Despite the difficulties of the pandemic, The New Twentys have managed to kickstart their journey with brilliant three releases to date, all of which you yearn for the return of live music.
Described as possessing ‘a punk-informed emphasis on independent artistry’ the trio cite post-punk legends such as Talking head, The Cure and The Clash as key influences.
Consisting of Chris Bourne and brothers Harry and Jimmy Morris, it was clear when talking to them, that friendship and making noise is what they were doing before they put a label on it so creating a band was likely inevitable..
As Chris joked: “We can’t chill. There has probably never been ten minutes when one of us isn’t speaking about or making music.”
Fortunately, we managed to get the lads to pause and on a zoom call to talk about their journey so far and what’s ahead for them post-lockdown.
You’ve just released ‘You Got Me Good’ and all of your songs so far have a romantic element, is this a tease towards what your EP or album theme might be?
Harry: We’re not actually sure if we’re gonna drop an EP or anything longer than a single just because we feel singles are the way forward at the moment. Our philosophy is one new track, every six weeks - although we have created a podcast which has 12 episodes if that counts as a complete project?
What’s your song writing process and do you collaborate with other artists?
Jimmy: The next song we have coming out was written when Harry was round our friends house Marcelo who’s an artist as well which happened pretty naturally.
I was in his bedroom and just started playing his guitar as he has some nice acoustics, at the time it didn’t have a purpose but we were writing a song. He’s a great singer and I play guitar, so it started as a jam.
Ended up showing it to the boys, sent them voice memos, which has led to us taking it further and producing it and using it as our own. Usually even if we write a song on our own, we work as a trio to put our bands' tint on it.
Chris: Our song writing process is changing all the time because when one of us has an idea or concept, if we don’t flesh it out individually it gets brought into our group dynamic, where things come to evolve. That collaboration was rare. We write and produce 99% of our own work and I don’t know how many other bands can say that.
What was the thinking behind ‘Inside Out’ as a launch single for the band?
Harry: ‘Inside Out’ set the tone for the rest of everything we make. It was the first song we finished together in the same room. We listened back to it, danced around to it and decided to stick with it.
We were just writing songs together and becoming so invested that it was only after that song had been written, when we realised we needed to be a band, we couldn’t see any of us not being in it, so we just went with it.
To test it out, we’d go outside and invite random people back from the beach to the house, get them to listen to the song and give us feedback - obviously before lockdown!
Speaking of Lockdown, the band only properly formed in COVID times, how did that affect your sound and your music as a whole?
Chris: We actually started writing ‘Inside Out’ at the back end of 2018. That November was when we first started, we then did another six week stint together in February of 2019.
We still weren’t a band until mid 2019, because that first six months to a year of hanging out and writing songs didn’t yet have a specific purpose. Writing songs before we were a band was still great because we managed to do most of it before lockdown.
Harry: We then decided that we would release our first song May 2020 and had plans for live shows, potentially some support slots but then obviously Corona hit.
At first we thought ‘ok we can’t just be a brand new band without any shows and then drop a song’ mainly because we feared it would get lost in the abyss.
We waited and switched our focus to online but then we had the epiphany of not being able to be called ‘The New Twentys’ and not release a song during 2020! So we had to start the snowball!
Chris you grew up with your brother being in one the the UK’s biggest bands at the time, Busted. Would you say this band has the premises for a bit of competition or is it all love?
Chris: It’s on like Donkey Kong! In all seriousness, I co-wrote with James on the last Busted album so we have always collaborated so it’s not necessarily competition but this does feel like my own project.
This is completely separate, he hasn’t been involved with any of The New Twentys stuff- yet. He really likes the band and I’m at his house right now which is also where we record which for months on end, so we all appreciate his support.
I will say that at times it’s a pretty big shadow; put it this way this morning I walked down to the beach to the coffee shop and as I was leaving the owner, turned to another customer in the store and said, “Oh by the way that’s James Bourne from Busteds Brother.”
There are a lot more tools at our disposal now though, we’re doing a lot of admin stuff as we don’t have a manager but since Busted, the digital side of things has really grown. Social media can be hard work but there’s a lot of opportunities with it yet the main thing we want our music to speak for itself.
Jimmy: If he hadn't let us use his space, we wouldn’t have been able to be a band - the decider in this competition is if we smash America!
What was the first gig you ever went to and what sort of impact did it have on your growing up?
Harry & Jimmy: Milton Keynes Green Day. The first gig you go to is a big wake up call, unless you go to church it is the first time that there is a big group of people all crowded for the same thing. Music really is a spiritual experience.
Chris: I’m pretty sure mine would have been a Busted gig. I actually used to go and hand out free wristbands to the crowd.
Jimmy: I remember when I was younger trying to find all the crossbones things I could ever find because of Busted. There was a clothing brand called Red Herring which at the time was the only brand that made tops with skulls and crossbones for 11-year- olds to wear! There's a huge influence that seeing an amazing live performance, the best gigs you remember for the rest of your life.
Lastly, are there any particular venues or festivals that you're most looking forward to playing at when things reopen?
Harry: There are talks of us potentially playing at Bigfoot Festival, Primal Scream are headlining so that would be cool. We all have that nervous pre-gig energy, just can’t wait to get back to it!
Chris: I quite like the idea of playing festivals but I’m excited too for the smaller London venues like Borderline and The Garage. The 200 capacity venues that get hot and sweaty are the ones you can really vibe out.
Jimmy: As we’ve all been in bands, there are some venues we as individuals have already played but as this band, I’d like to revisit venues around Camden.