The last time Linchpin played Manchester we declared them "Britain's Best New Rock Band". Whether it's an intimate gig at the Manchester Roadhouse, or the sell out Fightstar gig they played earlier in the year, Linchpin approach each gig with intent and confidence of veterans doing their 10th worldwide stadium tour.

In the past few months Linchpin have had their debut EP produced by the Madden Twins (Good Charlotte), Dave Grohl's declared them to be "Awesome" and a few scenester kids with Toni & Guys haircuts have got the hump because Linchpin write better songs than them. The hard work starts now with 12 months of solid gigging ahead, but trust us when we say this time next year you will not be able to escape this band!!!

Designer Magazine caught up with twins Joey and Mike from Linchpin to find out about their rock n roll credentials

Q: We first met up in Manchester at the Fightstar support slot in June. How did that go for you?
Joey: It was brilliant. We got loads of fans from that gig and that review you did was amazing. Everybody's seen it and everyone really likes it. Our agent at Helter Skelter booked the gig for us and we should be doing more shows with Fightstar because Charlie really liked us so he's invited us back to play with them again.

Q: That was quite a way into the Linchpin story. You two are twins but how did you meet the rest of the band and form the Mighty Linchpin?
Joey: We met at a skate park and a youth club. We were all friends and when the skate park closed down we formed a band because there was nothing else to do. It's really boring where we live. All there is is chav's and that's it. Once we came together Linchpin was formed

Q: How did you decide who was playing what?
Joey: Paul could already play guitar and Johnny had seen he had the talent in him, Ollie could already play drums. Mike was previously in a band with me and I sung so we kinda had a background in what we do now.

Q: Have you always sounded like you do now? If you had to describe the Linchpin sound how would you? 3 Favourite bands?
Mike: Good Charlotte, Foo Fighters and My Chemical Romance probably.

Joey: When we first started we used to be really nervous, but now we play a gig any time and it's no problem. I guess that's what it's always like.

Mike: There's a tiny rock scene where we live and they have monthly rock nights so when we started we'd always play them.

Joey: We always lie about our ages to get most of the gigs, but Ollie looks like a man anyway so it doesn't matter.

Q: What I noticed about the Manchester show is you have the confidence of a band twice your age? How do you get the confidence to just step out in front of 800 people?
Joey: We've got a lot of fans that offer us a lot of support so that kinda builds up our confidence. And just gigging all the time as well. And rehearsing so you just get better and better and don't have to worry about being shit cos we're so good (laughs)

Q: The latest EP sounds so moved on from those early demo's that are doing the rounds on the internet
Joey: We were hoping someone would say that. We dropped the synths and getting lumped in with Busted

Q: Do you worry about being put alongside Busted and Mcfly?
Joey: Yeah, that was our main concern when we started out. But then we met Good Charlotte backstage at a gig and they helped us out so much. They gave us loads of advice of what to do and what not to do as well, like drugs and stuff like...

Mike: ...cos drugs are bad (laughs)


Q: What was it like meeting your heroes?
Joey: It was pretty mad. I was star struck when I first met them. But now it's like were friends with's like, yes I am friends with Good Charlotte!!! They've got my mobile number, but unfortunately I don't have theirs cos apparently I can't be trusted.

Mike: They did pre-production on the EP for us so when we were going through the songs they were suggesting how we can make it better and stuff. And they helped us decide which tracks to put on the EP as well cos we'd recorded 11 tracks for the pre-production and had to decide which 4 to record for the actual EP. It was just really hard as well because they were really good songs.

Joey: We wanted to get the sound of 4 teens rocking in the garage, but better than the average teen garage band. We decided to have the first 2 tracks darker than the second two because we wanted to show that were a rock band, not a gay Busted band. We wanted to get the message out first of all that were a proper band with "Jesus Had Long Hair" and "Take All You Can" and then chill out afterwards with some really cool songs.

Mike: We've got a really cool story to tell you about the title track "Jesus Had Long Hair". Basically Ollie goes to this really strict Catholic School and he has really really long hair. His Head Teacher was like "Ollie go and get your haircut". Ollie was like screw you and he was gonna get expelled so he just answered back with "Jesus had longhair so why can't I?"....that's how that song was born.

Q: Didn't Madonna ask you to turn the volume down when you were recording the EP?
Joey: Paul was recording his guitar and we got a phone call from downstairs from Madonna's producer asking "Can you please turn the guitars down?" and Paul was like "How can I put this any simpler? Nooooooo". Apparently Madonna had a hissy fit and was really p*ssed off with us

Q: Didn't one of your reviews say that "Crazy Girl" sounds like Mel & Kim?
Joey: Yeah, we read that (laughs). Respectable - cheers for that

Q: So, you've recorded the EP, pissing off Madonna and then you just happen to meet Dave Grohl?
Joey: We managed to get ourselves some backstage passes for Top Of The Pops. We asked the people at TOTP's if Dave Grohl was there and they were like I don't think so because he has a very bad throat and he can't perform tonight blah blah blah....and go away. No-one really knew if he was there or not and we were like we've come all the way from Bromley and he's not even here.

Then in a leap of faith we were watching Gwen Stefani and saw Johnny appear from behind a curtain waving for us to come over. We were running around backstage at TOTP's tripping over and then we get into this room where Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins are doing an interview. I was crying and just went Dave and hugged him.

Johnny then just whipped out a copy of our EP and gave it to him. Afterwards we went to his private limo he was playing our EP so we went over and it was like this is f**king awesome guys

Q: Is there anyone else to meet?
Joey: Not yet. Kurt Cobain, but he's dead so we'll be at his grave some time.

Q: What are the plans for 2006?
Mike: We should be doing some dates with Fightstar and Good Charlotte. And I think we're doing the Vans Warped Tour in the States in the Summer. Benji and Joel are really keen for us to go out to the States and do some dates with them and just promote our EP as much in the States and the UK

Joey: There's going to be another EP and possibly an album by the end of the year as well

Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride

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