It’s rare for new indie bands to come up who are genuinely talented and good at what they do but four piece rock band Three Day Weekend are a clear exception. I’ve actually followed the band for a while now, and was lucky enough to interview them recently. Hailing from Preston just outside of Manchester, the group are made up of Tom on lead vocals and guitar, Rhys on lead guitar, Liam on bass, and Adam on drums. Their music really sounds like an explosion of pure feel good indie music. You can tell there are clear influences from Britpop-indie bands, like Arctic Monkeys, with the band’s sound drawing similarities with acts like Babyshambles and Jake Bugg. There’s a very 2006 sound to it, with Bugg-esque vocals and Turner style lyrics. They’re such a quirky interesting band, definitely different to the current indie rock bands out there. They define fun indie-rock perfectly. I really love the quirkiness of the guitar, and light drumming which ties all their tracks together perfectly. Around a week ago, on September 30th, the band released their debut EP, entitled ‘Oh Well.’
The EP opens with killer track ‘Oh Well’ which is a great Babyshambles style track. It really reminds me of ‘Beg, Steal or Borrow’ by Babyshambles, as well as ‘Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts’ by Arctic Monkeys. There’s a great sense of authenticity to Tom’s vocals, with a fantastic indie drum riff to bring the track together. The music has a great feel-good aura, one that I can imagine filling out huge venues one day; it’s a proper Noughties rock piece. The second track on it is ‘Dreams’ which is my favourite by far. The vocals on it are reminiscent of Liam Gallagher or Alex Turner, with a pure sense of indie rock vibrancy. These brilliantly raw vocals are accompanied by fantastic guitar; the general strumming overall is a bit heavier than their other music, and accompanied with a brilliantly memorable, catchy riff throughout. There’s also a sense of build up and momentum in the track, with really excitingly promising elements to it. The opening riff reminds me a lot of ‘Fell In Love With a Girl’ by The White Stripes, before the vocals and bass kick in, bringing a more Franz Ferdinand style element to the track. The final track on the EP is ‘Nothing’ which opens with a beautiful, delicate riff. It picks up in pace slightly, but stays slower than their other tracks which helps the band showcase their individual talents as musicians perfectly. Adam’s drumming on this track is especially impressive as well! Each riff played matches Tom’s vocals really well, and you can tell the band have practiced a lot and worked really hard at creating the EP, which they recorded at White Bear Studios. From the brilliance of the EP, the prospect of more recorded tracks from the band is really exciting! A lot of bands coming into the spotlight now are a bit heavy, with something different about them- but four piece indie rock bands will never lose their brilliance. And Three Day Weekend’s exciting and unique qualities certainly make them one to watch.
For more on the band, you can read my interview with Tom, Liam, and Rhys below
Tell me about your band: who’s in it, and how did you get into music?
Liam: In the band there’s Tom Kellock our lead singer and lead guitarist, Rhys Eccles our rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist, Adam Chapman our drummer, and me playing bass and being backing vocalist. We started out properly about a year ago with me, Tom and Adam in the band playing way too many Arctic Monkeys covers and one original song, then Rhys joined us and we started to write more original songs and expanded our sound and range of cover songs. We started gigging properly once Rhys joined us and recently recorded our debut EP at a local studio called White Bear Studios
Tom: I’ve always been into music but I kind of started developing much more of an interest when I was about 12 or something like that, a friend of my dad’s gave me his bass guitar when I was 13 and I used to play that. Picked it up surprisingly quickly, and the first bands I learned the music of were like Nirvana and Arctic Monkeys, couldn’t really do anything else. I got a guitar for my 14th birthday and got half decent by 15. Started writing songs at 15 but they were all shite so we’ll just count the ones from this year, it’s probably for the best
Where are you from, and what’s your local music scene like?
