I was introduced to the Sad-Eyed Puffins by Billy Billy 5P who couldn’t recommend them enough. I had a listen and then had a look and I knew they’d be perfect for Youth Anthems – bizzaro, psychadelic, out there music with a real sense of fun, time to go a bit left-field!
Why are Puffins so sad eyed?
I think it’s an evolutionary adaptation to the bleak loneliness of existence.
What’s the music scene like in Cumbria?
It’s very much like a Herdwick Sheep playing a Wurlitzer Organ, in the mizzling rain, on a misty, windswept fell.
How did you form as a band and how did the look of the band develop?
We formed in a petri-dish, then songs and feathers started growing from the resultant mould. Incidentally, we are fans of slime-mould, an acellular mass of creeping jelly-like protoplasm, which is in fact, not a mould at all.
We’re big on desserts at Youth Anthems and Cumbria has a good reputation for cake. What’s your top three pudding choices?
Yorkshire Pudding, Black Pudding & Pease Pudding. With lots of chocolate.
I love your music but it’s not a sound I’m mega familiar with so what influences should we all be checking out to delve further?
There are lots of things I’ve heard that make me think “That is terrible” and I find them a great guidance in what not to be like. It certainly is an influence in what we do (or don’t do). Hopefully, we do something a little bit different. Strong influences that I love include 60s West Coast Psychedelic Music like early Jefferson Airplane and It’s A Beautiful Day. Then the Doors, The Fugs and Velvet Underground figure highly. And the 60s Garage Bands on the “Nuggets” compilations. The work that Norman Whitfield did as a Songwriter/Arranger/Producer at Motown in the early to mid-70s is right up there (Edwin Starr’s “War”, The Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion”, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and their album “Masterpiece”). Also, the funk of James Brown & the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti (check out “Zombie”). Then there’s the album “Surfer Rosa” by the Pixies and “The 3 Eps” by the Beta Band. Lyrically, when I was a teenager, I was influenced by Bob Dylan, who was actually saying things that were profound, rather than just making words rhyme; then the dark humour of Frank Zappa’s lyrics taught me something too. Oh, and Captain Beefheart too. For confirming that it’s nice to be weird.
Top tips for younger folk starting out in music?
Be the generation that killed X-Factor.
From someone living in the loveliness of Cumbria, how do you view Leeds?
On a clear day, from the top of a mountain, with a very powerful telescope. I can see you right now. You look happy. Hello.
How should people get themselves ready for your gig on May 13th?
They should wash their hands & face and clean their teeth. And they should remember to go to the toilet before they set off. Then, of course, they should make sure to wash their hands again.
Any last words for us?
In my experience, you will never have the last word, because there’s always someone who will be compelled to disagree with you, so instead, here’s the last word in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary. It’s “ZYZZOGETON” (which is a genus of large South American leafhoppers of the family Cicadellidae).