With their fifth studio album Eton Alive set for release on February 22nd followed by a MASSIVE 33 date UK tour, we chatted to the charismatic and utterly captivating Jason Williamson from Sleaford Mods about his work partnership with Andrew Fearn, his loves and loathes of touring and some of the bands and artists that deserve your time….
Sleaford Mods’ fifth studio album ‘ETON ALIVE’ is due to be released on 22nd Feb, it was recorded in Nottingham, who produced it?
It was just me and Andy!
I was going to ask if you’d worked with this person before but I don’t need to now!
Yes, we’ve worked together for a while now! (laughs)
Do you still get on well when working together?
Really good, we still share a really good partnership and that’s a goal of musicians, to find someone to discover the best way of making music that appeals to a lot of people
Do you find that your approach to songwriting and recording works well?
I think so yes, definitely, it’s what we want to do and it suits us perfectly!
Did you find the recording process easier or harder compared to previous albums?
It’s about the same to be honest with you, you get the songs, the melodies and the subject matter and after you’ve got the basics you build on that and it starts to become a speedy process.
Your latest track ‘Kebab Spider’ lifted from the new album is a much ‘dancier’ track compared to your past material, is this a new direction you are heading in now?
Erm…..yeah, we like to move it on, the thing is with the music, at face value, to many fans it would appear that it hasn’t moved on but it does so in its own way, it’s not a complete makeover, I wanted to move it into a more accessible arena, a bit more pop orientated….
Are you trying to attract a different kind of audience?
Not really, we just want to do decent stuff that we both like and if that attracts new people then that’s great!
The video to the track looked like it was fun to make, did you have to draft in lots of ‘extras’ to make it happen?
We just put word out on the Facebook fan page and we were inundated with offers, we had about 50 people show up who wanted to get involved, it was a great day!
Where was it recorded?
It was in The Chameleon Cafe where me and Andy first met and we did a lot of our earliest gigs there
You’re heading off on a massive 32 date UK tour from March to May, are there any places on the tour that you are yet to play?
It’s not started yet…..as for new locations, yes there are loads that we’ve not yet played, we’re really looking forward to it.
Any that you’re particularly excited about?
Oh, all of them really, I like the smaller venues!
Can you tell me who’s going to be supporting you on the tour? (if you even know yet!)
A band called LIINES from Manchester, they’re starting to come up in the ranks and developing their own sound, we’re really looking forward to touring with them.
Will you be taking the ‘Eton Alive’ tour to Europe this year? Any overseas festivals?
Oh god yeah, we’ll be playing France and Germany and then loads of European festivals, it’ll be interesting!
Being on the road for a long time can take its toll on you, tell me how you manage to stay sane?
By not drinking and doing drugs! Just looking after yourselves, it’s work, you go on tour in the knowledge that it’s work, it’s what you get paid for, it makes it more do-able if that makes sense! I can’t do the party lifestyle anymore, not an option for me!
What do enjoy most about being on tour? and what do you loathe about it?
Gigging, cultivating the set and seeing how it moves forwards. Travelling can get you down but apart from that, we don’t mind, it’s fun!
I couldn’t see many festivals listed on your website yet, are these going to be announced soon?
We’re having an ‘in-between’ year with a lot of festivals, some like you to take a year out and return every other year so sometimes you don’t get the offers from them for that reason. We’re doing lots of different ones this year, the website isn’t the best place to check, keep your eyes on our social media instead as that’ll be up to date as they are announced.
Record Store Day takes place in April, will you be taking part this year?
Probably not, we haven’t done that for a couple of years now….
Any in-store appearances planned around the album launch date?
We’ll be doing lots of in-store signings in towns where we’re playing, just makes a change signing records and CD’s and meeting people, this is instead of doing shorter in-store gigs, should be interesting….
Lastly, there are millions of bands and acts out there, please tell us about some of them that you have been listening to recently and you think people should support…..
Viagra Boys, Drill Music (Chicago hip hop, and is defined by its dark, violent, nihilistic lyrical content and ominous trap-influenced beats), ’67’, ‘RV’, Loski, Hip Hop from America, Hus King Pin, Beak which are a 3 piece band from Bristol and 80’s soul….
Any final words for our fans…..
Yeah, come and see Sleaford Mods!
We’d like to thank Jason for his time and wish him and Andy all the very best for the new album and the massive UK tour. More details below.
ETON ALIVE UK TOUR 2019
21st– London, 100 Club
01 – NEWCASTLE, BOILER SHOP
02 – LIVERPOOL, O2 ACADEMY
06 – YORK, FIBBERS
07 – HULL, ASYLUM
08 – MIDDLEBROUGH, TOWN HALL
09 – LEEDS, STYLUS
13 – HOLMFIRTH, PICTUREDROME
14 – SHEFFIELD, PLUG
15 – MANCHESTER, ACADEMY
16 – KENDAL, BREWERY ARTS CENTRE
21 – LINCOLN, ENGINE SHED
22 – STOKE, SUGARMILL
23 – BIRMINGHAM, O2 INSTITUTE
04 – WREXHAM, CENTRAL STATION
05 – CARDIFF, UNIVERSITY Y PLAS
06 – BRISTOL, O2 ACADEMY
11 - LEAMINGTON SPA, ASSEMBLY
12 – LEICESTER, O2 ACADEMY
13 - NORWICH, UEA WATERFRONT
17 – IPSWICH, CORN EXCHANGE
18 – NORTHAMPTON, ROADMENDER
19 – MARGATE, DREAMLAND
20 - BEXHILLDE LA WARR, PAVILION
25 – SOUTHEND, CHINNERYS
26 – READING, SUB 89
27 – OXFORD, O2 ACADEMY
02 – PORTSMOUTH, PYRAMIDS
03 – BOURNEMOUTH, OLD FIRE STATION
04 – SOUTHAMPTON, ENGINE ROOMS
09 – DERBY, THE VENUE
10 – CAMBRIDGE, JUNCTION
11 – HITCHIN, CLUB 85
Interview by Ted Stargatt