20 Minutes with…

Written by LDS, April 2015

The Novatones are a highly regarded four-piece indie outfit from Southampton, England who are buzzing off of the back of some well received festival performances and widely tipped as one to watch for 2015! If Andrew Loog Oldham was still darting about he would be stalking this bunch for a signature; simply said, they’re ripe for a record deal.

Novatones 3

With the release of 3rd self-funded EP ‘Sunday Romance’The-Vintage were lucky enough to get some time to talk on the new EP, just what style means to the band and matters of surviving a tour. 

The Novatones are:

Anthony Pittman– guitar, lead vocals Sean Swift – drums, percussion Mackenzie Gordon-Smith – guitar, backing vocals Toby Hornby-Patterson – bass, backing vocals

[Currently Unsigned]

Sunday Romance EP
Sunday Romance EP
[spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/30RBp18QqleUdo5k8Z4EYR]


Some good numbers recorded and a new EP down. What formats have you currently released and where can we purchase your music? 

Anthony: Its all up digitally at the moment, on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play etc. You can find our earlier EPs on there too.

What are your thoughts on ‘Sunday Romance’? Were you happy with how it came together?

Sean: Begging at the Bunhouse’ was our first EP and we had great success with it and very proud because it was our first proper release and video. We released our second EP ‘For Monies Sake’ which we think was even better. The recent recording of the 3rd EP ‘Sunday Romance’ meant a lot to us because we overcame a lot to produce it and its turned out to be something we are most proud of. The video for the single ‘Daddy Didn’t Know’ will be out next week and we think it will blow people away!

New Single - 'Daddy Didn't Know'
New Single – ‘Daddy Didn’t Know’

What are the plans for the first LP release?

Anthony: To be blunt, an LP will happen when Spotify and Co. pay us more than 0.0000001p for a sale/stream. Until then we are keeping with EPs… Recording ain’t cheap!

One of our favourites; ‘Avenue Road’ from ‘For Monie’s Sake’ (2013)

So how did you all meet and how long have you been together as a band?

Sean: Me and Ant have been in the band for 5 years now. Two other members left a year ago and Mack and Toby came in and we’ve gone onto bigger and better things since!

Anthony: Yeah it was all by accident really. This was my first band and it will be my last!

Nicely said…. We’re feeling your style at The-Vintage, well-dressed indeed. What are your biggest style influences and is their a style God to any of you?

Sean: “I’ve always thought Liam Gallagher looks smart, but think we all kind of just wear whatever really, a lot of people associate us with mods but we don’t really think we are in that genre though we might dress a little bit similar.

Mackenzie: There’s a few style icons for me, its quite a strange mix, Miles Kane, Bob Dylan, Pete Doherty… All guys who really know how to dress, but that being said, none of us wear this stuff as like a costume, it’s just what we wear…

Liam Gallagher and Miles Kane are of course both mods, Bob Dylan brought to the UK the roots that eventually got SKA moving and was also adopted by the mods…. I can certainly see the connection through your presentation and attitude. How do you feel about the public perception of the band linking you to the Mod Subculture? Would you feel more comfortable in another umbrella genre like ‘Brit-Pop’ or something less pigeon-holed?

Mackenzie: I honestly don’t like being pigeon holed at all, before this I was in a band that we did label “Mod revival” and it limits so much of what you can do, we’re just four lads who like playing music for drunk people, is there a name for that?

Sean: I think Brit-Pop or Indie Punk is more suited to us, I just think we’re a lot more fast and punky than most Mods like, we are happy to be called anything really as long as they enjoy it!

Anthony: We get told sometimes our image doesn’t suit our style, there’s no band shopping rules (apart from 1945 US air force jackets and bowling shoes). What we wear on stage is what we wear when we nip down the shops for a pint of milk. Our style is based on the urge to look sharp, but not over the top. we get alot of appreciation from the Mod scene, although some don’t appreciate you not playing Monkey Man 20 times… 


Live on Stage
Live on Stage

What has been the biggest and most hectic tour and/or festival to date?

Mackenzie: Isle of Wight was the biggest and the most hectic, a lot happened that weekend! It’s something that we all look back on and something we all loved doing. We’re trying to break into the festival circuit more and more recently, and it certainly feels like the right thing to do!

Sean: Isle of Wight Festival was the biggest stage we’ve ever done. We were all pretty nervous but went out there and smashed it which made us enjoy it so much, we also gained a lot of fans through it, a moment that will be hard to beat.

