Interview with NeatPeople


From the Funky Mofo archives: Jo Whitby is always on the prowl for discovering new interesting bands. NeatPeople are one of them and Gary Cansell, vocalist and guitarist for the band, kindly agreed to play the Funky Mofo Q&A game!

Funky Mofo: Hello Gary! For those of us who still don’t know you can you give us a brief history of NeatPeople?

Gary Cansell: Well Marc (Sephton, guitarist) and James (Halls, bassist) met while serving cheesecake flavour ice cream at the cinema where they worked, Scott (Lewis, drummer) was famous for having stubble at the age of 14 so I was naturally curious to meet him and the four of us found each other through a friend. We’ve been in a band together before this one so we can communicate without using words nowadays.

FM: Do you have any expectations about the music business, what has your experience as a band been so far?

GC: Our experience is that people seem to like or love or hate the band but you’d have to ask the music business how it feels about us I guess, I couldn’t tell you… Sticking those 2 words next to each other gives me a strange and not entirely pleasant feeling but then I am ignorant to the ‘real world’ – 2 other words that don’t belong together if you ask me.

I predict that the music business will love us like a sister one day.

FM: Do you enjoy performing live?

GC: I think live performs on us more than the other way round, I don’t really know much about what’s going on. A couple of days ago we were gigging and for the first time I could hear what I was playing on the guitar, it was a complete distraction – I’m terrible at it. The answer is yes, no matter how shitty shit is, we always love singing our dumb songs.

FM: You played in New York recently! How did it go? What sort of response did you get?

GC: It went very well thanks for asking, the shows were good. There was a bit of conversation between the audience and us, no-one could understand what anyone was saying but it all sounded friendly! We got papped by some Japanese girls on a ferry, that was ace. I like ferries but I don’t like water, catch 22…

FM: Is there an album or EP in the pipeline?

GC: We’ve written about 5 albums but just need someone to help us get the tunes out there. We’re always giving away tracks for free, we’d rather people heard us than make any money at the moment, although one day it might be nice, I need a new tyre for my car you see.

FM: What are you listening to at the moment?

GC: I am listening to Antony and The Johnsons and I can’t tell you how glad I was that he won the mercury prize, Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Elbow, The Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, and right now The Fimbles theme tune.

FM: If you could work with any artist/s (past or present) who would they be and why?

GC: I’d like to work with Sting because I like the sound pianos make when he sits on them. I saw some Van Gogh paintings recently, they were pretty cool so him too.

FM: What are your plans for the near future?

GC: Currently writing the best song of the week, it might be called ‘Where Did Christopher Go?’ but that’s a bit of a rubbish name so maybe not. Just promoting the band and getting the songs tangled up in peoples brains, a nice kind of tangled though, like…erm…dreadlocks.

FM: Thanks for your time!

Jo Whitby

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