Louise Hinchliffe Interviewing –The Illicits following their Post -Industrial Summer Tour
I’m finally catching up with The Illicits as they play The Venue in Derby. To be honest I have been after an interview with this band since their 7inch Single “In What World” came out back on the 17th May this year. Like most of the dates on their Post – Industrial Tour, the single completely sold out. Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones to get my hands on the rare limited edition white vinyl and in all honesty, I’m surprised it’s not been worn out with the amount of times that it’s been played in my house so far!
This is the first time that I am getting to meet them and see them perform, so to say that I’m a little excited may well be an understatement.
The Illicits are a four-piece Rock and Roll Band from Blackburn, Lancashire and were formed back in 2016. The band’s line-up is made up of; George- Frontman, Brad – Lead Guitar, Joe – Bass Guitar, and Matt – Drums.
This band are managed by Gary Aspen and are also currently signed to Alan McGee’s Creation23 label – which is currently a growing label and is beginning to sign some great guitar bands once again.
Hi thanks for meeting me today, you’ve been having a great year. I remember seeing you on Soccer Am, and then the Single “In what World” was released and totally sold out followed by your Post – Industrial Summer Tour which was also a huge success with many dates sold out. I can’t believe I’m finally getting to meet up with you at long last. Looks like you’re set for a busy Autumn as well. You’ve performed at the Neighbourhood Festival and then another sell-out date supporting Miles Kane on his “Crispy Tour” and you’re supporting Primal Scream and Liam Gallagher on his tour. If you could pinpoint one highlight of this year so far, what would it be and why?
George – Most definitely “Soccer Am “broadcast to like a million people, literally two months after we’d been signed. How do you beat that?
“It was a complete whirlwind it all happened so fast. We got the call that Alan McGee was coming to see us perform. Couple of weeks later McGee comes to the Electric church in Blackburn, we performed for him, then silence. Next thing we are all going upstairs with our Manager Gary and McGee literally throws out that he’s going to sign us and put our single out on the Creation 23 label.”
“Matt thought it was a complete wind up.”
Matt – “Yeah, I thought it was a piss take, I thought the lads were winding me up, it was my day off when I got the call too! – Two weeks later it’s all happening”.
Brad – “There has been a lot of good stuff, how do you top Alan McGee coming up to Blackburn”.
Joe – “It was month end to end, Gary saw us, then two weeks later, Electric Church.”
What I love about your sound is that it’s unique, and somewhat bold. You’ve got a great look about you, it’s current yet you’re not trying to be the next Stone Roses or Oasis. What music has inspired you most growing up?
George – “All of us as a band were heavily inspired by these bands, we all been to see them and have massive respect for them. Alan said he thought we had a Joy Division sound to us but that really is a coincidence, it’s the Northern influence I Suppose.
Joe – “I’m really into the psychedelic music as well as the bands you’ve mentioned”
Brad – “I like my punk stuff too, Pistols, early 80’s late 70’s.”
Matt– “I like my metal, heavy hitting drums, I can play the guitar too but for me I prefer the drums.”
How did you come up with the name “The Illicits”?
Joe – “That was me, as a band we wanted something hard hitting that signifies us as a band. I’m not going to lie, I was literally trawling through the dictionary and I found it. I brought it to the Band and they loved it and it stuck.”
We’re in an era nowadays where most lads are into gaming so much than ever before. It’s so refreshing that new music is now on the up especially with proper bands rather than pre-packaged talent-show material. You all formed the Band back in 2016, how did that all come about?
George – “We were all 18 at the time, either mates of mates or a couple of us knew one another from College. Matt was playing in another band. Me and Brad were playing music on acoustic guitars, but we needed a bass player. We asked Joe and he said he always wanted to play Bass, so he joined. I then asked Matt if he knew any drummers as at this point he was playing in another band but playing guitar. We had no idea he could play the drums but as soon as we heard him it was a no brainer. All of us collectively write the songs too.”
You’re unique in that none of your music is on the online music platforms. I remember seeing your interview when you were speaking to Soccer Am. Do you think your view of this will change going forwards or will you stick to keeping it all on Vinyl’s? I suppose another reason this is great for you, is that fans must come and see you live to experience and hear you play your other tracks.
George – “We have got some stuff on You Tube for us it’s about getting people to come and see us perform, so many local venues are being shut and it’s such a shame as people just stream music. People can get a true expression of you from seeing you live. We want to make a bit of our own scene. We know we can’t do this forever so going forwards we will put our music onto streaming sites, but not right now.”
One final question, as I know you’re about to go on and perform very shortly. What’s next for you as a Band? Will there be another single released and do you think you’ll be playing any Summer festivals? Please tell me you’re going to release “Born Slippy”, such a cracking version of an iconic track.
George – “We’ve got another single coming out on the 29th November, alongside a special AA side “Born Slippy.”
“As well as supporting Primal Scream and Liam Gallagher we also have our very own Headline show in our home Town – Blackburn – “King George’s Hall” on the 21st December.”
The new single – “Left Behind” from The Illicits comes out on the 29th November on the Creation23 label. It’s now available for pre-release order via this link – https://creation23.tm.stor.es/
Tickets for The Illicits Headline show on the 21st December can also be purchased via this link: http://www.theillits.com/live
Big Thanks to The Illicits for Talking to The Songbird xx