The three members of the Dum Dums are excited, and with good reason: with multiple TV appearances, (including CD:UK before they'd even released a single), their debut release entering the charts at No.21, support slots for Robbie Williams and Bon Jovi (including being the second to last British band to ever play Wembley Stadium) and their first album getting rave reviews; they're seemingly hovering on the verge of pop-stardom, ready to take a willing world by storm. But before that, they've got to take on Loughborough Students Union, which is what brings them into the Bocca bar for a slice of pizza and an interview with Label...
Singer Josh, drummer Stuart, and slightly mental, hair-obsessed Bassist Steve come over as a band genuinely excited by the position they find themselves in. They're a band on the brink of mainstream success, and they're clearly having a good time with it:
The last few months must have been pretty exciting for you guys: Did you expect everything to take off quite so much?
Josh: "We weren't expecting it to take off quite so much. A few months ago we we're going to release an EP with, like, four songs on it, do about 2,000 copies and just get our name around, and stuff like that, but people started liking it, so we decided we'd release it as a single, try and get on the Radio 1 C list, and get in the top forty somewhere, but then it did kind of go really, really mad, we sold loads of copies, got to No.21, and then got all the telly's, all that stuff. We weren't expecting it at all."
So what was CD:UK like?
Josh: "Oh, it was Brillaint!"
Stu: "Brilliant but scary, it was wicked, meeting all the famous people, but it was really scary: it was our first ever TV and its one of the biggest you can do, but rather than just making an appearance, we walked straight out onto prime-time TV,"
Steve: "and we we're like 'ahhhhhh!'"
Stu: "we kissed Cat Deely"
Josh: "kissed Cat Deely, hung out with Ant and Dec, Mel C come up to me and said she really liked our song, which was pretty cool"
Steve: "We met Blink! We met Blink 182! They're wicked"
Josh: "yer, we hung out with Blink 182 for a bit, that was cool".
I've heard a lot of people compare you to Blink 182...
Steve: "it's just the one song" (That'll be their break through Smash 'Everything')
I've heard you compared to a lot of people: Beach Boys, Pearl Jam, Blink 182, Green Day, Elvis Costello, The Jam, The police, and The Beatles...
Steve: "that's cool"
It's a bit of a range though...
Josh: "we've got quite a distinct style, I guess they can't pin us down"
So Who are your influences?
Josh: "all of those"
Steve: "a lot of those actually, well all of them, we like a lot of those bands."
Josh: "yer, The Police, The Jam, Green Day stagewise, jumping up and down and that,"
The Best thing I've seen is 'The harmonics and melodies of the Beatles with the Stage Handling of Green Day"
Josh: "oh man! Where did you see that?"
It Was on your Website Actually
Josh: "oh right, was it?"
Stu: "Someone said we we're like the New Radicals Jamming with Green Day, like the moshiness and rockiness of Green Day, added to the awareness of the New Radicals."
Josh: "Green Day are pretty aware man.... 'Masturbation's lost its fun'"
Stu: "yer, they're down with what the kids know"
The strangest thing I read was someone calling you a boy band...(and that particular comment starts a reaction that begins with disgust from the boys; and comments on stage that night -"This might be the next single; once the record company decides what it's doing with this boy band"- and results in the song 'Boy-Band' on the b-side of 'Can't get you Out of My Thoughts'; and the trio slagging off pop at any opportunity. Funny what a throw away comment can do.)
This time it's Steve, easily the best dressed of the trio, in his vest-top and spiky, skunk-like hair, who pipes up " people think Boy bands wear sleevless vests, but then the Clash wore Sleeveless vests"
Stu: "they were a boy band too."
Josh: "that's the thing that's unfair. Bands like The Clash and that, were hard, so boybands try to look hard, so they look like the Clash, so people who look like the Clash today, end up looking like boy bands."
Stu: "we're subject to ageism, that's what it is: its because were young, and we play music than can get in the charts, cos it's a bit poppy, but mainly because we're young, they see us and go, 'oh, boy band'."
Josh: "and we have screaming girls as well lately,"
Which brings me nicely to the matter of fame: have the Dum Dums reached the point where they're getting recognised?
Steve: "I have"
Josh: "we all have actually,"
Steve: "I do loads because of my hair,"
Stu: "and I'm normally with him, they normally go up to him and go, 'wow, your in the Dum Dums' then they turn round, and say 'oh yer, and so are you'."
Steve: "that's so not true!"
Stu: "sorry", he turns to me with a cheeky smile on his face " just put it in Ironic commas."
Steve: "I was Ten Pin Bowling last night, and we were the last people in the thing, then when we'd finished we went up to the bar and all the staff started going ( hums 'Everything') 'na na na na na'."
Josh: "oh no, that's kinda embarrassing."
Ah! 'Everything', the perfect slice of guitar pop, somewhere between Hanson and Green Day, lets talk about the song that got the band noticed.
So how come the single release got put back so much?
Stu: "the world wasn't ready for it."
Steve: "it kept being brought forward a week, then back a week."
Josh: "then the week they brought it out, was , like, the heaviest week ever, of chart history ever. There were like, eight new entries in the top ten, Vengaboys, Mariah Carey, all these big, higher placed acts."
Josh: "we ended up being kept out the top twenty by, like, 54 CD's by A1. We're very bitter about that," The conversation moves on to a lengthy slating of Boy bands in general and A1 in particular."
The single, plus new album 'It Goes Without Saying' was produced by Robbie Williams' Nob twiddler Steve Powers, a collaboration seemingly made in pop heaven...So how did such a high profile producer get involved with the Dum Dums'?
Steve: "we did showcases for record company's, a year and a half, two years ago now, one of the blokes that manages him works for a company called Zomba, and they were interested in us, so through that we got them to bring him down to the show case. He's the quietest man, if you ever get to meet him. He didn't say a word through the whole gig, he just shook our hands and left."
Josh: "We thought 'oh dear'"
Steve: "then a couple of days later he called us up and said, 'when you get a deal, give me a buzz and I'll do your album with you'"
Josh: "yer, before we got a record deal, he said he'd produce us."
That's it lads, thanks a lot!