Get To Know... TV Priest

Photo Credit: Dan Kendall

With their debut album just dropped via Sub Pop, it’s safe to say that London post-punks TV Priest are on a sharp upward trajectory.

If you hadn’t already stumbled across their jagged, fuzzy and riotous sound via a constant stream of tastemaker support - including the likes of BBC 6Music, fear not - we caught up with the band to learn all about ‘Uppers’, joining the (digital, of course) line up for SXSW 2021 and all that’s yet to come.

Tell us a bit about TV Priest and how you came to make music together?

TV Priest is a band formed of four long time friends with shared tastes in music and humour. We have made music together on and off since we were teenagers. After a period apart, we reformed with the intention of playing gigs and having a good excuse to hang out again.

Was a career in music always the goal for you, or did you have other ideas when you were younger?

My mum has one of those tea towels on which your class at school draw pictures of themselves. In the picture of myself, i'm wearing flares and playing a sort of Rickenbacker shaped guitar. So i guess it was always secretly my goal, but when you get to your mid twenties you start to realise it'll probably never happen and you should be saving for a mortgage.

You’ve been confirmed for SXSW 2021, digitally of course - but how are you feeling about taking part in such an important event?

After so many years of hearing about the legendary festival and only being able to dream of going, we're actually playing. I can't believe it! We're honoured to be on the line up, even if it is virtual, and with any luck we may get the chance to play it for real next year.

Your debut album has just dropped, talk us through it a little bit. Which track is your favourite?

We had just finished the recording of the album this time last year, so we're excited to finally be sharing it with the world. Our bassist Nic produced the entire thing in a tiny studio in East London. This was tricky at times but definitely influenced the claustrophobic sound of the album as a whole. Two of my personal favourites from the album are 'Journal of a Plague Year' and 'Saintless'. I think they both reflect a different side to our music from the singles. Perhaps an indication of sounds and moods that we will explore in the future.

Is there anything you learned about yourselves while you were creating the album?

We certainly learned to stop questioning ourselves and overthinking our music so much. In past bands we worried too much about how our songs would be perceived and this led to indecision. This time around, we made sure to just relax and enjoy the writing process.

You’re from London, which other upcoming London artists are worth a listen?

Squid (originally Brighton, but London based) are really interesting, i love how they shift from dancey grooves to a psychedelic cacophony in a moments notice. Their music is alot of fun and I'm looking forward to hearing their debut album.

There’s a socially distanced live show in the plans, right? What’s to be expected from that if all goes to plan?

I think when we actually get to play a proper live show, it'll be as much a celebration as anything. We originally restarted the band in the hopes of playing live gigs again. There's nothing that compares to the feeling of performing a song that you wrote with your best friends to a crowd of strangers.

If you could have any director/filmmaker create a TV Priest music video, who would it be?

A Stanley Kubrick music video would be great. If we could resurrect him maybe he could film us playing in the final scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

What’s the plan post-album release? Anything else we can look forward to?

We will be playing as many live shows as we can once the situation allows. On top of this we're keen to get back in the studio (a slightly bigger one this time) so that we can continue writing and recording material. Hopefully we will be releasing some of this later in the year.