An Interview with The Blue Carpet Band
| Questions answered by Djamel, Lead Singer |
They’re one mean, lean rock ‘n’ roll garage-punk machine and they’re taking over! Meet The Blue Carpet band who blend the raw intensity of Iggy Pop with the old skool rockabilly charm of Elvis. It’s dirty, gritty and straight out of the big smoke. With two albums under their belt and a whole lot of miles, we spoke to Djamel Abina, lead singer of the band about their journey and what they stand for.
How did the five of you meet?
The band met about five years ago when I was fronting a band called ‘Now Loading’. Hiras and Nat used to go to watch our band when they supported our mutual friends ‘Room 9’. Soon after ‘Now Loading’ broke up, Hiras and Nat asked me if I would be interested in starting a project and I was.
Terry was soon brought in because he and Hiras had played together as kids. After that we met Angelo, our first drummer, through an online music forums. After four years of playing every dive imaginable, Angelo believed it was time for him to move on and then our good friend Luke Hackett stepped up and has been our drummer ever since.
What is it about The Cramps, The Doors and Iggy Pop that influence you?
I guess it’s the performance and theatrics of their stage presence that draws me in. It’s so powerful it makes you stop and realise “this is real”. It’s alive music, not electronic and lifeless. We love the raw proto-punk sound and the heavy rock ‘n’ roll influences attributed to those artists too.
Where does your strictly DIY attitude come from?
Well we started rehearsing and earning our stripes at T Chances music venue and that place is very DIY they showed us it was possible to do everything off our own backs if we made the right contacts.
Hearing horror stories from friends who have been giving major label backing, only to be shafted later made us have a long, hard think. We decided that we will never sign to anyone that can only offer us what we can ultimately achieve ourselves.
Where are you from and is there much of a scene there?
We are based in Tottenham and the scene there is thriving. There are lots of amazing bands and artists in our area. ‘T Chances’ (Tottenham Chances) is considered to be one of the best punk venues in the UK.
You are a band on a mission, against the mainstream. What artists in particular make you angry?
I guess it’s the whole mainstream that ruin the industry giving anyone who jumps on the pop/electronic crossover band wagon the limelight. People like the Justin Biebers or the X Factor/ The Voice generation of artists. It’s just such a half-arsed way to make it.
Competition winners haven’t had to play small gigs to no-one. They haven’t slept on floors or stages after gigs and they just haven’t had to work because it’s handed to them.
What ethics do you want to bring to the music scene?
We want people to know hard work pays off and being different is good.
How did you all learn to play?
Hiras, Terry and Nat learned guitar in school, Hiras and Terry helped Natalino teach himself to play bass. Luke learned as a teenager and went on to a course in college. I’ve been performing from the age of 5 singing, acting, dancing, all self taught.
Have you been in bands before?
Terry and Hiras were in a band together in high school whilst Luke was in the band Blatoidea and was also in Butcher Baby and Parilla Shock. I’ve been in Stick No Billz, Toy Collection, Now loading and am also in Parilla Shock.
Your music has elements of blues-rock like The Yardbirds and early Rolling Stones; what do you love about that style of music?
The band started out as a blues band. Hiras is influenced by BB King and David Gilmore and Terry is a big Hendrix fan. The band are drawn to the rawness, energy and performance of blues because we love the realness of it.
What bands influence you from New York punk and late ’60s protopunk?
Bands like the New York Dolls, the Stooges, Television, The Music Machine and MC5.
What’s a live show like for you and do you prefer it to studio?
We are definitely a live band. We aren’t too comfortable in the studio but get us on stage and we come alive.
What gigs lay ahead this summer and what are you looking forward to?
We have some great festival slots at Undercover fest, Mayhem at Micks, Deerstock and some gigs supporting The UK Subs in Southend, The Heavy Drapes, The Witchdoktors and Weird Things at the 100 Club in September.
For a full list of updated gigs check out our website: www.thebluecarpet.band