Visible Noise’s newest charges, The Dead Formats are hot property right now. They’re also releasing their debut mini-album soon so we caught up with guitarist, Glenn Wizik and bassist, Jon Poulten to check out the buzz.
From: Essex, UK
Sounds like: The Bronx, The Specials, The punk in 2009
How did you meet?
Jon: “We have all been friends for a long time – most of us knew each other before Formats started, whether it was through other bands we were playing in at the time or just through the love for the same music. We have hung out pretty much every day ever since. I think it’s the same for anyone who gets into music – you just find those rare few who think the same and you hang on to them!”
Where did the name come from?
Glenn: “We were talking about the lack of vinyl in Chelmsford or something and our mate Buddy Green said it in conversation. It sounded cool when he said it, so we had it.”
What made you want to start Dead Formats?
Glenn: “Our love for music. You see a lot of people get on stage and act like a fucking cliche in hope of a million quid or a room full of girls and it’s bollocks. We live for music, we’d be doing this regardless, y’know. Not to mention we were pretty bored with everything new we were hearing as well – no one seems to have as much substance as the stuff we were listening to. We needed a break from the constant apathy!”
What was it like growing up in Essex? Has it affected your music?
Glenn: “Essex is a pretty boring place if you’re young and into music, there’s fuck all to do really. We had a cool venue in Chelmsford but about six years ago they ripped it down, since then music has been struggling, it’s like the council do anything they can to stop it. There are other venues around Essex but public transport is finished by like 11 so you can’t get home. If you don’t drive you’re fucked!
“It’s definitely affected our music though but I think where you live does cos it helps defines you as a person and thats what music is, an extension of your personality. A lot of our lyrics are about the people and things we’ve seen here,
y’know. There’s a great saying, ‘You’ve only got to look out your window to write a song.’ I’ve never heard a truer statement.”
What are your musical influences?
Jon: “Collectively we meet with The Clash, other sounds from the late ’70s and early ’80s, Jamacian music from the ’60s and ’70s and Sweet Soul Music. On a personal note my first love was punk so probably The Germs, The Adverts, The Ramones, Wire, The Dead Kennedys. Always The Small Faces! And I don’t think i’ve ever not been in the mood for King Tubby.”
Glenn: “For me, The Jam, Small Faces, The Kinks, The Who, Dr Feelgood, The Beatles and bands like Gang of Four. Great tunes, great melodies and inventive writing.”
What’s the best show you’ve played?
Jon: “I think the Diamond Skulls launch at the underworld was one of the best, it had such a good vibe throughout the whole show, no bullshit, just good tunes and cool people.”
Watch The Dead Formats performing ‘Step It Up’ at the London Underworld for the Diamond Skulls launch party with Gallows
With which band would your dream tour be?
Glenn: “Unfortunately they’ve either split up or the members are dead but I guess at the moment probably either The Enemy, The Rakes or Paul Weller. Just to tour is a dream and we’d go on the road with anyone who isn’t a wanker.”
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
Jon: “I don’t know what scene we would even fit into, but since we have started to play more shows we have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of bands that have totally different sounds to ours but are coming from the same place. Bands like The Plight, The Computers, Sharks, Cancer Bats, Hexes, Outcry Collective are all fucking great. The bands that we would consider peers have almost certainly split up, but I would say that Frank Carter is worthy of a mention, he has achieved a lot with Gallows and pushed British punk back to the surface, it was also his initial support that got us out of Essex and playing more shows!”
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
Glenn: “I think our willingness to try different things musically y’know, we don’t want to fit in to any scene or movement. It’d be fucking boring to confine yourself to one genre and thats something we ain’t interested in. Plus, Francis [Waller, vocals] can really fucking sing!”
What other band should everyone find out about?
Jon: Any of the bands we’ve previously mentioned.
Glenn: Have a look in your parents record collection, the past is just as important.
The Dead Formats release their self-titled debut mini-album on 01 June 2009 via Visible Noise. You should buy that and then you should go see them live as well. Definitely
The Dead Formats July 2009 tourdates
01 Nottingham Seven
02 Manchester Satan’s Hollow
03 Leeds Rio’s
04 Southend Railway Hotel
05 London Camden Barfly