▶ Tell us the interesting story behind the bands moniker.
We’re named after a line of dialogue from the BBC film Micro Men. It’s a dramatisation of the rivalry between Acorn and Sinclair in the eighties and how the founders; Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry were friends in the early days and worked together but fell out. The whole thing’s based on a true story and in one particular scene they end up in a fight in a Cambridge pub, which resulted in Chris Curry saying “We could have been the British IBM”. That was quite moving and quite poignant. That single line alone sums up a whole world of what could of been and the human side of the rise and fall of two empires.
▶ When did the band form and how long did it take to find the bands own sound?
Originally Aidy played and recorded alone but would occasionally bring in other musicians in a kind of revolving door band, which went on for a few years until Dave and Paul joined and the three of us just clicked and things became more permanent. We played and toured together under the Aidy name for a couple of years and then decided it’d be nice to drop the Aidy monika and become a proper band and do an album together. We officially formed as the British IBM on the 1st January 2012 but we’d spent around 2 years playing together and getting to that point.
▶ What releases have you put out thus far, and which would be the one to listen to for the uninitiated?
As the British IBM this is our first album, so we’d recommend listening to that. It’s self-titled and we’ve spent seven months at Half-Ton Studios in Cambridge slaving away over it and it’s possibly the best thing we’ve ever done musically. If you want to see how we’ve evolved and got this stage then it’s worth checking out some of the Aidy solo stuff, all those albums are available to download for free at www.Aidy.com
▶ Is there a particular live show that stands out amongst all the rest?
On our most recent tour we played a burlesque show in Birmingham that was definitely a highlight. It was completely different to any show we’d done before, we were on a stage that was actually above the bar so we were about 12 feet above the audience and retro strippers seem to be the perfect warm up act for a retro band.
▶ Can you talk about a Highlight and a Lowlight of the journey so far?
The highlight would possibly be the moment the first box of CDs arrived from the duplicators. After seven months of hard work it was really moving to open that box and see the finished product sitting there. We were all really proud of what we’d achieved and the CDs looked awesome, the artwork was done by Retrophonic who did a great job. Another highlight was getting Iain Lee to appear in the music video to our début single. Lowlight would be the morning after the Black Russians. We played a gig in Leeds and a friend of ours came along who we hadn’t seen for a while, we all went out after the gig and for some reason we ended drinking our weight in Black Russians. Seemed like a good idea at the time but the morning after was horrendous and was made worse by the fact that we were kicked out of our hotel at 10am on the dot with about 3 hours sleep.
▶ What does ‘success’ mean to the band?
Progressing beyond what we’ve already achieved. An album that’s better than anything that we’ve done before that was recorded in a decent studio felt like a big success. A few more people turning up to the gigs than did previously, more email list sign ups, followers, likes etc… being in a band is becoming increasingly similar to a game like Sim City and in-between making music you end up doing a lot of monitoring of stats and sales online and trying to make sense of it all and trying to work out your next move.
▶ You are in control of forming a 4 piece ‘supergroup’ – who is in it and what do they do?
Mike Mills – Bass // Dave Grohl – Drums // Ben Folds – Piano // Gregg Alexander – Lead vocals. New Radicals were underrated and it annoys me that they get pigeon holed as a one-hit wonder. I never got the chance to see them live before Gregg went into recluse mode and now just writes and produces for random “pop stars” so it’d be cool to get him out from behind the scenes and thrust him into the limelight fronting a mismatched super group.
▶ If you and 3 bands of your choosing were to do a world tour; who would the other 3 bands be? (Active or not)
The Beatles // R.E.M. // Singing Adams
▶ What will be the 3 strangest things on your rider when you’re able to make any demand?
Supermarket own brand energy drinks – Paul loves energy drinks but favours the cheaper supermarket brands over the mainstream one that gives you wings. // Wispa Gold – Dave’s chocolate bar of choice and it’s not always easy to find. // Moosehead beer – According to his autobiography this was Michael J Fox’s favourite beer back in the day, it’s normally a rare treat from the Beers Of Europe in Kings Lynn, but if we were famous and could demand things then this cheeky beverage would be up there.
▶ Finally, in a climate saturated with bands vying for listener attention; why should the good old folks at home listen to you guys?
We’ve got heart, we’re into what we do and that comes across in our live performances and on the album. Individually we’ve each been at this for over a decade and this really is the best thing any of us have ever done. We don’t say that lightly either, we’re all overly critical, hardened cynics and we wouldn’t be putting this out into the world if we didn’t love it. This album is a crafted, cohesive piece of musical joy that we’ve put everything into, we’re getting some great feedback already and we’re hoping that just enough people buy into what we’re doing so we can carry on for just a bit longer.