Spinguy ~ Hello, and welcome to Hell! Well, hopefully it won't be all that bad. I would like to direct my first question to something I have not had the opportunity to ask any band before. I've interviewed a lot of talented people, but none that are being supposedly "touted" as the "next big thing." The press then in their usual way can't help but load the appellations and comparisons (which tend to not only be exaggerated but incorrect) and this praise becomes nothing but an albatross around the neck one can never shake, or live up to. This has ruined more than one band and it is now beginning to happen to you already. Is it a concern, this rush to pigeon hole you (and measure your expectations), does it bother you at all or do you view it simply as the idle talk it is? To my mind the problem is while one can ignore it for the crapola it is, the public sadly often takes this stuff to heart. Before you know it James, fans will be muttering "He let me down..." or the currently popular "What the hell were they thinking?"

James Williams ~ Hello,

As a band we've never believed in hyping ourselves up. The "next big thing" type of comment seems to be associated largely with "scenes" and as the scene becomes old news so does the band. Because we have never really been part of a particular scene, we have avoided that.

I wouldn't view it as a concern because we haven't been hyped by magazines without any basis. We have worked hard over the last few years to get to where we are rather being catapulted into people's consciousness by some over exaggerated press.

Spinguy ~ Maybe the best way to diffuse it is to ask you directly, what, if any, are your expectations for the band? I suppose that questions is almost absurd at this juncture, so perhaps what is better is what motivated you to be in a band in the first place?

James Williams ~ We were motivated primarily to make music that we enjoy playing and which other people enjoy. I think it would be a bit naive of me to have any real expectations because over the last few years all of us in the band have learned that in this industry you can't really expect anything.

Spinguy ~ Not to label you myself, but I've seen what a number of people have said in trying to compare your band, and to my mind they have all been wrong. My opinion, and I would only say this as a means of trying to help others visualize what you guys sound like, would be to say musically you are somewhat reminiscent of early James (and you at times even sound a tad like Tim Booth) however the delivery is altogether different, and that comes across to me much more like the band Raymonde and it's lead singer James Maker. Ironic amount of Jameses in that mix. Those are of course light comparisons, and I do feel you are your own band. Was I however at least close do you think?

James Williams ~ I've never listened to either James or Raymonde so I can't really comment on how close you are. They are 2 new comparisons that have never been levelled at us before. Since, in the past, we've even been compared to The Levellers, I tend to take any comparisons with a pinch of salt.

I find it very hard to compare us with anyone because, being in the band, I only see it from my perspective which is different to what other people see.

Spinguy ~ Never listened to James????? Well, your manager said you guys had no idea who John Denver was either....

Anyway then, when forming a band, how does one "get" their own sound? Was it pre-meditated, does it just happen naturally or was it born out of the collaboration that happens when 4 guys are in a room playing their own way?

James Williams ~ Our sound wasn't pre-mediated. It came naturally. All of our parents had massively diverse record collections and we were all exposed to those whilst growing up. Though we all have completely different musical tastes, our ideas seem to come together perfectly when we write. Also, as we have grown up, our sound has evolved as we have developed musically and as people.

Spinguy ~ "Next big thing" bands are often notorious for being very good live. I sadly have not had the opportunity to see you live, but do you think you guys have "magic" in your live performances? Do you also enjoy doing it?

James Williams ~ We definitely enjoy it. There's no feeling like it. Personally I don't see how four people dancing on a stage like idiots can be magical but it got Mick Jagger where he is today.

Spinguy ~ Longing for his salad days?

One thing that confuses me is the importance that is still placed on touring for building up a fan base. This was important in the old days before the internet because it was hard to get info back then. However, info is so available on the web these days that anyone scrolling thru the indie world would be hard pressed to not come across you guys soon enough. In fact many bands now don't tour at all. What are your feelings about it?

James Williams ~ I think it is very important to tour, because as much as you can listen to something on the internet, in a lot of circumstances, you can only understand a band fully once you've seen them live. When I get the chance, I love to see my favourite bands playing live and the thought of only hearing them on record or the net or something like that doesn't appeal to me whatsoever.

Spinguy ~ What do you call your helpers, Rhodie Roadies?

James Williams ~ We've never coined any phrases ourselves but they've been referred to as Rhodies on a couple of occasions. Frankly, if people want to carry our stuff around for us we'll call them anything they like!

Spinguy ~ In fact you're currently touring in support of Morning Runner who I had not heard of before. I have since heard some clips and they're not too bad. Have you however supported a band you knew you were much better than and in an effort to prove it to the audience you deliberately "one upped" them? Seems a nasty business but never the less human nature.

James Williams ~ We always try to do our best. Of course there have been times when you may think you are better than the band headlining over you but, if anything, its more a question of raising your game when you play with a better band.

Spinguy ~ That's true. The first time I saw New Order live they were absolutely awful, but the next time they were with the Bunnymen so they knew they couldn't come out and not care and they didn't.

So where did the band name originate from? It makes me think classical Greek immediately, which made do a search for the Colossus of Rhodes and I was amused to find this image which matches in posture and emotion the cover of your latest single. A coincidence? It seems to say to me 5,000 years of civilization has changed very little...

James Williams ~ As much as I would like to give you an elaborate story behind the name, it's really quite boring. It has more to do with a Fender Rhodes than the Colossus of Rhodes.

Spinguy ~ Oh, so you just bought yourself a "new Rhodes"? That is pretty lame. Switch it to my story....

