There are a few bands who are naturally funny and professionally evolving themselves all over the world. The talented Winchester 7 & The Runners are one of them. Merging different styles of rock, having an unusual lineup as a band watching their humorous music videos they are beyond interesting. As they have their latest EP, Argos Holiday out in the open, we couldn’t help but setting up an in-depth interview with them and well, that’s where everything started to loose…
And while you are reading, listen to The Song That You Sing by Winchester 7 & The Runners, it’s good!
Music Authentic: Welcome to Music Authentic! Let’s begin with our site-traditional question: How did you sleep last night?
Winchester 7: Rather well, thank you. I had a weird dream though. I was in a hotel room with Noel Gallagher and some of his family and friends where they were celebrating his birthday. He brought out a bass guitar and a friend of his started playing this small keyboard that had a turntable built into it. They did this sort of funky jam as I admired a glossy photo printer that sat nearby, beneath the television. His wife printed something on it and told me that it was something that they always brought along to have plenty of headshots for fan autographs.
Phil: I wonder if Noel is good about signing.
Jack: I imagine that some of the ones out there are his.
Phil: Yeah. I slept good too, by the way. Right until you guys woke me up for this.
Jack: The pressures of fame will get you up before noon sometimes, mate. I slept sound, meself, apart from a toss and a turn of pre-interview nerves.
Music Authentic: What did you have for the last supper?
Jack: Wafers and wine.
Winchester 7: Not that last supper. Yours.
Jack: I know…’twas wafers and wine.
Phil: [laughs] Beef kroket, patat, and a beer; for me.
Winchester 7: Chicken kabobs, beer, and key lime ice cream.
Jack: In moderation, of course.
Winchester 7: Of course!
Music Authentic: Now we need to talk about two things: your absolutely fake Tom Selleck moustache in the music videos and who is the runner up now?
Winchester 7: Look, with all the world’s been through, I expected a bit more empathy than that kind of a question!
Jack: It’s all right, mate. If it wasn’t the Mail, it was bound to be someone. It’s better that I offer my own explanation than allow tongue waggin’.
Winchester 7: All right, Jack. If you’re sure…
Phil: Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve.
Jack: I had a glorious moustache. Birds admired it, mates were full of envy. Then, one day, it started to fall out in bits, ‘til I couldn’t cover it anymore. Alopecia barbae, they said. But, for me, my moustache is part of my identity. I’ve not been without since the age of nine. So, I got a transplant and was a wee aggressive with the forms.
Phil: It’s still glorious.
Jack: Cheers. So, there you have it. You’ve got yourself an exclusive there.
Winchester 7: Well done, Jack. Sorry for getting so worked up. We’re protective of our Jack. What was the other part of the question? Who is the runner up now?
Jack: Right! Let’s say some jugglers. It’s magical, but I’m not having it.
Phil: Or a ventriloquist. The puppets make me uncomfortable.
Music Authentic: How could you protect your life from the effects of the fundamental changes and shifts the West went through the past year?
Winchester 7: I think that for us it was self-reflection, caution, and really focusing on our work.
Phil: A lot of video conferencing!
Jack: He’s almost got the mute button figured out, that one.
Winchester 7: Our videos traditionally benefited from travel; so, once in lockdown, we thought out a few creative tricks to keep it interesting.
Phil: When we weren’t writing and recording.
Jack: Like the time that we sent Win to space! Few bands have managed to send their singer into space, but they’ve all dreamed of it, I’m certain.
Music Authentic: Have you stockpiled anything besides toilet-paper? It’s so much “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, isn’t it?
Jack: Towels, of course.
Winchester 7: Bacon and beer.
Phil: Gardening supplies…and fruit roll-ups.
Winchester 7: He got a bit carried away with dehydrating.
Jack: I’m parched, myself! Mind sending over one of them beers?
Winchester 7: [laughs] What rate do you suppose the Royal Mail charges for that kind of thing?
Jack: Bill it to the Sussex account. It’s the least that lot can do.
