Rachael Wass

An interview with Astroid Boys

Astroid Boys

Astroid Boys are a band from Wales consisting of Benji Kendall, Phillip Davies and Elliot Brussalis. Their style of music has been described as a mix between hardcore punk,  punk rock and grime and the band are making an impact on the British music scene. Before their first performance whilst supporting Enter Shikari on their 2017 tour , I caught up with Benji and Phillip to have a chat about what they’re looking forward to on the tour as well as their career so far.

Rachael: It’s the first night of [Enter Shikari’s] The Spark tour tonight, what are you looking forward to the most?

PhillipWell I just had a look at the menu for catering and I saw some salmon on it and it just sounded peng. I just spoke to the chef quickly too and he looked like a boss so I’m definitely looking forward to food.

Benji: and then enjoy the show… normally comes second but I got told that we have to have food after.

Rachael: You’re going to be starving by the end!

Astroid Boys (AB): I know! What do they expect us to do? I mean I do have a couple of Twixs and a few packets of Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons in the dressing room so that’ll have to do for now.

Rachael: How did it come about you were going to tour with Enter Shikari in the first place? That’s massive.

AB: To be fair, we wanted to for ages. It was always something we wanted to do but Hacktivist were always first choice… always getting in the way. But I don’t think they’re even a band anymore, so now we’re doing it! Actually, we dragged them [Enter Shikari] to our set at Slamdunk last year. I say we dragged them, I asked Rou kindly if they would come to our set at Slamdunk  and he did, and I think he enjoyed it. And then they were keen to get us involved.

Rachael: What’s it like travelling across the UK and other countries?

AB: Tiring. Long. Everyone thinks that touring must be ‘so much fun’ and it is, until you’re in a van for 8 hours a day, every day. Then there’s not much of the day left…

Rachael: What’s your favourite place that you’ve been to?

AB: Berlin. Yeah, Berlin for definite, it’s my favourite city in Europe.

Rachael: You’ve played at a few German festivals as well as Download, Reading and Leeds and Slamdunk as you said, but do you prefer performing for a bigger crowd at a festival or at a more concentrated gig?

AB: Probably festivals, but festivals like Reading and Leeds. The bigger, more established UK ones are places where you know that loads of people are going to be there. And all the people who have been coming to all of our little shows go to see us at festivals and you see their familiar faces in the crowd from all around the country in one place. That’s my highlight. Last year at Reading and Leeds we were on the BBC1 EXTRA stage and this year we were on in The pit. There is a mix in our music and the point for Astroid Boys is that there isn’t a particular genre so we can go and create vibes on any stage, really.

Rachael: Do you have any music that you listen to that influences your music?

Benji: In all honesty, I don’t listen to much music that sounds like the music that we make. I listen to a lot of soul music and old R&B.

Phillip: I listen to a lot of jazz.

Benji: So what we listen to is to help us relax as a feeling, and then what we make is expressive but not necessarily influenced. We do sometimes make chill stuff too.

Rachael: What sort of experiences to you like to write about in your lyrics?

AB: Everything. Everything that I see, everything that I do, every story I get told. Anything that sounds cool! We like to make ourselves sound cool.

Rachael: What about your band name? Is there astory behind that?

AB: No… Haha! Just sounded cool! Some people keep putting an ‘e’ in it though, like on our dressing room door, the poster says ‘Asteroid Boys’ . Sometimes gets annoying.

Rachael: Which one of your own songs means the most to you?

Phillip: It’s got to be ‘Soonish’ on our album. It’s a long song which barely made the cut. It was not like all of our other songs and we were told it couldn’t fit on the album, but it’s probably got my favourite Benji verse that he’s ever written. It’s not the favourite that I do, but the content and what we’re talking about it wraps up what you know if you’re from Cardiff. What about you Benji?

Benji: I don’t know… Probably ‘Dazed’  or something that’s honest. Sometimes you make a song because you know that it has a certain feel to it but others because you have something to say. And I think that the second one would mean more to me inside than the other one.

Rachael: What about your favourite song to perform live?

AB: Dirt‘. That’s mad. It goes off.

Rachael: What’s your favourite track on the new Enter Shikari album?

AB: I think the one that goes ‘boom boomboomboomboom boom boom’… and they rap on it, what’s it called?!

Rachael: Haha, Rabble Rouser?

AB: Yes! That’s the one. I do love listening to Enter Shikari  but I wouldn’t necessarily listen to them as my go-to band. But yeah that’s my favourite on the album.

Rachael: What are your personal goals and plans for the future?

AB: To not have to keep making goals and plans for the future! I’ve got so many things I could say right now… To be honest I’d like us to sell out a bigger sized venue in our hometown. The venue that we’ve been playing in for quite a while now, when we started off it was quite a big venue for us, but we want to go bigger. Other than that we want to put on a festival in Cardiff castle but there’s a bureaucracy against me. The festival in Cardiff castle its gonna have a lot of different elements which I can’t say because someone might steal our ideas… It’s gonna be a carnival… More than a festival. There’s gonna be everything to do there for the whole day, skate competitions and everyhthing. Like families up until 8 and then 8 until 1 f***ing mayhem. Thing is though I wouldn’t put us as the headliners…

Rachael: Last question has obviously got to be quite seasonal… What’s your favourite Christmas film?

Phillip: I don’t like Christmas. But if I was going to watch one film at Christmas it would be…… actually nope I wouldn’t watch any! Benji?

Benji: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Check out Astroid Boys’  song ‘Dirt’ on the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAJV7l5AWI4

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