There’s no stopping this Nosebleed. The Leeds lo-fi punk trio have been making a name for themselves since they formed in 2014 with their sharp suits and sharper guitar lines. Ahead of their Inverness bow this Saturday with a gig at the Phoenix, Kyle spoke to frontman Eliott Verity about the band’s history, their first trip to the actual north, and being subjected to the wrath of late Fall frontman Mark E Smith
Hi Eliott, thanks for answering these! You’re up here in Inverness on Saturday – as a band from Leeds, how are you looking forward to travelling up from one country’s idea of The North to another? Have you ever been up this neck of the woods before?
“We’re really looking forward to this one. We’ve never played Inverness before but have heard good things from friends of ours who’ve made the journey up. We always enjoy playing new places and meeting new people and seeing new things so it’ll be an adventure for us!
“And us northerners have got to stick together haven’t we!”
So talk me through a little bit of the history of Nosebleed – what brought the band together? How did you settle on your sound? What’s stood out as the best memory for Nosebleed since forming?
“I started Nosebleed back in Febuary 2014 after the breakdown of my old band, Segregates. Segregates were my first ‘proper’ band and I had caught the music making bug, so wanted to continue in bands. The band started as myself and our former drummer Chris, and Ben joined in on bass a few months later after a few failed attempts.
“I originally came into it wanting it to be a fast, shouty hardcore punk band, but me and Chris soon found we had a mutual love for the more classic rock ‘n’ roll/garage punk sound, so naturally the songs we wrote were more in that ilk, and the hardcore idea was dropped.
“We’ve had some great memories over the years. Playing to a packed out room at Manchester Punk Festival and our first tour of mainland Europe are memories that stick out the most.”
You’re bringing your debut album up to the Highlands with you – Scratching Circles on the Dancefloor – after it got released last Friday. Congrats! How are you feeling now that it’s out there? How did it all come together (especially when the whole thing was recorded over one weekend!)?
“We’ve been working on it for a while now. About a year went into writing it. We wanted to make sure it was perfect before we recorded it.
“Our writing process is quite fast, if a song doesn’t work after 20 minutes we stop and write something else. So a lot of twenty minutes have gone into this album. But we’re all immensely happy it’s out now, so we can start working on the next one! All the reviews have been very positive so the hard work was worth it. I’m just glad people like it.
“We recorded it in Leeds at The Nave with Andy Hawkins, who is the mad scientist of music production. The man’s a genius. I don’t think he quite believed we would bash it out in the time we did it, but he understood what we wanted to do, and had lots of great suggestions for us. He even plays on the album! We will definitely be working with him again.
Obviously you guys are coming up here as part of the tour promoting the album – you’ve got dates across the country. What do you enjoy most about being on tour? And what’s your main way of dealing with the long journeys between venues?
“It’s playing shows that gets me through. That half an hour to an hour of playing music for people is certainly the best bit of everything. We do have a lot of friends around the country from touring, so it’s great catching up with people, but all the travelling soon takes it out of you.
“I do all the driving for the band, so although it may sound selfish my comfort comes first during the journeys, which has kind of always been the unstated rule. We don’t tend to listen to music while travelling, as we listen to so many bands when we’re out and about it gets too much. We’re a Radio 4 band, there’s no greater joy than listening to the shipping forecast after a gig.
“We always try to go home where we can as well, as your own bed really takes the edge off a long drive.”
Since you guys first got together, you’ve built up a formidable live reputation – storming into the crowds, the matching suits, etcetera. When did you start with all that? What do you try to give a crowd when you’re playing live?
“We’ve always got in the crowd during gigs. It’s a move I stole off my brother who used to play in a band called the Franceens. I just like being in amongst it, if people are getting into it and the rooms jumping, I don’t want to be stood watching it, I like to be in amongst it.
“I just feel like I want to be the band I’d want to watch. If I’m not having fun, how can I expect an audience to have fun? After all, they’re the people who’ve come to see the band, I want to make it a performance, like theatre. Something that stays with you.
“The suits came a bit later, a few months into gigging. We wanted to make the band a unit, and felt a uniform would give that impression. All the old rock ‘n’ rollers in the 50s wore great suits, so the look was cultivated from there.”
Speaking of live shows, with the amount you guys have played – what has been your best gig? Your worst? Your weirdest?
“We’ve done a lot of amazing gigs: Boomtown, Manchester Punk Festival, any number of gigs at our spiritual home The Fulford Arms in York – that’s where we had our first gig, have our first gigs after new releases or lineup changes, it holds a special place in our hearts.
“Worst gig is a tricky one. I don’t think we’ve had bad gigs per se, but I tend to beat myself up if something goes wrong. I’ll go and sulk in the car for an hour or so. Perhaps worst was a gig we played last summer. The gig itself was great, but it was the hottest day of the year and the thermometer behind the bar was showing it was 38 degrees in the venue. It was unbearable.
“Weirdest was definitely a festival we played a couple of years ago that had loads of sheep wandering round, and the stage was next to a petting zoo and nail salon. Really felt like the gig was in the wrong place.”
What has been the nicest thing somebody has said about Nosebleed? And what has been the, uh, not so nicest?
“A lot of the reviews for the new album have been great. Really blown us away how many people have said it could be a contender for album of the year. When I see people online saying how good we are live, or how hard working we are it all makes it worthwhile, because none of us ever though it would get to this point.
“As for the not so nice, we really upset Mark E Smith once when we supported The Fall. We finished our set three minutes early and he kicked off. Said we weren’t a proper band and we didn’t deserve to get paid, and we should all give up, etcetera. Then he gave up halfway through his set because he couldn’t be bothered! Sat backstage with a wireless mic singing while the band were still on stage! I think that’s the worst anyone has said about us, at least that I’m aware of!”
Now that you’ve got the album out and you’re in the middle of touring, what have you got in the pipeline for the rest of the year? Plans for a well-deserved rest at all or are things moving still?
“Moving, moving always moving! We’ve got another busy year ahead, we’ve confirmed 50 dates so far, and will certainly book more. We’ve some festivals this year like Boomtown, Beatherder, Bestival, Outcider, and some more, as well as another trip to Europe.
“We want to do as much as possible this year, and then maybe take it a little steadier next year as I’m getting married and Ben is going back to college to get his A-Levels. That been said, there was discussion last night of a tour of Russia next year, so all those plans could change yet...”
Nosebleed play The Phoenix on Saturday night with support from Polar Bears in Purgatory. Doors open at 7pm. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/140880063247694/