Currently enjoying great success with their album 'Love Triangles Hate Squares', clever 'Elvis vs Elvis EP', and with a Record Store Day Limited Edition,"Live and Inconsolable" live album (due for 19th April), Exeter five-piece, The Computers, embody more British subculture than most bands on the current scene. On top of this, they are some of the sharpest dressers around. With this in mind we took the chance to ask front-man Alex Kershaw a few questions about music and style.
For anyone who hasn't heard The Computers yet how would you describe your sound?
I'd say think of a soul band made up of guys that grew up listening to punk. That would be the short answer.
You’ve stated in the past that you’re a big fan of the suedehead subculture. What is it about suedehead that you identify with?
Well it's not something I sought out. In fact I first heard the term from my dad telling me I wasn't a punk or a mod but more a suedehead. Maybe a suedehead that needs a hair cut. So I guess the music and the fashion, because I was already dressing a certain way and listening to the music. Suedeheads are said to be into soul, roots ska, rock 'n' roll and that's what I dig but I listen to all sorts. A great tune is a great tune.
What is your all time number one suedehead tune?
That's a tough one. That would depend on what your perception of a 'Suedehead' song is. It's also super hard to pick just one song. Let's say something by Percy Sledge. I like him so much that one of my Pugs is named after him.
Who is your biggest style icon - and why?
Off the top of my head I'd say Paul Weller in the Style Council era, Elvis Costello circa My Aim Is True. Right now, but not in the music biz, I'd say Mads Mikkelsen in Hannibal and Michael Fassbender can also be seen wearing some pretty nice suits!
Apart from making music - what else do you like to do?
I worry! But when I'm not doing that I spend a lot of time in coffee shops drinking tea and coffee, shopping, playing with my dogs. I watch a lot of films and TV too. Normal stuff. Music does take up most of my time though.
We understand you’re a big collector of rare Fred Perry items – what’s your favourite, or rarest piece?
Ah yes very big fan. Let's just say I have a wardrobe pretty much just for Fred Perry stuff. I'm sat here now in fact in a Fred perry tank top (brown) I think I've got about eighteen Fred Perry shirts alone. Some of my favourite pieces would include my Fred Perry Monkey Jacket (white) an argyll shirt, a burgundy button up long sleeve wool, I have one of the Fred Perry tie pins too. Too much to mention really. Oh and a white and black/grey candy stripe shirt with small collar.
What new music are you currently listening to?
I listen to so much music I never really pay attention to if it's new or not. If it's a good song I don't care about the age. I like Justin Timberlake's last record, that might surprise some people.
How does it feel to count the great Johnny Marr amongst your fans?
Ah yeah that's totally a weird thing. Our first contact with the Marr Family was Nile (Johnny's son) at one of our shows telling me how much him and his dad loved the band. He said something along the lines of "Hey I love that Rickenbacker 330 you play, my dad uses one of those" I didn't bother to mention that yeah I know and that's why I got one. Nile is actually a great guitar player in his own right, we have tried to have him support us a few times but he's always away working with his dad. Johnny is an absolute legend and an example of how to be extremely talented, famous but totally humble and genuine.
If you could have any artist, dead or alive, cover one of your songs - who would it be - and why?
For cash reasons let's say Adelle. Or, the late great Joe Strummer.
What can we expect from your next album?
...Well remember where I said I liked the last Justin Timberlake record?!
Finally - If you were a computer – what operating system would you run on?
Let's say Linux - just to piss people off.
Keep up to date with The Computers latest developments at thisisthecomputers.com
Photos: Dean Chalkley
The Computers 'LIVE & INCONSOLABLE'
Release date 19th April 2014 (Record Store Day Limited Edition)
On 2×12” LP & CD (Limited to 500 2×12” double coloured vinyl [TPLP1233] and 1000 CD’s [TPLP1233CD])
Includes tracks from both Love Triangles, Hate Squares & This Is The Computers.