It's always incredibly refreshing to find a band in the UK who can produce great sounding rock songs without having to confrom to what's currently popular or trying to look and sound like a band from twenty years ago. Southampton's Idiot3 are a band who realise the importance of a great radio friendly melodic hook but aren't afraid to experiment and take the song to another level. Their new CD, the outlandishly titled 'The Monster & The Grey Goose', displays their knack for quality hard rock but bursts with ideas and effortless creativity. TrashPit spoke to bassist and frontman Ian Hardwick.
For those that aren't familiar with the band can you give us a brief rundown of what you're about?
Big melodic bits, epic bits, ballsy bits, sensitive bits, sexy bits.....dirty bits. The tune is king, plus I'm actually related to Robert The Bruce.
Your new CD 'The Monster & The Grey Goose' is a very adventurous project. Can you tell us a little about what you wanted to acheive wth this release and songs compared to earlier recordings? Was there anything or anyone that inspired this?
Thanks! We wanted to push ourselves a little bit, but really just do what comes naturally. We all love overblown stuff, gatefold sleeves and concept albums, all that kind of thing. We thought we'd mix a little bit of that with our Rock Pop. Maybe it's the first example of us simply doing exactly what we want, as we recorded and produced it ourselves as well.
You seem to have really pushed yourselves musically and tried to capture an equal mix between catchy upbeat songs but incorporate pretty epic arrangements? Do you have a particular listener in mind or do you make the music for yourselves and hope that others catch on to what you're doing?
We obviously like bands such as Def Leppard and Cheap Trick, but we're also very influenced by stuff such as Carpark North and Mew.....bands that mix glorious pop stuff with that epic sound. Our approach is that we have the finest CD collection in the world, in alphabetical order. Throw the cds on to the floor, mix them up, take 4 out and put them together in an original Idiot3 song!
Without a doubt the most epic track on the CD is 'Monster' - what's been the reaction to that and how was it written?
It's probably had the best reaction from any of the songs on '....Goose'
It was put together at practice over quite a few weeks. Some sections made the cut, some didn't. One of the last bits was the chorus itself, as we had this seven minute song with no hook. Eventually I rode in to rehearsal on my white tiger and saved the day with a belter.
What's the current rock scene like in Southampton? Are there any other bands in a similar mould to you?
The scene is pretty healthy at the moment. Some other good venues have sprung up so there's more than one place to play. To be honest I can't think of many local rock bands that sound like us. There's some really good acts, but they don't focus on the melody so much. There's some great melodic stuff thats on the lighter side, not so much rock, but always silky on the ear!
Your influences are very wide ranging - you particularly like a lot of the old skool American hard rock bands that TrashPit supports. Do you sometimes get blank looks from people who hear this as these bands perhaps aren't as well known over here in the UK?
For sure, but we do our best to push them in people's faces as much as possible. My car is like a traveling 80's / classic rock jukebox. But it's a car. A honda in fact.
Speaking of the Hard Rock genre, do I hear a nod to Enuff Z'Nuff's 'Your Baby Loves You' in the track 'Little Too Much' with the 'Your Baby Loves Me' lyric?
You do! But hopefully their lawyers don't! For us, and I think for Lemmy to, Motorhead's greatest album is 'Bastards'. There's a song called 'Devils' which is just amazing, so we wanted to give a nod to both bands in the middle section of 'Little Much Touch'. We thought it was a neat tribute, plus saved us from using our own weak as piss melody writing.
You've recently become a three piece band. How's the search for another guitarist / keyboardist going? Have you had to adapt much live in the three piece format?
We've simply soldiered on like a bleached blond battering ram. The core of the band has always been Tim, Jon and me...my name's Ian. We'll get another member or two in when the time is right, or when Mutt Lange offers to be our producer and guitar player. We've recently played two shows as a three piece and they went really well.....
What current bands are you enjoying listening to right now?
I bought Bruce Springsteen's new one 'Working On A Dream' yesterday, which is amazing. Even better than his last one 'Magic' and the cover's stuck together on that. I think our album of last year was Carpark North's 'Grateful'
If you could pick the perfect tour to go on - who would it be with?
I hear that Kim Wilde, Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles and Barbara Streisand are forming a naked supergroup.
What's next for the band?
For more information visit www.myspace.com/idiot3
We'll be continuing to play shows while recruiting a new member, hopefully some festivals in summer as well. I think we'll be recording about mid-year and touring also. It's the most exciting it's been for a while, with all sorts of things that 'might' happen which we don't wanna curse!