After watching The Cold One Hundred support The Heartbreaks, I got very excited indeed and needed to find out more about them. Luckily, their bassist, Jacob Walker, kindly agreed to answer some questions about the interesting Manchester-based pop outfit…
First up, what’s the meaning behind the band’s name?
Jacob: It’s taken from a Peter Green solo album, but more because we liked the phrase than anything else. It’s a reference to when car manufacturers were competing to produce a commercial car that could reach one hundred miles per hour, and the general consensus at the time was that it couldn’t be done. The Cold One Hundred is the feeling of cold air hitting your face when travelling at that speed.
How long have you been together, writing and playing shows, and how did the band come together?
Jacob: It started with Amory [Neish-Melling, vocals] and Jake [Ward, guitar] writing songs together instead of going to lectures. There was no immediate intention to form a band but when we posted really rough bedroom demos online they got noticed by some of Manchester’s music press, and it grew from there. Sam [Dabrowski, drums] Jacob and Josh [Harper, guitar] completed the line-up in 2010 and we’ve been playing live ever since.
How would you describe the music you make?
Jacob: We’re a pop band. However old-fashioned it might seem, we like melodies, choruses and vocal hooks. I saw someone on Twitter the other day describe us as a Killers Tribute Act. I think it was meant to be offensive. We might put it on our album sleeve.
I saw you supporting The Heartbreaks in Manchester, how did you find it?
Jacob: It was a great night, the crowd were brilliant. We’ve played with The Heartbreaks a few times now, one of our first gigs was supporting them at their first single launch, but this was by far the best. As a support band it can sometimes be difficult to get the crowd on your side, but we got a really warm reception and had a lot of fun. We don’t often get the chance to play 14+ gigs but I think younger audiences tend to be less reserved and it definitely lifts the energy of the whole crowd.
Who would be your dream band to play with? Who do you consider to be your biggest influences?
Jacob: Suede have been a huge influence on us from the start so when we got the chance to support Brett Anderson on his UK tour it was a big deal for us. In terms of other influences we never really set out to sound like anyone, but as a band we seemed to naturally follow a musical style inspired by 80’s/ 90’s indie bands. Blur, Radiohead and James seem the most obvious, to name a few. Amory’s vocal style takes influence from the classic crooners, people like Johnnie Ray, Matt Monro and Roy Orbison, singers with a protean talent and raw emotive energy in their voices, who sounded fantastic with or without backing. Oh, and people keep saying we sound like The Smiths, but we’ve never heard of them…
Have you got any more live shows planned?
Jacob: We’re heading back into the studio now to continue working on our much-delayed debut release. We’re concentrating on getting our recorded sound right, so that’s our priority right now. There’ll be a tour to accompany the single, if it ever gets finished!
What are your plans for releasing material?
Jacob: We’ve been told that we’re going to be putting something out soon. That’s all we can say right now, we’re sworn to secrecy! If I’ve learnt anything from the industry it’s that these things can often fall through.
What do you think your music can bring to the industry?
I hope we can write songs that mean something to someone. Failing that, they can use us as background music on Hollyoaks.
Finally, The Cold One Hundred are my new favourite band but who are you currently listening to?
Jacob: You’re too kind! We played with a band called Doyle and The Fourfathers a while ago and have been fans ever since, give their album ‘Man Made’ a listen.
Even though they’re only planning their first release, The Cold One Hundred are a band you NEED to check out. Their beautifully romantic tracks ‘Hedonist’ and ‘Sixteen Inside’, with their infectious beats and witty lyrics, are early indicators that the group is going to be a very important part of the future UK pop scene. I think it’s more than safe to say that you’re going to be hearing a lot more from them.