| “In 1996, John Rowe (vocals), Dave Glover (guitar), Steven Nesbitt (bass) and Daniel Rose-Troup (drums) embarked on a journey that would take them to the centre of themselves…”
Still only 22 and tipped for big things, their band HERP NURP have just secured a record deal. Katie Fish talks to them about their future single,realms of consciousness and the colour orange…
Who were the founder members?
John Rowe: Me, Steve and Daniel. Dave joined about four years ago.Dave Glover : Yeah, I joined in 2000 but the band started in about 1996.
How did you meet?
JR: We all lived in the same area. (Gosforth, Newcastle)
Steve Nesbitt: Me and Danny used to play with each other when we were about eight. (Too much information lads!)
Dan Rose-Troup: Mostly through school as well, those three went to the same school.
When did you realise it was going to become more than just casually meeting up to play?
JR: It was one specific time when it just clicked in Dan’s room.
DRT: We used to have band practises in my bedroom because we had no other place to practise.
JR: It happened quickly, it must have been about six months after getting the first set we went on to be tour support band four times at the Riverside
Where did the name come from?
JR: My brain somewhere, just lunacy really. I dunno, it just stuck. It was something we said to each other amongst friends.
DRT: We were like 14 years old.
DG: We had some dodgy names.
JR: We’ve got a sensible name now!
What kind of music do you listen to yourselves?
DG: Because I do loads of sound engineering, I see local bands all the time. I’ll listen to a local band over a signed artist. There’s loads of good stuff coming from local bands.
Which local (North-East) bands do you rate?
DG: Idols Are Higher are great, Fables Last Stand are good, Lovemat and Freerunner are good as well.
As a band, how do you go about writing songs?
DRT: John writes them. He’s a naturally talented songwriter so he comes to band practise and says ‘I’ve written this song’.
DG: Then we take his ideas and they just work their magic.
What’s your inspiration for the lyrics?
JR: Life, positivity, different realms of consciousness and going into those realms and bringing back things.
Do you feel the current state of the world influences any of your song writing?
JR: No. It’s an underlying thing of something I want to say. It’s personal.
DG: It’s more about life experiences.
JR: It’s me saying this is what I think.
How do you describe the sound you end up with?
DG: It’s always like a groove based atmospheric, epic, sound-scape…
JR: It’s got a vibe going on.
DG: There’s always something going on, I’d like to think there’s never a boring moment.
Do you have any albums coming up?
JR: We’ve just signed a deal with bigfatRECORDS and we’re going to release a single and do an album in a few months.
What’s the single going to be?
JR: Possibly ‘Nevertheless’.
SN: But it’s not definite yet.
DG: But ‘Nevertheless’ has got a bit of everything, everyone who listens to it can like some of it.
JR: The songs have these dark and light bits, they travel linear rather than verse chorus verse chorus.
DRT: I reckon John could make millions working for someone like Simon Cowell, because he can write songs that are really catchy.
John, would you drop the band if Simon Cowell offered you a solo deal?
And would you drop John if Cowell offered you a deal as a band on the condition you dropped the singer?
DRT: Na, because we’d lose the songs.
DG: I think, personally, we’d be f**ked.
SN: We work well together.
DRT: If one person dropped out of the band it would totally change the sound.
You all listen to different types of music, do you think all those different influences mix to make the unique sound of Herp Nurp?
JR: Yeah, and also we don’t really hang out together as much as other bands, which helps because you go away and bring in your own influences and ideas.
Where do you see yourselves in a few years time?
JR: Glastonbury, hopefully.
DG: Touring the Far East.
SN: Living in a mansion.
DRT: Living in a tent.
JR: Yeah, a tent.
What would be your dream gig?
SN: Yeah, Glastonbury on the main stage.
JR: I think we’d go down well there, with a big epic sound.
With the decline in album sales, are you worried about committing yourself to what is potentially declining industry?
JR: Not really.
DG: We just want to be heard.
JR: We don’t have a choice.
Do you think it’s important for a band to present a strong visual image for the audience to relate to?
JR: To a certain extent.
SN: It’s important that people can connect with the band.
JR: But at the same time, we’re all different people with different styles, we don’t plan our outfits or anything.
DG: We don’t have wardrobes - yet!
So you feel it’s important for you to maintain individuality in the band?
DG: I think the individuality is what makes Herp Nurp.
DRT: We don’t want to be like The Hives. It works for them but we’re all different characters.
JR: That’s where the sound comes from. It just gels and comes together.
Is there never conflict in the band?
DG: No, that’s what’s special about it.
JR: Our individuality makes Herp Nurp.
Do you think your unique sound limits your appeal?
DG: I think it’s unique on a different scale. I think it’s unique in the sense a lot of people can connect with it. Because it’s songs and because there’s something everyone can catch onto, people describe it in so many ways.
JR: It’ still a rock thing underneath it all.
DG: People can say it’s rock, funk, metal…
JR: Not metal!
DG: … so people take away different things.
Anything interesting about yourselves?
DRT: We should make up a really exciting story!
JR: I like orange?
So John’s favourite colour is orange, what are your favourite colours?
DG: Come to think of it, I like orange as well.
DRT: I like green because I’m Irish.
JR: I just love orange. You know what I mean, when things are naturally orange, like when you’re digging in mud…
DRT: Digging in mud?
JR: You can find loads of orange stuff in mud and you’re like ‘Wow!!! Look at that!!!’. It’s just naturally psychedelic!
Describe yourself in five words.
JR: I like orange. That’s three.
DG: Potty, outgoing, organised…
DRT: Sounds like a CV.
DG: You wouldn’t put potty on a CV!!!
DRT: One word that sums Steve up is ‘late’. I think he’s got some sort of condition where you give him a time and he turns up two hours after. It’s not like I’m blaming him or anything, it’s just his mind. I’m comfortable with it now though. Any more words?
DRT: Not bad words!
JR: Bang up for the rave!
DRT: One word that sums me up is gullible.
DG: Someone will say to him ‘London got flooded’ and he’ll be like ‘Really??? How many people died???’
(After 10 more minutes deliberation…)
DRT: I think you should just make it up and whatever you say, we’ll agree with it.
Anything else you want to say to everyone out there?
DG: Just have fun and play with Herp Nurp!