Wet Nuns talk Blues-Punk, flogging T-Shirts to the Queen, and Enya

Causing the Devil to cry tears of fiery pride since 2010, Sheffield’s Wet Nuns have emerged onto the UK scene and won’t leave till everyone’s wearing an inverted cross around their neck.  Or something. They describe themselves as Blues-punk (not blue-spunk) red necks from Deep South and Wild West Yorkshire.” Adi Parige caught up with them after their recent 100 Club gig, opening for metal band, Overkill, alongside fellow openers The Safety Fire and, personal favourites, Pulled Apart By Horses. Despite having to cut short their set due to unfortunate technical difficulties, Wet Nuns still roared across the stage and debuted their new single, “Why You So Cold”, which will be released September 10th as a limited edition 7” vinyl and also as a digital download. Just in time for their Autumn 2012 tour.

You’re playing the legendary 100 club which has hosted nights with jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong to punk legends Buzzcocks to the Rolling Stones. How do Wet Nuns fit into this?

Sometimes we feel like we’re not worthy to play in places like this. It’s obviously a great honour, especially when we see all the photos of past greats on that stage. But we treat each gig much the same, that is, we get our heads down and do our best…

Matt Helders of the Arctic Monkeys wears your t-shirt all the time. How did he find out about your music and what does it feel like to have one of the UK’s biggest bands showing you their support?

We have mutual friends and he’s been to a few of our gigs. Apparently he was thinking of wearing our t-shirt when they played at the Olympics opening ceremony. Not sure if that would have gone down too well. Maybe when they play at The Queens’s birthday? It’s obviously amazing to have support from one of the biggest bands in the world.

If you could choose one other musician or celebrity to wear your t-shirt, who’d be your pick?

The Queen. We keep sending her t-shirts but she must be collecting them all for a party. Also Enya as well. It’d be great to see Enya’s next video, her in a Wet Nuns t-shirt, diving into a psychedelic waterfall.

I saw you at Rough Trade East. You played right before Keane and there were mums and children waiting for Keane watching you lot play. What’s the strangest gig you’ve played?

That was certainly a weird one, partly because of the lineup (us, Keane, Little Boots, Johnny Flynn) and partly because it’s the earliest we’ve ever played (1pm). We were expecting it to be a bit crap, but it was actually really good fun. The Keane fan Mums with their packed lunches at the front were very funny. They sat through us, hours before Keane were on. That’s dedication.

Once we played a gig in a restaurant. We think they were expecting an old-fashioned blues band. The manager was not impressed at all.

When you’re living the life of a musician, you’re bound to hit your ups and downs. How do you keep from letting the tough times get to you?

We’re both really susceptible to low moods. Life is tough anyway, but being in a band seems to be a particularly stressful lifestyle. We work constantly, get paid nothing, drink lots, are under lots of pressure, have constant doubts about ourselves and take setbacks very hard. Mainly we try to support each other and be open about our feelings, it always helps to be honest about things. Because there’s only two of us, it really affects the other when one of us is angry or stressed. It’s something we’re working on. We’ve been trying out meditation and it’s reduced some stress levels.

There’s a lot of negativity towards mainstream music within indie and punk music scenes today. What’s your take on it?

We feel that most music is shit, regardless of how mainstream or underground it is. The bottom line is, if music’s good, then that’s fine, no matter how well-known, sold-out, stuck-up or uncool it may be.

I hear a lot of stoner rock like Queens of the Stone Age in your music. Especially, when those tempo changes come in. What music really influences you when it comes to writing and creating songs?

Yeah we listen to a lot of stoner rock. But our influences come from all over really. We both have a very broad music taste. Black metal, country, blues, film soundtracks, electro, grindcore etc. But mainly and most importantly, Enya.

A lot of rock n roll bands in the past have hit all time lows while on tour. How do you guys plan on avoiding that when you embark on your biggest tour yet this autumn?

It’s hard to avoid lows sometimes, especially on the road as tempers can fray when exhaustion kicks in. Perhaps it’s better to think about how to deal with them and accept them when they come. Luckily we’re both pretty good at cheering the other up. We have loads of fun together, and our tour manager is also very good at keeping spirits up. Perhaps we’ll have to let you know how the meditation works. We’re hoping it keeps our stress down and enables us to remain calm when things go wrong.

Who are your celebrity crushes?

Rob is really into Fearne Cotton. Alexis is sexless and wants no-one. Apart from maybe Enya.

Who would be the ultimate band to open for? And what up and coming bands would you like to see open for you?

Pulled Apart By Horses are always a pleasure to play with. What a band. Bo Ningen as well, they are incredible. But mostly the bands we’d love to play with would be completely unsuitable for us to support. Sometimes it’s better to just be a punter at a gig.

And with that they disappeared down into a blazing pit of flames and screeching demons*

Watch a clip of their 100 Club set.  WARNING: IT MAY SHRED YOUR FACE CLEAN OFF

*went back to the bar.

You can follow Adi Parige on Twitter: @AnatomyOfPanic

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