In the midst of the infamous Hawley Arms, surrounded by an eclectic mix of people, all thriving off the Halloween vibes, Niall, lead singer of London based, indie, punk-rock band Sisteray, took some time out to discuss the bands set at the Dr Martens store, Facebook adverts and of course Liam Gallagher's new album.
How are you?
I'm good, I'm good
So you just did a set at the Dr Martens store, how did that come about?
It came about because the guy that runs our label, called Vallance Records, also works for a label called 1234 which is partly owned by Sean McLusky and they put on two nights with Dr Martens, one on Friday and one tonight which was us.
Do you think the shows are about trying to integrate youth culture and the music scene into the Dr Martens brand?
I think so yeah, I think inherently Dr Martens has always been very edgy and been at the forefront of every music scene, from skinheads to like rude boys back in the 70s, so it's very integral, very connected.
What culture would you say your band is part of?
Definitely punk culture, but to be fair at the moment I'm listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean.
Are you bringing that into Sisteray?
I would like to, I think people have a very out-dated view of rock and roll, to me rock and roll is an attitude, not just a music genre. I think the new Liam Gallagher album is good which it is in its genre but the last Arctic Monkeys album (AM), was rock and roll because they were incorporating elements of hip-hop. If you're not with the times, if you're simply trying to rehash what's been before, that's not rock and roll.
What did you think of the criticism that was around AM? That people thought the band had drifted too far from their original sound?
That's just people who can't hack change, if you're going to move forward as a band you need to change.
In your set you did the song Algorithm Prison, which basically talks about how evil Facebook adverts are. With that song, do not you feel it's a slightly ironic topic to sing about as people are finding your band through Facebook adverts?
You see for me, it's a blessing and a curse because the internet is a really good place for bands to connect and you can read a lot of good stuff, but it also gives a voice to absolute mediocrity, so it gives a voice to a lot of bad writing, a lot of band music.
I do think that people are so engrossed with social media that they lose the tangible element of music because there is so much music to listen to.
In a way, it's really hard for bands and Algorithm Prison is basically about the attention span of people in music being really small.
As a band do you have an end goal or a goal that you want to reach?
I think as a band the only goal we have is to play somewhere as big as Brixton Academy, I think if we could play a venue of that size we'll have made it in our eyes.
Other than you guys, what other up-coming bands would you recommend?
I'd recommend 485C are absolutely amazing, Blackwaters, [Smashed Vinyl's] Megan Ridgway's got a good tune...
Megan (who was standing next to us): I hate it!
Niall: To be fair I think that's actually a good tune
What do you think of artists like Liam Gallagher who have been really open about the fact that they work with songwriters, do you think that makes him less authentic as an artist?
That makes him appeal to me, I like that he doesn't pretend he writes all the stuff. There's nothing worst than like Harry Styles claiming he wrote his whole album when he's probably written nothing. I'd only want sing what I've written, I don't think I'd want to have someone else giving us the songs.
Are you the songwriter in Sisteray?
I come with every idea and it builds from that. I come with the chords and lyrics and we go from there.
At last but not least, what's happened to Marco? (The drummer of Sisteray who's hasn't been performing with the band for their last few gigs).
Marco's on a hiatus until the end of Christmas, he's doing an NHS ambulance course to save lives. Better paid and probably morally better than playing a show in a Dr Martens store.