Introduce yourselves and tell us what you've been up to recently?
We are Dead Retinas. A Manchester based 4 piece punk band. We’ve been busy writing new stuff for our 2nd E.P due out in the summer. Our first e.p “VS The World” is out now to download for free on our facebook page.
And how did you get together? The name?
Hendo, Jack and CJ have known each other since high school. We were all best mates till around university time when we went our separate ways. CJ And Hendo remained in touch and after several other projects, we decided to start the band. After a couple of guitarists, it made perfect sense to bring Jack in! Then after a search we landed our drummer Lee. We were originally called Hounds, but after a horrendously drunk Sonisphere 2011 outing, Hendo stumbled upon a band of the same name, so on returning back to Manchester, CJ had watched the film “Paul” with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg with the commentary on, where Nick piped up with the name Dead Retinas. Then the name kind of stuck after that!
Who are your biggest influences?
For Hendo, Ed McRae (Your Demise), Liam Cormier (Cancer Bats) and Chino Moreno (Deftones). All notoriously riotous front men at the moment who I love.
For CJ, Wade Macneil (Gallows, EX Alexisonfire) and Damian Abraham (Fucked Up), both not bass players but have inspired me for years now. There stage presence and friendliness is what I go for they've been great to me these past years.
For Lee, Josh Freese (The Vandal) John Blackwell Jr (Prince) and
Chris Carl Hough (The Slow Show/ my actual mentor)
Jack draws influence mainly from the blues and rock ‘n’ roll eras, from the likes of Hendrix, Chuck Berry, BB King, Jimmy Page and Slash, but also from more contemporary punk and metal music; “whatever hits my ears at the time.”
Here at Designer Magazine we're all about supporting the scene.. which are your fave local bands and why should we check them out?
Morphine Ghost: We love these guys, and we’ve seen them live a few times, it’s great how two bands can become good friends. And it’s worth checking them out live and taking a listen to there stuff.
Halfings Leaf: Halflings Leaf are a crazy band, and it’s hard to put them in a genre, Hendo describes them as “watching At The Drive In on acid” their new EP is amazing.
Waters Reach: Lee’s cousins band, these guys have a great hardcore/metal sound and we feel they have a great future ahead of them.
What's your biggest promo tips you can give to other local bands? How do you push your band forward?
The most important tip we can give to upcoming bands is to be a good sport: it’s not a competition to become successful and throwing trash talk at other groups gets you nowhere. Socialize with bands and promoters you arrange gigs with, support and promote them as well as yourselves and the favour will be returned. Be ruthless in your approach, if you want serious fans then they won’t mind you posting multiple updates a day, it’s the quality of your fan base not the quantity.
Push as much content out there as possible, whether it’s video blogs, pictures, new songs, anything to keep people coming back to your page.
Avoid Myspace at all cost.
Where do you go for pre gig food and where do you go post gig clubs in Manchester?
We go to the nearest newsagent and stock up on water and energy drinks; we tend not to go out for food before hand but we make sure we have a massive lunch or breakfast. Once we’ve dropped all the stuff back at lee’s house in the city centre we go straight to Satan’s Hollow!
What do you like most about Manchester?
It’s the city to end all cities; it’s got something for everyone. it’s diversity it just feels like home. That can be said about every city but everyone knows Manchester is special.
The history. We were the industrial capital and we are the musical capital of the world, because all the influential bands come from Manchester and surrounding areas. and there has always been a buzz around Manchester, no idea why but it’s always a place you want to be. There are so many great shops and venues, clubs and bars. It’s just a great place to live.
Best gig you've been to of all time (and why?)
Hendo: I think for sheer excitement, Rage Against the Machine at Leeds 2008 was just an adrenalin-fueled riot! So many mosh-pits in the space of 2 hours I came out looking like a state. Either that or the time my brother and I went to go see the Bronx support Rise Against! They know how to put on a good show!
CJ: Difficult one. I’ve seen Alexisonfire 26 times over the years, all across the country and they’ve always been amazing, however one of my favorite gigs of all time was Black Lungs and Fucked Up at Leeds Well, it was a crazy sweat exhausting night full of sweaty hugs from Damian something I’ve taken for our live performances
Lee: The Offspring with Rufio supporting, The Offspring got me into punk, I still have Americana on Cassette tap, Rufio are just awesome, or were, they broke up, and AFI - Sing the Sorrows Tour, im a huge AFI nerd, I have the Days of the Phoenix EP which is extremely rare
Jack: Definitely KISS at Download Festival in 2008. Just for the amount of A-game they brought to the show; the tunes, the pyrotechnics, the atmosphere, ahhh…
What one book would you say all of your fans should read and why?
Hendo: I don’t read as often as I want too, but if I was to pick one book that I would recommend, it would be Anthony Keidis’ Biography. Bit of an eye opener to be honest! It put the whole drug scene into perspective for me.
CJ: To be honest I tend not to read novels but I do read a lot of comic books and graphic novels, I’m a big “Captain America fan and a big “Walking Dead” fan
Lee: Probably Air Mail, it’s a collection of letters a guy wrote winding airlines up, it’s quite entertaining.
Jack: American Psycho, if you’ve seen the film, read the book, and vice versa. Also all the Lord Of The Rings books!
Fave movie or TV show of all time?
Hendo: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, without any hesitation! I could watch that over and over again until the day I die! Such an amazing film!
CJ: my favorite movie of all time, is the delightful Shaun Of The Dead, I’m a big movie geek when it comes to zombie films, the 1978 Dawn of the Dead by George Romero is a close second
Lee: My Favorite movie is Idle Hands or Running Man and My Favorite TV show is Tosh.0 and Workaholic on Comedy Central US.
Jack: Anchorman has to be one of my favourite films at the moment. I also love the film Waiting, because I work in the industry I can relate to how funny it is.
Which football team do you support?
Hendo: CITY TILL I DIE!!!! Born and bred City fan, I was a fan since they started out in Division Two against teams like Gillingham. I still haven’t got over the fact there champions, probably because im still adjusting to the fact they seem to be winning most of the time. Favorite game has to be the most recent game against QPR. I cried when they won and pursued a heavy night of drinking after. My favorite player is Mario Balotelli. Hes a liability, but the guy has got too much swagger in my books to hate him!
CJ: My family are city fans however football doesn’t really interest me, sorry people, I’ll support city on big games, but I'm nothing more then a social football fan.
Lee: I’m a Die Hard Red, so its always Me vs Hendo and Jack, but they are only borrowing that Trophy, for 360 odd days, My favorite Match was the 4-3 Win over Manchester City, Owen scoring in Fergie Time to win it, Favorite player has to be Valencia, the mans A beast and a work horse.
Jack: As mentioned above, I’m a Blue, but I tend to drift in and out of interest in it. Always good to have a mix in the band, it allows for a bit of banter and keeping Lee quiet until next year.
And finally we're all about the live sweaty gigs - final chance to say why we should check you out live?
Hendo: Live is all about energy! If there’s no energy on stage then it kills it in my books! Live I think we’re definitely one too watch. We’re always jumping in the crowd screaming for mosh-pits and for people to act like idiots with us. I love playing live, I want to do it for the rest of my life! So I kind of put all my effort into it on stage, I got told we sound nothing like our EP in a good way! So if you like our EP, check us out live because you wont be disappointed.
CJ: if you come see us live I promise I’ll come and give you a big hug
Lee: What they said, Minus the sweaty hugs, I just sit at the back and play ha
Jack: When the moment arises, we take the show to the crowd, literally. If only Lee had wheels on his drum kit…
And if we want to know more whats your facebook / twitter addresses?
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All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
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