Having spent the last few years releasing a wave of 60s-inspired indie-rock belters, London's Box Time have now returned with their latest dose of upbeat guitar-rock with 'Another Excuse'.
With a bold and enigmatic direction, that also borrows heavily from the Britpop scene, 'Another Excuse' brings their raw and raucous energy to the forefront on this stomping new offering. With catchy hooks and soaring vocals throughout, their newest release cements them as one of the more exciting names to emerge from the capital of late.
So with their new single doing the rounds up and down the country right now, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them over the years.
What were the first instruments that you fell in love with?
John: Paddy and I lived in Spain when we were kids. Traditionally we received musical instruments on ‘3 Kings day’ and so we used to run around playing all sorts of strange whistles. The obvious answer is the guitar for me though.
Barny: Not sure it was love, but I once had a fling with a Casio keyboard.
Paddy: A nice out of tune pub piano.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
John: Inspiration can come from random things. One of our songs was written about a bag of clothes and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles VHS that were returned to me. Another Excuse, our new single, was inspired by the Post-Punk Factory Records that we were listening to and the lyrics describe the feeling of being trapped by a system and subdued into not getting what you want or need. When lock-down started we decided to switch around our releases and put out Another Excuse first as it definitely speaks more about the current times.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
John: A lot of Oasis, I loved everything up to Be Here Now. The Masterplan was their B-sides album but it stands out as the best one for me! Tom Waits was always on in my house when I was growing up. By far the most important band for me was Nirvana though, I became obsessed and I still am.
Ryan: Gangsta Rap. Eric B & Rakim, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 2-Pac, Ice-T, LL Cool J, Big L, The Notorious B.I.G. and subsequently all the obscure 80s funk they sampled. Nirvana, The Prodigy, Rage Against the Machine, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin and Oasis influenced my drumming style, plus a daily dose of pirate radio jungle / drum & bass.
Barny: I probably listened to a lot of stuff that I guess you could call Proto-Emo. Like Jimmy Eat World, JJ72 and Placebo. Britpop bands like Pulp and Radiohead. Tracy Chapman and Meatloaf. I’m a massive Meatloaf fan.
Paddy: At 14 I discovered rap music. At 16 it was Reggae but really it’s all about the Funk for me. Funk was what I put on at any party I went to, hi-jacked the music and got the atmosphere going.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
John: There were lots of songs that inspired me to get into music but my earliest memory is watching ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ by The Beatles and wanting to be in the scene on the train when they play ‘I Should Have Known Better.’ Years later I was jamming that song with my friends when a very angry man burst into the room and pulled the chairs from under some of the musicians. True story. Never played it since.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
Barny: Whatever will keep my 11 month-old son docile.
John: ‘What Would Brian Boitano Do?’ by DVDA.
Paddy: Average White Band.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
John: Not many really. Most of my songs are written as a stream of consciousness but there’s the odd reference to people I know here and there. Barny wrote a song about a famous man called Donald and another called Kim, but that’s a story for another day.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
John: In our two years of being Box Time it’d have to be recording our current single, Another Excuse. We recorded two songs in one session with producer Nico Secretin who was a breath of fresh air. Someone who ‘gets’ us and just knows how to achieve the right production for our vision. We’ve had some pretty great gigs too. Headlining an outdoor festival was fun last summer and we had some great shows at The Finsbury.
Ryan: Some moments were memorable for all the wrong reasons, like at one gig John dedicated our song Quiet Corner to a group of uninterested punters. They didn't take too kindly to it.
Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?
John: Supporting the Autism Community and cooking. I’ve got a real thing for Mexican food.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
John: I’d have made a really good hitman, but I’d probably have been one of those guys that wears an animal costume and holds up signs on the motorway... I’m just messing, I’d be working in support of Special Educational Needs and in particular, Autism.
Barny: I used to make toy soldiers for a living. I once had a job working for a TV shopping channel where my job was to come up with descriptions for terrible fake jewellery. I guess I could’ve pursued that.
Paddy: The Riemann Hypothesis. Still needs solving.
What advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?
John: It’s important to network and connect with people as much as possible. Support other musicians and support local venues. The grassroots venues need you and at the same time they can be the platform that you need to start developing a following.
Box Time's new single 'Another Excuse' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.