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Reynolds are an excellent band hailing from Wisbech. Their music is the sound of tension and argument building up inside your head. I interviewed Chris and Matt who have to be two of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
This interview was conducted at the 13th Note Cafe in three parts.

Scene One: Top of the stairs, sitting on the windowsill with Hirameka Hi-Fi soundchecking noisily throughout.

Start by telling us the basic stuff – how you met, how you got the name…
Matt: Met at 6th form college when we were doing our A levels – when we formed originally we were a shit covers band, then we sort of changed drummers a couple of times.
Chris: Just a case of, rather then like get loads of people who are into the same sort of music, we just…Phil was the only bass player and the drummer we had at the time was the only drummer and he was the only person who was singing and stuff so it was just a case of… we don’t really like the same kind of music but it kind of came together and the name is just from, erm, we change it every time, every time we tell everybody why the name but at the moment it’s ‘cos my gran’s surname was Reynolds.
Matt: We’re also haunted by the name Reynolds. Every time we turn on the TV or open a newspaper the first name we see is Reynolds. Like yesterday in the Observer, there was a police inspector called Reynolds – it said, “Reynolds is part of a new breed”.
Chris: Basically, we didn’t intend to keep it cos it’s such a shit name – it’s like the worst name in the world.
m: It’s not the worst name in the world
Chris: It’s probably as bad a name as Mogwai
Matt: It’s better than the Mavericks
Chris: Or…Kenickie’s a bad name.
Matt: Kenickie’s a shocking name. Faithless.. Did you know Faithless are a christian band? I didn’t know that!
Chris: Basically, I wish we had the name Empire Builder. Empire Builder’s just such a shit-hot name for a band. Ours is just really bad…

So if you all don’t get on – is that why your songs all sound so different?
Chris: Yeah, basically.
Matt: Kind of yeah. Also Chris changes his mind about things
Chris: Yeah, basically I change my mind about what I want us to be every time we..cos we live so far apart – we’ve all gone to college and things – Matt’s in Durham and we’re just miles apart so we only get to practice maybe once every three months and by that time I’ve heard so many different records, I’ve gone ‘I want to be this, I want to be this, I want to be this’, so like we’ll have one practice and it’ll be totally ripping off Dirty Three and we’ll be really quiet and stuff and the next time we’ll have been listening to Minor Threat or something so it just doesn’t make any sense. Maybe it’ll sort of flatten out eventually into a decent sound.
Matt: I think it’s quite funny – I don’t mind if they don’t sound the same.
Chris: Well, I don’t know (laughs). We’re supposed to be doing an album so it’s going to be like a compiilation album with different bands.
Matt: NO! All the stuff’s been written in a similar space of time – it doesn’t sound that different. I reckon it’ll be alright. ‘Cos the songs on the 7″ were all written over a long period of time but the album’s been written over a shorter period of time.
Chris: Yeah, the stuff we’re going to put on the album’s kind of written over the space of a month
Matt: So it’s slightly more together
Chris: It’s alright. It basically sounds like all the trendy bands at the moment. We used to sound like this trendy band and now we sound like…
Matt: Another trendy band.
Chris: Apparently Slint are very cool at the moment.
Matt: I like Slint. Very good Slint
Chris: Sorry, we’ve had this the last few days. San Lorenzo have been taking the piss out of us.

How’s the single been selling?
Matt: Don’t know. It’s doing alright I think.
Chris: We sold all ours. When we sell at gigs we have like a little tally sheet and we won at the Garage
Matt: Hahaha
Chris: Really easily – we really won it. We sold about twice as much as anyone else.
Matt: That’s only cos Hirameka Hi-Fi aren’t allowed to sell their new one though.
Chris: Yeah, but don’t say that! Shhhhhh Shhhhhhhh.
Matt laughs
Chris: But we haven’t got it distributed yet. We got to wait, um, about another thr ee or four weeks and Southern are going to distribute it with Empire Builder’s as well. So we might as well wait for it, it’s better than nothing. So. It’s selling alright. No-one likes it but it’s selling alright. Fracture hated it.
Matt: They didn’t hate it…
Chris: Well, I haven’t actually read it but they said they hated it, I don’t know…
Matt: Who…where did you get that from?
Chris: Well, they said they were really nasty about the first two and they really liked the last one, but they would do wouldn’t they ‘cos they’re a hardcore fanzine so..

