All Those Freaks: Meet The Roves


As a nation we do like to complain about the heat an awful lot but believe us we’re not kidding when we say today was very hot. It was, very, very hot. But still, despite the humidity (IT’S THE HUMIDITY!) we managed to nab some time with North London crooners The Roves as they prepare for their forthcoming EU support tour. These guys, for what it’s worth have managed to skip the post-summer blues and with a pretty neat fall ahead of themselves, we’re ever so slightly jealous…

Hey Tom, what’s been your technique to surviving this heatwave?

Tom: Banana milkshakes and the sounds of Narciso Yepes. Z-E-N.

You’re in a band with your brother. Were you raised in a very musical household (Von-Trapp style) or was it a more organic alliance?

Tom: Our parents didn’t play any instruments but our dad played a lot of records in the house. That was like our primary education in rock ‘n’ roll. When it started to get to that point where we thought ‘wait a minute....’, we realized music was what we wanted to do and it was just assumed that we would do it together in some capacity.

How were the others swayed to join?

Tom: Brendan answered an advert James had put up and soon after they met Luke at a show who I think volunteered to play bass. I was the last to join (this incarnation) as I was at a loose end and had no ambitions to pursue any other projects at the time.

We just heard you’re going back on tour with Nick Waterhouse! How did that come about?

Tom: Luke mentioned Nick was back in Europe this fall so I kind of opportunistically messaged him, to which he set the wheels in motion. He’s been very accommodating to us and patient so that’s been great.

Have the Waterhouse vs The Roves collaboration chances possibly increased?

Tom: Well you’d have to ask him about that. Over to you Nick...

I’d like to talk a bit about All Those Freaks if that’s cool. Do you recall any sophomore album nerves during the writing process or were things perhaps easier second time round?

James: Oh contraire, no nerves no. It took us a while but I had a hell of a lot of time on my hands. It never gets any easier.

Your sound is beautifully seeped in nostalgia. Does that extend to your day-to-day life also? Maybe you’ve got a really nice turtleneck you like to wear to feel inspired…

Tom: The word nostalgia conjures up to me this yearning for the past or to live in a time which we in the 21st century have nothing to do with. People take it to a great extent that living in the past becomes almost part of their lifestyle which is a shame. Our sound just happens to be a result of the range of different music we were exposed to from such a young age so it’s going to manifest itself in how we play and how we write. Having said that I wouldn’t want to live in (or pretend to live in) any other period of time.

As a band is there one key creative concept you all agree is ‘the shit’ or do you each bring your own individual tastes to the forefront?

James: Some people’s tastes change, and some people’s tastes stay pretty much the same. Mine tend to change. I smile along with jazz now where I never used to, but I still like Hank [Williams].

You’re rained in and stuck in a record shop. Which section would be your first point of call?

Tom: Maybe look for some Charlie Parker records. His music just suits the rain.

Finally, what is James ‘so happy’ about?

James: Hmm boy, I’m not happy about anything, and that’s what had the rest of the gang in stitches. The big reveal is in the chorus. 

The Roves release their brand new single Hey Little Man' with b-side 'Once A Prefect' on 13th September on El Rancho Records.

Keep up to date with The Roves on their Facebook here.

Interview by Al Mills.