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At this year’s Trashstock (two nights of awesome sleazy/glammy rock, held on 18th & 19th August, at Nottingham’s Junktion 7), I pinned down a few bands for interviews. My first victims were rockin’ twosome Devilish Presley. Formed in 2002, they’re now on their third album, released on their own label. I have previously described them as: “Majestically dark, yet sparkling and vivacious. Full of life and dressed with a tight ribbon of fiery vocals.” Now I’ve seen them live and that still stands. I have to admit, it was rather strange seeing a band with no drummer – the stage seemed quite bare – but that detracted not one jot from DP’s brilliant, charismatic performance. Their upcoming gig dates follow at the bottom of this interview, but for now, come join me, Johnny & Jacqui on the stairwell in Junktion 7, during the sound-check stage of the evening, while we talk Christmas crackers, Monkey glands and rock n roll tantrums.
Lou: How’s it going?
Johnny: Very well. Bit tired because we’ve been doing a lot of gigs, but we’re good.
Lou: I know you haven’t played yet, but so far, how has your Trashstock experience been?
Johnny: Umm… It’s nice to be with all the glam people. Normally we’re with glum people. We’ve swapped a ‘u’ for an ‘a’. And yeah, so far so good!
Lou: And are you looking forward to the show?
Johnny: Oh we always look forward to playing. It’s the only part of the day that’s worth all this hanging around!
Lou: Yeah, there is a lot of that…
Johnny: Hurry up and wait, I think is the way to put it.
Lou: Yeah… So, when did you first start writing songs?
Johnny: I was really little when I started writing. But when Jacqui & I got together, we wanted to express our angst.
Jacqui: Yeah, it’s therapy.
Johnny: A therapeutic experience!
Lou: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard it before?
Jacqui: We’re a real mix of things really. People always say, “But what exactly are you?” We’re just…what we are.
Johnny: We’re not influenced by anyone. It’s just rock n roll. The only difference between us and other bands is we use a drum machine because there are only two of us.
Lou: Well you can’t do everything at once, can you?
Johnny: Well if I could, I would! I’m just waiting for cloning.
Jacqui: Yeah, then I’m out.
Johnny: She’s only here until I’ve got some clones. Anyway, what was the question…Oh yeah, the sound! The sound is umm… bright gold and very fierce. A bit like a harpoon gun going off.
Lou: Very good description! And you’re on album number three now, do you think your musical style has changed much since you first started out?
Johnny: Yeah, it’s gotten more……polished.
Lou: What’s your very favourite thing about being in Devilish Presley?
Johnny: The hours. We get weekends off. And always meeting new people… Every day’s different.
Lou: Johnny, it says on the Devilish Presley website that you’re 4 million years old. How do you stay looking so youthful?
Johnny: Monkey glands. Injections of monkey glands and liquid eyeliner.
(This topic was discussed in more detail but I don’t want to go giving away trade secrets!)
Lou: What’s the least and most rock n roll thing you’ve done in the past 24 hours?
Johnny: I don’t really do anything rock n roll because I just define rock n roll.
Lou: You’re rock n roll personified?
Johnny: Yeah. …I threw a tantrum when we first arrived.
Lou: What did you throw a tantrum about?
Johnny: Oh, they took our backdrop down and I didn’t like it. We’re quite precious about that flag because we’ve had it a long time. Somebody tried to steal it once at a festival and we had to hunt them down!
Lou: Do you have a band motto?
Johnny: We don’t actually. We’ll have to get one out of a Christmas cracker or something.
Lou: Ok, I’ll interview you again after Christmas then for the exclusive revealing of your motto.
Johnny: Yeah, definitely!
Check out Devilish Presley for yourselves… Upcoming Gig Dates:
Tuesday 26th September Leeds @Met Uni with Misfits’
Friday 13th October Colchester @ Insanitorium – Acoustic
Friday 10th November London @ Betsey Trotwood – Acoustic
Friday 24th November London @ The Klub
Saturday 9th December Warsaw Poland @ Aurora
Tuesday 12th December Freiburg Germany @ My Way
Friday 15th December Berlin Wild at Heart
Saturday 16th December Underworld
Wednesday 27th December Mansfield @ Town Mill