Good Shoes

Rhian Daly 10/02/2010

It's been a while since we last heard from Morden's best-known export but Good Shoes have made a triumphant return with second album No Hope, No Future, a record that maintains the spiky guitar pop that characterised debut Think Before You Speak but reveals an at times dour and seedier side to the South Londoners. GIITTV's Rhian Daly sat down with front man Rhys Jones to discuss the new record after a powerful and spirited performance on the first night of their Hope and Future mini-festival at The Stag's Head in Dalston.

No Hope, No Future has been released in independent shops earlier than elsewhere - why'd you decide to that?

We're in Europe when it comes out, so it's better for promotion. And it's giving indie shops a helping hand rather than help out the major chains.

Is supporting indie shops something that's important to you as a band then?

Yeah, we did a week of in-stores in lots of indie shops that we really like... and yeah, of course. Obviously we sell online, so it's important for us to be able to sell it ourselves too and make some money so we can make more music.

There's been a slight change in personnel since the last record. First, Joel left...

We did a year of touring [for Think Before You Speak] and he left probably the June after that, so probably like a year and a half ago or something like that. I had to persuade him massively to join the band in the first place. He's more into doing his own thing, he more wants to lead a band. Whereas I lead Good Shoes in a way, he wants to do his own thing so he does Lime Headed Dog now.

How did you find Will?

We didn't record the album with him, some friends helped out with that. But we've known him for years. He was in Vincent Vincent and the Villains so we've known him for a long time.

Is he going to be a permanent fixture in the band now?

Yeah, I think so. We've already started writing the third album with him so... some guy's just walked into the women's toilets...

I'm sure he'll notice his mistake soon enough. So, the Under Control video - were the female bodybuilders your idea?

No, no. That was a director called Tash. We had our first meeting with him in this pub, actually. They had this idea and we loved it.

What do you think of Perez Hilton's comments about it? [Perez wrote on his blog "This song is just okay, but I am enthralled by the music video!"]

I don't know, I think the guy's an idiot. That's my general thought on it. I don't really care. It's good that he put it on his website though cos loads of people checked it out.

Tell me about the recording of No Hope, No Future, then, and how it compared to making your first record.

A guy called Johnny Tams recorded it and Tom Stanley mixed it. We've recorded lots of stuff with him now. We recorded it Morden and we recored a few songs in Dalston with a guy called Tom Bailey, but we didn't use any of those songs in the end.

It was a lot longer. The first album was recorded over two weeks and mixed over three months but this one was recorded over ages and mixed... the mixing was probably shorter than the recording!

How do you feel about the results?

Yeah, we're really happy. There was one producer we really liked and one we weren't really into... there's three songs with the one we liked. They sound cool still, they were mixed by the same person. But I think the third album will be a lot, lot better.

And how about with the band in general - do you see yourselves as being in a good place right now?

Yeah, I think we're just touring lots, we're doing every festival in the summer... it's just fun, y'know? We do this because it's better than doing some shitty job. We don't hold it too close either though; we're not blasé about it. We really enjoy it but we don't make lots and lots of money out of it like some bands, we basically do it because we love it.

So this, the Hope and Future festival, is an album launch party of sorts. Why do a four day thing rather than just one night?

It was our manager's idea and there's loads of bands we're friends with that we wanted to play. That's it basically! It wasn't our idea at all. And, we love this pub. The guy that owns it is a friend of mine so we just thought it would be really good, y'know? Today was really good, tomorrow will be okay and then Friday and Saturday will be amazing.

Why will tomorrow only be okay?

Because tonight's the first night with Hatcham Social... tomorrow, the bands I don't really know. But it'll be fun though, I'm sure. But I know Fiction and Hatcham Social, don't really know the bands tomorrow and then La Shark, Wild Palms and Is Tropical are all friends of ours, so y'know.

Do you try and keep up with new music and new bands?

Not really, no. I'm very bad at it. We had a few bands on tour with us last time and most of my friends are new bands that are coming out now, but that's it really.