Warehouse Republic are a four-piece blues-rock outfit from Epsom who’ve earned themselves comparisons to the likes of Oasis and the Beatles. Actress Rachel Hurd-Wood appears in the video for debut single ‘Revolver’ and follow-up ‘Not Today’ is out now. Before their acoustic performance at Camden’s Bar Solo, Creature stopped by for a chat over a couple of beers with Charlie, Alex, Ben, James to talk about their music, their name, and above all how they managed to get Rachel Hurd-Wood to star in their music video…
First of all, where did the name Warehouse Republic come from?
Charlie: It’s sort of like the spirit of freedom or rebellion from the old illegal warehouses. It’s about doing something against the tide.
So you guys see yourself as something different?
Alex: Well, we are different.
Charlie: We’re different from the mainstream, what the mainstream is.
You don’t want to follow what anyone else is doing?
Charlie: Not at the moment. It’s just generally a bit bland, you know? With all due respect to everyone, it’s more or less Topshop indie boys or electro or the X Factor.
Alex: There’s a kind of a magic when you step onstage and you’re not just stringing off songs that everyone’s heard on a CD. Too many artists do that nowadays.
Is that why you enjoy playing acoustically – it gives you a chance to re-work your material?
Charlie: Well, we literally just said we were going to improvise everything tonight! I think we’ll probably see how much we like it after we finish maybe. But I think the thing we’re really proud of is the fact we’re really good musicians; that seems to have been lost in a lot of modern music…
You only formed last year and already you’ve got a manager and a music video – what do you put such quick progression down to?
Ben: Hard work I think.
Charlie: I’ll paraphrase Gary Player, the old golf player: ‘the harder we work, the luckier we get’. We do work really fucking hard, you know? And we’re good, to be honest.
What were you doing before the band?
Alex: I wasn’t doing anything! I was on an extended gap year trying to find a band. Luckily this was the first band I applied to.
Charlie: I was a professional piano player for a bit, and I was in some bands. That’s about it to be honest.
How did you get Rachel Hurd-Wood to appear in your video?
Charlie: I had to sleep with her.
Andrei (their manager): To clarify, I used to have a photography studio and met Rachel through a photoshoot.
Charlie: That’s not true either! You got to know her through Alex.
Andrei: Oh yeah.
Warehouse Republic’s sound has been compared to that of some well-known bands, but who do you guys think you sound like? What are your influences?
Ben: Certainly bands like the Beatles obviously.
Alex: Led Zeppelin.
Charlie: Zeppelin. Zeppelin is probably the band’s band, if you know what I mean? Then the Beatles followed by the Stones.
Alex: We aspire to be as good as them.
Charlie: If you’re not aspiring to be them, you’re just doing it for the fucking beers or whatever.
You’ve been pretty unlucky with some accidents and injuries. How has that affected the band?
Charlie: We were so grateful to have each other anyway, if that makes sense? All that did was slow us down.
In particular Charlie, you had a near-death experience – has this influenced your songwriting? What’s your muse?
Charlie: Oh shit. Erm.
James: Most of the songs are about girls.
Charlie: No, not really. It’s deeper than that, a lot deeper than that. I like the kind of extremes in human nature. Most of its optimistic, the rest is spiritual – but not in a God way. There’s a new one called ‘Earth Calling Earth’ which is about looking-in on mankind from space. There’s also quite a bit of Aleister Crowley in there as well. He’s misunderstood.
You supported Dodgy recently. What other bands would you most like to support?
Charlie: Led Zeppelin if they reform. The Beatles – are they around still?
Alex: The Foo Fighters I guess.
What does the rest of 2011 hold for Warehouse Republic? What are you hoping for?
James: We’re releasing another single in October/ November time called ‘Turning Tricks’.
Charlie: We’re gonna do kind of a big gig to support that and we’re doing a really cool video. The girl who’s the central character gets her tarot cards read and then each band member will be what happens on the cards.
Any Hollywood celebrities lined up for it?
Ben: We can’t give you that information at the moment.
Charlie: Andrei genuinely is working on that on the moment.
Alex: Isn’t your cousin like Keira Knightley or something?
Sum up what Warehouse Republic is all about for us.
Charlie: Jimmy? I’m going to have to hurry you.
Charlie: I’m going to go with magic. We’re going with magic.