With The New Twentys consisting of Chris Bourne and brothers Harry and Jimmy Morris, they released Inside Out, their debut single as a band, at the end of last year, with their most recent I Never released in January. The New Twentys have new music on the way with their next single You Got Me Good out Friday 26th February and they are planning on releasing songs consistently for the foreseeable future. Having started releasing music during the pandemic, The New Twentys are looking forward to performing at live events when the music scene is able to reopen. Recently speaking to us, The New Twentys talk about working on music during the pandemic, their recent single I Never and their music plans for the coming months.
Can you tell us about your I Never single you released in January and what has the response been like?
I Never is a late night driving type of song about trying your best to make a relationship work, but no matter how hard you try it is never quite good enough for the other person as they continually move the goalposts. We wanted it to feel like a journey through the ending stages of a relationship, starting off with the habitual petty arguments that eventually lead to a climatic breaking moment, and then the third and final stage where your tolerance and passion has been whittled away to indifference. We think the response has been really positive, we’ve had people tell us that it conjured up imagery of a coming of age moment for them, and we think they are spot on with that. We are also very grateful for the support of Chris Hawkins on BBC Radio 6 again and Sophie Sveinsson on XS Manchester!
How was it releasing your debut single Inside Out and how long were you working on the release?
We’ve been writing together as a band for the last couple years, and Inside Out was the first song we finished, and the song that we felt defined what we were all about so it made sense that it was the first one out the gate. We were glad it seemed to have the desired effect of raising people’s mood during these hectic times. Releasing music is always a bit of a panic though, so although we love the artwork and the visual we made for it, they were somewhat snap decisions as we were approaching crunch time, haha. The artwork is a photo that Harry took whilst looking out from inside a cave in the Lake District, and when we tilted the photo the wrong way round we all thought it looked like two faces, so that was a relatively quick decision that worked out well under pressure. And the visualiser was planned at 11pm the night before… we were writing in Cornwall and a friend of ours came out of the local bar after just finishing his work shift there. We started talking about how we needed to make some kind of visual to go with Inside Out, and the very next morning he was filming us dancing on a secluded beach at sunrise. He did a sick job too, we ended up using a continuous one take shot that he took!
How are you finding the experience releasing new music during the pandemic?
We’d be lying if we said we weren’t disappointed about not being able to play gigs and watch the energy translate in person. But we have to make the best of the situation, and in all honesty, having this time where we can concentrate our efforts solely online is probably a bit of a blessing in disguise. We are hoping that by the time gigs are back, we will have released a good few songs and our audience will be more pumped to hear them live and sing along with us.
We understand you have a new song coming out this month, what can listeners expect from it?
Yeah, You Got Me Good is coming out next and we have definitely upped the tempo with this one. We are itching to be able to play it live to people! It’s the only song that has Jimmy and Harry singing together the whole way through too, so it’s got these thicker vocals that make you want to join in with it. The first two songs we released use programmed drums, but this one has live drums with plenty of natural flare and energy, which was so necessary to ignite its punky fuse.
What’s it like hearing your music on the radio and what are you looking forward to most for being able to perform your music live?
It’s kind of surreal, it’s hard to picture all the other people and the situations they may be in when they are hearing your music for the first time. Knowing that it’s being played on radio is insanely awesome but we are definitely craving human interaction first-hand. We are most excited just to see the white of people’s eyes, and to feel the positivity of the room; hopefully our gigs will be where new friends meet and we will be the soundtrack to a memorable night for them. We want to meet everyone who is digging our music too and hear all of their music recommendations and experiences.
Who do you think your music will appeal to and how would you describe your sound?
We are hoping there’s a little something in it for everyone. We love the post-punk bands like The Cure and Talking Heads, as well as bands like James for their creativity and passion, but ultimately we’ve all got an eclectic mix of tastes with the common denominator being a love of great songwriting. That’s all we are trying to do, and if we can work on getting the songs right, fingers crossed their appeal will be far and wide. We really don’t want all our songs to sound the same because that sounds boring, and I guess part of that is also because we don’t want our audience to just be one group either – though if we could chose only one demographic we would rather it be predominantly females.
What do you enjoy most about working together as a band and how do you come up with ideas for your music?
We all recognised there was something special about how us three work together, and it was actually only after working together for weeks at a time that we committed ourselves to The New Twentys. It’s largely to do with how nothing is ever off the creative table, so each of us can fulfil our musical tastes and fantasies, and recognising that what we are making is bigger than the sum of our parts. We are all songwriters in our own right which means there’s always ideas bouncing around, and we all put the good of the song above all else, so if one of us has a guitar part, drum pattern or a bass riff, we are all welcome to try and get out whatever we are hearing in our heads.
Had you all known from a young age that you wanted a music career and how did each of you start?
Jimmy – Yeah definitely, for my brother Harry and I, our dad used to play in a band when he was younger, so he has always been an unwavering source of encouragement. I was particularly obsessed with Green Day from the age of six to fourteen, and started off learning all their songs. When us two were around thirteen years old, we used to go to a local Live ‘n’ Direct (you get put together into bands and at the end of ten weeks you perform what you’ve been working on at the village hall) and that opportunity was invaluable.
