“I think it’s funny,” says Sean O’Donnell, co-singer and guitarist with Alias Kid, referring to a “few incidents” that the Manchester band have got themselves involved in over the past two years.
“Down the years I’ve worked in some s***** jobs and when I got a break I’d get a paper and want to read about Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat. I don’t want to read about Ed Sheeran having a pint.
“I just think we’re in the entertainment business, so entertain.”
If the five-piece have been described as “artful hooligans”, O’Donnell seems unconcerned. He’s scornful of record labels trying to ‘media train’ artists and says Alias Kid are just a “bunch of normal lads”.
“We’re fresh out of factories and building sites. We’ve got AlanMcGee managing us and he’s given us a couple of quid to go out. You know what it’s like when lads go on holiday – the chairs are in the pool by midday.”
O’Donnell and co-vocalist Maz Behdjet go back a long way. “We played in other bands and have written songs together for seven or eight years.
“The lead guitarist James [Sweeney] is my cousin. The other lads [Colin Ward, drums, and Nick Repton, bass] have played in bands here and there.”
O’Donnell first met their future label boss – famed for masterminding the success of Oasis, Primal Scream and The Jesus and Mary Chain – at McGee’s club night, Death Disco, in Notting Hill in 2008. At the time O’Donnell was in another band.
“I was pretty drunk,” he recalls. “I got told by my manager not to speak to him, he said I would blow it. I played what I was supposed to do for half the gig then got smashed.”
Despite his manager’s foreboding, the pair got on and stayed in touch. Later at a club night in Liverpool O’Donnell mentioned he he had “got a few tunes” and McGee urged him to “throw a band together”.
Seeing them gig in Liverpool, McGee was impressed. “He said, ‘I thought it was going to be a car crash on stage but that was pretty good, I’m pretty surprised’,” O’Donnell remembers.
A short while later the Scot came to see the band again in Manchester. “There were stage invasions, it was a top night,” O’Donnell says. “He rang us the next day and said, ‘Do you want a record deal?’ It was a mad one.”
McGee signed the band to his new label 359 and despatched them to Glasgow to make an album with former Teenage Fanclub drummer Paul Quinn and Kevin Burleigh, who’s previously worked with Glasvegas and Simple Minds.
The former Creation Records boss is full of praise for his latest proteges.
“I always knew they had a great attitude, their attitude is really, really refreshing because they’re really never say die and that’s brilliant.
“They really will go everywhere and they’ll go and do it but equally I do an awful lot go on their music and they’re a really great band.”
The band’s debut album, Revolt To Revolt, is out now. It’s melodic guitar pop with a classic Mancunian attitude.
“Our main inspirations are Oasis, The Stone Roses and Primal Scream,” says O’Donnell. “I love the Sex Pistols as well and The Clash and The Beatles and T.Rex.”
McGee also sees elements of The Ramones. “They kind of remind me of a lot of different bands.”
To Manchester City supporter Sean O’Donnell’s delight they’ve also acquired a celebrity fan in footballer Sergio Aguero. “Someone who comes to watch us and likes the band teaches Aguero English,” O’Donnell says. “He played him the first single then gave him the album and he said he was banging off it. I want to get him to a gig.”
Alias Kid are now on tour with Black Grape, who Alan McGee also manages. They release a new single, Smoke and Ashes, on July 10.
This Saturday they play a free in-store gig at Jumbo Records where those who buy the album will get reduced price admission to the band’s show at the 360 Club at The Library on July 10. Visit www.facebook.com/360Club for details.
Click above to hear a Post Music special featuring the full interview with Alan McGee as well as the new Alias Kid single.