Sleaford Mods

Sleaford Mods are on a roll. The confrontational duo have garnered legions of new fans and are selling out their explosive shows. They’ve been dubbed “best band in the land” for their raging words and beats, and it’s the sound of our times - angry, political, uncompromising and honest. Melding Jason Williamson’s rap-like rants and Andrew Fearn’s skillful bass, keys and beats, the tunes have an energy and incisiveness that pin you to the spot. Once dismissed around their native Nottingham as “two skip rats with a laptop”, their last two albums, ‘Austerity Dogs’ and ‘Divide And Exit’, both on Harbinger Sound, have hooked the critics. Their EP Tiswas came out on Invada Records, and they have collaborated with The Prodigy on ‘Ibiza’ - a Record Store Day 2015 7” vinyl release. Sleaford Mods are currently touring. Check our pics from the 100 Club..

Invada Records

New Tiswas EP

Sleaford Mods’ new Tiswas EP is another in your face masterpiece. Billed as “An attack on the waning power of guitar based rock n roll and its short-sighted viewpoint combined with the armchair anarchic lobbyists who fucking point their fingers at the masses like c***s”, the 5-track EP will be out on digital download as well as yellow and orange Tiswas coloured vinyl.

We asked frontman Jason how they create their tunes and what comes first.

Both are done separately - the words by myself and the initial stages of the music by Andrew. We then get together join them both. If it works then we keep head to tailing the idea in question until it’s fully formed.

Jason is an intense and unforgettable vocalist and their style is direct, compelling and confrontational. Is there anything they write that is ever too fierce to put out?

No but you can repeat yourself if you are not careful so from that point of view a bit of schooling is sometimes needed.

Challenging your standards

On the new EP, Bunch of Cunts has a dance beat behind it, and The Demon is getting funky. Are they branching out and getting more dance-orientated?

No not really, it’s whatever Andrew has ready when I turn up. If I can get my words round it and it’s got something then we’ll have it. I don’t like the beat on The Demon much. It’s a bit Jazzy but it works. I also like the fact that I don’t like it, that I think it’s a bit shit. It challenges your standards if you know what I mean. Makes you feel a bit edgy, hahaha.

The basic sound of a formed beat

Jason says the gear they use is pretty straightforward.

Andrew’s not ere so I’ll natter for him. He uses ‘Acid’ I think and whatever bass/guitar is lying around. We have a couple at his flat and there’s one or two in the studio we use as well. He likes the basic sound of a formed beat with effect-less bass or guitar over the top. We find that fits my vocal the best. Andrew bought all the gear, I just go round and use it.

I use an SM58 standard rock mic and I read the lyrics from my phone. I’ve stopped writing on paper really and doing it that way as it’s more hassle. Taping lyrics into my phone is quicker, it’s saved and ready to go.

As I’m still working I just go round after work to his place and we get down to it. We’ve also got a studio space do we use that these days too. We spend 4-5 hours and usually get three songs done at a time.

It’s proper music

The crowd reaction at their gigs is legendary, and for live shows they use a laptop and a mic.

The audience can go mad but we just get into it in a work like way. It’s work really and we try to treat it like that. I’m interested in how the performance develops over a period of time, how you move with it and that but yea we don’t freak out or anything daft like that. It’s proper music.

Complacency and delusion are chief hates

Army leaders, right-wing media and despair in conformity are all tackled on the Tiswas EP. Sleaford Mods also have a go at the fakery of some of their fellow musicians.

The track 6 Horsemen (the Brixtons) is a “part fictional account of misguided drug use to fit a stereotyped image in order to sell records,” and they say it’s also “a cheeky stab at the purists” and rock and roll cliches. What are their pet hates and do they think they are winning?

Complacency and delusion are chief hates in other musicians. I can see why people fall into that and the more I go on the more I’m beginning to realise it comes to us all but either way it’s shit to experience. Yea I think we are winning but it’s been a long time coming and the years getting to this point have dulled my positivity. A lot of the time I think its wank to bask in it and I hate the fuckers that make a meal out of success. My brief moments of confirmation are enough I think. I just like doing it.

Their sound is political and direct. If someone wanted to use their music in an ad would they let them, and is there anything they wouldn’t say yes to?

Ask me in 20 years when I need to pay hospital bills, cos no other cunt will.

  • The Tiswas EP track listing is: Tiswas, The Mail Don’t Fail, 6 Horsemen (the Brixtons), Bunch of Cunts, and The Demon.

Check our pics of Sleaford Mods at 100 Club, London.