Takotsubo Men, arguably Liverpool’s finest post-punkers, might just be proving that the independent, grassroots path can still work in this day and age.
Lead singer and bassist, Ste Williams, along with guitarist, Paddy Harrison, have already done the record label thing - their previous band, Cecil, were signed to Parlophone Records in the '90s, with singles Hostage In a Frock and The Most Tiring Day not doing too badly in the charts. Almost two decades later, Ste and Paddy, joined by drummer Stu Carswell, are utilising Pledge Music for all its grass-roots power to fund their music. I spoke to singer Ste about the Liverpool music scene, how he’s getting by as an independent artist, and how the band got their peculiar name.
“We’ve finished the album mate, 14 songs in five days,” Ste tells me, his accent leaving no doubts about his Liverpudlian origins. “Then we went back in the studio in October to mix it, and then just need to find a way of getting it out there!”
Takotsubo Men released their first single using music crowd funding site Pledge Music, and they pulled it off, even though it was their debut.
“We had a single out on Pledge and we just asked for 1,000,” Ste explains. “Because we knew it would be enough to get a vinyl, and money for t-shirts. We got our money back easily, and the money we made went towards the album.”
Doing the same for the album "seems like the only option,” Ste says, “Unless you’ve got a rich parent or something funding! My job doesn’t bring that much money in; we struggle just to pay for the studio. It’s £300 a day to record, and we manage to get it for £160 because we know someone.”
Ste and Patrick were in Cecil for almost a decade, between 1993, and 2002, in which time they supported bands such as Feeder and The Levellers, and had several festival slots including Download (back when it was known as Donington), and T In the Park. Despite their single, Hostage In a Frock, making it to no.68 in the UK charts (very respectable for a post-punk band), it’s little wonder that Ste sounds a bit jaded with the music industry. Cecil were dropped by Parlophone Records during the recording of their third album.