The Proxies are: Jordan Fish (synth/electronics), Joe Todd (vocals/guitar), Alex Binnington (drums) and Joshua Rumble (bass).
The band (minus Alex), are perched on the eclectic mix of chairs squashed into the tiny room. As we’re being introduced, Greg their tour manager (who has the best pirate moustache I’ve ever seen) mentions that I was waiting outside for a fair while and they get very concerned.
“You must be freezing!” Josh says.
While I try to reassure them that I’m fine, Jordan comes over and plonks his furry hat on my head.
“I might need to take it off for the interview,” I say. “I can’t see any of you with it on.” Jordan laughs and says that he’ll wear it for now.
Greg gets up to go and check the set.
“Help yourself to anything you want by the way,” he says. He goes to leave the room then comes back. “There’s also a microwave there if you’ve got any microwavable goods.”
The guys burst out laughing as he disappears.
“He thinks of things no one would ever say,” Josh beams.
“I’ve never been offered use of a microwave before,” I say.
“You must be taping us purely for comedy reasons,” Jordan notes.
I ask them how they are once things have settled down.
“It’s going alright thanks,” says Jordan. “How are you doing besides being really cold?”
I have to reassure them that I’m fine then redirect their attention to Jordan’s hat- kind of a faux wolf-skin with paws type-thing from spiritanimals.com.
“Are you going to wear it on stage?” I ask him.
He waves the gloves/paws around as he replies.
“No, it seems to come off and go like this [he pulls it down over his face] so I don’t wear it unless it’s really cold for the first song, or maybe if I don’t shower, then it’s a really good way to disguise myself.”
I ask them about the first night of the tour and it turns out to be a bit of a touchy subject.
“The crowd was really good and everything but we didn’t have any time to set up,” Josh explains.
“It was actually the worst show I’ve ever experienced,” Jordan says. “We had more technical problems in that one gig than we’ve had in our whole career. But everyone was really nice; to be honest I think it was just us that hated it. Today we’re back on track and it’s looking a lot better.”
“We should probably rehearse more,” says Joe, making the others laugh.
Alex comes back from the main room and we chat about the tour the band did with Hadouken!, as well as the possibility of another one in April. More recently the guys have been working with Gareth (Pendulum), with him mixing their single “If I had a Penny to my Name”.
“He’s our guardian angel,” says Jordan. “I know it probably hurts his street cred to say that he’s really nice but he is genuinely brilliant, though his method of drinking tequila before recording is questionable.”
“How are you getting on with the guys from Canterbury?” I ask.
“Yeah great, we did our first show with Canterbury a year ago and they’re really nice. We’ve known them for a while- I [Jordan] kept in touch with Luke and we mixed their song Ready Yet? which was fun.”
“How would you describe your music?”
Josh says “Jazz”, Jordan takes a bit longer to answer. Apparently the band has been called a lot of things- “Rockstep” is Jordan’s least favourite.
“I just like to say we’re a 2011 rock band,” he says, “because if rock bands keep using traditional instruments and sticking to this then nothing improves or changes. We’re bringing other producers in and stuff. I like just saying we’re a rock band and the fact that we have electronics in there is that this is 2011.”
“It’s 2012,” everyone says at once.
“Pretend we spoke in December,” Jordan shrugs.
“How did you guys meet?” I ask.
Jordan jumps in on this question straight away.
“Me and Joe dated for a bit in college,” he tells me. “Then when we broke up he started dating Alex and I hated them both for a while, then I came to realise they’re a better couple than we were.”
When everyone stops laughing Jordan admits that they tell a different story every time they get asked the question.
“They found me on Youtube,” says Josh grinning.
“I don’t know what to believe now, you’ve confused me,” I say sternly, but then add that since it’s such a boring question interesting answers are welcome.
“Ok, so, I dated Joe, Joe dated Alex and they’re still together,” Jordan says. “It makes travelling together a bit awkward and stuff, we try to get them to tone it down a bit.”
A very tall man with an ear plug comes into the room and sits down in the chair next to me.
“Hi,” I say.
“Hello,” he says.
“Cool ear plug,” I tell him.
“Who’s this?” I ask the guys.
“This is Gary,” Jordan says. “My new boyfriend.”
“I’m the driver and sound engineer,” Gary tells me.
“With an excellent scarf,” I say.
“God, she’s laying it on thick with you,” Greg observes.
