Band Of The Week #0092 - Gender Roles


This week’s Band Of The Week is Brighton’s Gender Roles, who’s album ‘Prang’ is out now via Big Scary Monsters. The band took a moment to talk to us about the Brighton’s music scene and how their album all came together. 

Congratulations on your debut album! Tell us a bit about how you got here, from releasing your first EP back in 2017.
Thanks very much! We’re very stoked about releasing it! It’s been quite a journey to be honest, despite not taking long to tell. We put out our first EP through Hanger Records in January 2017 and just tried to play as many shows as possible. Then it was a bit. Then we were contacted by BSM and met up in Spoons, before playing a show in a sticky pub and then released the second EP ‘Lazer Rush’ in April 2018. We’ve been playing shows pretty solidly since then, managed to spare 10 days to go live in a studio, record the album and get back to playing. 

Brighton is such a breeding ground for musicians. Do you ever feel like it gets over-saturated and difficult for new bands to flourish or is it a case of ‘the more, the merrier’?
Definitely somewhere in between, it’s great to be surrounded by so many musicians, there’s always a show on and because of that, I think more and more people get involved where they can. It can be hard to get going but people here love music and the persistent prevail (or fail but become a massive cult band and then do a 10 year anniversary world tour and buy their mums houses and stuff)  

You’ve previously mentioned that you don’t normally have themes when writing songs, but that there would be one on the album. Can you give us a rundown on what Prang is all about?
They don’t often have the story until they are nearly done, but the first song we finished ‘Always’ sparked the idea for the album ‘concept’ (in the loosest possible way). The song was about losing someone close which turned into the idea that we all have such similar problems no matter where we are in life. Age, money, education, they are all so separate from each other, but most of them will encounter many similar situations. So, the album is about everyone pranging out, but don’t, it’s all good. It’s all good.  

Do you all contribute to writing songs? Talk us through the creative process of Gender Roles.
We all write the songs together. We’ve changed how we do it slightly recently, but it’s all of us together. It used to be a lot more - I would write something, take it in, we’d jam, discuss, go away, write a bit more or another section and repeat until complete. But the album was the first time we wrote a lot more together as one unit. Mainly because we ran out of time and had to finish a few tracks while we were there. We tried to really make sure everything was the best for the record, both our own and each other’s parts (despite the time constraints). We really ‘talked about’ what was needed for the song and by that I mean the three of us and Ian making weird noises and facial expressions.  

Who do you find yourselves being inspired by? Was there anybody who you listened to in between recording sessions?
We all listen to a big range of music and some quite different from each other. I think that always keeps us inspired. Collectively, we were listening to anything but ‘rock’ during the recording. Anything else. We did watch a lot of Peep Show though. That probably helped more than country music. 

Aside from having a full length record to show for yourselves, are there any fond memories that came out of the ten days of recording?
All of it was so much fun. It sounds like it wouldn’t be just living there and not really seeing daylight, but we were constantly up for it. Even if it was 3am, which it had to be a lot, because we thought ten days was sound. I guess a few things stood out though…
We showered twice. Both times in public pools in ridiculous swimming trunks.
We discovered there really is too much hot sauce you can put on food.
Ian’s random facts and nuggets of information are very motivating.
We always made it to Tesco before it shut. Even if it was shut.  

What made you choose ‘You Look Like Death’ and ‘Hey With Two Whys’ as the lead singles?
They just sounded like singles to be fair. We had a hard time even choosing to start with as everyone had different favourites (Big Scary Monsters included). Which I guess is a good sign? They’re catchy as well? Maybe? Yeah... catchy.  

Talk us through the opening of Your War?
Just have always loved samples of people speaking in weird ways, especially old instructional ones, which is exactly where this came from. We’ve used them a lot before and do live as well. It seemed that ‘Your War’ was the only place that had room for one! was scouring the planet for something perfect and that was the one. 

Is there anything we’d be surprised to know about the band?
Jared is a really good animator.
Jordan was a county swimmer.
Tom is not as small as he looks in pictures. 

How are you going to celebrate the release?
Spoons probably.

Feature by Tyler Damara Kelly

GENDER ROLES recently announced their PRANG UK headline tour, check them out on the following dates:
02/10 - Norwich, Open
03/10 – London, Boston Music Room
04/10 – Southampton, Heartbreakers
05/10 – Bristol, Rough Trade
06/10 – Nottingham, Rough Trade
07/10 – Glasgow, Attic
08/10 – Sheffield, Record Junkee
09/10 – Liverpool, Kazimier
10/10 – Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
11/10 – Portsmouth, The Wave Maiden
14/10 - Guildford, Boileroom