A explain to Mike Williams why their latest single shouldn't be construed as an ageist slur.
A could be on the verge of great things. Their new single Old Folks is an irredeemably pestilent tune studded with punk explosions and Jason Perry's Sting like razor smooth vocals. According to Giles Perry (keyboardist), who took time to speak to me while the band recorded their forthcoming album Monkey Kong, Old Folks has been misconstrued as an anti older people song (well one of the most prominent lines is 'The old folks are losers!'). But to the contrary explained Giles, the inspiration for Old Folks came from when the band was visiting a McDonald's somewhere in the States, and there was some old bloke in the cue getting a load of shit off some young kids. With images of Saving Private Ryan flooding his head, lead singer Jason Perry was thinking to himself this old bloke's getting loads of shit but who knows what he's done in his life, and hence the experience provided the cue for Jason Perry to write the lyrical content of Old Folks…
I asked Giles if he was gonna be a loser when he was old. 'No' came the prompt reply. Apparently Giles had met his role models for old age in Palm Springs in the States whilst filming a video. 'In the UK' he said, 'all older people dress up in a shirt and tie no matter what they're doing and they're miserable. In Palm Springs they're all wearing cords, playing golf and swimming in their pools.' He then told me about some 85 year old who raced past him in a MTV jacket, with loads of gold rings on and getting into an Indeanapolis 500 and smoked off into the distance. 'How cool is that?' swooned Giles.
Giles is a pretty easy going chap, seemingly buzzed on the euphoria one gains from being in a band on the up. Having considered Old Folks with much profundity and given it considerable musical digestion I put the proposition to Giles that A were at a musical crossroads where they could either go AC/DC or Police (complete bollocks of course). Giles gave a wry, but good humoured laugh (he obviously hasn't got his head anywhere near his arse).
Giles explained that the band had roots in punk, although they weren't afraid to go pop. Sounds a nice way of saying, 'we're willing to sell out at any moment' but Giles disagreed. So far A have yet to make it BIG, and a tour this May supporting Reef and then doing a load of small venues by themselves proves that they have a bit to go yet. But Giles didn't seem to mind, 'Touring is wicked', he said, 'Like a few years ago we must have done 220 gigs in a year and we had such a good time. And what's good about it is when we go back to the old venues and we get more and more people each time round'. I wasn't convinced, 'Come on', I thought, 'I mean how must you feel when you realise Aldershot is next up on the bill?' Giles paused, self-doubt? No. 'Cool! Never played there before, and it's a chance for people to hear our music who have never heard it before.' Hmm?
Giles by the way, is one of three brothers who go towards making up the five piece A. I asked him how his parents felt about him and his brothers all being pop stars. He said they were cool about it and went on to describe how when he and his two brothers were younger, their parents would take them to Rush and David Lee Roth concerts. Isn't that child abuse?
I then asked Giles, 'You're aware of Desert Island Disks?' to which he replied in the affirmative.
'Well you're allowed to take one thing with you on to the desert island. What will it be?'