Some could say we are biased but the new Aim LP "What A Way To Earn A Living" aint to shabby.. The songs are a mixture of stories about characters the boys all know and from those that have heard the LP like it..
Due for release in all good indepedent record stores throught the UK and digital download from August 28th, we pinged band member Grant Judges a few questions to find out more.
G-C - Who are The Aim
GJ - The aim are a South London based band
When and how did you form the band
I formed the band originally in 1989 with two friends called Tony duke and Ralph McDowell, we were originally called 'free peace sweet'.. We were a three piece mod band, all massively into The Jam, Small Faces, The Style Council, Madness, The Specials, The Beat etc... We changed the band name to The Aim to try and fit into our mod roots! Initially we signed up with Dizzy Holmes at Detour Records after he saw us play at the Old St.John's Tavern in North London, We were supporting the bands 'Jump the Gun' and 'Tin Soldiers'. we released a single called 'Call Your Name' but we sadly split up not long after its release.
I decided to re-form the band back end of last year. I then met Jennie Matthias (of Bellestars fame) she told me all about the charity that she runs called 'Food For All'. The charity feed up to 1000 homeless people a day in London all free of charge. I decided to record one of our old songs called Lion's Pride' which is about being homeless, with Jennie on backing vocals. Unfortunately I couldn't track down Tony or Ralph so it was a case of quickly finding some new band members! The recording was only going to be a 'one off' but I realised how much I had enjoyed the recording experience with people that I hadn't worked with before, so I cracked on with making an album with The Aim!
Who are the players in the band
The band is essentially myself and my mate Jamie Tongue. I called on the services of friends Sean Hanna and Mikey Wetherilt both from the band 'The Britpop Collective'. With Adam Harwood, guitarist from my old band, Robert Orr and a very dear friend Gavin Ellis who is affectionately known as 'The Genie' to help make the album. Due to other band commitments it’s been an ever-changing line up, a bit like the Style Council’s early days really! The current line-up is myself, Jamie, Gavin and my cousins David and John Lovell as well as James Ford.
For those that haven’t heard you, how would you describe your music
Im not sure how I would describe our music to be honest, 'mod rock' maybe?
Who are your influences
Our influences range from the Style Council, The Jam, The Enemy, Small Faces, The Who, The Kinks, Maximo Park, Oasis right through to bands like Black Stone Cherry.
What bands are you currently listening to
I’m currently listening to the back catalogue of The Beat at the moment.. Songs like 'Jackpot' and 'Save It For later' and ' Too Nice To Talk To' are just timeless. I like the new solo stuff from Paul Smith (the Maximo Park frontman), also looking forward to the new 'Family Silver album' and 'The Ordinary Boys' have a new one soon too, so they will be getting a good run-out.
So then, new LP out “What A Way To Earn A Living”, what’s the story behind it.
The story behind 'What A Way To Earn A Living' was kick-started by the charity single we did with Jennie Matthias for her 'Food For All Charity'. We recorded 'Lion's Pride'. around Christmas 2014. I started to write again and the first song I came up with was 'What You See Is What You Get' which is based on all the characters and situations from my past. I wrote 'What A Way To Earn A Living' next which was inspired by all the child sex abuse cover up's in Rotherham and Oxford etc. that were in the news at the time. I suddenly had this idea of writing a batch of songs based on different characters and came up with the concept. Within the album you have nods to chancers, rogues, losers, users, abusers, mad ex-girlfriends, one night stands, being in love for the first time, homelessness, poverty, sex abuse and your best mate's fit sister...There is even a song about a transvestite...It all about every day stuff that we can all relate to!!!
The album is dedicated to my old band mate Tony Duke. I did try to track him down in order to get him to record the album with me but sadly by the time we went in to the studio I managed to find his brother Roy who told me Tony had recently passed away.. I went to Tony's funeral the day after we mastered the album... Very sad, he was a genius and a top bloke.
Jennie Matthias sings on Sarah and Lions Pride, how did that come about
I got involved with Jennie and the “Food For All” team after we did a little winter tour.. Lewis Griffiths asked me if we wouldn’t mind sticking the Food For All logo on all the flyers and posters of our tour, which of course I was pleased to do. I then met Jennie at a street party in Carnaby Street a few months later and I put the idea to her about recording 'Lion's Pride' as a fund raiser single.. Jennie said as long as she could sing backing vocals she was in and then I of course jumped at the chance! She came down to Zodiac Studios in Greenwich and recorded her parts and just blew us away with her voice and attitude to life, she is just filled with compassion and humanity...Jen is a beautiful human being I love her to bits...Salvo our engineer at Zodiac was just totally smitten! Since then, I’ve got further involved along with the Griffiths crew and done fund raising sleep outs in Kings Cross in order to raise awareness for the homeless and I also hand out food around Charing Cross and Leicester Square to those in need...Food for all do an amazing job, with absolutely no government funding.
Are The Aims tracks available to purchase elsewhere
The album will be available to buy in hard case cd format with an 8 page booklet from Friday 28th august through the Griffiths website. It can also be purchased from independent record stores throughout the UK and worldwide. We will also launch it with almost every digital download medium available...Saying that, I don't think you can beat having the real thing and looking through the artwork and appreciating the work that goes into producing an LP.. I used to spend hours looking and studying artwork on all the records/tapes/cd's that I bought and I still do to be honest, I love it..
Any further releases from the LP
We are due to start filming some promo videos and some short story films to run alongside the 'What A Way To Earn A Living' concept. My long time videographer Paolo Sedazzari from Fitzrovia TV, will be filming some gigs lined up for later in the year and were also hoping to release a couple of singles before the end of 2015. Myself and Jamie have already started writing the 2nd album, so we may release a brand new track at Christmas as a taster of what's to come. We have around 6 tracks sorted at the moment… it's hard graft all this music making but what a way to earn a living eh?...