We interviewed punk rock group Great Cynics from London to discuss their latest single Butterfly Net, a possible U.K. tour and festivals.
Interview by Jane Howkins.
You’ve just unveiled a new single, called Butterfly Net. What can you tell us about that?
It’s a song written about the feeling of overcoming self-doubt and fear that you can’t control everything that happens. It’s called Butterfly Net because I have this imagery of running around trying to catch the good feelings – ‘waving a butterfly net, your thoughts are UFOs, the ones you hold onto take you somewhere you don’t wanna go’.
The single is from your new album POSI, which is to be released on the 24th March. What can you tell us about that and why do you think people should check it out?
It’s called POSI because when I was younger I tattooed that on myself, because I never wanted to forget to look at the positive things. It’s easy to be angry. It’s easy to not like something. But it doesn’t make anything any better. I would feel weird trying to sell it to anyone so you can your own mind up, but some of my favourite songs are by Gordon Ganos Army, Elliott Smith, No Doubt and The Sidekicks. I feel like maybe that comes out in this record, if you’re into those bands.
Do you have any plans to release any more singles from POSI,and why did you choose to unveil Butterfly Net as a single?
Yeah we’ve got some ideas, but we don’t wanna ruin it by saying them now! Butterfly Net is the second song we have released from the album (the first was Only In Memories), but we chose it because it’s got a wild sound and it’s a fast song.
POSI was recorded over one week at a warehouse in Philadelphia. That’s an incredibly short period of time in which to record an album! How did you manage to do it in such a short period of time and was that intentional?
We have a habit of doing stuff quickly – we’re pretty impatient and don’t let anyone tell us what we can and can’t do before we do it. That and money, haha.
You’re originally from London but you’ve spent a lot of time in the States, particularly in Pennsylvania. What is it about the place that resonates with you so much, and why did you choose to record POSI there?
We went over the first year we were a band and made some friends and kept on seeing those friends when their bands come to the U.K. or we see each other somewhere different. There’s a producer called Joe Reinhart who plays in Hop Along who are completely mindblowing, and I emailed him asking if he’d be up for doing our record. He was keen on it, and that was that. I’d just finished uni at the time and wanted to do a bit of a wild trip, and I’m glad I did because it was an amazing experience.
You’ve got a few tour dates coming up in February and April, which are mostly Festival dates. Do you have any plans to go on a full U.K. tour at any point in the near future?
We do! But I can’t say yet otherwise I’ll get in trouble and it probably wouldn’t be worth it.
You’re playing at the Manchester Punk Festival in April, which is exciting. How did that come about?
We feel extremely lucky to be part of such a good line-up – we think it will be a good time. We got asked to play by the promoters and we said that we’d love to – one of them drove me on my first tour. Kieran Kelly if you’re reading this, hello.
Have you ever been to the Festival before? Are there any other bands on the line-up you recommend our readers check out?
I’ve been the last two years and it’s great! I’m gonna go see Paint It Black and Martha for sure, love those two bands.
Why do you think people should come and see you live, and what can people expect from a Great Cynics tour?
Cheap shows in safe spaces where you can have fun with your friends.
Any last words for the fans?
Believe in yourself. Don’t let anyone put you down. Learn from mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. I read this graffiti near my house that said ‘there’s no way to happiness, happiness is the way’ – I thought that was neat.