Liam: I was born in Nottingham but brought up in Chorley which is a little town in between Preston and Bolton, near Manchester for the people who don’t know where Bolton and Preston are. Preston is the closest city to us so that’s where the music scene is, there’s lots of pubs around there and a few good venues that have had some big artists play there, but they are tiny compared to places like Manchester and Liverpool. We’ve played a few of the pubs there but haven’t got to the venues yet. There are a few good bands that are starting to get a following around the Preston area but they are a bit older than us. It’s good to see them doing well because I feel like we are at a similar level, talent wise, so hopefully we can be bigger than they are now by the time we have been playing as long as them
Rhys: Preston, it’s banging
Tom: We’re from Preston, think Rhys rates the scene a lot more than the rest of us but I mean we seem to have become one of the more noticeable bands there pretty quickly, rate the Empire Police, sound guys and have been a big help with getting us known around the area. There’s a couple other decent bands as well but so I don’t miss anybody out I’ll just stick with them and Fugios
Tell me about your EP ‘Oh Well’ and recording at White Bear Studios
Liam: We decided to record our debut EP as early as we have done in our ‘career’, I guess you could call it, because we didn’t have a body of work for people to listen to apart from what we were playing live. This made it hard for us to show off what we could do to people who hadn’t come to watch us. For me personally, I wanted something that I could play to my friends and play to people who I was talking about the band to, so they could get a better idea of how we sounded rather than having to describe it to people. We picked the three songs based on how well we could play them together rather than the quality of the songs. I think it was because we weren’t bothered about having the best songs we’ve done on an EP that only a few people would hear to begin with. I disagreed with that at first because I thought first impressions would be so important, but looking at other bands, their best records always came later and I think that our best records are still to come for sure. I wasn’t really involved in picking the studio, I left it down to Rhys and Tom to decide as they were in talks with a few studios. We had to pick a place that was cheap enough but would give us the quality we wanted. It was the first time I’d recorded in a studio and I knew after the first few hours that I wanted to do this for a living. You can’t really beat putting your ideas down and hearing them come together that way you imagined them
Rhys: It was a ball-ache to be honest
Tom: We basically rushed the EP thing so it’d be done before Adam moved to Leeds, so we put what we thought was our best song ‘Oh Well’ on it, think that probably means more to us than the other tunes we have, just because of the buzz we had when we first put it together. ‘Dreams’ wasn’t initially going to be on the EP I don’t think, we just put it on because it’s a solid tune and goes down well at gigs and stuff. We spent about half our day recording ‘Nothing’ and I’m insanely proud of that, Rhys sings it so I think I probably prefer it purely because I don’t like listening to my own voice. Other people like it, so happy days. Not really anything too exciting to talk about from being in the studio if I’m being honest. The bloke who produced it, Tom Brindle, was a massive help though- probably got bored out of his tree putting up with me moaning about my guitar all day but to be honest we were just having a laugh…and ran out of time before we could add a fourth song, we just couldn’t afford to record another one
What’s the best gig/ festival you’ve been to?
Liam: The best gig I’ve been to I think would have to be Slaves at the Hairy Dog in Derby, I entered Doc Martens’ competition on Twitter to win two tickets to watch Slaves play there to celebrate the opening of their new Derby store. The venue was absolutely tiny and there was no barrier so me and my girlfriend, Grace, were stood directly in front of Laurie the entire gig. We also got a setlist and Laurie’s pick that night. The best festival I’ve been to was Leeds 2015, I got 4 free tickets for the Sunday so I got to be front row for Slaves and Foals and three rows from the front for Royal Blood.
Rhys: Morrissey in Manchester and Leeds, with The Stone Roses in Carlisle being a close 3rd
Tom: Pretty hard question this for me, I always said the best I’ve been to was Reverend And The Makers in Liverpool last year with Adam because it was honestly the best atmosphere there’s ever been at a gig I’ve been to- love seeing The Sherlocks, they’re always quality and are probabaly my favourite band. But thinking about it, The Last Shadow Puppets was pretty special, felt like a kind of once in a lifetime thing, only about twice as good as The Stone Roses were- I’m probably going to get slated for that
What venue/ festival would you like to headline one day?
Liam: I think a lot of bands would go for the biggest venues like Wembley and the biggest festivals like Glastonbury, but for me I think I’d like to play somewhere like Heaton Park and headline Reading and Leeds. As weird as it sounds, I like the idea of everyone in the crowd being a genuine fan of our music. I think a lot of the time, people go to see people at arenas for the sheer ‘I’ve seen them live’ status rather than actually being a fan. I think Reading and Leeds tops it for me, festival wise, because it focuses on the bands above all other acts. I guess that might be a bit selfish but the crowd is always going to be better if people like the genre that you’re playing even if they don’t like your band in particular. Recently it’s all been based on DJs and rappers so I’d like to headline pre-2015 Reading and Leeds.
Rhys: This church in Preston across from Tesco, it’d be biblical
Tom: Glastonbury’s the dream innit? Surely
The name ‘Three Day Weekend’- tell me how you came up with it
Liam: The name was already thought of when I joined the band and was based on Tom’s college timetable, with him having Fridays off college as a study day. I didn’t like it or dislike it and it seemed easier than picking a new name, so I went with it
Rhys: Fuck knows, I wasn’t in the band at this point so just stuck with it
Tom: Everyone seems to think it’s a pretty cool name and the other lads might try and make it sound a bit more cool, but the honest answer is me and Adam used to be in a band with this other lad and we had an absolutely shit name, we both just went with that because it’d stop him moaning, but we changed our name once we’d kicked him out and met Liam (Rhys didn’t join until February, met him at The Sherlocks in Liverpool.) The name actually came from my college timetable, we were knocking about with hundreds of ideas and I had Fridays off and thought Three Day Weekend was a decent name, so we went with that and it stuck- probably the most boring reason behind a band name ever
Which bands influenced you growing up, and who are your favourite current musicians?