What bands have you been compared to?
Matt: We got compared to These Animal Men once didn’t we? (laughs madly)
Chris: These Animal Men, we get compared to Devo, I don’t mind Devo but we get compared to Devo all the time, we get compared to Wire all the time. We’ve been compared to Shellac
Matt: That’s alright – we don’t mind – that’s fine. We can handle that.
Chris: Erm, Fugazi, and Sonic Youth’s a really lazy comparison ‘cos everyone goes ‘loads of guitars: Sonic Youth’ which is fair enough you know.
Matt: Yeah
Chris: Um, who else do we get compared to? I guess the fact that no-one likes our singer means we get compared to Bob Tilton loads but that’s just because…
Matt: I am the new Miles Hunt.
Chris: Yeah, basically everyone hates our singer.
Matt: I can’t think who else we get compared to…
Chris: Yeah, we just get compared to loads of shit bands basically who we really don’t like.
Matt: I think maybe they’re trying to tell us something.
Chris: Yeah.

What are you studying at University and with what aims?
Looooong pause. Everyone laughs.
Matt: I’m doing chemistry at Durham but my aim is to not do chemistry cos I hate it.
Chris: I’m doing graphics at Northampton but…
Matt: We don’t like talking about university do we?
Chris: Not doing very well ‘cos we spend so much time away – not just doing the band but doing other things and helping put things on.
Matt: Some people in the band are really thick and choose stupid subjects to do. I mean, what kind of twat chooses to do Chemistry?
Chris: You.
Matt: Me, oh yeah (laughs).
Chris: Basically, we’re not doing very well at the moment.
m: Well, I almost failed my first year and did fail my second year…
Chris: god..
Matt: I did fail my first year – had to do a resit. And I just scraped it by the skin of my teeth
Chris: Basically, I’m going to fail, he’s going to fail… Actaully, my teachers are alright about it. I was in Barcelona last week with college and all we got to do was do whatever you want – go out and get drunk and see architecture and things.
Matt: They told Chris to be a cultural sponge but he mistook sponge for beer…soaked up beer.
Chris: Ah, er (laughs)

How was the first interview you did for the fanzine?
Chris: For the fanzine – Mogwai.
Matt: Yeah, I did Mogwai in Newcastle – absolutely terrified ‘cos I did it with John and he was absolutely shitfaced – he was drinking vodka out of this huge great bottle and he had to hide behind this great big speaker stack. Absolutely terrified but he was so drunk he doesn’t remember doing the interview which is good.
Chris: I’ve never ever done a face..like all the interviews I’ve done I do by e-mail. I’ve never ever done a face-to-face one ‘cos I absolutely can’t do it. The first one I ever did was Guy from Fugazi – that was brilliant. He answered all my questions and he was a really nice bloke.
m: All the interviews I’ve done the people have always been really nice.
Matt: Well, I did an interview with Arab Strap and Aidan wasn’t very nice. I think he was in a bad mood and wanted to go home though.
Chris: I did one with Jim O’Rourke and he was like, he wasn’t nasty, he was mental.
Matt: Bob from Pavement.
Chris: Yeah Bob from Pavement – he was mental as well. He’s really mental – he kept going on about horse racing. He’d been to Hull and he had a ‘It’s never dull in Hull’ t-shirt on. He was a really nice bloke though.
m: My sister just interviewed Mad Paul from Dawn of the Replicants
Chris: He used to do SunZoomSpark
[okay, so I tell my ‘We got a half a page more than bis’ story…Reynolds are touchingly impressed/amused though – cheers!]
Chris: No Comment. No comment on any bands. Especially no comment on Six By Seven.
Matt: No comment on any bands or any Scottish bands that are ever in Scotland.
Chris: Yeah, we’ve basically fallen out with loads of bands – we’re..
Matt: We say things for comic effect sometimes and they get taken all seriously – we haven’t quite learned how to be tactful yet.
Chris: Like…..Sourtooth
Matt: Ooooooooooohh, Shhhhhhhh.
Anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of The Sourtooth Saga, go read Chris’ interview with Collective.

It’s become suspiciously quiet so Chris nips off downstairs to see if they’re wanted for soundcheck. “You wait here”, he says to Matt.

How exciting was it hearing your record on the radio?
Matt: Oh, it was absolutely outstanding, it was one of the greatest moments of my life. It was just unbelievable. Not that we think it’s the be all and end all, getting played by Steve Lamacq or anything like that but it was really exciting. I got this phone call and it was Chris going (makes mad over-excitable noises) so I put it down and turned on the radio and it was just really really strange. Quite scary – I had a kind of of sick feeling in my stomach. Really exciting.

