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Mum's The Word

When you start a band, the most important people you have to convince are your parents.
Κείμενο Jaimie Hodgson

Photo by Sarah Bowles

When you start a band, the most important people you have to convince are your parents. No one admits that but it’s true. From the start, they’re the ones who have to pay for your guitars and beer and ferry you to and from rehearsals. Even worse, they have to constantly make up stories about your “real ambitions” when relatives ask whether you’re still wasting your life away in that shitty band. When their parents announced to their entire family that their two sons were now officially unemployed, the sibling frontmen of the Young Knives knew there was no turning back to their computer firm day job. Andy Gill of trendy old band Gang of Four lured the three bumpkins away from the smell of cow shit and rehearsals in the local church hall to his London studio, and somehow managed not to make a complete mess of his production job on their recent EP. Now every major indie band and label in the UK is going nuts about these arty beatniks. Finally, they can hold their heads up high at family functions. VICE: So how are your folks at the moment? Henry: Very well. I had to go to a family wedding at the weekend. I got hammered with my grandma. People kept asking me what I do for a living and for the first time I could say that I’m a professional musician. It’s a lot better than saying you work at a computer firm. What kind of music are your mum and dad into? My dad likes the Spanish guitar, and my mum is a choral singer. I think they’re beginning to appreciate what we do more. They liked Andy Gill’s recordings. Now they’ve realized it’s not just a funny little hobby we’ve got. What’s your most fucked-up memory of your parents? My mum used to beat the living shit out of me. She’s got a very short fuse. I’ve got lots of stories of my mum chasing me down the street, throwing shoes at me and stuff. One time she threw a wineglass at my head because I’d sworn at the top of my voice in front of her friends. She once booted me so hard on the coccyx that I couldn’t sit down for two weeks. But I was genuinely being rude to her. I remember a couple of weeks later I was watching one of the Back to the Future films in the cinema and I couldn’t actually sit all the way through it, I had to get up and move around. JAIMIE HODGSON
The Young Knives’ Junky Music Make My Heart Beat Faster EP is out now on Transgressive Records.