Thrash Hits verdict: Sometimes you just need to drop all that polyrhythmic mathcore nonsense on its head and get back to basics. To The Bones are four people who make raucous, none-of-your-nonsense rock’n’fricking’roll music. If you could smell through the internet, we are sure they would smell of whatever the dirty plaid shirts of a dozen dirty grunge heads smell like. And we mean that in the best way possible. That’s why we dropped vocalist/guitarist Rhys G. Bradley a line to ask him all about To The Bones.
Describe your sound in 3 words.
Grunge Fuelled rock
How did you meet?
We all originally met through jamming circles in our home town. Me and Tom [Evans, drums] are the original members of the band, Chris [Yates, guitar] and Jude [Jagger, bass] joined within the past two years. Chris was in a band called Bookstore and we knew him from there, so he joined when the original guitarist left the band. Jude we knew from being at our past shows, either being a spectator or production crew for the events. We also knew of her from being in band called Fi-Lo radio which was fronted by Jon Lee from Kong, and she played bass in them. They toured in America and supported bands like Kinesis and Oceansize. One day she asked if we’d like to play a party in a mansion in Manchester to which I replied and laughed “…there is only two of us left, I don’t think it’d be possible.”
She then stepped up and offered to fill the vacant bass position and she’s been doing a killer job every since. I’d not even thought about rebuilding the band at this point so it was really cool thing to have happened.
Watch the video to ‘Martian Motherfucker’ by To The Bones:
What made you want to start a band?
Just seeing our early influences and heroes making records and playing live on stages at festivals. It made us want to do it ourselves.
Where did the name come from?
It was the first ever song I wrote. My brother bought me my first guitar despite me not being able to play it. I think I was 17. It was a sunburst Encore electric guitar which I soon started to get addicted to. One day I decided to find some recording software online because I wanted to start recording. I only had a 56K dial up connection modem, but after much time spent waiting, I managed to download a program called Cool Edit Pro which was evidently only the trial version. I was armed with a PC microphone which cost me three English pounds from a closing down sale at Virgin Megastore, a shitty practice amp, a shitty drum kit, the walls of my bedroom and just one whole minute to record a song. It was a trial version after all.
So I just started jamming and recording loud nonsense over a poorly recorded drum track that I’d made. I snapped a few guitar strings which were still attached the guitar and still picking up noise in my distorted practise amp…anyway, the vocal takes consisted of me shouting “to the bones” repeatedly…(Why? Who knows?). At the end I named the song ‘To The Fucking Bones’, that in fact developed into a song which is the closing track of our first record, Duke Type A.
Where did you grow up? How do you think it’s affected your music?
The band was born in a town called Bolton, which is north of Manchester. It’s got its good and bad points like most towns. It’s hosted some of my favourite shows over the years. Our hometown shows have been really good, especially when there was a scene going on. That stuff helps build a band’s confidence, especially when enthusiastic friends and fans surround you. It’s very positive.
The bad points, I won’t get started on, we’d be here all day.
So far, what has been the best thing about being in a band?
Without riding the cliché train…meeting loads of awesome people and partying with loads of awesome people. We’ve made a lot of really cool friends. When someone likes a song you’ve made, it’s a feeling like no other.
With which band would your dream support slot/tour be?
Well I’d say Foo Fighters or Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, orrrr, wait! MOTORFUCKINGHEAD. That would be so fucking awesome. We met them at the Metal Hammer awards a few months ago. We ended up partying ourselves to oblivion with Mikkey Dee the drummer in some London club. That was awesome.
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
There’s loads of bands I feel are on our same wave length…The Virginmarys, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Pulled Apart by Horses, Exit International, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster (RIP), Bad For Lazarus…We’re doing a few shows with The Virginmarys in November this year which we’re all really looking forward to. A hard working northern band that have been working their arses off for years and finally reaping the rewards. They’re killing it right now.
What’s the best and/or funniest show you’ve played?
We got put on a bill at Islington Academy with some chap from Aiden, William Control, is it? He had loads of strippers to dance while he tweaked his nipples on stage to a drum machine…anyways, as we finished our set, we walked backstage to our dressing room and the entire area was full of strippers in their knickers getting ready, and one of them was Andrew Sach’s daughter who at this time was in the middle of the Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross radio scandal. You just don’t get that shit in Bolton.
Watch the video to ‘Emperor’s Ride’ by To The Bones:
What have you got planned for the future?
We’re right slap bang in the middle of finishing a new album which we’re really excited about. It’s coming along really well. We’ve got festivals slots lined up for 2014 so keep an eye for those dates being announced, a new single at the start of 2014 and we’re also supporting The Virginmarys on 13 November this year at the infamous 100 Club, and also going to be playing our biggest ever northern show at Manchester Academy 2 with them on November 22. We also just confirmed Hammerfest VI for 2014 as well.
What other band should everyone find out about?
I was at Arctangent festivals at the end of August. I thought Fat Goth were incredible. They’re a three-piece Scottish band. The name is funny, but don’t be fooled, they’re a really great band.
Tell us a joke?
What’s black and white and can’t turn corridor corners?
A nun with a javelin through her head.
As they mentioned above, To The Bones are playing in support of The Virginmarys on selected UK shows in November, but they’re also playing a free show on Halloween (That’s 31 October, for anyone without a functioning brain) at the Firebug in Leicester – you should visit their official website for more details. The band have also just been announced as an addition to the Hammerfest VI line-up next Spring, if you’re okay waiting around until March to see them do their thing. You can buy their shirts, as well as copies of their Astral Magic EP and their debut album, Duke Type A, right damn now if you head on over to their Big Cartel page.