This week’s New Band of the Week is Cross Wires, an exciting new punk band emerging from the east end of London and Essex.
The Bethnal Green / Romford-based quartet of vocalist Jonathan Chapman, guitarist Peter Muller, bassist Pete Letch and drummer Ian Clarke have honed a fast-paced and energetic raw punk sound. In the words of Jonathan: “Ranting dark pop – pop songs played by punks. But not in a Green Day way. In a very English way.”
The band was formed by Jonathan, Peter and Ian with a previous guitarist but it’s all come together since the arrival of Pete. Frontman Jonathan told us: “I wanted to be in a band about 2 minutes after I first heard The Doors when I was a kid. They were the first band I feel in love with.
“We had a few rehearsals and then the original guitarist decided it wasn’t for him. We rehearsed for months getting a bunch of songs together and tried out a few bass players but none worked out at all. We were introduced to Pete through a friend and he came to meet us in the pub and loved drinking as much as we did so he was in. He didn’t even have a bass guitar.”
Cross Wires release new single We Call The Shots next Friday (21 April) ahead of their debut album coming out later this year. The track has been produced by Rory Attwell, who’s previously worked with the likes of The Vaccines, Telegram and Palma Violets.
The track opens up with a call of “We call the shots” followed by a burst of guitar, which is repeated a few times then jumps into an intro of the same riff with bass and drum support joining in. That leads into a punky verse and a singalong chorus followed by repeats of the same riff. The second verse concludes with a big scream that leads into the second chorus, which is followed by a bridge into an outro of vocals imitating the main riff. Check it out below:
The band previously released a couple of tracks back in August; the similarly punky I Want Radio, which features catchy riffs and really fun vocal delivery, and the slightly less intense Pink Dogs. Both are available on Bandcamp, and check out the former in a live studio recording below:
When it comes to what influences their music Jonathan told us: “The album focuses on past relationships as well as my current one. I dig up bits from the past and twist and distort them a bit. Things I see around me day in day out feature heavily, and politics, religion and the transformation of East London play a big part.
“We all have different influences but there are a few bands that we all agree on. We try not to be too obvious with influences and we never want to be a direct rip off anyone. I listen to new music constantly so I’m always taking in another influence even if I’m not aware of it. By new music I don’t necessarily mean new, I mean new to me. It can be something someone turned me on to that came out 30, 40 years ago or last month.”
We Call The Shots is out in a week (21 April) with an album to follow shortly. Jonathan told us: “It’s not finished yet. It’s probably going to be a different album than the one we had in our heads over a year ago. We hope to go in and finish it in the next few months, and there’s a bunch of songs nobody has heard yet. Because we want to finish the album live performances will be scarce.”
We love Cross Wires’ good old punk sound and we’re looking forward to hearing more with the new album later this year, so stay tuned for more.