Music interview: The Strypes are thinking big after one heck of a great year

The Strypes.
The Strypes.
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The Strypes shot to fame last year with their debut album of bullish rock’n’roll and old-school rhythm and blues, Snapshot.

As they look to consolidate on an incredible 12 months, they are out on their biggest tour to date. Farrelly and drummer Evan Walsh tell us why they can’t wait to reach America.

It must be such a thrill to be playing New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles for the first time. What do you think America will make of your music?

Ross: We’ve never even been there, so we’re really excited. Of course, a lot of our musical heroes are from North America, so it’s great to go there.

So Evan, it’s often said that your Dad’s record collection, full of The Stones, Yardbirds, and Dr Feelgood, is responsible for The Strypes’ sound. Is that right?

Evan: We grew up around guitar music of all different kinds really, and it was always on, whether that be in the house or on the car stereo. We all naturally gravitated towards music because our parents had all played in bands beforehand, roadied for bands, or been involved in performing arts of some kind. Josh [McClorey, guitarist]’s father was the roadie for the band my father was in, so we have connections like that going way back.

So how did that evolve into being in a band?

Evan: We just picked out what we liked from what was being played around us and started playing it. As we got into our teens, well, everyone gets into music that defines their teenage experience don’t they? So we were into blues, garage rock, punk, early rock’n’roll... bands like Dr Feelgood or early Rolling Stones, original blues like Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry. And then there was punk: Johnny Thunders’ stuff, The Ramones, The Undertones.

However, not many teenagers get so proficient so quickly, do they?

Evan: Well, I’ve been drumming since I was about three! It probably couldn’t be described as drumming at the time but it turned into that when I got older. Pete and Josh have been playing guitars since they were four and five as well. So there is actually quite a lot of experience there. It was something we took for granted that we were going to do.

Ross: And a lot of it is practice. For the first year of the band we practised every day for about eight hours. And when you’re gigging constantly your stagecraft improves. All I can say is that we might be young but we’ve been playing music a lot.

* The Strypes play at Leeds Metropolitan University on February 17.

Lo Shea

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