut EP, Abstract Thoughts, coming soon. On Saturday, February 3rd the group play The Brass Monkey in Hastings as The Joe Strummer Foundation teams up with Independent Venue Week 2018 for Strummerville-on-Sea. We spoke to guitar player Oli about their style and what it means to be involved with the foundation.
If we were a TV show, I reckon we’d be Frasier because we’re classy as hell, but have moments of chaos and emotional turmoil.
First up, tell us a bit about what got you into music?
I have older brothers and sisters that turned me onto a lot of music. Mainly stuff from the sixties like Hendrix and The Doors. Then I was about 8, my mum took me to the library and I got an Iggy Pop cd, then I was hooked. Raw Power was the first album I got.
I know for the other guys, music has always been around them. For Danny it’s a little different, coming from Ukraine, but he just had different formative influences, and music got heavier later for him, so he brings heat in other ways.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from to form your musical and thematic style?
In Heavy Lungs, things started from some of Danny’s ideas, that we took and gave them some juice. Iceage was a big influence on his vocals and lyrical delivery and Goggs was a big one musically. But also all the big ones like Nirvana, Iggy Pop, Fugazi, Blur, Metz, Ulrika Spacek and our pals, Idles helped us think sometimes.
How would you describe your style?
If we were a TV show, I reckon we’d be Frasier. Because we’re classy as hell, but have moments of chaos and emotional turmoil. Musically, I think we like to stay lean but with firm handshake.
What was your highlight of 2017?
Simple Things was pretty rad, as we met our manager that day and our set was quite unexpectedly crazy. There was a lot of perspiration and red paint. It was only our second gig. Supporting Metz was also pretty mega, as we’re big fans, and they were so nice.
What are your connections with The Joe Strummer Foundation? How did you first get involved?
This gig is actually our sort of introduction to the foundation. I know of it well though, and it’s a beautiful thing!
How has The Joe Strummer Foundation impacted on your musical career?
Well, as it’s pretty new to us, I hope it makes all our dreams come true, and we get to meet Keanu Reeves.
You’re plaing Strummerville-on-Sea. How did that come about?
Well our manager Lindsay is a big part in organising the gig and she also manages Yowl, so she asked us if we were up for it, and we said ‘Oui’.
What does it mean to play The Brass Monkey?
Intrigue. I hope it’s better than The Brass Monkey in Teignmouth.
What can we expect from your set?
We’ll be playing songs off our ep that comes out on the day before the gig, plus loads of new songs. Other than that, probably a shirtless George behind the drums, a beanie on James’ head, me wearing red and getting sweat in my eyes and Danny dancing provocatively.
How’s the rest of 2018 shaping up for you?
Pretty neatly so far, expect more music than you could shake a mouse at, merch, and gigs aplenty!