“It’s like a hobby that’s got horribly out of hand…”
From Cavan in Ireland, The Strypes have become fairly famous fairly quickly for being incredibly young guys into incredibly old music. Rarely, if ever, and certainly since 1965 has a young band been so in thrall to The Yardbirds, The Animals, The Who and The Stones. When they came into play Spotify’s London office recently, in between their own singles – Hometown Girls and Blue Collar Jane – they also found room for their version of Bo Diddley’s You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover, a single that was released 51 years ago to the very day of their performance. Spooky, eh?
Hello Strypes. Please introduce yourselves and tell us what the greatest record ever made is.
Evan: I’m the drummer. The greatest record ever made is Stupidity by Dr Feelgood.
Ross: I’m the singer. I’ll say the album that song’s from, Down By The Jetty, by Dr Feelgood
Peter: I’m the bass-player, I agree with Ross – Down By The Jetty!
Josh: I’m the guitarist and I think the greatest record ever made is Revolver by The Beatles
You’re all still teenagers, you been gigging for years, Noel Gallagher, Miles Kane and Elton John all love you. How did that even happen?
Evan: Ha! Well, the whole thing happened slowly and happily over 15 years. Me, Josh and Pete were all friends as were are parents when they were younger. The whole lot of us would get together at my parent’s house and listen to their records.
Josh: That’s how we got introduced to bands like the Feelgoods, Rockpile and The Yardbirds and through them we learned about the musicians they were into, people like Little Walter, Slim Harpo, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf – the list goes on!
So you all began playing when you were very young?
Josh: I began playing at 5 or 6, but Evan was playing drums at 3!
Was there a guiding hand behind it all?
Pete: No. We just hung out with each other a lot. Niall [Evan’s dad and the band’s manager) played us a lot of music and we just all fell in love with it.
Josh: We discovered artists at our own pace. We’d say, we’ve heard about this fella John Lee Hooker and Niall would say, “Oh yeah, well there’s a load of his records up on the shelf there!”
Not one of you has had so much as a dodgy metal past?
Pete: No, not really. Some of us flirted with football. Ever since we’ve been kids this has all we wanted to do.
Evan: It’s like a hobby that’s got horribly out of hand!
Are there five artists that the Strypes couldn’t exist without?
Evan: There definitely are, and they have their own five that they couldn’t exist without!
Josh: I’d say, Dr Feelgood, The Yardbirds, The Stones, Chuck Berry and Rockpile.
And who couldn’t they live without?
Pete: Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.
Evan: And they couldn’t live without Charlie Patton and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Josh: And Blind Lemon Jefferson!
If you could be any other band in history who would it be?
Evan: The Rolling Stones would be a good one – but with all the fights and drugs and dead band members removed.
Josh: Dave Edmunds too – he’s had a great 30-year career, but really the main ambition for the band is to sustain a career, to make enough money to keep going!
Who are you listening to right now?
Pete: We’ve been listening to Taj Mahal, The Undertones and Nick Lowe, but we saw Gary Clark Jr recently and he totally blew us away. He has actually stopped me wanting to be a guitarist as he’s just so amazing.
Evan: He has incredible presence and he’s so heavy – that’s rare. He’s really influenced us, we all want to get heavier and make it a better show.
If we were to gatecrash your next end of tour party – and I can’t promise we won’t – what records would we be guaranteed to hear?
All: Rosalyn, the debut single by the Pretty Things. I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass by Nick Lowe. Pump It Up by Elvis Costello. Get Over You by The Undertones and She Does it Right by Dr Feelgood.
Who’s the most impressive person you’ve ever met?
Evan: Probably Michael Palin. We met him in Dublin and he was sort of impressive and surprising – we’re all big Python fans.
Josh: We met Jeff Beck too and he was great – a really lovely chap.
Finally – crucially – what’s your favourite noise?
Evan: I love the click a car door makes when it’s shutting. Particularly a Golf.
Josh: Plugging in a guitar lead.
Pete: A lovely muddy bass sound!
Ross: You know when you hang-up a landline phone and you hear those little tiny bells? That’s a really great sound…
Check out their exclusive Spotify Session live from our HQ here!