Face to face with Humbug


They’ve been around since 2012 and if you still haven’t heard of them, you must be living under a rock. Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you Humbug – the band who are capable of driving stadiums crazy with their upbeat music, though the stadiums know nothing of it just now. Well, it’s a matter of time, really… Humbug talk to Rock Britain about the band, their EP ‘Nights Out’ and Arctic Monkeys.

– How did Humbug form?

– It was pretty disjointed to be honest. Back in 2012, Jon, Alex and Sam started jamming as a three piece to see what could potentially come of it. We knew each other from school so it was just another way of hanging out really. After a few sessions, we thought we sounded reasonable enough to try and make it work as a full band so got Josh involved on vocals and an old bassist called Tom. Tom had to make a really difficult decision on leaving the band mid way through 2013 which wasn’t great. Since Tom leaving though, Tim has come in on bass and we really haven’t looked back. A huge influence in having Tim join the band was that we only had to change one letter in the bassists name on all of our promo stuff!

– In what way have the band evolved since the formation?

– Every band says it the longer they’ve been together and it’s a bit clichéd, but I think we’ve matured a lot as a group. We’ve gone from writing our first EP in a way to give our fans something to listen to and not really thinking about it that much, to really thinking about what we were doing with ‘Nights Out’ so us and our fans really got the most out of it. We’ve got a lot more comfortable with the whole song writing thing as well, it comes a lot more naturally now rather than kind of forcing it when we were first writing. We’re a lot more confident when we play live as well now. I remember our first gig and the O2 Academy in Islington and we were absolutely bricking it – we have a lot more fun with it now.

– Your EP ‘Nights Out’ is released. What’s the story behind this EP?

– All three songs on ‘Nights Out’ have a real connection to spending time with people – people you don’t really get on with and people who you do. You’ll be able to tell from the lyrics which song relates to what!

– How does it represent Humbug as a band, reflect your identity at this stage in your career?

– We’re proud of this EP, the songs are really fun to play live, especially ‘Nights Out’. We still don’t think we’ve found our “sound” as it were though. The EP is a real mix of funky grooves, melodic guitar licks and straight up in your face riffs. We think it’s a sign of things to come. It’s a really strong stepping stone onto what we decide to do next record wise.

– Arctic Monkey, who you cite as one of your influences, have the album titled ‘Humbug’. Did this record play a special role in your band’s life, especially inspire you?

– We’re all huge Arctic Monkeys fans, but the band name has got nothing to do with them at all! What an album that was though! We take inspiration from all corners of the music world, I think that gives you more to relate to when you’re writing new material. If Sam could be Matt Helders for one day though, he definitely would be!

– What’s the biggest attraction of your live shows?

– The music! We always want to put on a good performance and give people a good time, it gives them a reason to come out for the next one!

– As a concert goer, what are you looking for in a live show? What makes a live show memorable and great for you?

– I think it’s a lot easier to make a live show more memorable when you’re playing bigger venues. We went to see Foals at Alexandra Palace last weekend and the light show was incredible, it really added an extra dimension to the already great show they were putting on. A high energy show is always a good show, one which gets the crowd involved and really tuned in to what you’re doing on stage.

– When and how did you realise that you want to make music?

– I think with any band and musician, you would’ve been into music from an early age, that’s true with us anyway. A big factor was our first Reading Festival though in 2006. Seeing how excited fans were getting to see their favourite band about to perform. To create that hype must be an amazing feeling and one that we want to be able to give people one day. Granted, it was a lot later than 2006 we started making music though!

– What’s your biggest ambition in music?

– I don’t think any band would be doing what they’re doing if they didn’t want to be playing on the big stages and festivals at some point in their career. For us though, because we’ve been going for so long and it’s in our home town, to headline the main stage at Reading Festival would be an unbelievable feeling. Apart from that, to keep making music that people can enjoy and come to watch us play is an achievement in itself.

– What are Humbug’s plans for 2014?

– We’ve got all sorts going on. The ‘Nights Out’ EP has already been released, but we’ll be pushing the tracks on their as 3 individual singles throughout the year. The title track and our debut single, Nights Out, will be released May 12th – keep an eye out for it! The three releases will be backed up with plenty of gigs around the UK as well, we want to try and visit as many towns and cities as possible in the rest of 2014. You can keep up to date with everything we’ve got going on over at www.facebook.com/humbugband




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