“Well I complimented your moustache, and Jordan’s hat, and you told me that Joe’s nickname is ‘handsome’- so I’m working my way round,” I tell him.
“He’s getting jealous,” Jordan says to me. “You’ve got to come up with something for the others now.”
“I’ve got ‘glasses’ for Josh and ‘water bottle’ for Alex,” I admit.
They burst out laughing again. “I could have a water bottle if I wanted,” Jordan says, picking one up and waving it around.
After watching him pull his hood up and down a couple of times we decide Alex can be ‘schizophrenic’ instead.
“Anything you want to talk about?”
“Avril Lavigne,” says Jordan, almost before I’ve finished the question.
“Yeah she’s our favourite.”
“Her lyrics aren’t very good,” I say.
This turns into a debate with Jordan on the defense until I tell him that she had a baby and we start talking about their favourite food-products instead.
“I don’t like things with flavours,” Jordan declares. “I like Calippo’s.”
“That’s basically all flavouring,” says Greg.
Jordan gives up I mention their, or maybe just his, rather huge Twitter following.
“It’s not so much a fan-base as a bunch of people who like the same kind of in-jokes that we do,” he says, “which is actually a better representation of us as a band.”
“What’s the best thing that could happen to you?” I ask.
“Pendulum tour?” Jordan says looking at the others, who nod. “Might be too scary though,”
“I thought you said Gareth was nice?”
“Oh he’s great but I don’t think I’d be brutal enough to appeal to a lot of Pendulum fans,” Jordan says, and it’s true- in the furry hat and with that innocent expression I can’t really imagine him at a gig in Brixton.
After a mad conversation covering America, Russia, North Korea and Somalia (more a Geography lesson than a band interview) we go back to talking about music for a bit. After a bit of a rough start on the first night the band are looking forward to getting back on track.
“Is that them [Canterbury] playing?” Jordan says suddenly as we hear music blare out from the main room.
“That’s Jimmy Eat World,” sighs Greg, then pulls out his phone.
“Do you know Rowetta from X-Factor, backing singer from the Happy Mondays?” he asks me.
“Oh God, not again,” says Gary.
“I pulled her at a Madeleine McCann charity concert,” Greg says beaming and flicking through his phone until he finds a picture to show me so I remember what she looks like.
Everyone bursts out laughing: Jordan almost falls out of his chair, Josh and Alex are doubled over and Gary has to leave the room to calm down. When he comes back we’re all still in bits.
“When I were 18,” Greg bellows over the laughter, “and I told her I was 23 and a carpet fitter, and she were 43 at the time AND she believed me. And I had hair down to here. [He gestures]”
“Does anyone else know that?” I ask as everyone tries to calm down. “It sounds like you tell a lot of people.”
“I don’t tell enough people,” he says bluntly, making everyone giggle again.
“I hope you realise you’ve changed the entire structure of this interview,” I tell him. “I’m going to have to do a whole feature about that event.”
“Don’t mention he was our tour manager,” says Jordan, “Just call the article ‘Greg’”.
I say I’ll think about it before heading out to the main room where the first support act have just started- looking forward to seeing how the guys work the crowd at Sin.
Proxies (Live performance)
I’m not going to lie- Proxies’ live performance is just as good (if not better) than Canterbury’s, despite their jokes about not rehearsing. They move well, they look great, and they’re professional on stage but they also know how to make the crowd smile. When they start their first song there’s actually almost a mass look of surprise, like, “wow, these guys are awesome”.
Most songs are their own but they do a great cover by Pendulum that gets everyone moving. Jordan actually ends up wearing his hat on stage as the set is by an open door leading outside and it’s bloody freezing.
Everyone seems a bit gutted when they finish barely fifteen minutes after they went on. Josh jumps down from the stage as they’re packing up their equipment and tells me the band before them ran slightly over their time limit so they had to cut out a couple of songs.
“Hopefully you’ll get to do that headline gig at Brixton soon,” I tell him, and he grins and goes to help the others carry an amp outside so the next act can set up.
Proxies are a British rock band from Yorkshire, England, formed in 2010. They have toured and performed with the likes of Kids in Glass Houses, Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), Hadouken! and Metronomy. The band have collaborated with other artists such as hip hip/nerdcore artist YTCracker featuring on one of their earliest demos, and Sean Smith of The Blackout providing guest vocals on their debut single; If I Had A Penny To My Name.