For anyone who witnessed their collaboration at 2009’s Celtic Connections – now a fertile breeding ground for the new and unexpected in pop – there would have been a sense of “why did they not think of this before?”
A match made in heaven for indie-pop fans, surely – two of Britain’s most talented and best-regarded songwriters – Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s Euros Childshave got together as the curiously-named Jonny. The band sound, it must be said, exactly as you might imagine, and in a good way too, the Fannies’ sun-infused melodies crossed with Gorky’s off-kilter psychedelic pop.
With a Scottish debut show imminent, we had a quick chat with Euros.
So, your backgrounds – your bands – are an integral part of the UK indie scene over the past few years, but certainly your music is distinct from each other. What’s brought you together, was it at Celtic Connections or was there a ‘connection’ before then?
Euros: I think it was a love of pop music and the fact that we get along. Norman and myself had sang together when Norman joined Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci the band I was in, that worked well.
So are you drawing influences from each other… are you aware of any need to create something new and different, or just making music and not worrying about the end product?
E: You don’t think about influences when you’re writing music, we haven’t analyzed the process. It’s just been a case of trying to make the best record we can.
Would you regard this as a ‘side project’ (a well-worn phrase!), at least for Norman – and Euros, what have you been up to for the last 4 years?
E: I wouldn’t regard this as a side project, that suggests something half arsed.
I started my own dog grooming business in 2005, so that’s taken up a lot of my time. It’ll be good to play some music again, it’s been a long time!
I’m never quite sure if we can tie Scotland and Wales together due to ‘celticness’, but is there any shared heritage or whatever that has made it easier or more interesting to work together?
(this may be code for “what have you been listening to lately?”). And how’s Norman’s Welsh coming on? 😉
E: We do get on well,but I don’t think it’s because one of is Scottish and the other Welsh.
Norman’s Welsh is so good we even sang a song together called ‘Sandalau’.
So, with the Celtic Connections, er’ connection’ (the pair played there together last year) – would you even want to classify your music? I’m just wondering if you’re seeing it as folk, or just pop… or just music?
E: It’s pop music.
Ok… are you seeing this as a nice antidote to the hellraising rock’n’roll ways of band life?
E: Hell raising rock ‘n’ roll conjures up images of bands with drug habits and shite music. Neither of which interests me.
Finally – an album out soon, and live shows… what’s next?
E: I’ll probably go back to dog grooming and maybe record my debut solo album.
Jonny’s debut album is out now. The duo play at Glasgow’s Platform venue in Easterhouse on February 19th. More, including the story on how they got that name, at their Turnstile Records page.