The Broken Family Band by Chris Getliffe
The Broken Family Band Interview – Forward by Jonny Rogers

The Broken Family band don’t look like a band who have suffered parental anguish, in fact they look like the sons my mother would have preferred. Four albums in and the future is looking bright for the four piece from Cambridge, major airplay and positive reviews have made the Broken Family Band a must see of the summer.
Front man Stephen Adams has enough wit and charm to win over any disbelievers of “country metal indie music”. Adams ’ English wit adds to the flavour with precision, at a time when indie music is becoming more and more dull, bands like Broken Family Band rule the school.

Please introduce yourself and your band.

My name is Steven and I’m in The Broken Family Band. So are Jay, Mickey and Gavin.

The Broken Family Band is our band of the summer, Creature has found new love, how do you feel about this?

Very good. We love doing what we do and it’s always a treat to find out that we make some people happy. Thanks for saying so.

You mentioned you have been to many festivals this year, can you put your finger on a favourite?

I had a good time at all of them, but End Of The Road was my favourite. The festivals have been good for different reasons though, like Glastonbury was about being there with my friends, and the gig was sort of incidental. Summer Sundae was all about our show as far as I’m concerned. We played this posh festival near Oxford called Cornbury – we shouldn’t have been there but I had a ball.

Why shouldn’t you have been there?

Because – believe it or not – I think we were a bit too alternative. David Gray and Blondie were the big draws of the weekend. David Gray’s a nice chap as it turns out, but that’s not really our field.

You really leapt out at us at TEOTR, was it as much of a pleasure for you as it was for us?

Yeah! Sometimes we lose sight of why we’re doing it, but that was a dead good show. I enjoyed seeing Jay playing with the elephant mask on more than is healthy.

Why an elephants head? Any relevance?

You’d have to ask Timothy Victor, who was playing with us. He bought it for Jay… I imagine it was just the most extravagant gift at available in the novelty concession.

It was nice of you to point out that we had the option of an hour with Howe Gelb. Who would you have seen if you were me?!

I’d’ve come to see us. He’s a bit of a noodler.

There was healthy amount of audience interaction at the EOTR, is this a common occurance and what do you think that adds to a live performance?

You can’t ignore the people who are watching you, at least I can’t. Some people get lost in their own little world onstage, but I like to have a laugh, make them laugh, faff about. People seem to enjoy it.

Please tell us more about your EOTR experience, What did you get up to? Any crazy stories? Will you be attending next year?

I was with my people, and the rest of the band came along on Saturday night. Mick and Jay opted for sitting in the van drinking rather than watching bands, and there are no crazy stories. Although it was me who upset everyone watching the lady playing piano in the woods by shouting ‘what’s fucking Jean Michel Jarre doing here?’ late on the Saturday night. Apparently. I’d love to go back there next year. Let’s see if they ask us. I’ve got a taste for getting into festivals for free and camping with the A-listers now.

Whats your most memorable live performance?

Levenhulme Bowling Club in Manchester a couple of years ago was pretty good. A couple of sets we’ve played at the Cambridge Folk Festival. One particularly wonderful night playing in a gay club in Madrid .

Some of your songs have a distinct Americana sound to them whilst others draw influences from Indie, Rock, Country and even Metal. Do you worry that people may not be able to define you and accuse you of being a band lost within themselves?

I don’t think ‘worry’ is the right word. Maybe it is. I think we’re like thousands of other bands who have taken influences from various spheres and created something distinctive, but people complain when we don’t stick with what people were expecting. The net result is that we are becoming less inclined to please people and more concerned with our own aesthetic. Is that whining?

The Creature has heard lots of good things about “The Local”. Can you tell us a little about it?

The Local is a night put on by my friend Howard Monk. He seems to put on some of the best shows in London , and not necessarily just elitist bullshit like some people. Proper value for money. Who else is putting on Nina Nastasia and Tom Brousseau or however you spell his name?

You have been on the circuit for some time now, have you struck up any beautiful friendships with other bands? If so Who?

We do get to say hi to people, but we’re not in the bosom of it. I like saying hello to Euros Childs because he’s shy and I feel like a teenage girl about him. He’s younger than me as well. James Yorkston is a nice fella to see around. I think I bore him, but I do enjoy a chat with him. All that Fence lot actually.

Met any bands you utterly despise?

No, I’m pretty lucky in that no-one has stuck me in a room with Cherry Ghost or The Pigeon Detectives so far.

Whats your beef with Cherry Ghost?

Why do you pick them and not The Pigeon Detectives? Cherry Ghost ain’t no good and I resent the intrusion and I’m jealous of their marketing spend.

I pick them because the Pigeon Detectives are shit and should not be allowed to hold instruments, but I think Cherry Ghost are pretty damn good, intense melancholia! Hits a spot in my brain that is quite pleasurable. Have you heard the album?

I’ve heard a couple of songs from the album, and then saw them at Summer Sundae in Leicester. In one of the songs he sings ‘did ever get the feeling you’ve been stitched up?’ or something. I think the emperor has no clothes on and his music is pish. As my Mum always said, the world would be a duller place if we all agreed. But you’re wrong.

If the Broken Family Band had a motto, what would it be?

Do what thou wilt be the whole of the law.

A friend of mine told me you own a roller disco. Is my friend a liar?

I’m sure your friend isn’t a liar. It’s not me though.

Why does Gavin (bassist) always play seated?

Because he likes sitting down. He says he likes to concentrate on playing the bass rather than shuffling about like a twat.

What on earth inspires you?
It varies. At the moment it’s Peter Ackroyd, The Walkmen and Euros. And Pink Floyd. I’m all over Live At Pompei this week.

So it’s definitely not the end of the road for The Broken Family Band, what’s up next?

We’re just starting on some new songs. I’m hoping to steer us towards some Satanic pop. We’ve written a couple of dirty rock ‘n roll songs and we’re about to play a few shows of our own… after a summer of forcing ourselves on people in fields.