Q&A Scene: Matt Gray of THE DARLING BUDS (UK)

Tell us about your new EP ‘Evergreen’ ?
It’s a 4 track 10″ record and download coming out on OddBox records. A very cool indie label local to us. They are 4 songs which we think represent where we are musically at the moment. We just started messing about with new ideas as we’d been playing again occasionally and it just felt right. Plus we felt we needed to start moving forward as it gets boring playing the same old stuff.
What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 
Haha! Ask any band that and they’ll say, “the new one”. So apart from that, we always felt that Erotica, the 3rd and last album was the favourite. The band were really progressing well at that point. (Artistically, rather than commercially!)
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.   
We were once in a big studio complex in the US and Barry Manilow was recording in the next studio down the hall. We’d see him going into the corridor for a cigarette regularly. Big smoker, surprisingly. (That’s a shit story, sorry!) Actually there’s an Australian connection because we hung out there a lot with The Hard-Ons who were staying in LA with a mutual friend. We went to see each other’s gigs, and they had a rugby ball with them which we’d try to show our American friends how to pass properly. Lovely people.
What, or who, inspires you?   
Mainly the obvious. 60’s girl groups, Velvets, Beatles, Big Star. Then of course the poppier early punk, Buzzcocks, Ramones. We listen to loads of different stuff like post-punk and indie which probably filters into our music as well.
Which song do you wish you wrote?    
There are a few we come across now and again and think, oh wow that would have been an awesome Buds song. I hear songs all the time I wish I’d thought of. I actually just heard one on the radio by the Mountain Goats, called “Andrew Eldridge is Moving Back to Leeds”. Genius, but probably not a Buds’ song.
What’s next for you?    
We have a few gigs for this year in the pipeline, but with the best will in the world 5 or 6 are all we can manage.  Always open to offers though. We are going to try to follow up the ep with at least another one this year, so looking forward to going back in the studio.
What’s your scene?    
Ha, good question. When you’re younger and more earnest people’s standard reply was, ‘don’t pigeon hole us’ and, ‘we hate labels’. Now we’re in our 50’s I suppose we look at all that with a bit more perspective, and if people want to call us ‘indie-pop’ or ‘indie-rock’, that’s fine. It’s a bit strange for us though as we have people who only like the early, ‘indie-pop’ stuff and people who caught on later for the more alt-rock stuff.  I like us being called ‘indie-pop’ though for some reason. I guess we have more affinity with people in that scene.

The Darling Buds return with first new record in 25 Years

After a few years of occasional gigging just for fun, The Darling Buds are delighted to be releasing a new 4 track ep ‘Evergreen’ on Odd Box Records. This will be the first new material released by the Buds for over 25 years (back in the day they did 3 sessions for the much missed DJ John Peel) and these new recordings continue the musical evolution seen by the band from their indie pop debut Pop Said (which housed the hits Burst, Hit The Ground, You’ve Got To Choose and Let’s Go Round There) to their last release Erotica.

The EP will be released on a limited edition 10″ EP and Cassette. There will be green vinyl EPs and in traditional black vinyl. There will also be limited edition cassettes.

The Darling Buds line up is original singer and bass player Andrea Lewis-Jarvis and Chris McDonagh, former guitarists Paul ‘Chaz’ Watkins from the time of their second album Crawdaddy, and Matt Gray from the Erotica era. Long-time friend of the band Erik Stams completes the line up on drums. The Band members are all still based in Newport, Wales.


01.  Evergreen

02.  Guess The Good Parts

03.  Complicated

04.  Twenty One Aches

‘Evergreen’ EP is released 21st April 2017 – Grab your copy here!

About Mary Boukouvalas 1612 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.