The Longcut

The Longcut are known for having the ridiculous schedule of an overworked pop act. When Designer Magazine met them at the MTV Spanking New show in Manchester they were rushing off straight after for a 2nd gig in Liverpool the same night, just a month after they get full marks for not only playing at stupid o'clock (8am), but also having booked a late night DJ set the night before at Club Save Yourself to mark the launch of "A Quiet Life" Ep. Now that the novelty of the drumming singer boy Stuart Oglivie has worn off it's time to let the tunes do the talking. The elements of this post-punk post-rock disco music are far from original - equal parts Fugazi, Mogwai and Joy Division - but the likes of "Transition" manage to wake up the crowd in time for the bar opening at 9am. Designer Magazine caught up with honorary Mancs Lee, Stuart and Jon to get the low-down

Q: The first time we saw you guys was as the legendary Steve Lamacq 6 Music gig with Graham Coxon at the Hop & Grape. It's been pretty mad ever since with the Manc invasion of you guys and Nine Black Alps
Lee: That was the first time we actually started doing the whole professional thing. Like when I first started being in a band I didn't even think about doing interviews. When we did out first interview it was like we're a proper band now cos we're getting interviewed.

John: I used to say constantly that no-one was going to buy our records ever, but some people did.

Lee: We got a lot of attention from the demos that were being handed around in London and the only thing we knew about that was when our mobiles were going from 9 in the morning till 11 at night. Having the website helped as well because anyone could just go online and Steve Lamacq heard the demo and was playing it loads before we even did the gig with him.

Q: So now you're a proper band have you been given the Babyspice school of interview technique's where you love everything?
Lee: (laughs) We just get told 5 minutes before that we've got a TV interview to do and then get thrown in front of the camera. We don't have our own interview coach like Avril Lavigne yet

Q: When you signed to Deltasonic weren't you the first Manc band (even if you are only honorary Mancs) to sign to them
John: Yeah. We were the first band outside Liverpool I think.

Stuart: They've not been going long enough really to have that reputation, but they do have that reputation for similar sounding bands with them coming from Liverpool. Everyone thinks they're only interested in Scouse bands, but they were never about that.

Lee: We signed to Deltasonic because every other label was saying we'll do this for you and this will happen for you...and Deltasonic simply came up to us and said we'll sign you, but it's up to you lot really.

We've never really been a Manchester band cos none of us are actually from Manchester. We formed the band here, so we are sort of a Manchester band. It does annoy you a bit when people come up to and think you're a Manchester band, but then Blur weren't from London.

John: People say Manchester can be a bit incestuous, but we just played any gigs we were offered. We'd play anywhere for anyone so that's helped us not get involved with one set of people.

Q: How many A&R guys came up to you and said "I like it...but you need a full time drummer"
Lee: We had a few that said have you thought about getting other members in, things like that. It was like I don't think so.

Q: What were you listening to to make the Longcut sound?
John: Nick Drake, Love, Bob Dylan, 60s Garage Stuff and quite a lot of hip hop to be honest. Wu Tang Clan and DJ Shadow.

Stuart: Some really really awful heavy music and some much better heavy music. Fugazi, Sonic Youth and more commercial stuff like Radiohead.

Lee: And I'm the same as Stuart but replace the really awful heavy music with really awful Britpop stuff. All the kids at my school were into Britpop so it wasn't until I met these guys that I started listening to DJ Shadow and Mogwai.

Q: You've been out on the road so much, tonight it's madness with 2 gigs in one night. Do you get chance to keep up with what's happening musically?
Lee: It's getting a lot like it was in Britpop nowadays, when load of guitar bands had hit records but they were all really boring. I mean The Killers are just Shed 7 with synths. I really really can't stand that band...and the Bravery used to be a ska-punk band. We're probably best not starting slagging any more bands off cos if we do we'll be here all night

Q: What's the plan with the album? Is it about trying to capture that live energy?
Stuart: It's about capturing that energy, but then adding some texture. We're playing it live in the studio with just the vocals done afterwards. I think Neil Young's the only person in music who still does that.

Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest

"A Quiet Life" EP is out now
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