Alter The Press!


Interview: Bayonets

Alter The Press! recently spoke to Hereford's Bayonets. Vocalist and Guitarist Thom Craig talked about the bands recent signing to Walnut Tree Records, how Bayonets came to be, the current state of the British scene and their plans for the following year.

Alter The Press: Who are you and what is your role in Bayonets?
I'm Thom, and I sing and play guitar.

ATP: Tell us the history of Bayonets?
Thom: Bayonets started in the Spring of 2008. We formed from a bunch of other bands in the Hereford scene, and had been to high school together. so that's how we met. I'd been writing songs for Bayonets since I broke up with my then girlfriend, and so a lot of the songs came from a really low period in my life and the band was like a therapy. Joey (drummer) was going through a similar tough time, so we all really connected with the songs that we were writing. The year went on, we wrote more, we recorded lots and we play lots of shows with some awesome bands like I Was A Cub Scout, Failsafe, The Ghost Of A Thousand etc. and people seemed to be connecting with our music in the same way that we were. I think that's the main reason why we enjoy this so much, to see other people feeling it and relating the lyrics to their own lives. ANYWAY! rant over. Then, we signed to WTR (Walnut Tree Records) and the year turned to 2009. We're still writing and playing lots, finishing off the EP and have tours and other exciting things planned for 2009.

ATP: For those who have not heard you yet, how would you describe your music to the average music listener?
Thom: Imagine Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, something punk like JR Ewing, something pop like Weezer and something heavier like Thrice. A bit like that, maybe.

ATP: So you have just signed to Walnut Tree Records. How did the deal come about? and were there any factors, if any, that persuaded you to sign with them?
Thom: Funnily enough, Tom found us through the T4 Unsigned Act website. He searched for a band with Manchester Orchestra as an influence, and we were the only search result. and he liked us and got in touch to say that he was interested. We're lucky that no one else was 'indie-cool' enough cite Manchester Orchestra as an influence. I think a bunch of little factors made us go with Tom at Walnut Tree, he travelled all the way to Hereford from Watford to see us. That was awesome! And he also likes Football Manager and Manchester Orchestra. And we love Portman!

ATP: With thousands of small UK bands doing the rounds at the moment, how important is it to have support from a label?
Thom: I think it's very important, although it really shouldn't be an issue. We received little attention from promoters, agents, labels etc. Until it became known that we were talking with Walnut Tree Records. The music is what matters but I think many people are swayed by seeing 'WTR' on our MySpace. It feels like the British scene has become very image conscience with bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Kids In Glass Houses, You Me At Six all putting emphasis on having a hot singer, flashy MySpace, clothing endorsements etc. Hopefully we can change that.

ATP: Speaking of touring, do you think touring still has the same importance it always has had or has the increase of online social networking affected this?
Thom: Touring definitely plays a key role. I don't think a band can survive without that excitement of hitting the road, and I think it's also extremely important for fans to see their favourite bands live.. so that they can relate to them personally. Instead of just seeing them online and on TV all the time.

ATP: What can we expect in coming year for Bayonets? I hear you have an EP in the works?
Thom: You can expect a lot of new music, A LOT of touring, and the EP. Hopefully a lot of people will hear the EP, and we can really make something of this band. That's the nice thing about MySpace, your music doesn't necessarily have to reach people in the 'right' places. It can spread through word of mouth and stuff.

ATP: You’re playing with Alter The Press favourites Portman in March, looking forward to it?
Thom: Yeah, we're so stoked for it. We're huge fans of the band, so we'll get to play our music in some awesome places like Brighton, Manchester etc. and also get to listen those guys afterwards!

ATP: Anything else you would like to say?
Thom: Joey (Frances) loves Eva Spencer (Rolo Tomassi) and Munies just wants to get laid.

More information about Bayonets including dates with Portman can be found on their MySpace.

Thanks to Thom and Tom Beck from Walnut Tree Records for setting up the interview.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!