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

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Jacobs Photography

“I personally knew it was meant to be because when went I for my audition, my Uber driver tried to get me to join a cult,” John Gair drolly chuckles as he recounts how he came to play guitar and synth for local psych punks TV Death. “If there’s a prescient sign for joining a band, it’s probably that one.”

In fairness, an attempted brainwashing in the back of a taxi feels like an appropriately absurd introduction to life with a group who have pulled at loose threads on topics as disparate as the uneasy lure of retro-futurism and the gnawing phantom of delusional parasitosis in their opening salvo of banging singles.

Characterised by a gritty bombast and a canny perceptiveness for the crumbling world around them, the quartet – comprised of Gair, Jack Burlison on guitar and lead vocals, Robert Owens on bass, and drummer Andrew McAskell – have been turning heads with a slew of releases that hint towards an irrepressible promise.

Now, in collaboration with Newcastle-based label Daemon T.V, the band have committed their first six singles, along with two new songs, to cassette. Welcome To The Feast is a retrospective EP that is more of an acerbic statement of intent than it is any kind doe-eyed, self-congratulatory pat on the back.

It’s quite a fitting name,” Owens explains. “It’s a compilation, it’s almost like a feast of everything we’ve done so far, everything we’ve got to offer. Come to the table, this is what we’ve got.”

The band are characterised by a gritty bombast and a canny perceptiveness for the crumbling world around them

And what TV Death are peddling, for the loyal and the uninitiated alike, is an awful lot. From the itching, stomping urgency of Crank Bugs to the swirling melodrama of new track Dogged Sound, with its propulsive melancholia like a mid-century horror B-movie on amphetamines, Welcome To The Feast is a body of work that enthrals and provokes at every twist. But it is also one stoked by a discontented compulsion.

Elsewhere, the band lament for the inanity of the self-cannibalism that has come to define the North Eastern political landscape across recent debacles (“You’ve got all these people who have sworn blood feuds against the Tories and then all of a sudden they’ve voted one in because they’ve been hoodwinked”), while Vultures sees Burlison turn his astute sardonicism on the “weird glorification” of serial killers and other such devils in mainstream pop culture. Anybody who stumbled across a half-cut reveller dressed as Jeffrey Dahmer this Halloween can surely empathise.

In short, TV Death are a band with plenty to say, but they say it with such an endearing curiosity and thorough affability that their voice is only likely to louden with time. With that in mind, it’s apt that the four-piece have found such kindred spirits in Daemon T.V.

They do things in a really good way,” Owens offers. “They’re so DIY with everything, and they’re mega-inclusive with everything. It’s just a really nice situation to be in. It’s always nice to buy a physical copy, but it’s good that it’s coming from a good place with good people.”

And perhaps that sentiment best sums up the working relationship that the two TVs, Death and Daemon, have cultivated on this latest project; properly decent people making properly decent music.

TV Death launch Welcome To The Feast via Daemon T.V at The Engine Room, North Shields on Friday 16th December.


Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout