Springfield Elementary (photo Manc Wanderer)

Pleasantly amused by the Battenberg-like decorum on the inside of the Brunswick Mill as well as the fact that the outside resembles an industrialised castle, I sit down with Springfield Elementary in their allocated rehearsal space to discuss what they’ve been up to.

Angus: What are your names and what instruments do you play?

Chris: I’m Chris, I play the drums.

Billy: I’m Billy, I play guitar and sing.

Brad: I’m Brad, I play guitar and sing a little bit.

Liam: I’m Liam, I play bass.

Angus: You recently headlined a Deco All-dayer in addition to an event hosted by Sour Grapes Records; what are your thoughts on the independent label scene in Britain in general… and Manchester in particular?

Billy: Quite a lot of them, all of them are quite helpful. Leeds has a fairly big DIY scene too.

Chris: In comparison to most cities I’d say Manchester is a lot more varied and a lot more inclusive. You find in somewhere like Leeds you have 4 big bands, whilst in Manchester it’s a considerable amount of smaller bands competing.

Liam: It’s a tight nit community as well.

Angus: Will your upcoming EP surprise your followers? Has it been tested on the audience at all?

Chris: The 4 songs we have just written have been played consistently for the past 6 months. I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t surprise people.

Brad: The sound quality will probably surprise people.

(Collective Laughter)

Billy: We are quite proud of this one actually; there is one song where we do harmonies… that will certainly surprise people. We just need to practice doing that live as it’s hard to do… We could do that today actually.

(Collective Laughter)

Chris: The previous set was a lot more slap-dash and we just needed to get some songs out there, but this one feels a lot more professional.

Springfield Elementary

Angus: How did you find recording compared to your last single?

Brad: We’ve improve as a band I think, quite a lot. It was harder as we had to do each instrument separately, easier to notice mistakes but it’s just better.

Liam: Done it a lot more professionally.

Billy: It’s also beneficial hearing yourself, it’s made us better.

Chris: I’d say our song writing has got a lot more complex, the four songs that we wrote initially are much simpler than the newer four songs.

Billy: The more you write together I suppose.

Angus: From what I have read, the Dead Kennedy’s are one of your biggest influences…

Brad and Billy: We had an incident…

Angus: What was the incident?

Billy: We brought Brad loads of CDs for his car, I later asked him what he thought of it (DK), he told me ‘I didn’t like it’ and that he had thrown it out of the window, he fully had me on…

Brad: Billy then threw ‘What Do You Expect From The Vaccines’ out of the window, only to then be told he had to go and get it after learning we made the whole thing up…

Billy: We stopped the car and I ran to get it, only to then see it get smashed up by a car on the road.

Brad: That was nearly the end of the band.

(Collective laughter)

Angus: Do you ever feel you will befall their (DK) fate: the ‘punk’ band falling out over royalties?

Chris: We still need to get some royalties first.

(Collective Laughter)

Billy: Once we get paid we’ll sort all that out.

Angus: You all share records with each other, have there been any unfortunate discoveries?

Brad: All of Chris’ music.

(Collective Laughter)

Chris: My music taste is… what’s the word? fucked…

(Collective Laughter)

Chris: The music that I listen to isn’t the music that I write… I like having a punk sound but I don’t necessarily listen to it with great frequency in my own time.

Springfield Elementary (photo Manc Wanderer)

Angus: Are there any music scenes/movements that stand out to you?

Liam: Seattle definitely, even things like the Stooges… Fun House is so raw.

Billy: The riot grrl movement, as well bands like MC5 and the whole proto-punk thing.

Angus: You’ve often been described with terms like ‘acid punk’ and ‘Kentucky Fried Doctor Feelgood’… did you expect your style to emerge that way?

Brad: Not when we first started, we figured something along the lines of garage rock.

Chris: We let the music write and sort of decide what sound we wanted.

Liam: Letting time take on its own sound.

Billy: We have an idea when we write songs… along with fuck loads of fuzz…

(Collective Laughter)

Angus: You performed a cover of Screaming Lord Sutch’s Jack the Ripper when I last saw you live… Are covers something you do often?

Brad: We didn’t do one on our last gig as we weren’t feeling it.

Billy: Aside from ‘Does Your Mother Know’ by Abba we haven’t done that many.

Liam: They are always fun to play.

Chris: Whenever we thought of doing a cover a newer song of ours would usually jump ahead of it.

Angus: Regarding artwork, I’ve only seen one of your gigs with a drawn poster; you tend to employ a minimalistic approach with photographs…

Billy: That’s one thing we need to sort out. I’ll show you what my mate did. (Shows me a prototype design that looks most appropriate for the band)

Chris: We have had the same style for a while, and we have been discussing whether or not we want to change it for the next E.P.

Angus: You often use compiled footage for your music videos, do you plan on doing something more ambitious for your next one?

Billy: We have a few ideas; we definitely would like it to be more professionally done.

Chris: In terms of priority I think the music comes first, though it would be nice to do that at some stage.

Angus: What was it like playing outside of the UK; Stadtfest in Germany for example?

Billy: It was a bit strange…

Brad: We were kind of treated like rock stars… they didn’t know who we were or anything; they invited all of us into their house, telling us ‘we’ve prepared a three course meal for you… we’ve never had musicians here before’

Liam: It was like the event of the year…

(Subdued Collective Laughter)

Chris: We got given alcohol…

Billy: It was really nice, they were so accommodating. We spent 5 days in Cologne, well actually 6 because Ryanair were on strike… the actual playing was only a smart part of the trip, and we’d certainly like to tour Europe at some point in the future, when we are in a more favourable position financially.

Angus: So Beer?

Springfield Elementary: Wine…

Angus: Do you have anything for fans to look forward to?

Billy: Aside from gigs you can find on our Facebook page… We will be doing a single launch at the appointed time…

Chris: To break away from the usual scene, we will play Preston…

Angus: Have you thought about using any of those broken guitar strings for something constructive?

(Collective Laughter)

Springfield Elementary Bandcamp| Facebook | Twitter


Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.