When we did this chat, Big Scary Monsters punks Gender Roles were on tour in support of their debut album ‘PRANG’, and they were about to land back in the UK. Those were the days, right? Now rebooked for September, here’s a blast-from-the-past when guitarist/vocalist Tom Bennett checked in from the road.
Hey Tom, how’s it going? Enjoying the tour so far?
Hey! All good, but got a lovely tour cold! Yeah, it’s been great so far, amazing responses and a lotta fun.
Are there any spots in Europe you especially enjoy visiting?
Germany has a soft spot for all of us, but maybe it’s just because we’ve been there the most? Going through Italy for the first time on this tour was amazing. Everywhere is better than the UK though, so the real answer is everywhere.
What’s the best meal or food item you’ve ever had while away on tour?
Ooooh, the food in Italy on this tour was well good. Of ALL TIME it’s either in Glasgow at a Thai restaurant (was incredible) or the first time we stopped at Tebay services (was incredible).
You guys must be pretty good at travelling now, do you feel like you’re pros? What tips have you picked up along the way?
You’d think, right? The amount of time we’re not home would surely mean we’re good at this, but we’re not, we’re idiots. Here are our top tips: Bring a sleeping bag; Buy a sleeping bag when you realise you forgot it; Lose said sleeping bag; Get some Barroca.
Have you ever accidentally left something important in a hotel room?
Yes. A lot of times. All our money. Van keys. Pedalboard. Brain.
You’re back in the UK at the end of March [oh no they’re not], do your home country gigs have a different vibe to those elsewhere?
The shows themselves never seem too different compared to other places, just everyone going bananas and having loads of fun. Touring is way different though; for instance, mainland Europe has beautiful landscapes, friendly people, hot food, and the UK has ‘spoons.
How are you guys feeling about your debut album, now it’s been out a while? Happy with how it all went?
Feeling great and literally couldn’t be more stoked with the reaction it got. Had some fantastic reviews, people are still buying it and our mums said it was good. Really gave us a boost when it came out, it felt like justification for the blood sweat and tears leading up to its release. We never expected to even get this far in all honesty. Then you have day one of the album tour – sold-out show in London with everyone screaming the words of the whole set??? We couldn’t be more thankful.
Have you started to think about its follow-up yet?
We have indeed. In amongst our crazy calendar is some time we’re going to force ourselves not to play for a little bit and get new material materialised. Spoiler alert: sounds sick already.
What else are you working on at the mo?
Trying to keep full-time jobs and see our better halves. I’m trying to do more illustration. Jed is killing the animation/design game, and Lilford has been DJing da clubs with phat beats.
Anything else we should know?
Breakfast this morning ended with us making loads of ‘road baps’, I stubbed my toe on the way out, and we’re currently smashing it down the autobahn listening to Violent Soho. Probs gonna have a road nap now. Peace out.
Taken from the April issue of Upset. Gender Roles tour the UK from 18th September.