INTERVIEW: The Timewasters | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Victoria Wai

Following the initial ‘hello’ greetings, the first thing I encounter in our interview is an hilarious but genuine apology from Phoenix (bass player) over their screen profile picture, Lucy (guitarist/songwriter) also in attendance, howls at the image and then the two fall about laughing. It transpires that they haven’t spoken properly in about a week or so, there’s a lot of catching up to do. Gossip to share, and stuff “they’ll discuss later, not now”.

Born out of a continually evolving set of school bands, Lucy and Phoenix emerged as the only two consistent members and now, six or so years later, they operate as The Timewasters with a rotating cast of drummers and other personnel. Lucy describes their sound as “indie rock pop”, but during our conversation DIY, punk, lo-fi and grunge all get added.

Lucy also confesses to having a love/hate thing going on with the North East and Newcastle; it transpires that the way songs are written, as if plucked from the ether, containing combinations of memories, incidents, places and overheard phrases, coalesce into lyrics randomly. This candid experiential soup is everywhere, the good, bad and occasionally ugly.

Their music gives voice to their opinions on how they’ve felt unsafe and harassed at gigs, have been dismissed, misgendered and undoubtedly insulted too

The resulting compendium of treasures that find their way on the band’s new Heartbreaker EP, released on 14th February of course, amount to six tracks that encompass the sweet and gentle like California and Garden Centre, “bittersweet feelings of actual heartbreak and mutual dislike about breakdowns of relationships, friendship or family that may reconcile in time” to the raucous Mind The Gap, that Lucy explains “was written about several places in Newcastle, but the main one being the bridge. I just stopped and I heard people talking in the distance and the lyrics for the second verse came unexpectedly, unintended; all of that comes flowing to me.” Phoenix praises Lucy’s songwriting and in return Lucy credits Phoenix’s bass playing and musical contributions. Neither accepts the other’s compliment easily, but it’s obvious their respect is solid.

Along with the catchy title track, the stuttering bounce of Ground Control and chiming confessional of Bite Back, there’s so much to unpack in this sophomore EP, most obviously the perception of the band by others. Their music gives voice to their opinions on how they’ve felt unsafe and harassed at gigs, have been dismissed, misgendered and undoubtedly insulted too. We talk at length about the poor treatment they’ve experienced from some musicians and promoters and we also talk about the reductive ‘girl band’ descriptor that doesn’t even apply to the band but still gets so overused, and how they’ll continue supporting issues such as Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights regardless of bigots, quoting Kurt Cobain: “If you’re a sexist, racist, homophobe, or basically an asshole, don’t buy this CD. I don’t care if you like me, I hate you”.

They’re battling against a lot and seemingly taking that in their stride with wit, sarcasm and enthusiasm in abundance. I haven’t even got to talk about Mario Kart, Riot Grrrl, the game they have to support the EP release, more in-depth lyrical examination, badges…everything that makes The Timewasters one of the most exciting acts around right now.

The Timewasters release Heartbreaker EP on 14th February. They play Little Buildings, Newcastle on Saturday 18th February.


Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout