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Q&A: The Zutons

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The Scene met up with the Zutons to talk gigs, music and school days ...

The Scene: Why are you called the Zutons?

Sean: It was by accident really. We were struggling for names at the time. There was a band called "Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band" and the guitarist's name was "Zoot Horn Rollo". Dave thought it was Zuton so he said "The Zutons" to us and thought we'd laugh at it, but we thought it was good.

TS: How did you all get together?

Dave: We were all in different bands around town. I was in a band called Tramp Attack. Everyone's band split up over about three weeks and we came together. Abi came in a little bit later. You can say it was fate and it was meant to happen or you could say I'm a robber and I robbed all the best musicians around town for my band. [laughs]

TS: How come Liverpool's got such a great music scene?

Russell: There's a lot of bands playing in pubs and clubs, there's a lot more opportunity to get into music and to find other people who are interested in music.

TS: If you could have three bands on your support bill from Liverpool, dead or alive, who would it be?

Sean: I don't know if I'd want the Beatles supporting us. I'd have maybe Echo and the Bunnymen and The Stands.

Russell: Or Deaf School or someone like that. A lot of Liverpool bands have done a little bit but they're only really well known in Liverpool, like Shack.

TS: No John Lennon?

Sean: Well, you can't have John Lennon supporting you, can you! I'd put us under the Beatles. They could go last.

TS: If you had to do a homecoming gig, where would it be?

Sean: I'd say at Everton, but because the other members of the band are Liverpool fans, they'd say there. But either of these grounds would be great, it'd be filled with all our friends and family.

TS: You're known as a great live band. What was your best gig ever?

Boyan: The first time we went to Japan to play it was a bit of a shock 'cause people actually wanted to hear us. When you're a kid you think, just imagine if I was in a band and I got signed, I could go around the world, and then all of a sudden you're doing it. Tasmania on New Year's Eve, too, that was a mad gig.

Abi: We did a gig with Oasis, a one-off thing at Milton Keynes Bowl. Babyshambles were meant to be supporting but they dropped out. I was quite nervous about it, but it was brilliant, everyone was just dead supportive and dancing and stuff.

TS: Who are your biggest influences?

Russell: ACDC was the first band I got into. I used to pretend to be Angus Young, trying to do a duck walk around the house, but I could never do it. Still can't do it now.

Boyan: My favorite would have to be Frank Zappa because of the sheer audacity with the way he plays, and his lyrics are a bit tongue in cheek. The obvious one is Jimmy Hendrix. Django Reinhardt was amazing, too.

TS: Where did you go to school?

Sean: West Derby Comprehensive School. They asked us to go back but there's no way I'd go. I hated it. It was rubbish. I hated my headmaster. He used to pick on me.

Dave: I didn't get any GCSE's (UK high school qualifications), I got a C in music, I picked the guitar up and I didn't want to do nothing else. I went to college, and it was just boring. It never really happened for me.

TS: Has success changed you?

Boyan: No, we've just evolved. It's still us. It's like when a kid grows up and the face changes, but you still know it's the same kid. It's the same with the music. All of the music is a little kid waiting to grow up.

TS: Abi, what's it like being the only girl, outnumbered by the guys all the time?

Abi: I'm used to it now. If the lads do my head in I just get off for a bit. That's what we all do in the band, if somebody's having a bad day, then they keep to themselves for a bit and you'll see them later in the day and it's all right again. It's dead good, I really like it.

TS: What's coming up next for you?

Russell: This year, we've really been looking forward to putting this album -- Tired of Hanging Around -- to bed and starting a new album and making new songs and getting that creative process going. I'm really looking forward to the tour in November, December, in the UK but after that we're going to look at a new record.

TS: Which one of you is the oldest?

All: Boyan.

TS: Which one of you is the loudest?

All: Dave.

Which one of you is the most rock star?

Boyan: Dave.
Everyone else: Boyan!
Dave: I'm the one who goes out and has a laugh; he's the one that puts the show on.

Dave, Sean and Russell in rehearsal

The Zutons: Hanging around in Liverpool


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