Quality. How big do you think the crowd was for your set? Any more Festivals booked?

Mackenzie: There must have been about 500, but I did hear a security bloke saying that they had to stop letting people into the area because it was packed… That was amazing to hear.

Anthony: We have just got our first main stage slot at Bestival’s new festival ‘Common People’. Its on the common in Southampton our home town! This will be a very special one for us.

What’s been the best moment of banter between the band on the road?

Mackenzie: It was probably at my expense… I have a talent of saying incredibly cringe-worthy things, which is why I don’t speak much in interviews… I’m actually surprised I haven’t been told to shut up yet! That being said, it might be driving to Scotland and asking Toby if he had his passport… That was brilliant.

Hahahaha… and his response???

Mackenzie: He didn’t believe us for a bit, we all just kind of went silent and he started panicking slightly, hats off to Ant for keeping it together because I almost cracked.

Toby: Despite being on the receiving end I’d have to say the passport incident. I began looking for the quickest route home before they told me.

Anthony: Mackenzie never fails to lighten up a long journey. He’s come out with some absolute classics.

Spoof Scottish Border Control
Spoof Scottish Border Control

Sean: We played a gig in Honinton, Devon and it was the worst, best gig we’ve played. No one was there apart from a drunk girl who told us to stop playing because she hated us, so we went to drown our sorrows at the bar next door where a bloke threatened to kill me, and Ant tried to break it up so some massive geezer got him in a headlock haha…

Anthony: Im going with Sean’s, the West Country don’t like the Novatones! After the gig the other 2 went back to the hotel whilst Sean and I went for a few pints. I was getting served and then I notice this guy giving Sean shit. I go over to intervene and the next thing I know I’m being held in some sort of arm lock by this massive ugly bloke calling us ‘city boys’, whilst the bouncer was just watching. They told us to leave. It was like a scene from deliverance.

Live at the Joiners
Live at the Joiners

So who’s the regular joker of the band?

Sean: Haha, when we’re together we always seemed to have a laugh, been in bands before where the banter is hard work but I always look forward to practice, gigs or night’s out with the lads cos it’s always fun.

Toby: We’re all jokers, Ant usually lights the bombshell. If we weren’t so light-hearted there would probably be more arguments about baths and showers.



OK so if you could travel back in time… Which year would you set the clock to and why?

Mackenzie: I’m gonna make Sean and Anthony feel old now… Probably ’92, just before the birth of Brit-pop, Grunge and decent Electronic music… That or the Mid-60’s to see all the girl groups, Northern Soul, R&B… There’s a lot…

Sean: Probably the 60’s. Not sure why really, just wana see what it was like.

Anthony Pittman's photo.Anthony: I would set it to last Saturday and I’d stop Sean from playing football so he didn’t break his wrist!

Sean: Yeah to be fair I’d do the same!

Toby: Back to the 60’s, the amount of new emerging styles back then would have been incredible to be part of.

Desert Island Discs – Which 3 albums would you each have with you?

Sean: Nirvana – NevermindLimp Bizkit – Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavoured Water, Arctic MonkeysAM

Mackenzie: Paul WellerHeavy SoulBob DylanThe Times They Are A-Changin’, Nick DrakeFamily Tree

Anthony: ProdigyFat of the land, Fleetwood MacRumoursThe Smurfs Smurfs Go Pop!

TobyJosé GonzalezIn our NaturePeaceIn LoveSixto RodriguezCold Fact

Who in your eyes is the musical messiah?

Mackenzie: Sean Swift

Sean: Sean Swift

Anthony: Sean Swift

Toby: Sean Swift

Anthony: There’s a bit of a private joke with this as someone has actually named Sean the messiah.

Well its been a pleasure lads, one final question. St.Marys or Fratten Park?

Mackenzie: Hahahahahaha! Stadium of Light. Nah obviously St.Marys. Thats a great question.

Toby: St.Marys.

Sean: St Mary’s. I’d like to say more on what I think of Pompey but we gig there sometimes.

Anthony: Anyone who knows the band know we live and breath Southampton, we used to go all the time but gigging and recording make it hard to get to as many games as we like. When we gig in Pompey we try to keep that one quiet ha. Once we had a gig in Pompey and this guy got on the mic and introduced us as The Novatones from Southampton, we should have left then, it wasn’t pretty.


To check the boys out on the road they will be playing the following UK dates:

Tour Dates


For more info on the band check out the following sites: