The War Poets

Manchester band The War Poets have been previously been compared to At The Drive In and The Chameleons and they're good reference points to start with. Add a touch of that dark Northern spirit ala Puressence or Marion and you can pretty much hit the Mark. We caught up with frontman Darren to get the low-down on one of Manchester's more energetic and eclectic combo's.

Q: First of all the name "The War Poets" - Where did that come from?
A: At the time when we first started it was all bands like Ride, Curve and Oasis so we didn't want a name like that where we felt we'd disappear into the ether (which is what 99% of bands do anyway). The bass player came up with the name and I think he'd just seen it somewhere. It wasn't like we used to sit in our bedrooms reading literature all day. When written down it just looks different and I like the idea that it gives off - that we may be a band who writes about politics. The fact that we don't just throws them off the track.

Q: How would you describe the War Poets sound?
A: Influence wise the only band from Manchester that I liked for us were Joy Division and New Order. Just that case of trying to make something that no-one's done before but still sticking in the frame of having choruses and melodies. Also were very much influenced by the Afghan Whigs, PJ Harvey, House Of Love and more recently bands like Mogwai and At The Drive In - if you put all that together I guess you get what we sound like.

Q: When you take a listen through the album there's so many little intricacies involved. How does this all translate in the live shows?
A: Were a lot more energetic and powerful than you'd probably get from the album. I think live shows and being in the studio are 2 different things. Some bands can just go in and reproduce what they do - and it works - but for bands like us its a different art. Its like comparing the theatre to cinema. As we move forward I do believe in the show element and putting something different forward.

Q: Whatever way you look at it you could never describe your music as conventional. What do you think of the state of the music industry?
A: Where is the next PJ Harvey going to come from? Where is the next Radiohead going to come from? Radiohead only exist now out of a fluke - if America hadn't got onto "Creep" Radiohead wouldn't exist. So one of the greatest bands of our time wouldn't exist cos' the music industry sucks.

U2 whether you like them or not. Before they made "War" they were a million pounds in debt to Island - they would be dropped now!!! So our Beatles and Stones wouldn't exist because of the music industry at the moment and that just says its all.

Maybe the way forward is the web - the traditional music mags are dying on their feet. When you look at the 200,000 they were selling each week and now its down to barely scraping 30,000 a week. So if people aren't reading music and hearing music then what will happen.

"The War Poets" is out now
Check local independents stores