The Penny Antics return once again to Sounds Good, this time with possibly the strangest interview we’ve had thus far. Informative, but strange. We’ve formed quite the friendship with Lewis and Shane over the past year, often using these interviews are opportunities to chat about whatever in the hopes that there’s enough band-related topics discussed to warrant broadcasting them. Personally, they’ve helped us begin to branch out into meeting artists and conducting interviews, enabling us to feel comfortable enough to continue doing it. Thanks lads.
What we love most about The Penny Antics is that as well as setting out to achieve things by themselves, they’re always keeping an eye out on the local scene. They throw shout-outs to various bands, venues and festivals throughout the interview, always making sure to provide much needed exposure to the cornerstones of Essex’s music scene.
Meeting at the terrifically chilly outside area of The Quays pub, pondering collectively how soon hypothermia will kick in, we had a glorious chat. Take a listen below and revel in our chinwag, which ranges from the likes of new music, new directions, music videos, social presence, vaping through your neck and…flying Walruses. We’ve transcribed parts of the interview and split it into three sections, one that details the eventual spiral the conversation took into the strange. Enjoy.
Check out The Penny Antics on Facebook, Instagram, as well as their brand new Bandcamp profile. You can check out their Reminder album, the NOT(e)WORTHY! EP and their performance at The Railway and be dazzled by their Punky, Grungey vibes. Oh man.
PART 1 – HIYA, OLD SONGS, GOSPEL CHOIR, FESTIVALS
The intro kicks off with a prime example of how well we work together. When attempting to purchase a pint, the bartender questioned our driving licence, only to then claim that it “must be one of the old ones”. Feeling simultaneously undermined and overlooked, we soon moved on to how 2019 has been for The Penny Antics so far [01:58]. One gig sparks mention that it’s been a bit of a quiet one, but the band claim that they’ve been rehearsing with the intention to bring past songs into future setlists, including a cover of The Prodigy’s “Breathe” in tribute to Keith Flint. RIP.
We’re then sound-tracked by the surprise arrival of a gospel choir, bashing out acapella versions of The Greatest Showman songs as we tried desperately to ignore them, eventually giving them the shout-out they deserve [04:51]. Once they disappeared we moved on to discuss upcoming events, such as the Roundhouse Festival as well as CosFest in Braintree [07:10].
From [09:00], the duo discusses how the music scene had broadened and introduced different genres to live shows. They heaped praise on Dagenham Festival, as it brought a stipulation for all acts to cover songs of acts that’d performed previously. It was all going so well, until Shane had a mild aneurism [09:45]. Once he recovers, we discuss how previously the scene had often by built up by Metal & Screamo which seemed to dominate all levels of the music industry at that time.
“So uh, so what’s coming up for you guys?” [12:30] allows both Lewis and Shane to rave about Cosmic Puffin Festival, a local festival that promises to colour your weekend with all sorts of strange and wonderful acts. You can check it out here.
PART 2 – BEGINNING TO WOBBLE
The cold temperatures begin to seep into our minds as conversation soon runs off track, but does bring a “got any dates coming up?” that was brought up totally naturally. Once Shane announces their dates dates, looking to perform surprising sets at Youth Centres, Creams and Nandos, Lewis brings us up to speed with the following dates…a minute later [15:27]:
- Saturday 20.04.19 supporting TV Smith at The Venue, Southend
- Cosmic Puffin Festival 03.05.19 at 4pm (aHulaBula Stage)
Lewis then announces that once those dates are finished, they’re ready to head into the studio to record new material, possibly 5 to 10 songs [17:00]. This then brings us to discuss any potential sounds and ideas that could be explored on the next EP/Album, leading to confirmation that the next Penny Antics release will be more experimental and “weird” compared to Reminder and NOT(e)WORTHY!, cemented further by Shane’s mind-set when he tracks drums against Lewis’s guitars.
Live shows are then spoken about [20:20], with Lewis confirming that he’d “rather someone be like “I hated you guys” rather than just like “oh you’re alright”” as “You’re not just going through the motions, you’re actually living the moment and that’s important”, highlighting just how much a band needs their audience to be good and vice versa.
Mild panic sets in as Lewis nearly diverts off into a tirade about Swedish people, and this is where the aforementioned wobble begins. Shane mentions a band called Hard ‘N Phirm performing Radiohead songs, before we return to proceedings with a brief chat about Lewis’s decision to release tutorials on how to perform their songs on their Youtube channel [26:00], as well as mention of their plan to do a music video. [27:10] this brings a rather special quote: “Low budget, B-Movie…no smoke machine…four mates vaping out of shot”.
PART 3 – INTO INSANITY
We’ve debated internally whether this half should’ve stayed in the recording, but here we are. Mentions of vaping through your neck, a potential backdrop for Penny Antics live shows, Shane having shit sinuses [29:00] and…should we bother detailing the rest?
Before we head fully into insanity, we talk about the use of samples and drum machines in future material. This is where we briefly mention friend of the blog Holly Rees [30:27] doing cool things in Canada and uh…the next five minutes happen. Overlaying music with screaming goats, “Man, you gotta lay off the goats! Think that there’s a real problem!” “Nah, man!” Then comes the following: Pegasus, goats with wings, [31:54] Walruses hurling themselves off cliffs and the impending pandemic of Walruses gaining wings and bringing the end of life as we know it, let alone the demise of the early morning Cockerel clock (a Clockerel, if you will).
[35:22] finally, we regain control of our minds and talk about The Penny Antics recent embrace of online presence, setting up a Bandcamp profile to bring their music to an online audience. Lewis praises it: “I like using BANDCAMP more for distributing my music. Soundcloud’s great for y’know, a random clip from a stranger but BANDCAMPs is a good distribution site.”
[38:20] A frank admission about independent venues closing down, such as the Railway Hotel in Southend, which was just one of many cases of venues shutting down across the country. This is then followed up with big love to Hippy Joe, a local legend who continues to bring live local talent to the masses each week. One of the big reasons why these venues have to shut is simply down to a lack of people wanting to experience something new. Since starting this blog, it’s become clear that the depth of the music industry is vast beyond belief, and has more than enough levels’ worth of good music. It’s down to us as listeners to decide how far we wish to dive into it.
Insanity returns as Shane begins to play with our now-empty pint glasses, signalling the end to an interview that has strayed from normalcy many, many times. This is surmised perfectly by the following: “”Our interviews are just about as eclectic as our gigs, man” “I like it, I feel like it captures your soul””
Thank you to The Penny Antics for making the impending pneumonia feel so good during one of the best interviews we’ve had. Thank you to yourself for reading and listening through some pretty informative and pretty weird moments. Once more, don’t forget to check out The Penny Antics on Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp, and look out for more interviews in the near future, from this Make-A-Wish kid.