Your parents may be regaling you with stories about their youth listening to The Jam and fighting with Rockers on the beach, but the raw energy of The Spitfires breathes a new life into Mod music to prove that it is far from retiring any time soon. Especially when you consider that thband reached number 6 on the independent charts with their new album Year Zero and as well as performing to huge crowds on their most recent tour, The Spitfires are not going to stop good music from reaching the people anytime soon, no matter what era its influence is from.
So, tell us about yourself.
My name is Billy and I’m the lead singer of the band The Spitfires. We’re from Watford and have a new album called ‘Year Zero’ and are about to embark on a UK and Ireland Tour.
What was your first thought this morning?
Cigarette and Coffee
What do you guys bring that makes you different?
We mean it. We live and breathe everything we do as a band and talk about in our songs. We don’t try to lecture or solve issues because at the end of the day, we’re the same as everyone else and experience the same things everyone else does. We just have an outlet through our music and try to make it positive.
We’re also good musicians who work hard.
You formed in Watford, how did you guys get together and start making music?
I’d been in bands since I was about 13 however when I met Sam and Matt - neither had been in a band. Sam had never played bass before. But we seemed to click, and we’ve always got on as ready good mates.
George, we didn’t meet until last year but he’s a great pianist and slotted in easily.
What’s the music scene like there?
There’s no music scene here unless you like tribute bands or shit dance music. Most pubs don’t even have a jukebox. However, we’re only a 20-minute train journey into Euston.
You released your album Year Zero this summer. Tell us about the album and what it means to you?
This album means a lot to me personally and I’m very proud of it. We spent most of last year working on it and I think the songs are great and we got the overall sound we’d always been looking for. People seem to be really into it and it’s sold well - not just in this country but in Europe too.
What is your favourite track on the album and why?
My favourite track is ‘Front Line’ as I think it’s got a great riff and good lyrics. It also sums us up as a band I think.
What is your music trying to say to the world?
I don’t know if we’re trying to say anything in particular - I just talk about normal things in my lyrics, what’s happening around me or in the lives of people I know. Sometimes that involves politics but it’s more street politics. It’s more the effect it has on people and their lives than parties or slogans or politicians.
What would you do to make the world a better place?
I just think the anger and paranoia people feel at the moment should be directed at the powers that be rather than each other. Hopefully there comes a time when we all realise that it’s all a distraction - whilst we question things like religion or race or class to the point where it becomes hatred, the elite sit back and count their money.
If there’s a change to be made, it has to come from us as people pulling together. But fuck knows what that change would be.
You are doing amazingly well in the underground scene, which obviously reflects your music, but is it important to you to try and break into the main stream?
100% - we want our music to be heard by as many people as possible, all over the world. I have no interest in little ‘scenes’ or genres or whatever.
Your band has been influenced by a really eclectic mix of sounds, who has been the biggest influencer on what you do?
Suppose Weller goes without saying. But we’ve taken just as much influence from The Clash or The Specials. It’s that thing of gang mentality, a look, a message and most importantly good songs. That will stand the test of time and still mean something 40 years later.
You are currently touring, where are you most looking forward to performing?
We love touring and look forward to going anywhere that people have made an effort to buy tickets for. Suppose I always look forward to Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, London, Dublin, Belfast e.t.c
Emily Capell is supporting you on tour in Islington, have you worked together before and if so, what was it like working with her?
Emily has supported us a few times in the past and I asked her if she’d sing on a track we were working on at the time called ‘By My Side’ - which then came out on Year Zero. So, when we put the tour together we thought it would be great to not only use Emily as support again but to invite her band down too. She’s very talented and writes great songs.
What is your proudest moment?
Suppose it was holding the finished LP of Year Zero earlier this year. Took a lot to get to that point and I was just so pleased we managed it!
What ideas have changed your life?
Recording our debut album changed everything to do with the band. Especially because we done it ourselves with no label or backing. And it’s that idea that paved the way to what we’re doing now.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Lots of touring and hopefully some new material in the not too distant future.
To get tickets, albums and just to find out a bit more about them, follow The Spitfires on their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.