Tue 27 Sep 2022

Interview with… Idle Hours


Rising Manchester indie-quartet Idle Hours released their debut EP, ‘The Fourth Wall’ late last month. The band’s distinguishable garage-rock sound has secured several sold-out headline shows, alongside support slots for bands such as The Lounge Society and Eades. We had a chat with them ahead of Neighbourhood Festival..

Introduce yourselves! Where are you all from and how did your band form?

We are Jack, Tom, Alex and Jimmy of Idle Hours. We’re pulled together from Worcester, Preston, Macclesfield and Middlesbrough respectively, but we all call Manchester home now. After meeting during the first few weeks of uni we haven’t been able to get rid of each other.

How did you arrive at the name ‘Idle Hours’?

It’s actually taken from the name of a painting by William Merritt Chase. When I was at school the painting was used as a Microsoft background with the name ‘Idle Hours’ in the corner, for some reason when it came to choosing a band name my subconscious decided to throw that memory at me, those years of slacking off in ICT finally came in useful!

Who are your main influences and how have they shaped the music you make today?

I think we all have our own individual influences due to being raised on different genres. We all have a mutual love of Bloc Party, but our influences are more broader than that. Recently we’ve found influence in elements of kraut-rock and post-punk which we’re currently experimenting with. Artists like Ulrika Spacek and Blur, we’ve really been looking at as a source of inspiration, but we’re aiming to stand out amongst the crowd a bit more and create something unique. 

What’s the best gig you’ve played so far?

That’s a tough one. I think it would probably be our first gig back after the pandemic in August last year. It had been 18 months since we’d last been on stage and we sold out Castle Hotel which was incredible, I don’t think I’ve ever had a rush of serotonin on stage like I did that night! I’d also have to mention our show in YES Pink Room back in January supporting The Lounge Society. We’ve watched so many bands in that room and it was absolutely packed when we played so it was quite surreal to perform on that stage. We watched Wet Leg in the Pink Room the following day which made it even more surreal. 

What’s your recent release ‘French Disconnection’ written about? Is your songwriting process always the same? 

French Disconnection is about the common desire to escape reality and find the door which leads elsewhere. It was born out of feeling completely disconnected and angry with the UK, socially and politically, and decided to write a song about it instead of buying a one way ticket to the south of France! It’s the second track on our new EP ‘The Fourth Wall’ which came out on August 19th and we’re really proud of it. In terms of our writing process we definitely don’t just stick to one method. We mainly write and record on our laptops which means all our demos can be passed around and any one of us can make changes and add new ideas which is a great collaborative process. The songs usually start with a sole idea which could be a guitar riff or bassline, and then the whole tune is grown from  that element. At the same time we also have songs which have been written entirely by one of us and presented as a finished tune, so we are lucky to have a number of writing processes we can use.

You’ve recently been added to the Neighbourhood lineup. Are you excited to play? Is there anyone else you’re looking forward to see?

We’re buzzing to play Neighbourhood this year, the last time we played the festival was in 2019 so it’s great to be back on the lineup. I believe we’re playing in YES Basement which is a venue we’ve become pretty familiar with, we’re playing a headline show there on December 3rd as part of a small tour which we’re incredibly excited about. There’s a few bands we’d love to get down to if we can; we’re on the same management as Soup! and we’ve been playing their latest single a lot so it’d be great to catch them. Would love to see Eades play as well, we supported them earlier in the year and they’re proper lovely guys, such a good live band as well. 

What’s next for you guys, anything exciting in the pipeline?

We’ve got loads in the pipeline! Our debut EP ‘The Fourth Wall’ has obviously just released, and we’ve just played a show at Fuel Cafe in Withington, the day after the EP released. The rest of the year is mainly gigs, we play London on November 19th, and we have a Birmingham headline on December 2nd. We’re also headlining YES Basement on December 3rd so we’re in the process of building a little tour around those dates as well as going back into the studio to record some new music soon. 

Listen to Idle Hours here.

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