Monday, 3 May 2010

Interview with The First Floor

Fresh off their second appearance at Sheffield’s O2 Academy, emerging South Yorkshire band The First Floor look set for big things in 2010. Formed in the summer of 2007, the band consists of Jonny Knott (Vocals/Guitar), Matthew Stewart (Guitar), Liam Ruane (Bass) and Tom “The Captain” Jones (Drums). This week I caught up with Jonny and Liam for an exclusive interview.

How would you describe The First Floor’s sound to someone who has never heard you before?

Jonny: Unpredictable, shouted alt-rock? I think so.

Liam: I always find it hard to compare our sound to another band. I don't mean to sound big-headed but I don't think there are a lot of other bands out there like us. I'd say if you put Biffy Clyro, Fightstar and Twin Atlantic in a blender, then sprinkled a little pop rock/punk on top you're not too far off us.

How do you guys write songs?

Liam: Usually our song writing process consists of either Matt or Johnny coming up with a guitar riff or chord pattern and work on it from there. The lyrics usually come afterward, although sometimes the lyrics and vocal tune can alter the song. We're always very picky about our song writing, we have loads of songs we've never played live or old songs we've scrapped just because we don't think they're good enough.
Jonny: We tend to go off the back of a guitar part that has something catchy, or a good rhythm, and songs can take us 3 weeks or 3 hours to fully write.

What was it like gigging with Twenty/Twenty?

Jonny: I don't know because we basically didn't. They rarely spoke to us...I think they have boundary issues. Playing the Sheffield Academy was a blast though and we get to do it again on the 13th May.
Liam: It's been an experience to say the least.... It's good to get a taste of a sort of 'big league' in terms of gigging. The Academy is a great venue to play and we've met plenty of nice people whilst playing there and it was nice of them to ask us back again

Tell us something people don't know about you?

Liam: Me, Matt and Tom used to play in a band before this, but Tom played bass instead of drums and I played guitar.

Jonny: We once attempted to cover Let's Get Retarded by the Black Eyed Peas....but it never made it to a gig.

What’s the best thing about being in a band?

Liam: The best thing would definitely be the gigging. There's nothing quite like getting a few hundred
kids jumping up and down or clapping along to a song you have written like at the Academy, I get such a buzz from it. It's ace hanging out afterward and talking to people who like your music.
Jonny: Gigs! They are the only point of being in a band. Since we've started certain gigs have stood out as the best we've played, and now the good ones are becoming far more frequent, we're on the up.

Who are your personal musical inspirations?

Liam: My inspirations initially came from video games. I used to play Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast which the soundtrack consisted of The Offspring and other punk bands. That got me into music. Just listening to bands in general who do something a little different to the mainstream stuff catch my eye a little more.

Jonny: None I’m completely unique. Fightstar, The Editors, Twin Atlantic and Johnny Foreigner.

What is your favourite album to listen to at the minute?

Jonny: Aim & Ignite by a band called Fun, or Common Dreads by Enter Shikari. I can't choose.
Liam: I've been listening to Deaf Havana's album Meet Me Halfway, At Least a lot recently. They’re a sort of English Alexisonfire but a bit more poppy.

What is your favourite First Floor song and why?

Liam: My favourite song is Make a Scene. It's quite an upbeat powerful song that when I play it gets me pumped up and fuelled. It's quite unpredictable too, how the tempo changes quite dramatically at the start.

Jonny: Also Make a Scene, because I know who it's about and nobody else does.

What are your long-term hopes for The First Floor?

Liam: In the long run I'd hope for The First Floor to play more Academy gigs rather than the gritty bars we're used to. I think we have got what it takes to play some of these venues with bigger bands, it's just about being somewhere at the right moment and time. I'd also like to be given the chance to tour the U.K.

Jonny: Wembley! Or, to keep going, make more songs, make better songs, play better gigs. We only ever look as far as the next gig.

Do you have any news about future plans? Anything lined up?

Liam: Just looking for gigs over the summer at the moment, we're thinking of recording a music video too to help promote ourselves a bit.

Jonny: We're trying to hop on Tramlines festival in the summer, and next year we're planning to tour which we've never done before.
So that'll be a fucking disaster...

The First Floor will be playing at the Atticus Black Tour live at Sheffield O2 Academy on Thursday 13th May alongside Canadian rockers Ten Second Epic, Blitz Kids and Cars on Fire. Tickets are £5. Check the band’s MySpace at or search “The First Floor” on Facebook for further details.

By Joe Denny

No comments:

Post a Comment