Chris re-appears to tell us they are wanted to we adjourn downstairs.

Scene Two: sitting in front of one entrance to the downstairs bit

Matt: Interesting story from Reynolds, number one.
Chris: Interesting story. Phill didn’t actually get any money in the end but we were going to fund some of the things we were going to buy, ‘cos Phill used to work at a kind of vegetable packing factory and tinned like, uh..
Matt: Tinning factory – baked beans and stuff, they put into it.
Chris: And one night they were there and they had some really top secret stuff going through with no labels on..
Matt: And also when they came in they were searched.
Chris: Yeah really really dodgy and…..he nicked a can of whatever it was that had no label on it and opened it up and it was baked beans in chocolate, right? He stole it, stole the baked beans…
Matt: He went,’hmmmmmm’, his little devious mind ticked over…
Chris: …thinking, ‘nice bit of money’, and sold the story to the Sun and the Sun put it in the newspaper but they didn’t actually pay him for it.
Long pause as we scan their faces to see if this is true
Chris: Quite interesting, relatively speaking.
Matt: Hold on a minute. (muttering)
Chris: Did they pay him?
Matt: They paid him 280 fucking quid!
Chris: Fuck off! He never told me that!
Matt: He got 200 quid from the Sun and 80 quid from the Sport.
Chris: In that case we got 280 pounds for it that I never even knew about and the guy reckons he’s hard up…bastard!
Matt: He got searched on the way in, he had to hide the tins in places so he could go back and get them the next day when all the security was gone.
Chris: Basically he’s a really devious kind of character.
Matt: Don’t say that, it’s not true.
James wanders past
Matt: We’re telling them chocolate baked beans story.
James: All right, yeah, fucking wicked.
Matt and Chris have hysterics
Matt: That’s James our drummer.

Scarily, you can now buy those very baked beans in chocolate sauce from (where else…) ASDA!! And only 9p too – bargainous…

Okay, what’s your steve Lamacq anecdote?
Chris: I’ve got one, I’ve got one. I’m going to tell it right? Despite the fact that Steve Lamacq’s proven one of the nicest people in the world to us for playing our single despite the fact that it didn’t have distribution and all that kind of stuff. [pause] A long while ago Matt e-mailed him and called him…
Matt: No no no! What happened was..
Chris: He called him…
Matt: [shouting] WHAT HAPPENED WAS..
Chris: You called him a bastard.
Matt: No I didn’t! what happened was, right, I took a year out before I went to university and I got a job. And at this job I accessed the internet for the first time ever and it was really really exciting and I discovered the joys of e-mail and I could send people e-mails anywhere in the world and I got a little bit carried away. Steve Lamacq said something one night that annoyed me and so I thought, ‘I’ll write an e-mail telling him he’s wrong’! And also accusing him of bias and taking bribes from the music industry!
Chris: You accused him because he was with Deceptive records, so basically Matt accused him of being involved in a record label and self-plugging his own records.
m: Which was true!
Matt: But the thing I didn’t realise was, of course, because I was new to the world of the internet and quite stupid, that when you send someone an e-mail all they have to do is press reply and they can come back to you. And I got a an e-mail about two days later from him saying, ‘oh Matthew I’m really sorry you feel like this about me and dislike the show. If you’d perhaps like to get back in touch with me with a more reasoned argument perhaps we could have a proper conversation’!
Chris: He was really harsh with it.
Matt: He made me feel about that big but he rightfully put me in my place.
Chris: [to me] Have you ever actually seen him?
m: ohhh yes!
Chris: Right…
Matt: [interrupting]Have you seen how much weight he’s lost in the last year?
Chris: Yeah!
Matt: [Highly slanderous comments]
Chris: He came into Colchester Arts Centre and, and…
Matt: Great big head!
Chris: Yeah, his head’s about that long! He’s a really nice guy – he supports everything…
Matt: He’s lovely.
Chris: He’s been really supportive.
Matt: I would like to apologise for sending that e-mail to Steve Lamacq.
Chris: No more. I’m trying to think of any other stories but they’re all really libellous.

Lots of people keep trying to get in and out of the door so we decide to move

Scene Three: Sitting in front of a less obvious door by the toilets.

Everyone immediately starts ignoring the last door and using this new one – aaargh!
Owen San Lorenzo comes down the stairs and trips over us.

