Interview with One Night Only
Yorkshire teens One Night Only released their Steve Lillywhite-produced debut album 'Started A Fire' in February 2008, and have since gone on to cause a stir on the summer festival circuit and beyond. Their brand of pop-rock, as well as their tentative years, has seen them described as 'a boy band with bite' - but they're adamant that their music isn't of a throwaway nature. Could this lot be the new Snow Patrol? I spoke to bassist Dan Parkin ahead of their forthcoming Irish dates.
Can you tell us a bit about how One Night Only formed?
Me, the guitarist Matt and the drummer Sam were all in the same year at school. We got together and decided for whatever reason, that we'd try out being in a band. We were practising down at Sam's house, and George, a friend of his brother, was always hanging around - so that's how he joined the band. It all really started in Sam's shed, around 2003. A couple of years later, Jack joined the band on keyboards - he was in the same year at school as George, so he introduced us. And that's pretty much it, without going into too much detail.
Was there a common sound, or band that brought you together in the first place?
At the time we formed the band - it's probably not very cool to say - but it was probably American punk bands like Blink-182. I wouldn't call them musical heroes, but that's the sort of stuff we were listening to at the time. We were quite young, though. George was only 12 or 13 when he joined, and we were about 14, 15. We sort of grew out of that music, though, we don't really listen to it anymore, we've moved on with our musical tastes. We all have a range of different influences, though - everyone from The Beatles to Oasis, to dancey sort of stuff.
What sort of stuff have you been listening to this year? Any bands or albums you've particularly enjoyed?
I quite liked the MGMT album… ummm… there's a new band coming out at the moment called White Lies, I'd definitely recommend checking them out. The band that we've got on tour with us, General Fiasco, are from Belfast - and we've grown to really like their stuff, too.
The album went in at number ten in the charts - you must have been pleased with that chart placing.
Yeah, we were. The single went in at number nine, so we had a feeling that a few people liked it. We were hoping for top ten and we got it, which was really good. It was a gradual build-up, though, it took about a year and a half to get the album out, so we worked hard on it, it didn't happen overnight.
How was it to work with Steve Lillywhite? He's produced some amazing albums in his time - how did that come about?
We were looking for producers and his name came up, and we'd all liked the records he'd made already. Then we found out he was interested in doing it, which was a big honour, so we had a meeting with him and really got on with him. It's probably been one of the highlights, actually, working with such a well-respected producer. He added some really great dimensions to our sound.
You've toured and played with bands like The Pigeon Detectives, The Enemy and The Coral - who's been your favourite to share a backstage area with?
As far as supporting other bands go, Pigeon Detectives would probably be up there, just because we did quite a long tour with them and got to know them quite well and had a few nights out together. We've been really lucky with the bands we've had supporting us, too, if you managed to catch us over the last year or so.
You played the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals this summer - they must have been career highlights?
Yeah, this is the first year we've really done festivals. Isle of Wight was amazing, because that was our first big one, on a big stage. I'd never actually been to Glastonbury before, but the atmosphere and crowd were.. We played on the Thursday night on a small stage, and that was amazing, then we played again on Saturday on a bigger stage, and that was also amazing. It was such a great weekend, so much to do, and as I said, a great atmosphere.
You said earlier that you were 14 or 15 when you first formed, so you're obviously still quite young. Is it tough being away from home so much? How have you coped with your success?
I think we're all pretty grounded people, really. We do get to go home once in a while, and where we come from is a really remote, rural area, so that's very grounding. If we went back to London and had people around us telling us things, we might go, y'know, a bit mental - but we've coped pretty well, to be honest. We don't have big heads yet. Maybe in few years (laughs), I'm not sure though. Hopefully not.
You've played Ireland before - how are your forthcoming gigs going to differ from your previous trips over here?
Yeah, we played in Dublin and Belfast earlier this year. The venue we played in Dublin was quite strange - there were loads of seats in it. I can't remember what it's called. Hang on, Mark's here, I'll ask him. [Shouts out to Mark in the background]. Ah yeah, The Sugar Club… it was strange, like a social club or something, there was only a small area to dance at the front. Then we played The Speakeasy in Belfast, and there were quite a few technical problems at that so we didn't have a great gig, but we were grateful that a lot of people showed up to catch us.
Where do you see the band going in the future?
We've started work on our second album - there's a couple of new songs we're playing on this tour, so we're just sort of getting a feel for them live and seeing what reaction they get. In the immediate future, after this tour, we've got a couple of weeks at home to work on the new stuff, and next year, hopefully, the new album will come out and things will get bigger and bigger for us. That's where we want to go, long-term: play bigger venues, get more people to our gigs.
One Night Only play The Academy on November 6th (€15.50) and Mandela Hall on November 7th (£12). 'Started A Fire' is out now.
Story by Lauren | 09:00 | Thursday 30th October 2008 | Music
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