Young trio The RPMs channelling vintage ethos of Ramones
PUBLISHED: 16:39 05 December 2014
Prodigious trio The RPMs are drawing plenty of plaudits for their vintage rock ‘n’ roll stylings. Ahead of their show next Thursday (Dec 11) at Islington’s The Garage, lead singer Jack Valero answers our questions.
Recently you’ve been touring with The Beat. Have Ranking Roger and co. given you much advice?
It’s been fantastic touring with The Beat, we’ve never had so much fun! And Ranking Roger has been an absolute pleasure to work with as well.
He’s always pleased to see us and has really taken us under his wing.He gives us his very honest opinion of our shows and always has words of encouragement. Which is so great, as it is so often not the case for a headline band to be not only so friendly to the support band, but also so actively involved in helping them along.
Where did your smart aesthetic come from?
Well this comes from our whole band ethos being based around the ‘60s and ‘70s, as we’re so heavily influenced by the music of the time it made sense to reflect that in our image.
Also it seems like bands don’t really dress up for shows as much anymore so we thought it would be a good gap to fill as we feel it’s good to show that you’ve made an effort and not just woken up and sauntered on stage.
You look pretty young – what do you think are the big issues for your generation?
‘We look pretty young, but we’re just back dated, yeah!’ There are many problems with our generation at the moment as we try to find our place in a world dominated by machines and social media whilst also trying to live up to the adventures and struggles of the generation before us.
However, there is one in particular that we have addressed in one of our own songs called ‘I Wanna Work In Abercrombie And Fitch’. This song came about when I read the owner of Abercrombie and Fitch state he wouldn’t employ people he thought were ugly. This is part of the problem my generation faces at the moment, with this obsession with image and how the standards of beauty have reached ridiculous and very shallow levels. There is now so much pressure (particularly on women) to look like a model all the time and it didn’t need A&F making it worse.
Which artists really proved the inspiration behind your rock ‘n’ roll sound?
As I said before, we are all so heavily influenced by music from the 60s and 70s and we’ve taken inspiration from so many different bands of that era, from The Byrds to The Sex Pistols. However, I think the bands that really captured our imaginations would be Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Who, David Bowie and The Ramones.
Watching Tom Petty’s documentary ‘Running Down A Dream’ and listening to him talk about every component of a song and how it all fits together really opened our eyes and made us approach all our songs differently after that. But the most important thing that Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers taught us was that the key to writing these great songs was keeping it simple and if there’s one ethos we stick to it’s ‘simple things done well’.
The RPMS play the Garage on December 11. Visit the-rpms.co.uk
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box below for details.