Focus: Failed Imagineers | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
We are two fellas from Billingham. Phil Saunders and Kev Ellison. We’ve been in, what we may be so bold as to consider, the best bands in Teesside over the past few years. If you look at Kingsley Chapman’s band diagram that hangs on the wall at The Georgian Theatre, we probably clock more acts than any other duo, something we’re pretty proud of! We’re not famous, but at least we’re prolific right? Quantity over quality! So we were Helter Skelter, Skeat, Eden Complex, No School Reunion, Burnout In The Capital, and not to long ago we bothered the local scene with Bruto – a short-lived project that managed to squeeze in Munro, Stockton Calling, Songs From Northern Britain and Evo Emerging. 

What is it you do?
Between the two of us, we write, play, record, and release punk rock from our self-built studio in Billog. We don’t do gigs, we don’t do videos, we don’t do anything bands are supposed to do, apart from make music. It’s a bit weird in that respect.

How long have you been doing it?
We started Failed Imagineers in lockdown, so we’re about a year old. To disclose how long we’ve been making punk rock would severely harm our credentials and possibly alienate us from the youth. Judge our sound with your ears. Don’t let your eyes see our ancient faces. 

What inspires you?
The local scene is pretty inspiring right now. We’ve seen it rise and fall and rise and fall over the years. We worked at The Georgian when we were nippers, Kev on the bar, and Phil as a volunteer band booker. That was in like 1963 or something. In 2005 we started the club night Sumo, and tried to cram a live music element in there as much as we could. We think The last year or two has seen an epic rise in interesting local bands. It’s brilliant that we have epic anthemic songwriters like Cattle and Cane et al, but when we saw and heard stuff like Benefits, Flatline, Komparrison and Swears all take it up a gear in lockdown, we thought, yeah we should put some stuff out too. All those Teesside mixtapes kicking round on Spotify are proper class. We as a region easily hold our own alongside the rest of the country. 

Tell us about your music.
I’m a big fan of “for fans of”. I always loved Henry Carden’s old rock show flyers that would tell you the FFO of the bands he was showcasing. So, Failed Imagineers is For Fans Of…. Jeff Rosenstock, Drug Church, Heart Attack Man, stuff like that. We’d like to think it’s politically aware, emotionally-charged punk rock. But that sounds like we want to be Green Day. Maybe we want to be Green Day?

What have you got coming up in the future?
We have an idea to try some covers of local band’s songs. It could sound very interesting, and the bands might love it. It could go west, and the bands and their fans might hate us for it! We won’t know until we try. Sometimes I’ll be listening to the Dylan Cartlidge album, or like a Samantha Durnan track and my head just starts imagining blast beats or mad riffs over the top of it. We should probably leave them well alone and focus on our own tracks, but this idea won’t go away, so we defo want to try one. 

Where can people find out more about you?
Here’s a handy link to find us everywhere @failedimagineers | Linktree

The new track “THIS HIT” is out May 20th everywhere digitally that you find music, Bandcamp, soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, etc


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