Interview: All The Young

14 November 2012

Tristram Fane Saunders talks to lead singer Ryan about Morrissey, Motorhead and putting Stoke on the map

The Sunday Times have compared you to The Clash and The Manic Street Preachers. Rolling Stone have compared you to Oasis and Doves. Morrissey has said you sound a bit like the Smiths. Lots of people have compared you to other people. I’d like you to compare the comparisons made by those people, comparatively.

All that music, it’s all made in different times from different scenes, but it’s all about good tunes. We’ve never been compared to a band that I’m not a fan of. With all those bands, I haven’t really been too surprised.

You’re about to go touring with Morrissey, aren’t you?

Yeah, he came to watch us in London. He was sat there in the dressing room, and we were all just ‘oh my god.’

What was he like?

He’s one of the most unique people I’ve ever met. People say ‘never meet your heroes’, but he was as bizarre and wonderful as you could imagine. He asked a lot of questions – he was pretty ruthless, made some criticisms.

So that was basically the interview then…

Yeah – we asked him a few questions too. I’m a big fan of the Clash, and it turns out he can’t stand the clash, so we had a bit of a row about that.

You are, at the moment, the biggest band to come out of Stoke On Trent. What’s the music scene like there?

There isn’t much of one, really. There’s a pretty good band called Youtha – that’s a word we say in Stoke. It’s a pretty cool name.

What does it mean?

Like the same as ‘mate.’ I’d see you and say, ‘you oright, youtha?’… but Stoke isn’t really known for its music scene. It isn’t really known for anything, at the moment.

I guess it doesn’t have the ‘rock’ reputation.

(Passionately) But it does have the rock reputation! Lemmy from Motorhead was from Stoke. Slash from Guns’n’Roses was from Stoke. They moved away, but they were both born here.

What’s the nicest thing to do on a day out in Stoke?

Come and see All The Young, obviously. (laughs) Besides that, I dunno. There’s a lot of industrial museums… It’s a very good place to do a photo shoot, Stoke. There’s lots of decrepit buildings. If you know any bands who want to have a cool, industrial, derelict photo, then they should go to Stoke. It’s just wasteland, a lot of it.  But it’s so gray and boring that it can kind of be inspiring, if you know what I mean. It’s definitely rubbed off on the band.

If you weren’t playing music, what would you want to do?

Growing up in Stoke, when we realised we could write music and play songs, that was kind of our only option. It was either that, or do what everyone else was doing and get a shit job. It really was the only avenue open to us. For us to do something with our lives that might be remembered, and that would be worth doing, it was either the band or nothing. So we stuck with the band.