Monday, 26 May 2008

Q&A: Good Shoes

Photograph: Jenny Hardcore

Four boys from South London, creating a riotous racket and visually enticing record sleeves. It could only be Good Shoes! After a fun-filled 2006 and on the eve of the release of their debut album 'Think Before You Speak', we catch up with RHYS for a brief chat.

Hey, how are you doing?
Good, we're in Sweden recording some B-sides, then I'm off to Germany on Thursday to do press. Busy times, so I'm a bit knackered but all's good.

What can we expect from the new album?
Umm...14 short, clever/dumb, pop songs that we wrote ourselves, with lyrics about my life in particular, but about our lives in general.

You guys have dabbled in doing remixes, are there anymore planned?
Umm...we've done one remix, and it sounded amazing, but not really. We're too busy, so when we have days off, we like to see our friends, instead of doing remixes in front of computers!

How much has Morden influenced you?
Morden has influenced us a great deal I think. But then again, I feel like where ever I grew up, I would have felt the same things towards that place and have had similar relationships to the ones I had in Morden.

What’s been getting your good shoes tapping in music lately?
Jamie T, Klaxons, Rumble Strips, Blood Red Shoes, White Flight, Operator Please.

What’s your favourite song to play live at the moment?
The Photos On My Wall maybe, it's simple and fun to dance about to; I dont have to look at my guitar when I play it so I'm a bit more free with that one, whereas with the other songs, I have to concentrate all the time.

Apart from playing in front of the French, what other aspects of your tour dates later in the year in France are you most looking forward too?
Umm...just seeing new cities. I doubt many people would ever get to see so many other cities in France, mostly people would just go to Paris. Its nice to experience different parts. The same goes for Germany where we're doing a big tour just after.

How did it feel to play the Carling Weekend Reading and Leeds festivals?
Great! It was our biggest ever show and people really got into it, it was really fun!
Having said that, are there any stand out favourite places for you to play?
Birmingham, Leeds, London especially (for obvious reasons), the major cities I guess, because we get to play bigger venues.

How do you feel about being part of the “Thamesbeat” scene?
Nothing. There is no scene, plus, we live very far away from the Thames. We don't have the money to live in Richmond or Twickenham! And we don't sound like any of those bands.

So once the album is released, what’s in store for the future of Good Shoes?
Touring and touring, promoting, releasing more singles, travelling about, exactly what you'd expect!

Do you think the visual side is important to the full Good Shoes picture, to complete the package if you like?
Yeah, I'd say it's about 40% of what we do; the music is obviously more important, but without artwork or videos it would be a lot more boring. I think the way you present yourself visually is very important and can make a great band. I'd like to think our artwork is good, I do it all myself, see!

What is the inspiration behind the artwork? Was it always something you knew you would do yourself, instead of getting someone else to do it?
Yeah, I studied Illustration at uni so it's what I wanted to do before being in the band. There is so much bad artwork out there that I knew what I'd done was, at the very least, better than some of it - check out the album artwork; especially the limited edition CD, it looks pretty cool.

Jonathan Murray