Who The Hell Are… The Rifle Volunteer?By Craig Smith • Dec 9th, 2010 • Category: Features
It’s an audacious pronouncement to commit to releasing 12 singles in 12 months. The Wedding Present set the benchmark in the 90’s. Ash tried the same thing recently, with a mixture of desperation and overkill in numbers too large to comprehend and tarnishing the very idea of ‘the single’. It’s not just two songs on a slab of vinyl (or cd, or one of those less satisfying digital w/artwork jobs). It’s a living, breathing statement. A trojan horse in disguise. A rallying cry to fall behind. A rallying cry… See, The Rifle Volunteer comprehend this. “I’ll Sleep When That Damned Sun Is Dead”, the first single in their year long campaign is what we’re talking about. Here is a band that understands.
Like the soaring sonnets of Wild Beasts crossed with the urban malaise of The National, there’s something about The Rifle Volunteer that reminds us of The Royal Albert Hall (yes, at Webcuts we dance about architecture too). Ornate and breathtaking, ageless and proud, there’s an unmistakable grandeur ingrained through their music. All that’s missing is Scott Walker and an orchestra. With October’s “For An End” and November’s “The Salt, The Sand, The Heat” cementing intentions and widening horizons, perhaps they can rally up both before their year is out.
01. Who are you?
Collectively we’re The Rifle Volunteer. We’re from North London via, Ireland, Wales, Somerset and Hertfordshire. Individually we’re Adam Symonds (Vocals/Guitar), Nicholas Brown (Bass), Neal Sidney (Keys/Vocals), Iggy Murray (Drums) and Tim Roddis (Guitar). We’ve been together in our current form for about a year and a half but Adam, Tim and Nick have been playing and writing together since the summer of 2006, it’s taken a while to get the right balance of personality in the band.
02. What do you sound like?
Five men in a room trying their damndest to create something special.
03. What do friends say you sound like?
Radiohead is the usual one. But we don’t. And we hate the comparison.
04. Full-time musicians or wage slaves?
Wage Slaves unfortunately, but we’re working on that one….
05. Current band highlight?
There have been a few, probably going to Abbey Road to master our first single, seeing that pressed up and out there, being featured on 6Music by Steve Lamacq, Tom Robinson and Gideon Coe & XFM by John Kennedy was pretty awesome as well. The pinnacle would have to be realising we’re good enough to take this as far as it can go.
06. Favourite decade for music?
The nineties were the period where I got hardcore into music. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden etc, but since I’ve grown to love stuff from most periods of recorded music.
07. Should music be free?
There is nothing wrong with people getting stuff for nothing through the artists allowing certain things to be obtained that way, but the value in the work is being lost and that’s not right at all. The Tate would be unlikely to let you walk in and walk out with a piece from their collection for free…
08. Which 3 musicians would you invite round for dinner?
Kate Bush, Aidan Moffat & Tom Waits.
09. Preferred tour reading?
We’re all big fans of Bukowski & Steig Larsson. Oh and George Orwell.
10. Best mood for songwriting?
Mildly drunk, overtired and overworked. Mainly because that’s the only choice we have!!!
11. Last record you bought?
Tonight At The Arizona by The Felice Brothers
12. Five favourite albums?
The Kick Inside – Kate Bush, Young Team – Mogwai, Alligator – The National, Heart Attack & Vine – Tom Waits, The Shape Of Punk To Come – Refused.
13. Your biggest rock and roll fantasy?
To make this our career and our future.
14. Goals for the next 12 months?
To get these 12 singles in 12 months out and done to a good response. Maybe play some festivals along the way and then get to work on our debut album.
15. First time listeners, where should they start?
Our debut single ‘End Season’ which was released through Too Pure is a good place to start if you want a retrospective look at the band, but our current single for November, “The Salt, The Sand, The Heat” out through our own label Silhouette City is a good starting point for people getting to know the band now.