Captain Dangerous impressed with their upcoming single ‘Forgive Us Were British’ due July 4th (see Single Roundup 2). Steve Janes was lucky enough to catch some of their time to talk life on the road, I’m Not From London Records and the new single…
Recently signed to I’m Not From London Records, Captain Dangerous are currently gearing up for the July 4th release of their next single ‘Forgive Us We’re British’. Originally the brainchild of Adam Clarkson (guitar and vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Miles Clark (guitar, trumpet, melodica, accordion,violin, and vocals) Captain Dangerous are now a five-strong dishevelled, roguish and instantly likeable motley cru.
The band have garnered a hard-won base of fans at support slots for Ash, Marina and the Diamonds, The Magic Numbers, The Rumble Strips, Dirty Pretty Things, Lightspeed Champion and The Holloways.
Vocalist and guitarist Adam Clarkson said "We’re very excited to be working with I’m Not from London Records who have been the best D.I.Y musical force in Nottingham for years. They’re the perfect match for us and they’re always about throwing the best parties, and never afraid to try something new.
The song "Forgive Us We’re British" is a comment on the hypocrisy of our government’s foreign policy and the shameless loss of human life that is often caused by it. It seems that the UK is great at picking and choosing which conflicts to get involved with if it’s in our interests. We like our music to be charged with emotion that comes from somewhere real, and at the end of it all it’s essentially a pop song. This our first single with "I’m Not From London" and it feels exciting!"
“I’m as impressed by famous people as I am with really good plumbers.”
You seem to have played with some of the who’s who. Any good stories? No long term health problems from the so called "services" at Grantham, Scotch Corner, Hollywood or Port Talbot?
Adam – "Well we’ve played with quite a lot of big bands and they’re just people really. I’ve never been star struck by anyone. The majority have been nice but essentially they’re people. I’m as impressed by famous people as I am with really good plumbers.
As for stories that’d be telling. I’ve seen some strange things whilst I’ve been in this band but we’re pretty well behaved these days."
Must be a slightly different crowd say for an Ash gig compared to a Dirty Pretty Things gig?
Adam – "Actually it was a pretty similar crowd. One was at a Festival the other was a student gig. Ash were very nice, we didn’t meet the DPT their stage manager wouldn’t let us in the backstage area when they arrived."
Miles – "With good reason, hey Mark?"
Mark – "Umm.. not much recollection of that show. Shitting in their urinal definitely did not have anything to do with it. Absolutely not."
Was it from the constant gigs that the band were signed?
Adam -" I think so we played and played and played until we got better. I think gigging is like getting your sea legs. We weren’t very good when we started a few years ago but forced ourselves onto as many line ups as we could and hid our weaknesses by playing with as much energy as possible."
Miles – "Well we still sort of do that now, we don’t profess to all being virtuosos. It’s the songs and the melodies that are the most important thing. No matter how much we gigged, if we had shit songs I don’t think we’d do as well."
Could you please tell me a little more about I’m Not From London Records, you seem very happy to be with the label. How long has the label been going, before Captain Dangerous signed? Anyone else on the label we should take note of?
Adam – "INFL are Nottingham and the Midlands best DIY music lunatics and decided to open up a record label wing of operation’s fairly recently. We were one of the first signings after "Hot Japanese Girl" which I think was the first signing a year and half ago or so. I’d fully recommend them. Brilliant songs. Aside from that "Baby Godzilla" are well worth checking out too. They’ve got a single out later in the summer I think.
INFL have been throwing the best underground parties for the last 4 years which we’ve been playing and attending so when they started the label and were up for releasing our music we jumped at the chance. It worked out well because we’d just come to the end of our previous labels release schedule for us and were free to go with whoever we wanted."
Forgive me if I have come to the party a little late. My first introduction to Captain Dangerous is the single, ‘Forgive Us We’re British’ but I have now, I hope caught up a little, with ‘Everything Beautiful Reminds Me Of You’ and ‘I Miss You Cos Its Monday’ and ‘Terrorist’; just listening over the four songs is shows a few different styles. Is the mood and delivery of the songs more due to the myriad of influences on the band have or in the case of Captain Dangerous are you flexing your musical muscles so to err, speak?
Adam – "I do think they’re different influences but it sounds like the same band. Strip away the arrangements on each song and at the core you’ve got a pop song.
Mark – The Terrorist was written and recorded almost 3 years ago so inevitably I think the nature of songs and arrangements are going to change over time. The line up has been tweaked now as well, with Jamie in on drums and Rob on violin so they bring their influences to the newer recordings as well. I think Ad’s right though, at heart they are all essentially pop songs."
The single, ‘Forgive Us We’re British’ are you hoping for big things, it’s s a cracking song, must have wowed live, prior to the song’s recording?
Adam – "Glad you like it. I think the moment we knew it was going to be a single was when we played it with an added 6 piece string section at Rock the house Festival. The crowd went mental despite not hearing it before and it felt huge to play."
Am I being lazy, when I draw comparisons – that you are tinged by bands like Divine Comedy, David Devant And His Spirit Wife? Although there are similarities is it the array of music instruments that remind me of all three bands that causes me to shoot from the hip?
Adam – "What’s his face from the Divine Comedy is a good song writer but I’ve never heard that comparison before. As for David and His Spirit wife? I’ve never heard of them I’m afraid sorry. I don’t really mind who we’re compared to it’s all relative to the listener.
Rob – "Neil Hannon, that’s his name".
Adam – "Thanks.”
While I am at it, you are an Indie band aren’t you? But don’t make this so called journo’s day – if it’s your a pop band you want to be, then…
Adam – "Call us what you want. My intention is to write pop songs and the arrangements are built around that. I don’t think anyone really could define what "indie" means these days so what’s the point in calling it indie? What we need is a new Genre. Somebody described it as "Brit Pomp" the other day. I quite liked that. Or how about Nu Street Twee Indie Grime? Would that please you? Maybe the NME can do a Nu Street Twee Indie Grime cover issue featuring all the NSTIG bands. Maybe you can call this interview "Don’t call us indie" now".
Getting a lot more serious, ‘Forgive Us We’re British’ we have already established as a great song, but looking a little closer, listening to the lyrics there is a strong send up of some of the UK’s Foreign Policies…
Adam – "Yep the message is pretty clear".
That is an area that pisses off, so I have found out, most of With Guitars office, an old colonial so called excuse for nothing short of something shocking. Skulduggery
is that the main narrative of ‘Forgive Us We’re British’ ?
Adam – "I’m just writing about what’s in my head. There are certain things that I think are utterly disgusting going on at the moment and I’ve got a platform as a singer to write about them so I will.”
Examples of Divine Comedy and David Devant And His Spirit Wife. I think they might be if not close, then distant relatives of ‘Forgive Us, Were British’. Anyone agree?