Indietracks interview #5: Nervous Twitch

Nervous Twitch

Interview by Mike Noon.

Nervous Twitch is a four-piece from Yorkshire described as “a winning, fuzzy blend of garage-punk and pop hooks” mixing bands like The Ramones, Au Pairs, The Cramps, Talulah Gosh, Blondie and Thee Headcoats and pumping out catchy songs full of hooky heartbreak, rumbling twang, post-punk-ish attitude and warm bouncy rock n’ roll”. They seemed a natural fit for Indietracks but we wanted to know more about them, so we sent out a raven, loaded with questions for the band. This is what it came back with.

Can you tell us something about the members of Nervous Twitch? Name, instrument played, favourite John Waters film? Or at least, who am I talking to and what do you do?

“We did all meet in Leeds”, Jay (Guitar – favourite John Waters film, ‘Serial Mom’) tells us, “although neither of us are from here originally.  The band originally started as my side project, Erin joined originally on drums after the bands second gig, before later switching to bass/lead vocals.  We’ve had a few different members but the core of the band has been together now for about 3 years.“

Erin (Vocals, Bass and Keys) is enthused by The Pope of Trash, “I can see we’re gonna get on! Hairspray! There’s some great hair, Tracey Turnblad has some amazing outfits and the music’s great; amongst other many other things!)

Ash, drums and a bit of vocals, confesses that he may have never seen a John Waters film, “but I’m always up for a movie marathon.” We suggest he starts with Pink Flamingos.

You’re opening the festival this year. How do you feel about that?

“We’re all really excited”, Jay says. “We’ve never been before so we don’t really know what to expect.  I am really looking forward to seeing Spook School on the day we play. I’m also looking forward to seeing Darren Hayman and the Lovely Eggs amongst others at the festival”.

Erin pops in a vote for Charla Fantasma.

How would you describe the Nervous Twitch sound?

“This is a tricky question”, ponders Jay, “I like to think we cover lots of territories, Garage,  Punk, Pop, Surf, Indie Pop”. “But we sort of piece together to make our own thing,” continues Erin, “I guess we just focus on writing ‘a good pop song’.”  “Punky, surfy, poppy, garagey. Short songs played quickly,” concludes Ash.

I know you have a good relationship with Punk Fox and Odd Box Records but if you could choose any other label, from across the years, to release stuff on which would it be? And why?

Jay reels off his dream list: “Fortuna Pop, In The Red, Goner, Dirtnap, Sub Pop.” “Estrus at some point in the 90s,” declares Erin, “I love bands like The Mummies, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Trashwomen and Man… or Astro-Man?”  Ash isn’t sure, but does “like a lot of the bands on Hardly Art.”

Do you collect anything?

“Records. And DVDs too, I guess,” reveals Jay. “I think Ash as an extensive collection of name tags and hair nets!!”

Ash responds with laughter, “I tend to throw/give things away more than collect them if I don’t need it.” But Erin has a list.

“Erm… where do I start?  Ha ha! Vinyl (and some CDs) would have the be the first; I also collect snow globes, vintage postcards, West German pottery, J H Lynch Prints and other prints of women from the 50s/60s, kitsch animal figures, art prints, tattoos… I think it’s fair to say I’m one of those people who gets a bit obsessive ha ha!”

What’s in your pockets right now?

Jay: “My Wallet.”
Erin: “Nowt.”
Ash: “A hole.”

You seem partial to a good instrumental. Do you have any favourites from over the years?

“Erin’s more into her surf music than I am,” states Jay, “so over to her for this one really, but for me I’d probably say, the Johnny Thunders version of ‘Pipeline’.”

“It’s hard just to pick one,” says Erin, “but if I was to stick to my ‘surf classics’ it would be The Scarlets – ‘Stampeed’ …it’s too hard really, the genre has too many gems! I also love ‘Night of the Vampire’ by The Moontrekkers.”

“Oh man, tough question,” groans Jay. “I have phases and flutter between different things but I’ve always been a big Frank Zappa fan.”

Have any of you ever fallen off the stage?

“I am sat down most of my time on stage,” Ash replies, “so not much opportunity to fall. There are rare occasions where there is a small, scary gap in the stage behind me just small enough and close enough for a leg of my drum stool to fall into.”

Jay gives us the answer we’re looking for, “I have. I used to play in a band called The Despondents and after one show various members of the bands were playing an impromptu jam, I’d had a few and fell backwards off the stage! LOL!”

Are UFOs real?

“I think so,” confirms Jay, “I’m a sucker for You Tube conspiracy videos, I think the US Government is covering things up.”  Erin channels Fox Mulder, “I want to believe, but with UFOs for me seeing is believing, and I ain’t seen any!” Ash gets philosophical, “There’s too much out there for there not to be something, right ?! I think they are too smart to come check our blue marble out, though.”

Chips or wedges?

Jay: “Chips.”
Erin : “Jay, I’m surprised you didn’t mention chip spice! Chips. In fact, chippy chips are the best!
Ash: “We are clearly a chips band… Chips.”

“In fact,” concludes Erin, “we went through a phase saying that chippy chips were our band’s dish. But quickly realized that eating them before you play just makes you feel dead crappy ha ha.”

Do you like blancmange?

Jay: “Yeah.”
Erin: “The band or the pudding? I would like ‘em both, but I am vegetarian and I don’t think you can get veggie blancmange?”
Ash isn’t sure, “Have I ever eaten one ?! I don’t think so. Are they good ?!”

I don’t know. But I do know it’ll be worth getting to Indietracks early on the Friday so you can grab some chippy chips and enjoy the chip-spice coated stylings of Nervous Twitch.