Will Rendle is the creative engine, lead singer and main songwriter behind the group Will and the People. I am privileged to say I have had the opportunity to interview him.
The group was founded in 2007 and since then have released two albums, Will and the People and Friends, the group are also currently working on a third album which is set for release in September 2014. The feel-good attitude of much of the band’s output has brought widespread attention since the release of their first album. Will is very much, as the name suggests, the driving force behind the band, writing the majority of the band’s output and leading the group despite regular changes to the band line-up in the early years, before finding consistency in 2009. The band have performed across the globe, achieving international fame, particularly in the Netherlands, and have performed before the likes of Jamie Cullum, The Vaccines and Green Day, amongst many others. The third album, Whistleblower, comes out in Autumn and will be one well worth keeping an eye out for.
How are you doing?
Recovering! I’m sat on a large pillow in the shape of a flower that ended up in our tour-bus after Glastonbury… I lost one of Jamies’ Dr Martins there so I think it was meant to be an apology tool… The things we do when we are out of it. . poor pillow owner. I’ll give it back if you ask me to!!
Have you been busy so far this summer?
It depends what you mean by busy… but by our standards we are about to enter a rather hectic period of constant travelling and playing shows and doing radio stuff and blah bloo blah…. I think they just call it going on tour… but it really is so much more than that!
What festivals might we be able to catch you at?
Kendall calling, Llarma tree festival, Boom Town Fair…. And a load of European ones as well! Best to just go here http://www.willandthepeople.com and find out I never have a clue what we are doing to be honest!
The date you have set for the release of your new album, Whistleblower, is September this year, how long has it taken to get to this stage?
This record has taken a year and a half to make… we went into the studio at the beginning of 2013… it was just a question of feeling like something was missing… up until now it was always about releasing something for the sake of it.. so we had something to sell at gigs… This time we have been thinking about it carrying us to the next phase of our career… wherever that may be.. to be honest there is always more one wants to do with recording music.. it can always be better.. there comes a point when you have to say enough is enough… Thriller (Michael Jackson) was recorded 12 times though! They really set the bar with that one..
Can you tell us anything about it or would you rather keep it all secret until its release?
It’s our best one yet… no doubt.
Many comment on your unique style, but how would you classify your own music?
I have absolutely no idea at this point… when I write a song I have an idea of how I want it to sound and it’s often very expressive for me… we don’t conform to one sound/style so it really is an open canvas for us…
Who would you say are your influences?
Most stuff…. Everything from Bob Marley to The Pixies…. We all really like adventurous, kooky music … like supertramp. and the doors, David Bowie.. current bands like ALT J and Whitest boy alive are also awesome… there is so much great music about nowadays… I like Hermitude and Caribou and James Blake… and have a soft-spot for uplifting trance music when driving very fast… Beakbot are awesome… very French.
What was the first gig you ever went to?
In Eastbourne – Bedouin Sound-clash supporting the ordinary boys…. I went to see Bedouin and missed my train waiting to get my hat signed by the singer… the gig blew my mind and everything went out the window… I was so fucking impressed I still remember it like it was yesterday…
Also, where do you get influence from when you write music?
It varies a lot… normally it’s something I think about which blossoms into a full fledged idea… normally I have two or three things running about at any one time… It’s just like a diary I suppose… some sort of release…
Talk to us about Baggy Trouser Music, I understand it’s your own label?
That’s right, I started it the day I was dropped by Sony BMG… It kind of seemed like the obvious thing to do. But it’s a longer roadf that’s for sure… to me that longevity is what its all about…
What would you say its mission statement is as a label?
To release music that stands the test of time, and give artists the freedom to blossom and not feel like a cog in a machine… so they can reach their full potential. And to become very successful at doing so..
How many bruises did you get filming Shakey Ground?
We all fell well when we did… somehow no one broke anything…
What’s the song you’ve had most fun with, in terms of writing, recording, performing, filming a video for, etc.?
Probably Trustworthy rock on our new album.. it was written on Bondi Beach in Australia when we were on tour… and then we threw an all night party (which went on a lot longer) to make the video… you can see it in our eyes we had been awake for a while… it was just pure rock and roll to be honest… moments like that are when you think… how the fuck did I end up here! Where the fuck am I? Actually I don’t care just give me another one.
Are you touring to celebrate the release of the new album in autumn? And if so, do you plan to stop off at Exeter?
I don’t know… but I should… but I don’t… I already told you that didn’t i… we actually did play in a venue called Mama Stones belonging to Joss Stone… but got banned for life for reason I wont go into… so we wont be there… but I am sure there are other places to play no!!???
Are there any questions you always wish you’d be asked?
Do I make you horny baby!? Well…. DO I…. ?? That one always gets me…