- Mon, 2004-09-06 09:10
The first two singles from McFly went to Number 1, followed by an album which teems with love, loss, frustration and a humorous songwriting spark that has already set McFly head and shoulders above many of their peers.
Danny Jones (guitar/vocals), Tom Fletcher (guitar/vocals), Dougie Poynter (bass, vocals) and Harry Judd (drums) have a brilliant array of influences, from the fire and fury of Bill Haley’s comets to the more recent homely twang of The Coral, mixed up with a little bit of everything in between and served up in perfectly formed, brilliantly-observed McFly-shaped packages.
Being in McFly, each member will tell you, is less about the haircuts and more about getting up on stage, and with their own tour scheduled for the end of the year,
I Like Music caught up with cricket-mad 17-year-old Harry Judd just before the release of third single, That Girl. McFly’s drummer was educated at posh school Uppingham, along with Charlie from Busted. “He's so determined,” says Danny. “But he’s a really good friend. He’s the one we can all turn to for advice, and he’s got lots of common sense.” Adds Tom: Harry can be brutally honest at times - but you know he'll always give it to you straight. We wouldn't want him any other way.
''I like music because … it’s the highest form of entertainment.” Harry, McFly
ILM: Your new single, That Girl is out Monday – the first McFly song ever written, and bloody great too, can you describe it’s vibe and tell me a bit about it?
Harry: It’s got a happy vibe to it and a summer feel to it. I know we’re releasing it in September, but you can’t always help that can you. It’s quite Beach Boys influenced with the harmonies. It’s fairly similar to Obviously in the way that it’s about teenage guys, for us anyway, our mentality has been look but you can’t touch, as in we never think we have a chance with people. With girls we always think girls are out of our league, so it’s just a cool thing to write about it and we can relate to it and also there’s the guitar solo, that Danny loves to play?
ILM: You’ve done a lot of summer shows, can you tell me your favourite track to play live?
Harry I like to play Saturday Night, that’s probably my favourite. It’s a song off the album, the B-side to Five Colours, and it’s just got a really cool intro for the drums, so there’s a cool drum part for me, and I like playing the faster songs we’ve got?
ILM: How did you get into playing the drums?
Harry: I just grew up listening to music and I just like music and rock bands basically. I was always really fascinated and passionate and got into bands, and so did my brother and my dad and friends at school, so I just really want to be involved in it and be in a band. I tried playing the guitar, but I didn’t really enjoy it, and I always talked about playing the drums or singing or whatever, and then suddenly one day – a couple of my friends – one’s a bass player the other’s a guitarist, the drummer in their band left, and I went down to watch them rehearse and saw the drum kit and thought I’d really like to play, so I took a few lessons and got the kit and it went from there.
ILM: Now you’ve had two number one hits already and a number one album, how are you getting used to the success and are you able to enjoy it and appreciate it?
Harry: I think so yeah. It’s hard though because, it’s a weird one because sometimes you just forget about it and get on with life, but other times it’s a bit strange, but you don’t want to let the attention weird you out, so you just get on and enjoy it and appreciate it and have a good time basically.
ILM: I heard you met Rod Stewart recently, have you met any others bigtime celebs?
Harry. Yeah. We saw Coldplay the other day. We didn’t meet them but we were in the same rehearsal studio as them, and we met New Found Glory. Me, Tom and Dougie went to their gig and got to meet them backstage, which was really cool. I met Biffy Clyro, a three-piece Scottish band and they were just randomly at the airport, and as they’re one of my favourite bands so that was cool.
ILM: You went to boarding school (with Charlie from Busted) –which teacher would you most like to say ‘heh look at me now’ to? And did you have midnight feasts?
Harry: I’m not really like that, but yes I know what you mean. To me, it’s not the way they looked at me at school, because I did a lot of sport and stuff and I wasn’t a complete dropout or anything and got average-good grades and work and stuff, but I was cheeky, which teachers either love or hate, so there were a couple of the old school teachers who were a bit dubious about what I was doing when I left school, so I showed them didn’t I.
We didn’t really have midnight feast, but in my house I had a close group of five friends and when we got in the top years and had our own room and stuff we used to at midnight pile into one of our rooms and sit around and drink Milo milkshake and chat, so that was our kind of gentlemen’s club.
ILM: You’re performing on lots of shows this weekend. Who’s your favourite weekend TV presenter?
Harry: Good question. I’d have to say probably Fern. I like Cat Deeley, but I think Fern is great and she’s really cool.
ILM: Can you tell be the best thing and worst thing/habit of each of the other guys?
Harry: Danny’s worst habit is speaking before he thinks. Tom’s worst habit is being quite impatient. Dougie’s is he’s sometimes too quiet. Danny’s good thing is he’s always a good laugh. Dougie and Tom are both quirky and quick-witted, so we all have a laugh together.
ILM: Have you managed to find time to visit any festivals as punters this year?
Harry: Unfortunately not, but the only ones I would’ve really liked to go to would be Leeds or Reading. I went to Leeds festival last year and had a pretty good time, but this year we couldn’t go because we were just busy. I could’ve gone for one day but it would’ve meant traveling up and down and would’ve been too much. But we’ve managed to catch a couple of gigs this summer, so that’s ok.
ILM: Are you into – Back To The Future, being as you’re called MCFLY, and were you around when it came out (in the 80s?)
Harry: Yeah, absolutely. That name came from Tom actually, he’s quite a movie geek, and Back To The Future was one of his favourite films, and at the time he was really good friends with James because they were writing loads together. It was James’s favourite film as well and it just suddenly popped into Tom’s head one day as a potential band name. Sometimes people think it’s to do with the whole ‘Busted’ connection with Year 3000 or whatever, but it had nothing to do with that, it was just simply because they all liked the film, including Danny, and I thought that was a bit of a cult film, so McFly it was.
ILM: What advice do you have for other young artists? What have you learnt about the industry so far?
Harry: I don’t know really, just enjoy yourself and do what you believe in I suppose. And just never give up. If you really want to do it and believe in yourself, then never give up really.
ILM: Can you tell me your earliest musical memory?
Harry: It was sitting in the car on the way to Southwold, and I remember my dad always used to play Beatles tapes. The song I really remember was Hey Jude?
ILM: What are your plans for the future?
Harry: We’ve got our tour coming up, we’re really excited about that. It’s going to be every night in theatres all around the country, just playing, the four of us, so it’s going to be awesome. We’re working on our set at the moment and really enjoy it.
ILM: Describe your favourite place on earth….
Harry: I like to be in the mountains skiing, because it’s such an amazing place and I really enjoy skiing.
ILM: What is in your CD player right now?
Harry: The Dave Matthews Band
ILM: Can you tell me your favourite tune that makes you smile?
Harry: Loads of songs make me smile. Recently it would be a song by The Doors called Love Her Madly. I hadn’t heard it for ages and put it on the other day. It’s such a cool song.
ILM: Makes you feel relaxed and chilled out?
Harry: Anything, even if it’s heavy I find it relaxing because I love it so much. But I suppose Dashboard Confessional.
ILM: Makes you want to have a good dance?
Harry: Lost Prophets make me want to dance. I don’t like RnB or dance music really or anything, or commercial hip hop, more rock stuff and non-commercial hip hop, more jumping about. The Lost Prophets are excellent.
Two massive Number Ones, a brilliant debut album and thousands of new fans later, McFly are flying… That Girl is released September 6th, 2004.