Owen: What time are you on?
Chris: What time are you on?
Owen: We open because we’re the least popular Gringo band.
Matt: No, you open because we drove.
Chris: Basically we’ve been driving for hours and hours and hours…
Matt: Took us about 7 hours to get here.
Owen: Lovely as Scotland is, it’s a long way away.
Matt: We came through a great big valley of snow that looked like Narnia. We came by the most obscure road ever and it was like we’d gone through a great big wardrobe and it was all Narnia. We saw a house buried by snow! I went to try and investigate it and I tried to climb up this bank of what I thought was grass and fell up to my waist in snow. It was really cold and I got frostbite.
Chris: We were just amazed, as soon as we saw a hill, even if it didn’t have any snow on it or anything, we saw what is basically like a minor dip, like a driveway or something and we went, ‘oooooh!’.
Matt: Ooooh!
Chris: James was just driving along going [shocked voice] ‘fuck…! fuck…!!’.
Matt: It took seven hours ‘cos we kept stopping to take photos of hills!

What good second rate celebrities have you met?
Matt: That’s a good question..ooh, Tony Hart! I met Tony Hart once. Oh, it was brilliant.
Phill: I met Carol Vorderman.
Matt: Yay!
Chris: No, you met Suzi Quattro.
Phill: I did as well.
Chris: You played with Suzi Quattro. You supported Suzi Quattro.
Phill: I wasn’t allowed to speak to her for very long ‘cos I was rude to her.
Everyone laughs
Matt: Yeah, I met Tony Hart ‘cos my uncle was a BBC cameraman and he took me for a day out there when I was little and I went and sat in the audience for the Really Wild Show and met Tony Hart – he’s a lovely man. Lovely man.
Chris: Apparently, according to my mum, I met Bob Carolgees once who is the ultimate B-rate celebrity. And I’ve met David Prowse who played Darth Vader. Not really B-rate that’s kind of A-rate isn’t it?
Phill: Ken Dodd, the Drifters, Bernie Clifton…
Matt: Showaddywaddy! We saw Showaddywaddy’s girlfriends. They, w, w…
Everyone collapses into complete hysterics and can’t talk properly
Chris: This is where we come from, Wisbech, Phill does the sound for people like Showaddywaddy.
Matt: And really dodgy bands like the Drifters come and play at the Empire and then Showaddywaddy came and played and they came out..and they came out and it sort of, sorry I get really excited, meeting Showaddywaddy’s girlfriends – big thing for me! There’s a kebab shop opposite and Showaddywaddy were in there and Showaddywaddy’s girlfriends were running across the road going, ‘waaaaah!’, and they slipped over and fell into this car!!
Much hilarity ensues
Chris: This girl she just slipped over and she slid [Matt is doing sound effects and visual aids], went under the car and smacked her head on the bottom of the door.
Matt again collapses into laughter
Matt: Bob Mills came to Wisbech and he was talking to someone I know, Martin, and I went up to him and I was really drunk. And I went up and said, ‘alright Martin, did you see Bob Mills? I heard he was shit’, and I walked off. Which wasn’t very funny or very good.
Chris: My mum has done really rude things with Jeff Beck when he was in the Yardbirds. She reckons it was Jeff Beck but the year it was, I reckon it was Jimmy Page. Either way, it’s pretty..
Matt: He’s secretly hoping that in some way he’s got some DNA from Jimmy Page hanging around him.
me: My mum used to run the Beatles fanclub.
Matt: Did she? Wow!
Chris: Really?
me: In Holland.
Everyone laughs
Chris: Jason Graham’s moving to Holland.
Matt: He’s not, is he?
Chris: He’s moving to New Holland. It’s in Essex.
Matt: Oh!! Ho ho!
me: I fell for that one as well.
Chris: Yeah, I fell for that as well. Devious guy.

what things have happened that have made you feel famous in any way?
Matt: Being played on the radio.
Chris: I’ve got to say this. I went to see Eska at the Garage and they were fucking brilliant and I was really pissed, and I get nervous when I want to go and tell people that they’re really good. I though Colin was really..he just blew me away – he was like the biggest, most aggressive guitar player ever. So I went, ‘are you Colin from Eska?’, and he said, ‘are you Chris from Reynolds? You fucking rule!’, and everything and he was really nice and I was like, ‘mmmnmnmn thank you very much’.
Matt: I saw two Reynolds t-shirts at Reading – it was amazing.
Chris: And at the same festival I threw a sausage at Six by Seven and I freely admit to that.

The interview then degenerates completely into free-for-all nonsense until tape runs out.