This week Northampton pop-punkers Thrift Street release their latest EP ‘These Kids’ on all major platforms. The EP contains ‘Nocturnal Behaviour’, ‘Quite Frankly (You’re A Prick)’, ‘Wayne’s Hurled’, ‘Classic Grayley’ and ‘Stay’. New Boots spoke to guitarist/vocalist Callan for the lowdown.
How did you guys get together?
Jack and I went to school together and played in bands since we were young. On the way back from a show in Birmingham in March 2017 we were talking about how we missed playing in bands together. We joked about starting a pop-punk band because we both love it, and Jack said ‘only if we have a song called ‘Wayne’s Hurled'”. I got back that night and wrote ‘Coming Home Heroes’.
I was playing bass in another band at the time, and Harvey was the drummer. He was always wearing a Neck Deep top, so I low-key asked if he wanted to join. The three of us clicked together naturally and it feels like Thrift Street was supposed to happen. We have become the cliché we dreamed of becoming.
How would you describe your sound?
This is the hardest question to answer – we really just try to write songs that we’d want to listen to, but we listen to a lot of different music. I guess we’d say we’re edgy but relevant, emotional, and ambitious – just ya classic pop punk bois. We’re still trapped in 2003!
Who are your main influences?
We have a lot of different influences which I really hope comes across in our music. We listen to a fair amount between us, but to name a few:
Callan – Boston Manor, Gnarwolves, Seaway, Microwave, Basement
Jack – Sorority Noise, Creeper, A Day To Remember, Seaway, Modern Baseball
Harvey – Green Day, Neck Deep, The Story So Far
It sounds like the words reflect everyday battles/moments, would that be fair?
I write music about things that I feel at the time that I write them. Generally I try and write as accurately and true to what’s going on in my head as possible, which I guess means that a lot of what I write is based on everyday struggles like meeting people, relationships, drinking. Things that I hope will relate to a lot of people, and the things they go through and feel on a day-to-day basis. Just trying to connect, yo!
Tell us everything about the EP.
The EP is kind of a parody of ourselves. We know we’re a cliché, and we can’t help but embrace it. We decided to call the EP ‘These Kids’ because it’s something we said a lot to ourselves, when we saw someone doing something funny or silly (including us), we’d just kind of look at each other and say ‘These Kids’. It kinda made sense that we kept it as something personal to us! Our band is named after a street we’ve spent a lot of amazing times on, and we’re just trying to carry the sentimentality over!
The EP opens on ‘Nocturnal Behaviours’, which is about too many bad nights in a club in Northampton. The chorus in the song is basically about getting your hopes up, it’s nothing specific – just a catchy tune that’s fun to play.
‘Quite Frankly (You’re a Prick)’ is a bit more anthemic. The song is a bit heavier than ‘Nocturnal Behaviours’, and to me is a bit more meaningful. I think that it’s about wanting to spend time with someone but only for their validation, like you need them to you that everything is ok, all the time. When we wrote the song it didn’t have a name, but then someone got a message from their ex, about two months after they split, that opened with “Quite Frankly, You’re a Prick”. We found it funny. It stuck.
So earlier on we mentioned ‘Wayne’s Hurled’ was always going to be a Thrift Street song, even before we were a band. It was the second song we ever wrote – we did actually record it already but thought we could do with making it sound like the other recordings we’d done with Jon at Stalkers Studio. In all fairness, we just really love Wayne’s World – the song itself is just an emo anthem for being indecisive.
‘Classic Graley’ is our favourite of the EP – it’s a stereotypical song about being forgotten after a breakup. It features our close friend Will (Unlit Bones, Iridescence). He and Jack used to play in a band called Persona together, which we referenced just before his verse: “A different Persona today/I lost my Will to carry on, anyway”.
The song comes from Thrift Street’s most important member, Jordie Graley. She does our artwork, takes our photos, comes to all our shows and is an all round angel. Again, we started calling the song ‘Classic Graley’ as a joke – Jordie used to get annoyed whenever we’d say it to her. But we thought we’d immortalise it by naming our song ‘Classic Graley’.
The final song on the EP, ‘Stay’, is probably the most emotional. It’s about a family friend who passed a way about a year and a half ago. It was painful to experience, let alone for her to live through it, and the only way I knew how to deal with it was write a song. It’s one of my favourites to perform live.
What are your live shows like? Who are your favourite bands to play with?
Our live shows tend to be really energetic. We’re only a three-piece, but we don’t let that stop us. I like to have a laugh, joke about a bit with Harvey, and Jack just runs around and starts mosh pits. We really get into it – we love performing and I think it shows. The live community is amazing in Northampton. We are part of a larger network and everyone is amazing. We’ve played with so many amazing bands it’s unfair to pick just a few! Some honourable mentions are Tigerstyle, Safest Spaces, Iridescence, Wishing Wolf, and (though not quite Northampton) Sharkbait and Last Hounds. We’d really love to play a show with Young and Reckless and Wax Lyrical Sound at some point too!
What has been your favourite band moments in the past year?
There have been a couple moments over the last year that make us proud of what we do. We’re all super close, which I guess you can expect after a year of playing shows and writing music together. What stands out to us is our first EP launch – we filled the back room of the Black Prince, which really showed us that people actually like our music. It’s surreal watching a room full of people sing the words to songs we’ve made. We also won the battle of the bands there a couple of months ago, which was an amazing experience, and it just makes us proud to do what we do.
Another moment that will stick with us is after a Doncaster show, we had a three hour drive home. We were all tired and started singing along to ‘Sex in the City’ by Hobo Johnson in a really growly troll voice, it’s something that still makes us laugh and just sums Thrift Street up really.
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Callan – Either Deadweight by Wage War, or Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
Jack – x (Mwah) by Hellions is my banger at the minute. Just really enjoy it. Might have also been Hobo Johnson’s Peach Scones, or the Devil Wears Prada Space
Harvey – Don Broco Technology (still on a high from seeing these at The Roadmender), or What You Don’t See by The Story So Far
What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We want exactly what you’d expect; we want to be the next big thing! Our passion is music – we try our best to put everything we have into it. Ultimately we just want to help and inspire people to be their best self. We want people to relate with us, to sing with us and to just have a laugh with us. We want people to get in on our inside jokes and just for everyone to feel part of Thrift Street. We’d be nothing without the people who listen to us!
We haven’t got any major plans yet – we have a few gigs lined up dotted around the country. I guess the next step for us to really focus on direction and song writing, and maybe throw a little tour together. Just waiting for our big break!