It’s inspiring to see bands stick to their guns and write about whatever the hell they want. And Nottingham’s Captain Dangerous are doing just that! This band have released an immense album The Empire Never Ended which delivers a song for any mood. Feeling cheeky? Listen to the band’s interpretation of celebrity life with Heather & Tommy. Feel like storytelling? Lend an ear to A Little Bit of Home. In love? Then listen to the beautiful Everything Reminds Me Of You. Captain Dangerous cover it all, so we spoke with this original band about Motley Crüe, funny moments with huge steroided men, and how they book their own tours!
AMBY: Hey Captain Dangerous! What’s the band been up to?
Captain Dangerous: We released our album in January and we’ve got the first single “Heather & Tommy” coming out on Monday 29th April. So we’ve been shooting the video that and the video of the following single which will be released in June. The band and I are currently gearing up for a UK tour in May and June along with a few festivals over the summer. Then the plan is to go back into the studio by September to get a load of new songs together.
AMBY: Have to ask… Why’s Captain Dangerous so dangerous?
Captain Dangerous: Gout. It gets everyone eventually! Especially if you eat too much red meat and drink too much Port.
AMBY: Where did the band’s name come from?
Captain Dangerous: I don’t really remember. I think it happened in a hurry because when we started we got booked for a debut show really quickly and had to come up with something on the spot. It’s one of those names that I probably wouldn’t choose now, but it’s just a name and I think what you create is the most important thing. We were nearly called the The Odessa Steps, which would have been horribly pretentious. So with that in mind Captain Dangerous does it’s job I think.
AMBY: Off of your album The Empire Never Ended, which songs are your favourite and why?
Captain Dangerous: For me lyrically my favourite is Merrow Song because it was written at a time when I was pretty miserable. I was imagining a lovestruck couple, one half of which was me, where we were so in love that we didn’t want to risk not ever feeling like that anymore, so we decided drown together when love was at it’s strongest. I was reading a lot about Welsh and Irish folklore at the time, which influenced the imagery of their journey. It’s a description of the last hour on earth together. Personally I wanted the lyrics to be my strongest if they were to be the last ever character based love song I wrote which at the time I was planning it to be. I think often your best work comes out of sadness and I was miserable when it was written. I’m much, much happier now but I’m still very proud of that song lyrically. I’m also lyrically proud of Forgive Us We’re British for all it’s political connotations but as a whole piece of work I think Everything Beautiful Reminds Me Of You is the best song on the album and has become our calling card. In terms of guitar work that is the best example of Miles and I working together to better an original idea I brought to the table.
AMBY: I have to ask about your song Heather and Tommy– so clever and funny. Where did the idea come from for the track?
Captain Dangerous: I had recently read ‘The Dirt’ which is the Motley Crüe book and wanted to write about Heather Locklear and Tommy Lee’s marriage in 4 minutes from the point of view of an English Man who’s never met them. I’m also a big Motley Crüe fan.
AMBY: We notice a lot of storytelling in your lyrics. Who or what inspires this attribute of your music?
Captain Dangerous: I’m half-Irish and have always been surrounded by larger-than-life story telling characters. Aside from that I grew up I was listening to far too much Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Pulp, and Irish folk music. I had an a bit of an obsession with George Orwell, an overly active imagination and a late teenage love of Hefner. I just love the English Language. It can bring out the most beautiful and romantic descriptions of the mundane if it’s used with care and thought. The plan was always to make good pop music with lyric substance.
AMBY: What’s next for Captain Dangerous?
Captain Dangerous: Next on the agenda is the tour in May and June. I snapped the tendons in my guitar playing hand in January and as a result I haven’t picked up a guitar for 2 months so I’m desperate to get back out there again. The tour is taking us to Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Lancaster, London, and Nottingham. I’ll also be doing a few solo piano shows on the same tour. We’re really looking forward to it.
AMBY: What’s the funniest moment you’ve had together as a band?
Captain Dangerous: There has been a lot but I think playing a nuclear fallout shelter in Prague with security done by the Czech Mafia who were trying to sell us trafficked women, certainly ranks up there on the bizarre stakes although the trafficked women part obviously isn’t funny. These guys were like something out of a film. Huge steroided men, bald heads, shades, black suits, and huge attack dogs. It was scary, so we did what anyone would have done in that situation, and that was get drunk, play the show and leave quickly.
AMBY: Who are some of the last artists you listened to?
Captain Dangerous: I’ve been listening to Shrag, Beans on Toast, King Krule, Civilians, and Mclusky the most recently. Skying by the Horrors is also an ace album and The Both Ways Open Jaws by The Do is something I’ve particularly enjoyed over the last 12 months. More close to home, our friends Baby Godzilla and We Show up on Radar have made wonderful records recently.
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Captain Dangerous: I’m excited mainly for getting out on tour and the summer festival season. We’re a live band more than anything and I think that’s the environment in which our music translates the best.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Captain Dangerous that nobody knows yet?
Captain Dangerous: That we book our own tours. So if anyone in Canada fancies us popping over we’d love to hear from you! We’re planning to travel further afield in Europe towards the end of the year and then we’ll look into getting over to North America.