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Haywains - Interview

  by Dixie Ernill

published: 6 / 6 / 2014

Haywains - Interview


Dixie Ernill speaks to Paul Towler from Bristol-based 80's indiepop band the Haywains, who will be playing the Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night on the 5th July as main support to the Brilliant Corners, about their recent reformation

There was certainly something in the water in the Bristol area back in the 1980s with a whole raft of great bands and record labels springing up back then. Indeed the Brilliant Corners, the Chesterf!elds, the Groove Farm, the Flatmates, the Subway Organization and, of course, Sarah Records all sprang up around this time. The Haywains joined in the fun towards the end of the decade, and over the next few years put out a couple of classy long players and a clutch of fine singles before calling it a day in the 1990s. They are, however, now back on the live circuit, and guitarist/songwriter Paul Towler brought us back up to date. PB: You reformed last year to play a few gigs to celebrate the 25th anniversary of your birth. How have the gigs gone and what have been the highlights? PT: We'd been planning to do something for the 25th Anniversary for quite a while, something with a limited timescale to keep it special. There's a younger generation into indiepop music now, so it made sense to do some shows for people who were perhaps too young to have seen us back in the day. The gigs have been tremendous fun, every one of them a highlight. It's been especially nice to visit the cities abroad where we didn't play back in the day. PB: You have a new four song single out. Are they recently written songs or older songs that you’ve finally got round to recording? PT: Our songs were usually about unrequited love, boy-meets-girl and teenage emotions, but, hopefully, we portrayed them a happy-go-lucky kind of way. Naturally, we wanted the new songs so be about those things too. Mind you, it’s quite a challenge writing in that style when you’re in your forties! I didn't want our advanced years to mellow us out, so, hopefully, the new songs sound as fun and as fast as when we were youngsters just starting out. One of the songs 'Badgerline Day Return' is an old song we were playing live back in 1989. It was always a favourite of ours, but, strangely enough, it never got recorded. It made sense to finally record it for the new single. It's a funny little love song set on the back seat of a bus. I only hope the song's late arrival is no reflection on the public transport system! PB: There seems to have been a huge resurgence of ‘indie pop’ music over the last few years with things like Indietracks and various ‘popfests’ taking place in several different countries. Has this surprised you or had the DIY spirit that was born out of the punk era always been there? PT: It's truly inspirational that today's new generation of indiepop still carries the DIY spirit that evolved from punk. Popfests and Indietracks are far bigger events than in the old days, but one vital ingredient remains the same - today's gigs are still run by true activists doing it for the love of music rather than mere business interests. The 'DIY' ethic remains healthy and pure, untainted by the corporate music industry. Only this time it's anarchy on a global scale! There's an exciting future ahead for indie pop. PB: For the unenlightened, which Haywains’ songs would be the ideal starting point and what are your favourites? A couple of years back, a compilation album called 'A37 Revisited' was released that included many of the band's favourite songs. We wanted the compilation to be a budget-priced introduction for people who might not have had the earlier records, so this would be a perfect starting point. Digital versions of the band's old singles can be downloaded from Bandcamp for free. PB: How long can the ‘reunion’ keep going and any plans to record a new album? Ordinarily, I’m not a huge fan of reunions. As everybody knows, there’s rather a lot of nostalgia around at the moment. That’s not a bad thing, but if you’re going to do it, you need to do it well. Our reunion was initially only intended to run during 2013, our 25th Anniversary year. We, however, soon realised that we simply couldn’t fit everything into a short twelve month period. As long as we keep things fresh and invigorating, then we’ll stay around for a while longer. My other band the Westfield Mining Disaster will hopefully be recording new material in 2015, so we have other projects going on as well. There are no plans for a new album from the Haywains, but then again we didn’t originally have plans for a new single either, so who knows! The most important thing in indiepop right now though is the NEW bands. It's very satisfying knowing that The Haywains played their part, but now, I look forward to the new generation of indiepop bands who will carry on the DIY punk ethic for years to come. PB: Thank you. The Haywains will be playing the Pennyblackmusic Bands' Night in Manchester on Saturday 5th July at The Ruby Lounge as main support to the Brilliant Corners.

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Haywains - Interview

Haywains - Interview

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Interview (2002)
Haywains - Interview
First formed in 1988, influential Bristol indie pop group the Haywains released two albums on Vinyl Japan in the mid 90's. Tommy Gunnarsson speaks to guitarist Paul Towler about the groups' eight year history

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