The Other Ones are a London based band on the Reckless Yes label featuring Steph (Vocals), Vicky (Bass), Francis (Drums) and Nick (Guitar). We lucked out and managed to reel Steph and Vicky in for an online chunter.
TSOFDs: Steph and Vicky, thanks so much for talking to us. First of all, congratulations on the new record – are you happy with how it’s been received?
Vicky: Thanks for having us! We are over the moon with how the album has been received. It’s been a long time in the works and we’re honestly just thrilled that in the midst of the SHITSHOW that has been the last 15 odd months we were able to get our music out and heard!!
Steph: Thank you! Yeah it’s been a long time coming with the album, we worked on it whenever we possibly could so it’s so nice that it’s finally out there. It seems to be going down alright! Cannot wait until we get to play a gig so we can finally perform the crap out of the album.
TSOFDs: I’ve listened to the LP on Bandcamp but sadly I’ve not had the pleasure of a live show. There’s some wonderful production flourishes on there but underpinning it all is the sound of a really formidable live band I’m sensing. Not being able to gig at the moment must be a real downer – how are you coping with that and London pandemic life in general?
Vicky: Honestly I’ve found one of the hardest things about lockdown has been not being able to rehearse or play gigs. With not rehearsing you miss not just the playing but the general fun we always have at rehearsals. Not being able to play gigs SUCKS, I always take pride in our live shows and that people tend to have a good time at our gigs so not being able to do that is so frustrating. General pandemic wise? I’ve never watched so much TV in my life. For someone who is notoriously antisocial, I can’t wait to go to a bloody club (and then go home after 10 minutes because my feet hurt and the music is too loud).
Steph: I miss performing SO BAD. It’s driving me crazy not being able to unleash on a stage. I’ve always said I feel like I’d go mad without this band. Not being able to perform just sucks. I feel like work is my whole life at the moment… which it kinda is. I just miss sitting in a pub garden, or round a mate’s house drinking wine watching shit telly. Lockdown didn’t change much for me as I work as a dental nurse so I’ve been working throughout, it just sucks not being able to do anything else! The tube’s been a-lot nicer though.
TSOFDs: Silver lining! One for Steph. You have a really clear and relatable vocal style. Who would you cite as key influences on your approach to singing?
Steph: Hmm that’s quite a question. There’s no secret that I love good old emo bands like My Chemical Romance and The Used. I love being able to really give emotion through singing, and be able to outlet what I’m feeling through those means. I dunno if I’m describing that right haha. When I was younger I actually trained to sing opera but that was a long time ago! I’m also quite the musical theatre nerd and did up to Grade 8 so that probably has a huge influence. I usually like distinct voices like Kate Bush, Cher and Bowie – someone who really tells a story through their style of music.
TSOFDs: And how are the songs conceived? Is it very democratic or is there someone you’d say is the driving force in the group?
Vicky: The songs come together usually by either, Nick plinking about on guitar and me thinking of some words, or me thinking of a phrase or an idea and then Nick finding a melody underneath it. Once that’s done we’ll wrangle some words together, get a draft to the band, Frannie will find his groove and we’ll make sure the tone is comfortable for Steph to sing in. Then thrash it about, maybe change keys and we’re good to go! There isn’t a set “person” who dictates the songs, if anyone has an idea we’ll see how it works in a band dynamic.
Steph: What Vicky said. I’m usually doing a lot of humming or “la la la-ing” to make a melody/learn one. It’s really become a group process now we’ve been together a while. Or it’s a song I wrote for my GCSE music exam – made better by the rest of the group!
TSOFDs: Thanks for letting us in! One for Vicky. What or who inspired you to play bass?
Vicky: Aha. Well. I sort of fell into playing bass. I tried playing guitar but couldn’t understand how a chord was on the strings and it just makes my brain hurt. So Nick suggested I play bass and next thing I knew we were having rehearsals and putting on gigs. I’ve come to appreciate some great bass players and musicians this way though, I never set out to be like a particular artist so it’s evolved quite naturally. Kim Gordon and Kim Deal are the ultimate bass heroes though. I should change my name to Kim.
