Newcastle quartet Little Comets started making waves as the trio Freerunner. Formed of brothers Mickey and Robert, alongside their equally musical mates Matt and Mark, Little Comets are about to land all over the UK. Not only can the dynamic troupe be found supporting both Hockey and The Noisettes on tour, but also the lads are prone to impromptu one-off performances anywhere and everywhere. zap! bang! took a moment to speak to lead singer and guitarist Robert Coles about “Adultery” and guerrilla gigging.
The band was originally a trio called Freerunner, when did you become the quartet Little Comets?
Hmmmm this happened in early 2008: we used to use a laptop, but he developed an attitude problem, so we invented Matt and became a square.
How did you all meet?
Me and Micky are brothers in a genital sense. We met Mark when we were 12 and 13. We needed a drummer and heard he was bad ass (a cool phrase at the time) so we poached him from a steel band. Then Matt stumbled into our rehearsal room one day…
What sentence would sum the band up?
We don’t like chains of command but try to make warm music for shackled bones ;)
You have often been compared to The Mystery Jets. What artists inspire you most?
Erm I suppose people like Debussy, Ella Fitzgerald, Paul Simon, Jonathan Safran Foer, Roald Dahl, stories that we hear and places we rehearse…
Who is the songwriter?
Micky and I will write quite a bit in the house and come up with ideas. Then we’ll try to make them into something good (Micky gets bossy in the rehearsal room and adds some science) while I attempt the lyrics, hmmm.
Your latest single is called “Adultery”, does someone have a confession?
Hahaha (although hahaha doesn’t really work in written form, could be a fake laugh and that innit)… nope it came out of my head unfortunately… I think it just tries to tell the story of a relationship that is pretty knacked up from the view of the furniture.
Your debut single went to number one in the independent charts, do you dream of being number one in the Top 40 rundown?
Errrrrr actually it only was a number three :( We cried ourselves to sleep, Mark still has night terrors about it now… in terms of the real actual charts we feel so disconnected from most of the music in there that it doesn’t seem an achievable goal at the minute! Micky would like to get to number 7 because that is his lucky number.
You are known for your guerrilla gigs, how did those start?
Micky sat us down and convinced us that by playing to a captive audience we could maximise our musical utility. Matt said “yeah whatever, but will it be a laugh like eh?” When Micky said “yes”, we bounced off straight away to play on a combination of trains, trams, benches, stations and lecture theatres….
What is the oddest place you have ever sprung into action?
Me and Mark were in the hospital today and… hmmm maybe not. we played in a bingo hall and got totally manhandled. The Gala staff didn’t appreciate it even though we waited until someone had won… oops.
We don’t like chains of command but try to make warm music for shackled bones.
How is the album coming along?
Aaah, it is DDDDDONE!!!!! It’s just been finished getting mixed by Rich Costey who did MGMT and Muse, so hopefully it will at least be technically good… We’ve just got to do the artwork and decide on a track order.
You are self-producing, what prompted this decision?
Micky has always recorded everything we’ve done and seems to have gotten better and better each time. Also, he chains himself to the desk when he is recording so is pretty committed… The main reason is though that our social skills are so collectively poor that I don’t think we’d have been able to find anyone who would have wanted to do it…
You have just finished supporting Hockey and are about to embark on a tour with The Noisettes. Who do you prefer musically?
Ah well, the political answer is that ‘they are both great bands who we love and cherish as humans and musicians’ but if i had to listen to one of them it would be The Hockettes.
Have you any useful words of advice?
The last time we tried this someone ended up injured so no, probably not.
Who would you most like to have supporting you on tour?
The Hockettes are good… We’d love to do some gigs with Deastro or Everything Everything or Small Screen Light Show or Micachu or Golden Silvers but not sure they’d support us.
You all went the University route first before chasing the dream. Safety net or parental pressure?
Ooh, neither. I just think we wanted to keep studying…
What are your hopes for the next 12 months?
Just to avoid arrest and improve our van a bit as all we have in it at the minute is some dodgy wallpaper, a detachable table and some vegetarian dried bacon.
And if it all fails… you will?
Mark wants to start a limo company (he stole the idea off Jamie Foxx in Collateral). Matt is reading a lot about kites at the minute. Micky is attached to production and I like the idea of starting a hospital for sick animals (ill ones, not perverted).
The single “Adultery” is released by Columbia Records on October 26. For more information visit www.littlecomets.com