Music Authentic: Let’s talk about your music and band and your interesting set-up. What is the true origin story of these three ordinary supermen?
Winchester 7: I like the sound of that! Ordinary supermen!
Jack: It’s got quite a ring. So, Phil and I had pulled a runner…
Phil: …and we thought that we’d gotten away with it too!
Winchester 7: But, I was sent after them and, once I had caught up…
Jack: He’s faster than he looks, he is.
Winchester 7: …they began to play and, I had my ukulele with me, so I joined in.
Phil: Sweet music was made.
Jack: In the end, we decided that we were all better off as a band than what otherwise awaited us back in the dome.
Music Authentic: Your soundscape reminds me a bit of Duran Duran, early REM, bit of ‘90s and Jack Black. What is your songwriting method?
Winchester 7: Thank you! That’s good company to be in.
Phil: The songs most often begin with the music.
Winchester 7: Yeah, I’ll usually work something out and bring it to the group.
Jack: We settle on an arrangement and, in the process, a phrase or an idea tends to come about.
Winchester 7: And from there, I start to write the lyrics. I’ve tried lyrics first, but they always seem to turn out as limericks.
Phil: There once was a Win with a uke…
Music Authentic: “The Song That You Sing” or “Gonna Start Right Now”?
Phil: The Song That You Sing for me. I like it as it is both new and I did not have to dress as a sailor for the video.
Winchester 7: [laughs] It’s like choosing between your children, really. I like them both, but shooting that Stranger Things themed Gonna Start Right Now video was a lot of fun. Phil, you rocked that cap!
Phil: Perhaps you wear it next time then.
Jack: The Song That You Sing has a nice synth part that we contracted a terrific session player for.
Winchester 7: Yeah, but I also got to play some fun riffs in Gonna Start Right Now. I really can’t choose though.
Music Authentic: Let’s imagine you enter a café where Billie Joel, Eric Idle and Paul McCartney are having a meet and greet. To whom would you talk to first?
Winchester 7: McCartney.
Jack: Macca, hands down. Sorry, Eric, but you gotta look on the bright side and all. You’d be a close second.
Phil: Okay, I’ll have a beer with the Piano Man until you two are done talking Beatles and Rutles.
Music Authentic: Let’s have some fun. Can you imagine yourself being the part of the first Mars colony?
Phil: Would there be Netflix?
Winchester 7: I doubt it.
Phil: I’m out.
Jack: [laughs] What are the Tripadvisor reviews like?
Winchester 7: [laughs] I’d join it for the first season, but look to get written out due to schedule demands in the second. I really don’t see myself as part of an ensemble…except for you guys.
Jack: Thanks for that, Major.
Music Authentic: If you could choose a superpower, what would that be?
Winchester 7: Speed! It would be so great if…[snaps]…there, I just got back from Paris. A lot of people go with strength. I understand the inclination and am a huge Man of Steel fan, but speed results in power. It’s Newton’s second law.
Winchester 7: That’s not a superpower.
Jack: I knew you were going to say that.
Phil: [laughs] I would choose the power of flight. I’m scared of heights though, so I’d mostly hover.
Music Authentic: You live in the “Second Roman Empire” and it’s transforming. How do you see it, is it a change for evolution or continuous decline?
Jack: Oh! They Might Be Giants taught me this one. Istanbul was Constantinople, you know. So, I’ll go with evolution.
Phil: Even Old New York was once New Amsterdam…
Winchester 7: [laughs] Well, I’ll agree with evolution as it seems implied in the question. Whether or not that evolution is a declining one is fair game though I’m sure we all hope for Pax Romana.
Music Authentic: We all can see and experience, establishments let people down, they only care about their very own well-being and goals to meet. If you were to become The President, what would you start the changes with?
Jack: Cor -the thought of it! Assuming you mean in the States, first order of business, would be to commission a Mount Rushmore-style monument that includes the heads of each of the Ramones.