Liam: My musical influences started with Northern Soul. My mum is a huge soul fan and still, at the age of 54, goes to all nighters dancing to soul music. She has an amazing old Pioneer record player that is like a big sound system with a tape deck built in and she used to open all the windows on sunny weekends and play ‘The big wheels of Motown’ on vinyl as loud as she could whilst cleaning the house. After soul, as a young kid, I loved Elvis and after that I bought my first CD which was Gorillaz- Demon Days so they were like my first musical influences. My dad had a collection of old rap CDs which I stole when I started high school so I was listening to Eminem, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent and G-Unit for a while, and I’ve always liked rap music. I went through phases of being into house music, dubstep, grime, and still listen to anything and everything. My main influences for the past two years have been Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Slaves, Royal Blood, Jake Bugg, and Catfish and The Bottlemen. I want the songs that I write to reflect the music I listen to, but by being in a band I’ve started to listen to a lot more new music and so I hope that I can incorporate the new music I’m listening to into original songs as well as the core influences. My favourite current artists are Slaves, Rat Boy, Pretty Vicious, Mura Masa, The Last Shadow Puppets, Disclosure and Skepta
Rhys: Mainly influenced by The Beatles, The Smiths and The Streets with Kanye and Adele being two of my favourite current artists
Tom: Growing up it was your standard ‘indie’ music for me, but I also loved Nirvana. My favourite band will always be Arctic Monkeys, I’ve been listening to them since my dad bought back a demo CD early 2005, had stuff like ‘Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts’ and ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ etc, also listened to a lot of Oasis, Stone Roses, nothing unlike anybody else in a band like ours really I suppose, but I mean now I’m into all sorts, current favourite band is The Sherlocks but I go from listening to one extreme to answer, so it’s kind of hard to answer. Come to our gigs and listen to the playlist before we come on, sums it up really. Just a bit of shameless self promotion there
What’s your writing/ recording process like, and what influences your lyrics?
Liam: When we write original songs usually one of us writes the lyrics and chords and does a demo on an acoustic guitar, and then the rest of us will write our own individual parts for the song. Rhys has wrote the most originals I think, so Tom will write the guitar riff and solo and I will write the bass line. Adam usually comes up with the drumming part when we practice the song together. The lyrics I write are usually influenced by things I experience day to day, or how I feel a lot of the time. When I wrote ‘Dreams’ it was one of the first full songs I’d ever written and it was basically based on dreams of what I wanted to be when I was younger and then in the chorus where it says ‘Am I ever gonna reach my dreams? Or am I better off staying asleep’ it’s basically saying, as a teenager, am I actually going to reach the dreams I had when I was younger or should I stay asleep, which is playing on the stereotype that all teenagers are lazy and are always sleeping
Rhys: One of us writes the song and we all add our own parts to it, and then we just practice it until it sounds good. I usually get my lyrics by writing the first line of the song and then coming up with lyrics to go with that
Tom: Our lyrics are influenced by day-to-day stuff, but also stuff we’ve seen and then just random shit that’s completely unintended- think one of our songs is about some bloke Rhys saw outside Tesco or something, don’t really try and write songs because when that happens it just doesn’t feel quite right. There’s not really any process other than write a tune, send a demo to our group chat and develop your own part ready for practicing, then we’ll finish it in practice
What’s your opinion on modern day politics- is it something you’d ever consider writing about?
Liam: To me, politics is something that I follow loosely just so I’m not left completely in the dark. I want to know what’s going on but I don’t support any politicians or parties because they’re all greedy rich liars who want to make as much money for themselves as possible. The day that we have a Prime Minister who walks in and starts making real change to help the people who need it and stops helping the rich get richer is when I’ll support a politician or political party. I think I’ll probably write about exactly that at some point, how politicians are all for themselves, then again I don’t think we’re into that stuff as a band and will probably stay out of the politics argument
Rhys: Politics is a bit fucked. I like Jeremy Corbyn though, my man takes pictures of man hole covers
Tom: I have a lot of views on modern day politics and so on, but I’m going to keep my mouth shut. I can’t be arsed with these people who have read The Guardian once and think they’re like some sort of genius when in reality they’re just arguing for the sake of it. Wouldn’t write about it though I don’t think, although there are a few lines here and there
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Liam: I think for me personally I’d love to collaborate with Slaves on something; the energy they bring is incredible and I’d love to be a part of that. I think as a band though, we could do something cool with John Squire, Johnny Marr, Miles Kane, Amy Winehouse, Rat Boy or Alex Turner.
Rhys: Would have to be David Bowie
Tom: Alex Turner. Any day of the week, the man is my hero