Chris – Totally, like Jimmy, I fell in love with punk bands from as soon as I can remember. My oldest brother played in a band and that was always an inspiring thing for me, going to his shows and being a part of the live experience was a complete eye-opener and made me want to do exactly that! I got a guitar for my seventh birthday from my nan and never looked back, learning all my favourite bands’ songs on guitar, this was mostly made up of power chords which gave me a real understanding for root notes which is probably responsible for the fact that I chose to pick up bass in my old band.
Harry – Yeah, as Jimmy said, our dad really got us into music from a young age. He used to play us acoustic guitar to fall asleep when we were babies (or so we are told because we were too young to remember, haha). Our parents bought Jimmy a plastic guitar and myself a plastic drum kit from Argos one Christmas and that was it, the journey began. I eventually got bored of playing drums by myself and how loud it was so I took one of the guitars laying around the house to my room and taught myself, although I’m sure I must have asked Jimmy or Dad the names of certain shapes at some point. Live ‘n’ Direct was amazing to have and there was a point where Jimmy and I were actually in the same band called The Coconut Orchestra but it wasn’t until our late teens where we started taking it a lot more seriously.
Since starting out in music, what do you feel you’ve learnt along the way?
Not sure if there has been a clear overarching lesson and we are still trying to work so much out, but maybe that no one else can do it for you? Ultimately it is your own responsibility to make your music sound as you want it to, and whilst producers and mixing engineers can certainly help the process along, the initial magic has to come from the songwriting. And the same when it comes to building an audience, no one else can do it for you – at least not with as much care and attention as it deserves. Certain people may be able to jump in and provide some extra exposure, but taking things into your own hands, especially in the early stages, seems to be the best way of making sure your foundations are built on stone instead of sand.
What music do you enjoy listening to and who would you most like to collaborate with?
Jimmy – I love listening to The Cars, The Police, Oasis, The Cure, James, Talking Heads, Bowie, The Pretenders, Lou Reed, The Strokes, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Arctic Monkeys, and I’m currently enjoying revisiting Green Day because they really got me gripped to this whole music game. I’d probably most like to collaborate with Noel Gallagher because I love his songwriting.
Chris – As of now, I still do listen to my childhood bands like Blink 182, The Offspring, Foo Fighters etc but in my later teens I discovered older 80s bands like The Talking Heads, Starship, The Cure, James Brown and Prince, which I became obsessed with. I think there were at least two years of my life where I didn’t listen to any new music and just went on a quest to discover older artists and bands to quench my thirst for music that I loved. If I could collaborate with anyone right now it would have to be David Byrne from Talking Heads, that guy’s a genius.
Harry – Right now, I’m loving all the feel-good classics like Huey Lewis and the News, Fleetwood Mac, Jan Hammer Group, The Waterboys, Tom Petty etc but I also like to keep up-to-date with what’s being released. I still love The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Nirvana, Green Day and all that good stuff too but I think I overplayed all of that growing up so it hasn’t been my go to recently. I’d love to collaborate with Kanye just to bring something completely different into the picture.
When you aren’t working on new music, what do you enjoy doing?
Jimmy – I’m a weirdo and for some reason I like listening to people have endless philosophical debates on YouTube, or listen to lectures on subjects that go way over my head, but thankfully it seems to feed my songwriting as those types of things are littered with great quotes and perspectives. Music is pretty much the driving motivator behind every action I take though, much to my girlfriend’s annoyance.
Chris – I enjoy skating, and surfing when the water’s a little warmer. I learnt to unicycle when I was fourteen and sometimes get it out for the hell of it and cruise round my town looking like a clown ha. In a non-pandemic era, I’d always try and get out to see some live shows, even the local ones in my town, it’s always great to get involved in scenes and meet like-minded musicians and songwriters. I also love ancient history and reading about mind-blowing moments in time/theories about the ancient past and where we came from. Most of the time I’m watching documentaries on the History channel.
Harry – When are we not working on music?! Haha! Pre-corona I liked going out to all the events and going into London to see friends and go for coffee and vintage shopping. In warmer times I love getting outdoors and going for a hike in a forest or down to the beach but that feels like a distant memory at the moment. And now it’s just get up, go for a run and start chipping away at the endless tasks at hand, or get lost in a YouTube hole. To be honest, I’m really bad at switching off, so when I’m not doing music I’m still doing something band-related, whether that’s editing a video or sending out emails or thinking of things we can do to try and keep the interest up online.
Apart from the next single, what music plans do you have for the coming months and the rest of 2021?
We are keeping this train moving, so pretty much every six weeks you’ll hear a new tune from us indefinitely now. We will have some live videos coming out and we are going to try and make an effort to go from cool DIY visualisers to full-blown music videos too, but COVID and a shoestring budget is making that a bit hard, haha. We are going to be jumping on shows as soon as that’s an option too, of course, so we will keep you posted with that! If you need us though, you’ll find us in the studio with our heads down until this is all over.
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