Touts

Punk rock from Derry. As good as that sounds.

 

Photographed for State’s Faces by Kieran Frost

Do you think that punk in and of itself has changed dramatically since its inception? If so, in what way?

We don't think punk has changed, the literal music does and the people playing it, and what they act like and even wear has changed, but the whole idea that punk is something different than the norm hasn't went away after 40 odd years. For us, punk is about having yourself heard. We also think it's important to not feel the need to label every band as punk or not punk, for example we see the Jam as a punk band in their early days, but others say a pure punk band is Blink 182. Same thing applies with a punk fan, Mohawk or mod cut can still be a punk at heart.

 

As a three-piece, is it easier or more difficult to write collectively? Is there a democratic process, as such?

We definitely find it easier to write as a three piece. There are less people to argue with and less to have to convince about an idea, and even less hurdles to organise practices to write more. As far as a democratic process, each member puts forward whatever they think would make the song better, and it’s discussed and tried out. If we weren't a three piece it might be a much longer process. 

 

What album has had the most impact on Touts since you started playing together?

We're not really communal in the music that we listen to, which we think is a good thing. We're influenced more by what we don't want to be rather than what we do want to be. We don't want to be a carbon copy of another band. 

 

Can you tell us a bit about how you see 2017 going? 

Well, we see 2017 starting with a mild January, turning into a perhaps colder and more boring February, with the heat getting turned up something severe from March, around the time we tour Ireland with Blossoms, until the end of the summer. After that, God only knows at the minute – we've not thought that far ahead. We'll probably lock ourselves away again to work on writing and then attack fully again in 2018. In terms of ambitions, we just want to make a mark this year, and set ourselves in good footing for the future. 

 

If there was one thing that you could add to your live performances to take it to the next level, what do you think it would be?

A lot of our favourite live bands are mad. Humour is being used more and more in live shows. Like there's a video of Ian Brown last year belting out ‘I Am The Resurrection’ while proudly parading about with a sex toy in hand, as if it were his Excalibur. We try adding humour to our shows, as well as shock value and speed of the music. Most of us in the band, if you actually talk to us in person, can be fairly shy at times, but on stage there is very little we won't do, and we mean very little! It's all about audience reaction, and we found people love hitting 90 on a dance floor. Maybe a midget in a go-go cage? That would probably appeal to our fan base particularly well.