Interview: Jordan Foster
Ahead of their Saturday evening show at Queens Social Club, we caught up with Leeds party-punk provocateurs Cowtown to talk Hendo's, DIY and potential disaster.
Following the release of your acclaimed 4th LP and appearances at some massive festivals, 2016 seems to have been a momentous year for Cowtown. What's the plan for you guys in 2017?
Yep 2016 has been kind to us for sure. 2017 plan is to try and get out to Europe while that's still a thing we're aloud to do, keep on top of our rigorous practice and live show regime and hopefully get some new tracks out before the end of the year.
Although you've been around for well over a decade now, 2016 also struck itself as a time where you finally appeared on the radars of some pretty big media outlets. The Guardian tipped their hats to you in their Bluedot rundown, and a handful of glowing reviews appeared before the release of 'Paranormal Romance'. Does this positive national press encourage you in any way, or are you more comfortable with a local reputation?
Interesting question. Paranormal Romance is the first release we've put out that had the assistance of a press agent and, what do you know, if you get help in that area it's surprisingly easy to pick up some reasonable press coverage. It's a strange thing to spend money on but it works. We're more than comfortable with our grassroots local rep but it's also nice to be a blip on the radar from time to time.
Your Twitter bio, perhaps half-seriously, describes your sound as 'space age primitive econojam' - how did your music evolve to become the lo-fi and guitar-fuelled beast it is today?
The Twitter bio is a variant on Devo's own explanation of their sound which i believe they described as Space Age Caveman Rock combined with The Minuteman's "...we jam econo" motto. The idea is to be a simple, refined rock group. After years of playing together we figured the simpler we keep it the more we and everyone else seems to enjoy it. That and Dave (our drummer) was born to hit hard and rock so we're ultimately playing to his strengths. Drummers are the foundation of all good trios.
Talking of Twitter, I saw you recently retweeted a particularly controversial snippet of a Trump press conference on immigration and the potential Mexican wall - what's your take on it all?
OMG don't even get me started! The world appears to have some strange yearning for a return to cold war era political and social insecurity. Keeps you on your toes i guess. I'm mean i'm all for the occasional nostalgia but let's stick to cultural revivals as opposed to political or socio-economic ones. America and the UK are just cray cray. The US follow their first African American president with a daft racist and we'll just let any old unelected fool make our decisions for us. That footage is just beyond madness! Incomprehensible.
So...are we doomed??
What can I say? De-evolution is real. Actors and cold hard $$$ rule the world. No amount of outraged Facebook posts and tweets are gonna change that. I'm just hoping i don't get drafted! I'm far too old and I'm not fighting for all them LEAVE douche-bags.
You've had a fair bunch of dates in Sheffield over recent years. What keeps pulling you back? Is our Hendo's sauce that good?
The Hendo's plays a significant part but it's mainly down to economic practicality, due to our proximity to Shef. We're close by and we're cheap to book so we get asked to play all the time...which is great!
With organisations like the Audacious Art Experiment, the Steel City seems to be a very active cog in Yorkshire's flourishing DIY scene. Has this collective movement influenced Cowtown in any way?
The Audacious Art Experiment have put out our last two records and we have so many friends in the area that, at times, we've felt just as much a part of the city's DIY community as we have in Leeds. It's still my fave place to play in Sheffield by far. So many good times! People dance like crazy if the vibe is right. Audacious is almost like a travelling circus...its rep was solidified in Shef but the original HQ was Grimsby, then Leeds and now there's even an outpost in weird old London town!
So, aside from some unhinged guitar work and bulging Korg basslines, what can we expect from your set at Queens Social Club next month?
Expect strong banter and potential disaster.