Winchester 7: [laughs] I suppose that there are ideals and campaign promises, but understand the system to be one which resists substantial change from both sides of it as it effects politicians directly. Nobody spends millions without an expectation of receiving better in kind. So, ideally, I’d look to promise and deliver a main street agenda, but what would I start with first? I’d sign an executive order establishing term limits for Congress on day one.
Phil: Imagine the popularity. [laughs] Personally, I would look to pursue a farm bill which reconsiders select crops.
Music Authentic: Humanity has become numb and many only can think of themselves first and foremost. As John Cleese puts it in his take on stupidity it feels there is no hope to elevate ignorance to care. Do you think it is possible? How?
Winchester 7: Well, he has also said, “He who laughs most, learns best”. So, maybe we should start there.
Phil: The Dalai Lama teaches that all suffering is caused by ignorance. He suggests that the cure is the cultivation of altruism, love, and compassion.
Jack: And as the great philosopher Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does”. I think we can all learn something from that.
Music Authentic: You do have a lot of fun with your music, yet, it’s professional and interesting. Have you ever thought of creating concept albums with stories to tell or just singles after each other, as streaming companies want us to do?
Winchester 7: Thank you very much. It’s the first and last rule of ukulele rock.
Jack: If there’s no fun in it, it makes me a dull boy.
Phil: I like singles that tell stories.
Winchester 7: You never know. We may choose to do just that one day should a concept ever come to mind.
Music Authentic: Is there any interesting newcomer on your radar you like listening to? What about your old favourites?
Jack: Kynsy rocks. I also like the Lathums quite a bit. As far as old favourites, I’m not sure where I’d start. Can I just say something like the Clash or Macca again?
Phil: Inhaler for new and U2 for old [laughs]…and Joy Division, of course.
Winchester 7: Maybe the Snuts for new, Starcrawler for kind of new; and, as they’ve not been mentioned yet, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the White Stripes, and the Black Keys for old favourites.
Music Authentic: What is the big goal with WT7R? Grammies, grannies? (sorry, I know, I know…)
Winchester 7: I think it’s often finishing our next release; but, yeah, a Grammy would be awesome.
Jack: Grannies are an underserved demographic, I figure, and people are living longer these days. If me Nin wants to tap her slipper to our music, I say let her.
Phil: I’d like to hear a song of ours playing somewhere and overhear someone go, “I love this one!”. That would be nice.
Music Authentic: Where do you see yourself in a few years? Having a full night show in larger stages and theatres?
Winchester 7: Well, now that you’ve got the Grammy thing into my head, I’m hoping for that; but, I wouldn’t mind doing some shows.
Phil: I’d like us to be doing smaller theatres on limited residencies, maybe.
Jack: I’d like to see the show evolve to become more visually complex too.
Music Authentic: What about going live these days? Will you?
Phil: We’ve been talking about it.
Jack: I know that we’d love the opportunity to perform some of our new material and even some off of our last album which landed in the midst of it.
Winchester 7: But, we’ve also gotten into a rhythm of writing recording, and filming too. We’ve really been taking advantage of the studio thing. So, perhaps given the right opportunity.
Music Authentic: What advice would you give to those who start out now in music?
Winchester 7: You know, I was asked a similar question recently and offered that apart from practicing extensively and being ready to learn from successes and failures, I’d suggest forming a corporation, joining a performing rights organization, and working out early how publishing shares will be divided. With that foundation and proper counsel they’d stand a much better chance than otherwise. Tales of record companies and managers exploiting artists are too numerous to count. While talent and composition are certainly important ingredients, understanding the business end of things is too often overlooked.
Jack: I imagine that Macca would have a few thoughts on the matter. Even he and the fabs weren’t left unscathed. Keef and Jagger would share similar sentiment. Happens all the time.
Phil: But, don’t forget that practice part! You have got to be bad, think you are good when you are actually bad, and get better before you can become good.
Jack: You know, I think that I followed that one? So, we’d best put a bow on this then.
Winchester 7: Thank you for having us!
Music Authentic: I look forward to you new songs! Thank you for your time, see you soon!
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