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NXNE Interview: The Gin Riots

We wrap up our deluge of post-NXNE coverage with a quick e-mail interview with Guy Stevenson, frontman for the London based Gin Riots.

The Gin Riots

CB:  For our readers that might not be familiar with the band, could you describe your sound?

Stevenson:  Robert Smith at an Irish session with The Pogues. With Jim Morrison conducting.

CB:  I heard that your band has an interesting origin story. Can you fill us in?

Stevenson:  Right so, right so… myself and our guitarist Cillian met when he starting dating my girlfriend. We hated each other to begin with but soon discovered we shared a love for Nick Drake and Burt Jansch and played some tunes together. It went from there really - played acoustically for a while then pulled ourselves together and put together a band. As far as the name goes, an ancestor of mine is supposed to have instigated a big riot against taxes on gin in the 18th century - we figured The Gin Riots was an appropriate name for the music we ended up making.

CB:  We picked up a promo copy of your CD during our rounds and found it immediately addictive. Is there an essential Gin Riots track we should turn our readers onto?

Stevenson:  That's exactly the aim! Build an army of Gin Riots addicts and create a full scale reenactment of the actual gin riots! I guess The Polka is our flagship tune. Get on that one then move on to our darker stuff - In the Bedroom would be the logical next step.

CB:  Could you describe your NXNE experience?

Stevenson:  It was fun. Everytime we play in North America something clicks and we really, really appreciate the audiences that make it down to our shows over here. We had some stupid fights throughout the week - petty "boys will be boys" arguments - but the gigs were amazing and we're planning to come back again and again.

CB:  Did you catch any other bands during the festival that you dug?

Stevenson:  Yup, plenty. The Strange Boys are one of our favourites - saw them when we played SXSW in March and again at Northby. Liked Warpaint at The Horseshoe. Hung out with and watched a lovely little folk duo from Chicago called Paper Thick Walls. Missed Pavement and that really pissed me off cos they are one of my favourite bands of all time.

CB:  In honor of Canada - Justin Beiber vs Brian Adams: who wins?

Stevenson:  Torontonians seem to have a murderous obsession with Justin Beiber! I spoke to so many people out there who wanted to kidnap or kill him! Hmmmm... let’s see, they've got a lot in common so I don't reckon they'd wanna fight each other. They're both pretty annoying. They've both had acne issues. But if it did come to blows, Adams is getting on a bit, so my money would be on Beiber.

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