By Oisin Feeney
TOUTS are a rising punk/RnB trio from Derry and boy have they been rising fast.
Having gained a loyal following of fans locally and recording their debut single ‘MARTY’ these young men were invited to support BBC Radio 1's Phil Taggart during his DJ set in The River Inn on Friday night.
After stealing the show with their high energy and explosive confidence, I sat down with TOUTS bassist, Miceál Sammon, and Singer/Guitarist, Matthew Crossan, for a chat about their past, present and future.
So how was that gig?
Matthew: Sweet aye. For me, if its loud and the people are watching, I’ll f**king love it.
Miceál: There was pure raw energy and that’s what I look for when playing. When you get up and see people dancing and singing to what you’re playing its incredible no matter what venue you’re playing.
Your debut single ‘MARTY’ was released last week, any plans for a full EP or mini album soon?
Miceál: At the minute we’re on a break from recording, the main focus is to right more tunes and soon we will be back in for an EP.
Matthew: It’ll hopefully be done for the end of this year, it’s all in the works at the minute. We hope, when it’s done, that it will be released on vinyl, but it all needs to be finalised.
Miceál: We have about four originals in our set but we have more written. It really is just down to the fact that many of the songs aren’t ready yet, they’re missing the punch we like.
TOUTS - Marty (Live Sessions) | Relocation Recordings
How do the songs come about?
Miceál: It depends what songs we are writing, but it generally just starts with a small idea, a riff or some lyrics and we all play around it from there.
Matthew: It’s a group effort in its own way, there is only so much of a song I can write before I need to hand it to the other two (Jason and Miceál) so they can put in their own touches, if you know what I mean.
Miceál: We’re trying to establish our own sound and move away from covers, but it is hard to do. Songs like ‘Marty’, we have been writing since before Christmas. It’s a long process but when someone gets an idea we jam around it and it just begins to form.
Matthew: We are forming off the last punk scene, recreating what it was like for teenagers in the 60s-80s who were listening to the likes of Dr Feelgood and The Sex Pistol. Just bringing back the good times.
Miceál: We seem to write a song and only after we write it find out what it actually means.
Matthew: That’s a fact, half the time we force out lyrics and later we see the meaning. We aren’t writing no f**king love songs, but I notice there is a sort of pressure, being a punk band, to make a political statement within our songs, and I’m really not sure about it myself. This obviously can be a good thing for bands like ‘Stiff Little Fingers’ who write tunes about the troubles in Belfast and how people were treated like dirt. If you played a SLF song to someone in Syria it will ring true with them and they could relate strongly to it.
Last year you supported The Strypes which was a massive achievement, any plans for big support slots this summer or any big gigs for us to look forward too?
Miceál: Summer will be filled with local gigs, that’s for definite. We will be playing all around the city and local festivals.
Matthew: We are also planning the single launch, which will be at the start of summer and possibly be our best gig yet. We hope to be at Stendhal Festival this year as well, we played it last year and really loved it.
Miceál: We have one big support act, but we can’t say yet, and we have a lot of target slots for this summer. We just want to start playing with bigger and better people. In the next coming year we have something planned with the ’40 years of punk.’ That’s all we will say.