Interview: Childhood

Childhood press shot

Childhood press shot

Another reckless Uni band ready to inject 500mg of pure, unadulterated fun into the UK’s music scene is Childhood.

Another reckless Uni band ready to inject 500mg of pure, unadulterated fun into the UK’s music scene is Childhood. Having taken on festivals from Reading/Leeds to IOW’s Bestival, we discuss their biggest aspirations before their support slot with Johnny Marr at The Great Hall (and with the man himself serenading us with his soundcheck in the background).

“As far as headlining goes? We want to take on all of the festivals.” All the festivals? “ALL the festivals. The main headline gig is… Brixton. It’s the spiritual hometown.” Drummer Daniel Salamons throws “Sydney Opera House” into the mix, so we’ll say Brixton and Sydney tie for now. Having dusted off the touring boots of their incredibly profound debut album ‘Lacuna’, and with two months since it’s release, we’re already into talking about new material – “It does feel like a weight has been lifted since ‘Lacuna’s release’, but I think another weight has come on because we have to follow it up! We’ve got the pressure of that and having to be able to play it live. After Johnny’s tour the aim is to just start writing really! I’ve already started, and everyone’s got ideas! We’ll call it… ‘Lacuna No. 2’, or ‘Tequilaaa’…? Or ‘Too-koo-balooloos’…?” We’ll leave them some (less impromptu) time before any new album title ideas kick in.

But as Childhood list their musical influences with “Sadness… and a lot of… disillusionment. And smelly girls. Good times…” we can’t help but wonder what they made of the influence of Marr, the live show, and sharing the touring spotlight with one of Indie’s finest. “I’d say the crowds are a lot older than what we’re used to, they’re very subdued and musically aware, obviously playing to the kids is great, so sometimes you feel like you’re servicing the need for people to go crazy! So with an older crowd it’s more demographically meaningful, and you can see that contrast of craziness from this kind of crowd.”

Rising alongside bands like Palma Violets, Peace and countless others, you can level with the appeal for going crazy to their brand of full-on, but tastefully beautiful guitar music. As for their stance on the current scene? “For us guitar music has real meaning, there’s always space for it, and it’s always going to be seen in different ways. With ‘Lacuna’, I feel like the message to get across with the album was versatility. When you pick up a guitar like other bands, you can coexist within the same music genre, still having your own personality, and instead of living up to the stereotypes of what others might think we would do, we tried to surprise ourselves, because… that’s what it should be.”

By this point we’ve fully noticed the leather-clad, red faced man sprawled face-down across the dresser, Ben tells me “That’s Nick, by the way – Our resident party… who hangs around on tables…” The moment where we get to noticing drunk guys on tables is the classic signifier of an interview nearing it’s end (Journalism 101: Bands drink A LOT – “We have to keep vodka off the rider, for Leo’s sake…”), and you’d have thought that, as a singular event that supporting Johnny Marr tonight could top a list of proudest moments, but Childhood really get around the gigging circuit. “As an event, my proudest show (for Ben) was probably Osaka’s Summer Sonic Festival earlier this year, which was really special! But otherwise, and I know it sounds lame, but being able to play your own material live is a great feeling, that way you feel as if you’ve done yourself justice when you’ve got to that point.”
Having blasted through any headline tour, magazine cover, and university journalist that stands in their way, Childhood look set to see this through to the end. Their debut? Seminal, and squeaky fuckin’ clean (with the dirtiest tinges added in for good measure). Their live show? In danger of outdoing any main act, and their future? It’s a big question, but as Ben Romans-Hopcraft stated, and with a prospect of new material 2 months after their debut? “We’re 100% in this. I would never not do what we do”. It seems we’ll be following Childhood into adulthood too. Lead the way guys.