Its a story which could have come right out of "How To Make It In The Music Industry" and somewhat unbelievably its completely true. The Burn recorded their original demos in Badly Drawn Boys Studio, signed to Hut soon after and went on to support the likes of Oasis, Ian Brown and Paul Weller. We caught up with frontman Danny Davidson to find out about the incredible journey from the grim northern town of Blackburn and how they may just blow Travis and Will Young out of the water with their army of Burnheads.
Q: We all know that the origins of the name come from your home town of Blackburn. I haven't been there before, but I can imagine its the grim northern town where there isn't a lot to do. Has music always been the escape where you can switch of from reality?
A: There's two ways of doing it when you're from a town like Blackburn. Just a normal town where there's not much work going on or shit that like - you either get out of your head on drugs or you form a band. Its weird as well being a band and the first couple of years we were getting it together we were going to work and practising after work, missing nights out cos we were rehearsing and we were just looked at like idiots really. I suppose if you're not in it you don't get it!!!
Being in a band took over from going out and getting of your nut. It was just f**king miles better and then we'd be playing footie Saturday afternoon. Of course it was like escapism!!!
Q: Who was the one band / artist when you were up in Blackburn that made you think this can be my life, this is the way out of the sticks?
A: It weren't down to one band or one person. More modern day bands like the La's and even Oasis and what they've done and where they've come from and all that...it kind of makes it a bit more believable in your grasp kind of thing.
But we listen to a lot of older music. In the 60s it seemed a lot easier for bands to get going because it was all new. Nothings new anymore and everything's taken from the past if you will - nothings totally original!!! You see the Gallaghers and they've come from nothing and now they're multi-millionaires So no matter what you think of them they've done all right no matter how good or bad their last 3 albums have been.
Q: You must have routed through your parents record collection because I was looking through your Top Ten on your website and the most recent bands were Shack and the La's. Was that the case?
A: I was brought up on everything from Tamla Motown to Sam Cooke to the Rolling Stones to Bob Marley. When you're brought up listening to that stuff its just in you...those timeless classics...and there will always be elements of that in our music. I have a lot to thank my Dad for really when I was pestering him on a Sunday afternoons to listen to this, that and the other from 30 years ago when at the time I thought it had no f**king relevance. But now I'm grateful of it to be honest.
Q: Do you find a lot of the contemporary bands are a pale imitation when you listen to your record collection?
A: Yeah, I suppose. There's a lot of watery stuff about isn't there. There's no room anymore for a band to come out with big chorus formula pop music and no matter how sweet it is there's only so many Coldplay, Travis' can't you. I'm not knocking any of them, but I'm just saying there's no room for more of that.
Our take is to just do what we do and no matter what it is it will have the Burn stamp on it. It's not going to sound like the Music. Its not going to sound like the Coral. We'll get pigeon-holed with all that but the next single we put out is going to be totally different than "Smiling Face" so were going to flip it on its head.
Sticking to a formula, whether it sells or not sells, is boring and bulls**t. No matter how many records we sell we will just be doing what we want to do and the day that that stops is the day we end this band!!!
Q: I read in an interview you did that you don't want to get to muso about it all?
A: I'm a believer in that songwriting should be a natural process, no to thought about, because if it is you can tell. If a song comes naturally they're always the best songs. You can go too much up your own arse and none of us have played instruments that long - but we know what sounds good and the naivety gives us a bit of a distinct sound.
Were stumbling on things and learning things and incorporating that with the position that were a signed band - so as were learning its going out and were learning in public if you will. Its got a bit of an edge to it that way!!!
Q: When you signed to Hut records I heard a rumour you spend £60,000 on demos with John Leckie. True or just the rumour mill working over-time?
A: No, that's not true at all. We did some demos with John Leckie, but it were kind of just a get together thing. He had a bit of free time and we were looking for a producer for the album but it worked out that he wasn't free when we were looking to do that album, so that was it. But f**king £60,000 - I don't know where that's come from man!!!
We have been lucky though that we've got a guy called Hugh Jones who's produced the single and doing the album. He's clued up and there's no push and pull in the studio - its all flowing naturally because he knows what were after. He's come up to the rehearsal room for two weeks so he knows what were about and what our influence are. Its so much easier that we don't have to explain this and that too him.
Q: When we look back that you only signed 15 months ago and you produced your original demos in Badly Drawn Boy's studio then toured with Oasis, Ian Brown and Paul Weller. It must be mad to look back at it all?
A: Playing the Albert Hall and Gallagher, Weller and Ocean Colour Scene are up there doing "All You Need Is Love". Its like we were just up there before them.
But this is more exciting in a way because these are our gigs - we've got proper Burnheads down here into our music!!! There are people out there that are ready for a band with a bit of a raw edge and its good times for us.
We haven't rammed it down peoples throats, there's the big tours obviously, but its been proper grafting that's got us where we are. We've had none of that Next Big Band bollocks and virtually no airplay at all which is fine by us cos' its been cool the way its been allowed to develop naturally.
Our music hopefully will have a bit more longevity about it - were not going to wear daft suits with little ties. Boy Band with guitars - f**k that no matter whether it's flavour of the month or what!!!
Q: Yourselves. The Coral. The Music. There's some amazing band out there right now which you know that in 12 months time will be the mainstream. What do you think of the state of music right now?
A: We've had just about enough of Will Young and Steps and one of dance songs going in at number 1. Like I was saying before when I heard "Smiling Face" on the Jo Whiley Show and Travis were on after us it just seemed weird. But that singles done what we wanted it to and turned a few heads on to us.
"The Smiling Face" is out now
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