Next up in the series of band-on-band interviews in the run up to Manchfester 4 (still sold out, sorry) we’ve got Luke Rees from Doctrines up against Jak Hutchcraft from WACO. This interview is particularly great because Luke and Jak actually grew up together and went to school together before moving to different parts of the country and starting different bands.
DOCTRINES: Hey asshole, I’ve got some questions for you. What is Waco?
WACO: We are a musical group that play the genres ‘Super Rock’ and ‘Cosmic Punk’. The band was born in London, but we members were born elsewhere. We were brought together through our animalistic compulsion to make noise and get inside your head. We love you all, come join us as we get spiritual and celebrate the huge beauty of human life!
W: For the kids out there that haven’t heard of you guys, what on earth do you sound like?
D: This is the hardest question in Rock n Roll so to save myself from brain melt I’ll quote an old Rocksound review: “Batshit Mental”
D: Besides Steely Dan, as a band who are your collective musical influences?
W: Besides Steely what else do we need? Haha, Other big inspirers to our sound include Queen, Gorilla Biscuits, Rush, Melvins, Fleetwood Mac, Radio Birdman and Zeke. Recently we have been mainly listening to the song ‘Built This Pool’ by Blink 182.
W: I know you guys are avid pop music enthusiasts, what’s the best pop song ever written and why?
D: Don’t be a prick, you can’t ask me that question. There’re far too many pop bangers and I refuse to choose just one. Here are some off the top of me little pea head.
Talking Heads – Naive Melody
Madonna – Like a Prayer
Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover
Jason Derulo – Want to Want Me
Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas
Phil Collins – Easy Lover
Elton & George – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down
Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
Train – Drops of Jupiter
Also that Frozen one is pretty good, no?
D: You’re pretty immaculate for a hippy; Any good tips for getting creases out of clothes whilst on tour?
W: We hang our garish gear on coat hangers around the van on the drives to gigs so that the creases fall out. They often block out the passenger windows and inadvertently create a flowery boudoir in the back of the van, in which we get on with occultist séance’s, West African witchcraft and drink Cherry B’s.
W: Growing up, you and I were more into hardcore and heavier music, when did you sell out and why?
D: Summer 2008 – I knew I couldn’t work in fast food all my life, so I went and signed up to university.
The following month I went to the record store, gave them all my money, and shipped down to sunny Manchester with a quid to my name. I was just happy I didn’t have to flip burgers in that silly hat no more. That’s when I met Mr. Jamie Birkett. I have no recollection of this but Jamie found me passed out in a dorm corridor. He sat himself down and woke me up. We drunkenly chatted about our shared taste in music (not Reel Big Fish), and the rest is history. Over the following months he showed me a bunch of demos he’d been working on which were pretty great. A couple of years later we started the sell out project ‘Doctrines’ and now here we are – chasing the Yankee dollar. That, my friend, is the story of how I sold out.
D: What is the strangest gig you’ve ever played?
W: We played in a sex dungeon in the dark depths of South London once. It was an all-nighter in the basement of a pub that usually has fetish nights and raunchy exhibitions on. In the ‘backstage’ area there was an assortment of leather sex chairs, shackles and torture implements. We played our set around 4am, it was outrageous and brilliant!
W: Would you rather make music that you loved and everybody hated, or make music that you hated and everybody loved?
D: I’d have to say both, Jak. It’d be great fun to play shitty music that everyone besides me loved to sell out arenas, but I also love playing shitty music in smaller rooms to sweaty greebos. Hi Manchfester.
D: If Michael Jackson wasn’t a nonce, who would you prefer, him or Prince?
W: I made a decision to stop listening to MJ after doing some research a few years back. If some MJ music does come on if I’m out and about and I find myself dancing along, I kind of justify it by praising Quincy Jones’ input in the whole thing. He played a massive part in producing and writing some of MJ’s biggest tunes. I love Prince’s music dearly, I think he was an unmatchable genius and I listen to him often, however, I probably do prefer MJ’s biggest global smash hits to Prince’s. Separating the art from the artist is a tricky subject and one that scrambles my moral compass constantly!
W: In your song ‘PlasticFace’ from your first EP you sing ‘Plasticface, you’re not my man’, assumedly referring to David Cameron, but who IS your man or woman in politics, and why?
D: They are Jamie’s lyrics and I’m sure he’d have a totally different answer to me, but this is my interview so hear me roar. The world is a crazy place and I sometimes forget it’s real. With the current state of global politics I feel like we’re living in a sitcom; therefore my favourite chap is Mr. Donald Trump. He is the perfect sitcom character. He’s like an extreme American Alan Partridge. Throw the best comedy writers in a room together (with consent) and they couldn’t write up a better character.
It’s soul destroying when I realise life is real and I should probably get out of bed.
D: Which do you prefer; Coke or Pepsi?
W: Haha, what a question! I prefer Pepsi because I prefer the taste of it with rum or whiskey. I quite like the toxic, nihilistic nature of Coca-Cola though; it’s like the Charlie Sheen of the soft drink world!
W: Your songs are fabulous but are often instrumentally complicated and unusual in structure, do they come out of your brains complicated or do you complicate them on purpose to be arty and ‘Alt’?