That image also brings to mind the video for "From The Beginning" which I think is just great. I love the Victorian look, however all the visages are very Greek and tragic, with torsos twisted in the emotive and tragic way so typical of them. Was it hard to make, tying the live action into still images? It seems like the kind of thing one would feel stupid doing because you can't see the final product, you just see everyone acting funny around you.

James Williams ~ It was an unusual position to be put in - having to bend back at a 30 degree angle and imagine you are having knives thrown at you. For our part it wasn't hard to make, because once we had done our bit we just buggered off to the pub. The director, Matthias Hoene, on the other hand, had to work very hard to fit it all together.

Spinguy ~ My first exposure to you was hearing a copy of the "I Wish I Was You" 7 inch I cleaned for a friend and I was blown away. I quickly became engrossed by it and was sure that was going to be your high water mark even though I knew nothing about you at the time. However, the new one "From The Beginning" might possibly be even better, and in any case it showed me the first one wasn't a fluke. Is your vision clear at this point then, do the songs come easy and clearly for you guys?

James Williams ~ We always thought that From the Beginning would be the first single. We thought that would be our high water mark but we were blown away by the reaction we got for I Wish I Was You and now we think it was a good choice for the first single. I am looking forward to people hearing the new songs on the album because in my opinion they are the best so far. Every time we write a new song we think it’s the best thing we have ever done.

Spinguy ~ I'd also like to comment about the "You've Given Me A Remix" track from the single of the same name. It is usually the case that bands that sound like yours does do not transfer well to remixes, especially ones adding synths etc... However, that version is actually very good. Who's responsible for that remix? Secondly, I'd like to point out to the public that it is incorrectly labelled on your website as being track 5 on the new So Sweet release, and it is not on that EP.

James Williams ~ The remix was actually a joke that we never expected to be put on the single. We were just messing about with the mix and the producer put a Bossa Nova beat on his drum machine. By the time we'd finished we preferred it to the original.

The organ in the re mix is actually on the record but you probably just don't hear it.

Bugger. We'll sort out the site.

Spinguy ~ Speaking of the new US EP, who did the cover? Looks more like Queen to me.....

James Williams ~ Steve and Jack from the band did it but they won't be happy with that comparison. We have an ongoing feud in the band between me and Jog and Jack and Steve about who is better - The Police or Queen. As much as he denies it, Steve is obviously a closet Queen fan.

Spinguy ~ I asked my wife that question and she wouldn't answer, she called it an "apples and oranges" question. I would say Queen was better at making mega anthemic singles for the ages, but the Police made better albums.

OK, as long as I'm busting your nuts I'll have to bring up something that's bothering me. In most of your pictures you guys look like a fine bunch of young men, however this shot frightened me terribly by conjuring up images of Creedence Clearwater Revival sans facial hair. You can scroll over it to add the hair for a comparison.....

What's scary is the change is barely noticeable. (Although it makes Joe Gascoigne look like a seller of Italian ices, although that should perhaps come as no surprise)

James Williams ~ I think they look great. If we could grow beards like that we would've already. Not scary at all.

Spinguy ~ That's not even funny........

Isn't long hair out anymore anyway? Johan Angergärd from Club 8/Labrador Records told me locks are out and the moustache is the new indie look. If you guys grow the "staches" before hitting the barber you will be CCR. Are you doing it for the birds? Is the hair a chick magnet?

James Williams ~ I've never really been one for following fashion as you might have seen in our photographs. I've already toyed with the moustache look but I was told that I looked like a twat and made too many children cry.

Spinguy ~ OK, I also have to ask the rudimentary questions my 9 year old daughter is always worried about. What is your favourite colour?

James Williams ~ Purple or pink

Spinguy ~ Wow, Prince, I didn't see that coming....What is your favourite food?

James Williams ~ Tapas or sea bass baked in salt served with papas arrugadas and mojo roja.

Spinguy ~ What the hell is that? Tapas? Do you mean Tilapia? And I had no idea what the last bit was so I did a word translate and it says "wrinkled Popes and red gravy"? Man, I wouldn't sit near you on the tour bus....

OK, I'm almost afraid to ask, what is your favourite animal?

James Williams ~ A Wandering Albatross or the nine month old Panda I saw in The Sun the other day.

Spinguy ~ I genuinely feel for Pandas. You have 3 billion Chineese trying to kill you so they can eat your testicles (like THEY have trouble breeding) so you're forced to live in a zoo. But even there you have no peace because while you just want to quietly eat your bamboo, instead you are forced by oddly dressed people to shag all day with some panda you never met named Xiaxixu. (pronounced Gloria) Poor buggers...

When generally speaking is the album about due out, and do you have a working title for it yet?

James Williams ~ Hopefully it'll be in the summer. We have many working titles including "Beast Implant", "Aaaarggh" and "Schmoo Schmodes" but I doubt that any of these are realistically in contention.

Spinguy ~ "Schmoo Schmodes"?! How about the song title I suggested instead? It would make a good album name - Everlasting Love Knots (securely tied by) New Rhodes. Come on, throw me a bone already! I keep handing out these gems and nobody has used one yet. This would be a great cover!

By the way, are there any plans to tour the states this year?

James Williams ~ If Richard Branson gives us some free flights then maybe. Apart from that our wallets are looking decidedly empty. We would love to though.

Spinguy ~ Thanks for your time. We'll end it here because I know how busy you are. Best of luck with the tour and your album, and I hope to get the chance to see you live some time. May you outlast the critics and reach your dreams. Oh yes, and thanks for the great music.

James Williams ~ Thanks for some interesting questions. Hope to see you in the States some time very soon.