“The Early Years of a person’s life is often when they are doing things purely on their own agenda, unspoilt and unconcerned by outside pressures and influences - pure and true to themselves. That’s the best place to be in when you’re making music.”
Roger Mackin - no, not the Head of Counter-Narcotics for the FBI, the singer of hotly tipped trio The Early Years, explains their moniker after garnering the blushing attentions of Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens, John Kennedy, MTV2 and even scored international success via a World Cup Nike advert.
“I think our music transcends time and place. Put us in a room in Nashville and we would still sound the same."
In just two years the band have built a solid reputation which is set to be crowned by their debut album. Roger revealed that their ideas popped together remarkably quickly, (“without sounding like The Libertines or the Gang of Four”) with a massive ‘click’ occurring in the sixth session. The consequent rake of gigs quickly followed with the band purveying a punkier aesthetic when there’s a crowd before them.
Roger describes their sound as esoteric, atmospheric, and a little psychedelic. But what of the band’s influences? “Collectively it would definitely be the sound of the music coming out of Germany in the early Seventies,” explains Roger. “Things like Neu, Harmonia and Can. For those guys it was all about the music – nothing more. I think that’s why their music has stood the test of time so well. That attitude has probably inspired us as much as their music.”
Signed to Beggars, their eponymous debut is making well-crafted waves through the indie scene. Roger met Dave, in typically local circumstance: “Dave did a solo show supporting us. I thought what he was doing was a lot more interesting than my stuff. So when the band I was in fell apart we thought we might as well get something together.”
“Dave’s sister was going out with Phil who lived up north at the time, and Dave mentioned he was an ace drummer. He moved down to London and we became The Early Years!”
Experimental in their delivery, The Early Years have roaming roles within their sound as Roger concisely explains: “Dave plays the guitar, piano and sings. His specialty is coaxing wild noises from his guitar using an E-bow and Wah pedal. Phil plays the drums and synths, and makes noises with his laptop. His specialty is providing a meticulously crafted metronomic beat reminiscent of Klaus Dinger at his best. Finally I play guitar and synths and in particular enjoy creating volume swirls, drone noises and walls of feedback.”
They are based in London but claim they could be from anywhere and their sound would remain intact: “I think our music transcends time and place. Put us in a room in Nashville and we would still sound the same. We wouldn’t be playing country music that’s for sure. I guess it would be affecting our choice of clothes though. I’d be wearing a bespoke Nudie suit, which would be very cool.”
“I’m pretty sure I would get beaten up walking through London Fields in Hackney late at night if I was looking like Gram Parsons though…”