D: Jamie’s musical master mind spits out some wacky ideas. He uses something called ‘verses’ and ‘choruses’ which seem to work really well in songs. He has a really interesting writing style and a wonderful smile. I think he’s a secret maths nerd. I’m really into Chris (Simpsons Artist) and Jim’ll Paint It so of course we’re arty. Also, Ollie has a cool chest tattoo and Joe used to be in Rolo Tomassi – need I say more?
D: I recently saw you guys tearing up 2000 Trees festival. I saw many-a face in the crowd singing along to your tunes. As an up and coming band how does that make you feel and is it ok that they don’t know the words?
W: It was tremendous! For a long time our gigs were only attended by a handful of friends and familiar faces in London, so to take our travelling spectacle to unknown lands and it be received well warms our hearts. And regarding the crowd singing the correct words; just make it up as you go along, that’s what I do!
W: Would you rather defeat Jesus with a raptor, or run away from a mile-long snake?
D: I actually had a dream last night that I went paint-balling in Jurassic Park. Jesus was there but he didn’t get eaten. I’m not sure if that’s my subconscious telling me whether I do or do not want to witness Jesus being defeated by a raptor? Either way, I’m not really into snakes so kill the hippy plz.
D: In our younger years we both rocked a shaved head. With that in mind, who wore it better; Biggie or 2Pac?
W: 2Pac also had that amazing fade in Juice as well, lest we forget! Haha, I prefer Biggie’s vibe in general though.
W: In your records ZE and ANX you pay homage to Joni Mitchell and Thin Lizzy, borrowing the lines ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone’ from Big Yellow Taxi and ‘It comes it goes, it comes it goes’ from The Sun Goes Down, with this in mind, what is the meaning of life?
D: The meaning of life is to give life meaning. I really like Game of Thrones; I really want to stay alive so I can watch it some more. I haven’t had a chicken parmo in years; I’d love the chance to try one again someday. In the future they may make a Pokemon game that’s like Skyrim; I want to be around for that. Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out of it alive.
D:If you could listen to the back catalogue of just one band/artist ever again, who would it be? Waco is not an acceptable answer.
W: Bob Marley & The Wailers. I think the music is absolutely untouchable and there’s a lot of it to choose from! Bob, if you’re reading this, thanks for the music pal, it has me dancing daily.
W: What about yourself?
D: I’ve had Prince pumping in my ears since fresh out the womb so I couldn’t possibly choose anyone else. He has such a huge back catalogue to choose from and it’s so diverse. What a talent; a truly once in a lifetime guy.
R.I.P you purple beauty 😭
D: Your brother is a platinum selling pop star; How does it feel to be the sibling without a Wikipedia page?
W: It feels great! I am blessed that my brother also happens to be my best friend. He brings people happiness through his music and I am massively proud of him. Big up!
D: You went on tour with Juliette Lewis recently and also The Dirty Nil. Any spooky stories?
W: Nothing too spooky! Getting stopped at gun point by German police in an unmarked car in the middle of the night was pretty dodgy. We received the news that Prince had died while we were out there in mid-April and then got caught in a snow storm in the middle of a forest in Austria, that was a moment. We played Sometimes It Snows In April by Prince, sat quietly and listened.
W: Do you think that living in Manchester shaped the Doctrines ethos or sound at all?
D: Me and Jamie both moved to Manchester at 18/19 years old. At that age you’re still maturing and finding your own sense of style and being. So yes, I absolutely think Manchester has helped shape us – we now wear Parka coats and feather cut hairdos.
D: Having grown up with you in a small North Yorkshire town with no scene whatsoever – besides old men playing bad blues covers – I’m curious to how you feel that’s shaped you musically. That was a question btw.
W: It was very peaceful and beautiful, but was often crushingly boring during my teenage years. Making music with mates was something to do that wasn’t simply smoking weed and moping about. I did plenty of that too, don’t get me wrong, but I saw music as an opportunity to escape, a potential lifeline to the rest of world. Not having local, successful bands to look up to, a scene to be part of, or venues to play at, made us always have to create something where there was nothing. This instilled a DIY ethic in me that has remained in me to this day. I think this sentiment would be echoed by Tom, Welshy and Chris in the band, they also come from similar beginnings.
W: You’ve got a new release coming out, do you wanna talk about that? If not, got anything else to say to the People Of The World?
D: Yes. Our dormant rock band has done a Vesuvius and erupted in your faces. After 3 long years we have a new record coming out. We’ve just released a couple tracks from the new EP with the rest to soon follow, so don’t go dying on us. You can treat/torture your ears here – http://doctrines.bandcamp.com/
D: What is in the pipeline for your rock band?
W: We are playing at Reading Festival and ManchFester at the end of this month, which we are extremely giddy about. Some gigs with Brawlers in October, too. Our new release, UPRISE, came out at the start of June so we’re still spreading the word about that. We’ve also started writing and demoing new music which is well exciting! The creative cauldron is still bubbling. After that, we’ll just continue to make music together until we all decide to disappear into obscurity, or leave planet earth.
D: One last thing, how do you think the unthinkable?
W: With an ithe-berg! Haha, I actually had the same question for you. How do you think the unthinkable?
D: My good friend Chris Eubank told me the answer to this. You think the unthinkable with an itheburg.
D: Thanks for your time, Jak. I can’t wait to do all the beers with you at the rock show. Cheers my love, mine’s a pint. x
J: Love you, brother. XSent from my iPhone
Doctrines new self-titled EP is out soon and you can stream a couple of tracks from it right here, WACO recently released their Uprise EP on Venn Records and you can jam all that right here.