TSOFDs: Bass is so much fun to play and you gotta love the two Kims. Your album is really well put together. Great musicianship and arrangements, and top production. Your recorded sound is really evolving. Did recording the album come easily? Was there someone who took a lead producing or was it more collaborative than that?
Vicky: Thanks! Big shout out to Matt Hill and Jack Longman for the sound. Recording is so much fun, luckily we all have a mutual understanding of what’s required when we record and how we want things to sound so we’re pretty good at communicating that to Matt Hill (3sixty studios) in the studio and he adjusts to what we need. None of us take a lead in the production, except if someone has got a particular song that has a style for them, it’s all very democratic and laid back. For me I knew roughly how I wanted ‘Glittering Splinters’ to sound so I was more than happy to tell Nick to keep playing certain bits and adding in fills, etc, but there is no dictation on how things should sound. Still wasn’t allowed to smash a glass at the end of the track though.
Steph: What she said. We are so lucky to know some great people in music. Matt Hill and Jack Longman just seem to know exactly what we are after. We have such a great time in the studio too that it just makes the whole process such an amazing one. Until Vicky just tells you “that was shit do it again” after a few wines. She’s usually spot on though, we can do it better and she eggs that on.
TSOFDs: There you are readers, it sounds like a band having fun and it was a band having fun. London seems something of a double edged sword for musos. One of the best places to be for music but an extremely challenging place to survive, now more than ever. What are the day jobs that help you keep the wolf from the door?
Vicky: London is a bloody hydra as far as I’m concerned. So many heads to try to keep up with. I’m a civil servant so very far removed from the band identity! I also write for Kiss n Make Up Presents website which is a great creative outlet as I get to interview very cool bands.
Steph: I’m a dental nurse in East London. I look in people’s mouths for a living – such fun during a pandemic. The PPE is just mental and the sweat is unreal. I do often sing while I’m in the surgery though which actually goes down quite well with the patients!
TSOFDs: That’s a fun image – thanks haha. I’ve heard your label has an interesting model to encourage sales in this age of streaming. Can you tell our readers more about that?
Vicky: Reckless Yes has come up with a great angle for encouraging sales. Essentially you become a member of RY in which you get sent vinyls, releases, etc and news about the RY bands and any cool stuff to look out for. It’s a great way of encouraging people to keep buying music instead of just streaming and it’s a fab way to find new bands. The RY group is fantastic too, all the bands are really friendly and supportive of each other.
Steph: What Vicky said! RY have been so welcoming to us and really have a-lot to offer. Being a member gets you loads of cool stuff, and an introduction to some amazing bands you may not have heard of yet. It’s a win-win situation – they save their members money while being fair to the bands so no one misses out.
TSOFDs: Brilliant concept.
TSOFDs: There are some rather iconic London venues. Dublin Castle. Hope and Anchor. Do you have a favorite place to play you’re itching to get back onstage at?
Vicky: The Victoria in Dalston. Hands down some of our favourite gigs have been there. The Biddle Bros is also excellent and I’m sure last time there was a dog there which is an instant boon. More venues should have puppers.
TSOFDs: Ha brings to mind a solo acoustic gig I played many years ago to an empty pub in Huddersfield where all I could hear was the sound of a dog lapping at a metal water bowl really loudly. Any other places?
Steph: Oh I love The Victoria. They have a cool green room too. The stage is a bit high though so jumping down can cause problems when I’ve gotta get back up. The Dublin Castle has a special place in my heart as that was the first place I ever played with The Other Ones! I just can’t wait to be back in venues watching bands and performing.
TSOFDs: I played there years back and Amy Winehouse was in the bar one night, not that I was sober enough to notice, sadly. Dang. What other act close to your hearts do you think our readers should be checking out? Perhaps a band or artist from your local music scene that deserves more attention?
Vicky: Any local band needs some lovin’ just now! I’m going to put forward Fightmilk because they are supremely talented and 100% worth checking out.
Steph: Panic Pocket – 4eva & always. I’m in love with their music as it’s just totally relatable and I find myself singing ‘The Boss’ on a daily basis.
TSOFDs: They shall be sought out. Thanks so much for your time both. We hope you’re back rehearsing and gigging before too long. Take care.