Name, where are you from?
James & Aaron (The Slow Readers Club). Manchester
What do you do?
James: Bass guitar
Aaron: Vocals, keys
Describe your style in three words:
James: Out Of Stock
Aaron: Work in progress
What was the first song you played on repeat?
James: 'Ice Ice Baby' by Vanilla Ice. All I can say is we didn’t have the internet back then and I just wanted to know the words to give it the big ‘un in school. Pathetic really.
Aaron: 'Just Can’t Get Enough' - Depeche Mode, think it was on an 80’s mixtape that we got from saving up Weetabix tokens.
Which music defines the teenage you?
James: Any Motown (Stevie Wonder, Marvyn Gaye etc) and The War of the Worlds album with plenty of New Romantic stuff chucked in the mix. Not that I bought any of that and not that I was a teenager during those times. It’s just my Mam and Dad had very different tastes in music. Some great and some shocking.
Aaron: I was into grunge and poodle rock in my early teens, then later I was a full-on indie kid with a slight lean toward goth/melancholy - Beatles, Lennon, Stone Roses, The Smiths, early Oasis, James, The Doors, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Cure etc.
A song from your favourite album?
James: 'Billie Jean' from Thriller. What can I say that’s not already been said about that tune. It’s got everything. Just go and have a listen and tell me it hasn’t.
Aaron: 'I know It’s Over' from The Queen is Dead
A song you wish you’d written?
James: 'There Is A Light' - The Smiths. Maybe this is a bit predictable but what a tune. The sentiment, the lyrics, the music, the delivery. What a track. It’s a tune that brings everyone from all different musical tastes together.
Aaron: 'Mr Brightside', it’s a full-on unifying indie anthem. And the most played track on Spotify I heard, so would probably have earnt us a few quid ha.
A British icon or band who inspire your sound?
James: We always get asked this and it’s really hard to answer because as a band we listen to all sorts of stuff… Some better than others. We’ve been compared to the likes of Depeche Mode and Joy Division. Possibly because our sound is quite dark and has some synths. Aaron also sings in a low range at times. We’re not moaning though, they’re both quality bands.
Aaron: Yeah sound wise, it’s a lot of different stuff as Jim says. Lyrically it’s Lennon and Morrissey are probably the biggest influences - I like stuff that's personal, honest and semi-autobiographical.
What is the last piece of music you bought?
James: 'How Deep is Your Love' - Calvin Harris. When you say “bought” I didn’t actually buy it. I just searched and streamed it. You know how it goes these days. I was out in a nightclub in Minsk (yep) and it came on. The roof came off and the rest is history.
Best song to bring people together?
James: 'Good Vibrations', The Beach Boys. How can a tune with around 20 harmonies not bring people together? It’s great when you’re with a few people and the tune comes on and everyone starts singing different parts.
What has been your all-time favourite gig?
James: This is going to sound pathetic but honestly. Our recent show at Albert Hall in Manchester. We’ve been slogging at this business for some time and to play to 2000 people in your home city. It can’t get much better for us from a personal point of view.
Aaron: supporting James at Castlefield Bowl in front of 8000 people.
Best love song of all time?
James: 'There Is A Light' by The Smiths. See above answer. Absolute tune.
Aaron: 'To Love Somebody' - The Bee Gees
Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
James: We have shit loads. Maybe 'Starlight' by Madonna. Her Immaculate Collection album is a regular occurrence in the van after a gig. Note the “after” in that. It keeps us all on our toes whilst driving down/up the motorway at 3 in the morning. Another will be 'Rock Me Amadeus' by Falco. I bet you didn’t expect to see that in an answer.
Aaron: 'The Winner Takes It All' - Abba, amazing songwriters. Abba and the Bee Gees are my guilty pleasures.
What new music/bands are you listening to?
James: I don’t get out much or have chance which is ridiculous considering I play in a band. However, I’m too busy practising our own tunes at the minute. I find that if I don’t play them I forget them. I need to sort that out.
Aaron: The Blinders, October Drift, Pale Waves, SKIES, Desperate Journalist
What is your annual Christmas tradition?
James: Pretty much the same as everyone else’s I’d imagine. Being with friends and family, eating, drinking and having a laugh. As a band we have the work’s do as well. However, it’s just us four sat about talking about the band and what tracks need finishing. Pretty much a standard day though.
Aaron: Ha yeah we will be busy band wise this Christmas I expect. If I can get through the day without any meltdowns of family arguments I will be happy.