Get To Know... The Rills
There is something inherently British in the angsty lyrics and high energy riffs that The Rills produce.
Latest release The Angler, comes in the same vein, a pedal to the metal lament of lad and drinking culture, from the perspective of a guy who thinks he has it all.
Fast paced and driven powerfully through the motions and mood of the tune by a rhythm section who have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with, this band are only further proof that this spin on the genre isn't going away any time soon.
Chatting musical destinies and the importance of carrots and hummus, we caught up with The Rills surrounding the release of the new single.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been making music for?
Callum - I’ve only been playing bass since I met Mitch so it's his fault really. I've had a guitar in my hand since I was about three (which was my uncles fault) and then I started learning seriously when I turned 12. Mitch - I started playing guitar when I was about 11 and wrote my first abominable tune at 13! Growing up on 00 pop tunes has given me a bit of an ear for melody, while obsessing over Joy Division in my teens made lyric writing a massive focus for myself - I also love writing short stories.
Mason - I've been making a racket since I was 8 years old, my uncle foolishly let me play his drum set and it spiraled from there, I was out gigging at the age of twelve, my mum thought I was such a sweet heart. At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
Callum- I knew I wasn't cut out for an office job or Mechanic or anything like that when my teacher in school was worried about me passing my SATs. I also somehow just knew that music was my thing. I never even thought of anything else, my plan was always ‘leave school, do music forever’.
Mitch - There was never really a point where I decided that I wanted to make a career out of it, I just always knew I was at my happiest playing live music and so naturally I’ve been pushing towards it ever since. There were a few things that made me begin to really take it seriously however, like reading Alex Turner’s lyrics over and over and being stunned at how clever and funny, but also complex and riddle-like they could be. Also, I had a bit of an epiphany a year or so ago which made me think ‘What do I actually want from my life?’ & ‘If I disappeared off the face of the earth, what am I leaving behind for people to remember me by?’ which sounds like classic existential dread, but it really sparked my songwriting into overdrive!
Mason - since I can remember. I've never lost so much blood, sweat, sleep and tears over anything else, I've been at it my whole life. It would be a bit mental to take up lion taming now.
What is the main source of influence for your songwriting?
Callum - Whenever I'm thinking about writing a bass line for a new track I'll always think ‘what would Flea from RHCP do?’ and then i'll do the exact opposite. And I will always try to write them in practice, so they have the feeling. Nothing worse than crafting a technical masterpiece for a new track, bringing it in and it sounding crap.
Mitch - Books, scrappy guitars & life experiences. I love reading Joyce & Orwell, b
ut I also find inspiration from all kinds of stories, be them TV programmes or in films. Any imperfect guitar music always gives me a great sense of inspiration, I love things that clang and bang along - music that just shouldn’t work but really does! I like to use songwriting as catharsis too, so a lot of things I write kinda place my life experiences, thoughts and feelings on a musical map.
Mason - I'm a very heavy hitter, I'll draw inspiration from drummers like John Bonham, and Jimmy Chamberlain. But I'm deeply fascinated with African and Latin american rhythms. Put the two together and I'm there. I love listening to vocal rhythms from hip hop & UK drill, they influence my drumming also.
What is something you’ve learned about yourself through making music?
Callum - It's okay to cry.
Mitch - I’m a completely dysfunctional, highly sensitive over-thinker, with something of a nervous disposition and a slightly narcissistic taste for drama, and I’d say that makes me a pretty normal human being.
Mason - I have an anger problem. What is something you wish you’d known when you first got into the music industry?
Callum - It's nothing like it was and change is key to success. You can't just sit in a pub playing great songs and expect Alan McGee to make you into rockstars. You have got to graft and create your own success.
Mitch - You’ll learn more by forcing yourself to write songs when uninspired than waiting to be inspired.
Mason - you need to know your craft like a master carpenter knows theirs, if you show up and make yourself look a fool, that's on you
Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from the city you live in?
Callum - Dry Cleaning and Black Midi are all I listen to at the moment. I don't know who summoned BM but I thank them.
Mitch - Black Midi (although they’re quite a big name in the alt scene now), DeadLetter, Talk Show and PVA.
Mason- GreenTea Peng, M Huncho, abra cadabra, wu lu
What would your dream tour & rider look like?
Callum - Big van with a ps4, Heinies, and carrots and hummus. Only because I once saw Yung Blud eating carrots and hummus in his green room and I was so impressed.
Mitch - World tour with a Glasto headliner thrown in for good luck. The rider needs 1 can of Guinness, a bottle of Martini Bianco, a bowl full of Blue m&ms, a marathon bar, maybe a beef stroganoff and definitely 1 can of Carling Premier (absolutely not a normal Carling however).
Mason - Probably America or Asia, hopefully it would be a blur, and I'll catch a tan so bonus points - plenty Magnums - not the damn lolly either mind.
If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?
Callum- I’d like to see one of our tunes in a star wars film, think that could be really weird.
Mitch - The Mighty Boosh.
Mason - Monty Python and the holy grail
What’s the bucket list goal for you as an artist?
Callum - Carrots and hummus.
Mitch - I’d love to write something with Kevin Parker. On a slightly less grandiose note, it is a childhood dream to sell out the biggest venue in Lincs (The Engine Shed).
Mason - Glasto / collab with a big Grime/UK drill artist, like travis Barker used to with the American gangster rap scene.