London – Bristol three-piece IDestroy has been on the attack since the February release of debut EP, Vanity Loves Me. Regularly packing them in both at hometown venues and further afield, the young trio of singer-guitarist Bec Jevons, Becky Baldwin on bass, and backing vocals and drummer Jenn Haneef trades in short, infectious tunes with a cutting edge. Riff laden with fluid bass and driving drums allied to strong vocals, IDestroy’s repertoire may not necessarily break new territory, yet there is much to suggest that it already has the armoury to develop into a formidable live band. Having played support to Cherie Currie (The Runaways) at Bristol Bierkeller, the three women now have a second appearance at Spain’s Anfi Rock Sound festival booked for the summer.
Best New Bands asked frontwoman Bec Jevons for the lowdown on what makes IDestroy tick. Jevons talked Vanity Loves Me, labels, and leather jackets.
Firstly, tell us a bit about how the band came together.
We all met whilst studying in Bristol and shortly after finishing our studies decided to form IDestroy. We’ve been working on the band around a year and a half now.
What’s the story behind the band name? You haven’t put any promoters off yet, have you, thinking you are going to trash the venue?
One of the first songs I wrote with the intention of playing with the girls was a track called “IDestroy.” The track fitted into place really well, and we thought, why not call the band this. No, we haven’t put any promoters off yet, to our knowledge, but maybe that’s why Glastonbury Festival never replied to my email, eh?
How would you sum up IDestroy’s sound? Are labels actually important, or do you prefer not to be pigeonholed as, say, a punk-pop band, or whatever?
I personally don’t like the label of punk-pop. I feel it makes us sound like we’re similar to blink-182 or Bowling For Soup, which we really aren’t! I read a review recently that described us as party-punk. I liked the sound of that a lot more.
Your debut EP Vanity Loves Me was released in February. Are you pleased with how it’s been received, and how it’s sold?
We’re really pleased! It’s been great to play so many shows in places all across the U.K. It’s been even greater to see people in the audience actually singing along to our songs. It’s pretty tough to make enough money to actually live on. However we’ve made enough to make the next release, which is the main thing.
You style yourselves like a classic rock band with that kind of “born in a biker jacket” look. How important is image to you?
Well, I do really like jackets! It’s not something we’ve put an awful lot of thought into, to be honest. It was a natural part of forming the band. We all dress in the clothes we like and are comfortable in. Image is more important to the people buying our music than to us, which then makes it really important to us because we want to sell our music. It’s a bit of a paradox.
With the video to the title track to Vanity Loves Me you seemed to be having fun with the whole vanity concept. Who’s the most vain band member then?
The music video was a lot of fun to shoot, but a very long and tiring day for us all. As for most vain band member, I guess we all must be a little bit vain! Whilst we’re on the subject of vanity, we now have IDestroy mirrors for sale on our merch table!
Every band has its influences. Who are your favourite acts, and do you mostly see eye to eye on musical choices?
We’ve all got a pretty wide range of influences. Becky’s really into her metal, for example. However, bands like Sleater Kinney, The Stooges, and Gossip are what’s given us our punk and riot grrrl flavours.
What comes first, music or lyrics, and do you write individually or collectively?
I normally write the lyrics first and then start to play around with melodies and chords. Once I have these, I’ll record a rough demo in my bedroom. I’ll lay down a really basic drum machine beat and get jamming some bass ideas. Once I’m happy with the demo, I’ll take it to the girls and develop it into more of a finished song. Having Becky and Jenn add their individual ideas really brings the songs to life. They’re great at coming up with the detailed arrangement stuff that I’m too impatient to work on!
Is it important to you that people get the meaning of your lyrics or are they purposely left open to interpretation?
I’d never really tell anyone what my lyrics are about. I enjoy reading reviews or comments from fans about them though. It’s interesting to hear how others interpret them.
You’re surrounded by books in the video for the new single “State Of The Art.” Are you into books in a big way? We asked earlier about labels. The song seems to reject the idea, as you tear up the descriptive labels at the end. Is that the message?
I love books! Reading is definitely one of the best ways I can remain creative for lyric writing. The video for “State Of The Art” was filmed in the Hydra bookshop I mentioned earlier. Yes, you could say that we were destroying those descriptive labels!
Do you have enough material yet for a full album, or are you happy to let things take their course before rushing to record an album?
We do have enough material, but really, we need more than enough. The plan is to keep writing throughout summer so we can pick the very best new songs for the next recording. The ideas are all in my head; they just need to be released into the world.
What has been your favourite gig so far?
My favourite show so far has to be our EP launch show back in February. We played in a small independent bookshop, in the heart of Bristol, called Hydra Bookshop. It was a completely DIY show, which we managed to sell out. We transformed a setting, which is used for people drinking a quiet cup of coffee and reading, into a sweaty, rock and roll venue full of drunken dancing people. It was great!
We see you have a couple of festivals lined up this summer in Spain and the U.K. How did you get the Anfi Rock Sound Festival gig? And what else is on the horizon for the band?
We can’t wait for Anfi Rock! We played the festival’s second stage last year and got asked back to play again on the main stage this year. The Spanish people have been so kind and welcoming to us; it’s a show we’ve been looking forward to for a long time now. We have a few more small U.K. festivals this summer, and we’re playing Pride Festival back home in Bristol. This and Anfi Rock should be our biggest shows to date.
IDestroy has some live dates already announced for the summer with more to follow. Keep tabs on tour announcements by following IDestroy on Facebook. Meanwhile, you can catch these three party punks, in their trademark leather, at Fuel, Cardiff (11 June), Anfi Rock Sound Festival, Isla Cristina, Spain (18 June), Rebellion, Manchester (2 July), and Outcider Festival, Compton Martin (6 Aug).
Tony’s great passion in life is music and nothing gives him more pleasure than unearthing good, original new music and championing independent musicians. His association with Best New Bands brings great opportunities for this. He also writes for Consequence of Sound and is a judge for Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition.
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