The Tuts Interview: “It is literally DIY or die and we don’t wanna die!”

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the tuts interview

Meet Nadia, Beverely and Harriet. Three bad as hell motherf*ckers who make up The Tuts, an indie-pop outfit whose enchanting mix of hurly-burly and girl-gang cool is the musical equivalent of a fist wrapped in silk. Punch-y but nice (think Kate Nash on Girl Talk x 3) although perhaps punch-y and nice is a tad rubbish. Fruit punchy? The naughtiest, booziest, most illicit addition to every American school prom. Only they’re not American, they’re British. Whatever your metaphor, these guys are groovy man.

Where the Do-It-Yourself ideal is often an end in and of itself, for The Tuts, DIY is less a way of life and more of a necessity – they say. Although that doesn’t stop them mastering the culture and appropriating it’s more modern aspects (like their current Pledge Campaign). As well as proudly scaring off any PR, Manager or Label that dares to come to them with an offer. Done by waving a large stick made with a vial of blood from Janis Joplin and melted down Iggy Pop vinyl. (All lies, I must add. Although the reality is inevitably just as dark and cool.)

Overblown were lucky enough to ask this terrible threesome some questions to which The Tuts were kind enough to give their answers. Here they talk about their beginnings, London, The Sugababes, intersectionality and what they’d do if they were Prime Minister (answer: a lot.)

How did The Tuts begin then?

B: It all started in a small town called Hayes, Middlesex

N: Tuts began when Nadia and Beverley went to school with each other, we used to sit next to each other in class – cos our names were next to each other in alphabet, it’s not like I chose to be friends with her. Then we got these drums lessons, then I learnt guitar and Bev carried on with drums. Then jumped around to Good Charlotte and Busted and then we met Harriet and we lived happily ever after.

How would you describe your time as a band so far?

N: A fucking nightmare. A nightmare of success.

H: Wow what a juxtaposition.

N: Been amazing.

B: Constantly having a good time, there aren’t proper hard times.

H: Just tough times.

B: Yeah, tough times.

N: The weather is tough, being cold on tour.

H: Sometimes it seems like there’s too much going on at once. You know that overwhelmed feeling that you get when there’s so much to do- it switches between amazing and paralysing.

B: Yeah when you’re like – I’m overwhelmed, will I get everything done in time? Am I good enough? Will I be tight enough? Those pressures!

How easy or hard is it being a band in London these days? In recent months and years London’s independent venues are closing one by one, what’s your take on this crisis in music infrastructure? Have you felt the effects?

H: All the independent venues are getting shut down which isn’t good. Everything is run by alcohol.

B: Yeah, it’s quite gross.

N: It’s hard enough to find a venue that allows under 18s to come.

H: And also be accessible. Some of the good venues have stairs to the front door. What about people in wheelchairs? It’s hard to find somewhere that caters to everyone.

N: Trying to get a venue on a Friday or Saturday is also tough.

H: And cos its expensive to hire everywhere. Except for DIY Space For London– a new venue. It’s accessible and affordable.

B: We’re pretty thankful for that venue.

N: We just played a weekender in Glasgow- and they hired out the whole thing for about £100 for the whole weekend. In London its sometimes £300 for ONE night hire. Tickets just go towards that and paying the support bands.

B: Every nook and cranny in London they wanna build luxury apartments that no one can afford to live in.

N: Well we can now; we have a pledge. Haha.

What bands or artists would you most like to be compared to and why?

B: Sugababes.

N: Spice Girls.

H: Yeah classic girl bands! But also not just girl bands!

N: Anyone with decent hits. Spin Doctors.

H: Catchy music in general. We’re not music snobs.

You’ve just started the crowdfunding campaign for your album, how did you arrive at that idea?

B: Pledge, pledge, pledge!

N: We were thinking of doing it anyway but…

B: Yeah then the Boomster- Barney Boom! Approached us.

N: Then Harriet’s best friend Barney Boom, who is also a Libra.

H: Yeah We’re in a Libra club together.

N: ..he suggested it, and he is our campaign manager…

H: We had someone on the inside.

N: We were taken under his wing. And he helped set it up, Good teamwork. As a band you’re wrapped in do-it-yourself culture, what was it about the DIY ethic that attracted you?

H: You usually have to start off DIY.

B: People asked us “so what made you choose DIY?” We have no choice! Try and make us not DIY someone?

H: Well, we didn’t have a choice, now we do. And we realised DIY is the better choice in most cases.

N: It is literally – DIY or die and we don’t wanna die!

B: When you see a lot of artists that have been on a major label then come off it they’re not gonna know as much!

N: Yeah they ask us for advice!

H: Yeah it’s not a diss. If you’re wrapped up in a label and management from the start of your career then suddenly you’re not- I wouldn’t know what to do either in that position.

N: Yeah like if your mum does your washing then asks you to- you’re like “I don’t know how to use the washing machine!”

What’s the state of London’s DIY scene at the moment?

B: Good! So many gigs that I wanna go to!

N: Yeah and DIY space for London!

H: I think there’s quite a lot of great discussions going round about race and inter sectionalism in the punk scene and making sure there are safe spaces for everyone. Its progressing, I think! But still needs work. It used to be well bro. Punk gigs back in the day, barely any women in the room. A room full of fist pumping beards. Not like that anymore!

The Tuts are made co-prime ministers for a month, exciting stuff. What laws would you enact and what mischief would you get up to during your time in Number 10?

H: I think everyone in the country should get an allowance/grant every month or per year. Enough roughly to live on. Then if you wanna make more money to get a more expensive place/more expensive life- you can get a job, or two jobs, or three. So then if you’re having personal issues, health issues you can take time off work and still survive on your allowance. I think they do this somewhere in Europe already. I know politicians and probably loadsa people would be like “oh but no, the economy. It couldn’t be done”. But I don’t wanna believe that!

B: Yeah the word economy is getting outta date now. Capitalism is going outta fashion.

N: Yeah all of that. I need to think about what I’d do. I’d go through the kitchen in number 10, although they’d probably have nothing vegan.

H: We would put on a house show!

B: YES!

N: YES, AMAZING!

B: Put an event on Facebook!

N: I love posh buildings, not posh people. We could steal all the artwork. Oooh the chandeliers.

Talk us through what you’ve got planned for 2016!

N: ALBUM!

B: TOURING, FESTIVALS, YOU NAME IT, WE GOT IT!

N: I wanna expand. I want us to expand on YouTube. A lot more on our channel, get ready with The Tuts.

H: YouTube is disgustingly boring at the moment.

N: Obviously music is the most important thing but would be nice to get closer to
our fans and give them an insight into our life.

B: We’re creative people so can branch off to do other creative things

N: I wanna get in touch with our younger audience again, the girl gang! Get them re-engaged. Maybe through YouTube.

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