email interview with drummer, Ben Ward
Formed in 2014 by two Bens (Brown
and Ward), Browns brother Alex and girlfriend Krista Lynch, SuperGlu
are a garage pop four-piece from Manningtree, Essex. Theyve been
championed by Amazing Radio and BBC Introducing's Huw Stephens,
Later in 2016 they played storming
sets headlining the BBC Introducing Stage at Leeds and Reading
Super Glue is a fast bonding, super strength, instant adhesive with specially engineered formulas and applicators to bond virtually any material. And so it seems are SuperGlu... Having witnessed several incredibly chaotic, celebratory, uplifting, anarchic, life affirming Superglu gigs in Bury St Edmunds (Rock City), Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T decided it was time to get stuck in, inviting the band to play Cambridge on January 28th and then quizzing them about about that special Superglu bond...
* SuperGlu who, what and why?
Upbeat mega melodies, jangle-pop awash in fuzz, singalong choruses slotted into songs that don'y typically break the 3 minute mark, fast drums, bass riffs, subtleties vs shredding. A few chords usually cut it - we worked out that sometimes less is more...if it sounds good it is good. The music is supposed to be catchy, it's supposed to make you smile and maybe feel a bit optimistic about life for 120 seconds at a time.
* You make the composition of joyously noisy, infectiously chaotic melodic garage pop noise look easy. What advice could you give to my student guitar players (aged 7-11) about being in a band?
I play drums in this band so any advice on guitar work with regards to SuperGlu might not be particularly useful for your students. However, advice for actually being in a band would include: make sure you love who you work with as it's more intense than a relationship. Claustrophobia can send a man mad - recording studios, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms...these are all small spaces. If you have any genuine dislike for your fellow band members then just don't bother, it won't last. Actually I hate Alex and we are still standing so maybe that isn't applicable...
I would also say that above all you should play music for the fun of it - because you love music...making music, performing music, recording music. Anything that comes as a result of that is a massive bonus. I'm not saying that you can't be ambitious with that initial passion, aim for the stars if you feel strong enough, but at its core it has to be fun, My final piece of advice would be to not listen to me - I've only ever been in a few bands, other people probably do things completely differently - work it out yourself and maybe come back and tell me what I've been doing wrong.
* Did you all love sport at school (Rounders, see)?
I sucked real real real bad at sports. I'm maybe not massively competitive, at least not outwardly, so games of physical determination were slightly lost on me. I quite liked rugby actually, not that I was good or anything but there's something quite genuine and refreshing about being dragged down to the earth on a rainy November morning by a gigantic and furious fellow student - it was a war zone...exciting. Rounders was always great as well, for some reason it was treated like a special treat...an end of term reward. It's fairly leisurely, you get to stand around and wait your turn for 90% of the game. If you are out in the field you kind of have to be on the ball (pun) a bit more, however there's always a spot - usually to the left - where batters tend not to hit. Thats a great space for standing and catching up on some thoughts.
I can't speak for the band.
Music - My own personal ones would include: Paul Banks, Rivers Cuomo, Kim Deal, Andrew Falkous, Beck, Ad-Rock, Travis Barker, Ian Curtis...my wife Bessie is more musically talented than I will ever be...but I don't really know if I would put anyone into the realms of 'hero' though, they are musicians...
Art - I have no clue...Ben Brown is quite good. So is Tom Hobson. I did a sketch once. I like lots of things that I see, I don't obsess over anything though. I need to get more culture.
Political - I love Michele Foucault...his ideas on punishment, freedom and sexuality all genuinely made me think about and see the world differently...but I guess he is more of a philosopher. Karl Marx was pretty far out. His work keeps becoming more and more relevant. Anyone who's confused by the insane polarisation of the modern world should read his manifesto...it's not really an alternative to capitalism in my opinion but it offers an amazing perspective that seriously rings true...his ideas were only just a reality when he wrote it, I would say his vision has come to fruition tenfold. Nelson Mandela was great. Martin Luther King was great. There are politicians out there right now that are great, I'm unfortunately too detached from all that to really comment. I think Jeremy Corbyn seems like a decent and principled man - I voted for him. It seems mad that not being obviously evil should be a case for someone being a good politician but things have gotten insane recently - Donald Trump might actually be Lucifer...by comparison it makes a lot of people seem like saints. Nigel Farage is a fucking mosquito.
I don't honestly have many heroes. I think most heroes are everyday people - I don't know most of them. In many ways 'art' and 'music' are intensely egotistical pursuits, I wouldn't say anyone who gets to do them as a career, who gets thousands of people clapping and cheering them every night, should not be held in higher regard than a doctor, a teacher, a council worker...someone who might make or save a person's life. Someone who does things for someone other than themselves, for something other than their own 'expression'. Some people have to keep things inside, they don't get the luxury of pouring their thoughts onto a piece of paper or into a recording...those people are 100x cooler than any rockstar. It sounds corny, I wouldn't have thought that a few years ago, but it's true. I love music, I love the music certain artists produce, I respect so many people for what they do, for following their dreams, but I don't know if I would want to call them heroes.
Reading and Leeds were personally a 'career' high point for me. It was amazing to be on top of the bill - when I saw our name on the poster, as big as some really massive acts, it was utterly surreal. The shows were great - you can watch a few songs via the BBC Introducing Youtube channel. Getting all the support from Radio-1 and Huw Stephens has really given us a boost in confidence.
* How much do you think coming from a small town has defined you as a band, and as people?
A lot. The open space is crucial for who I am as a person. I lived in London for a few years, it was mad. I don't think humans - any animals for that matter - are supposed to be that confined. It might have felt more restraining because I had basically no money - money is freedom in major cities. You literally need it to leave the house. I like walking, I like breathing clean air. I do envy bigger towns' music scenes, however I think ours is extra supportive because of its modest scale. I guess growing up there wasn't a lot to do, so playing drums seemed like a good way to spend my time, also my dad lived on a houseboat in the middle of nowhere so noise was never an issue. People like Seymour Quigley from Horse Party keep scenes alive, encourage young acts that music is important. It's an amazing and almost charitable thing.
* What's the best thing you've ever bought in a second hand shop?
A fucking brilliant Burberry jacket. Ben Brown picked it out for me. I got a great Hugo Boss jumper as well. Ben Brown also chose that one...I think he even paid for it.
Favourite sweet - the answer would be Skittles. I'm really into sweets.
* How can our readers get hold of your music, and why should they bother?
Order CDs and records off Antigen Records website (http://antigenrecords.com/) or our own Big Cartel. Get them on itunes if you want us to make very little money. Listen to them on Spotify if you want us to make even less money. Stream them on Soundcloud or Youtube if you want us to make no money. Illegally download them if you hate us.
* What's next for SuperGlu?
A new E.P, playing shows in America next year - really excited for SXSW. We take each day as it comes, this thing started as a little project, its kind of spiralled out of control in the best way possible so I'm happy for whatever comes our way next.
Chips - I like cream but not that much.
Thanks to Ben for his time and the band for their wonderful, life affirming music. Did I ever mention that they are playing the Portland Arms in Cambridge on January 28th 2017, advance tickets here ?
More of Rosey's Bury St Edmunds live SuperGlu pix here