TV Priest Interview // ‘Uppers’ LP

Words: Danny Gillies / @danny_gillies

  • We sat down with TV Priest to chat about their new album and their inspirations.
  • Their debut album ‘Uppers’ is out tomorrow (February 5th) on Sub Pop.
  • FFO: IDLES, Do Nothing, Egyptian Blue.

With just four singles and one gig to their name so far, TV Priest are fresh on the scene. All things considered, they’re still making waves in all the right places: the band have got the backing of the iconic Sub Pop for their debut LP ‘Uppers’, two sold-out London headliners to come and plenty of press and radio coverage to boot.

Despite setbacks (the album was originally set for release in late 2020), the release of their debut album could still be considered early. It’s a statement of intent though – they’re not here to mess around. We had a chat with the band about their upcoming release and their favourite new music.

📸 – Dan Kendall

How would you describe your music for people who don’t know you?

We’re a band who enjoy making loud or distorted music as much as we pursue a more introspective side. Lyrically we deal with the world around us, the time we live in, history, politics and our relationship with technology. The music can be angry, frustrated, and blunt but I think it has humour and ultimately a little bit of hope too (a bit like life in general).

Being picked up by Sub Pop relatively early on in your career is impressive, are you feeling any pressure or just enjoying the opportunity?

I’d be lying if I said we didn’t feel *any* pressure, I mean when you look at the back catalogue it’s just staggering, and the weight of that history is pretty profound as a music fan! But we’re all extremely grateful they wanted to work with us, and it feels like the record has found the right home with the right group of people.

The video for your latest single ‘Press Gang’ is pretty heavily 70s-themed. Tell us a bit more about the inspiration for the track.

Charlie’s grandfather worked on Fleet Street as a photojournalist and war correspondent from the 1950’s to the early 1980’s and the single is inspired by his time there. The song deals with the shifting role in the dissemination of information and ideas. There seems to be a prevailing narrative that the ‘Death of Print Media’ has contributed to a ‘post truth’ world. Whilst I do think this is in part to blame for the mess we find ourselves in (especially with unregulated tech), in truth, information has never been ‘neutral’ and the news industry is just that; an industry. Joe Wheatly, who directed it, took it and ran with it building a kind of alternate historical reality that dumped us in a mid-century setting that felt really appropriate for the message of the song. Somehow, I think our visual idea of journalists is still shaped by this era and those classic 70s films that celebrated them as ‘truth seekers’ and mavericks so it felt apt to play with and ‘bend’ that.

Who are your favourite artists in the UK right now?

Billy Nomates’ album was great and had so many exciting ideas coursing through it. Really enjoying the single ‘Define’ put out by Kathleen Frances last year. The BC Camplight album was incredible and sounded like it came from another planet. Blanketman have had a cracking run of singles too, ‘Beach Body’ is a groove I could listen to all day.

Your debut album ‘Uppers’ is out tomorrow (5th of February) and you’ve got two headline shows planned on the same day at Oslo in Hackney – any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Well as soon as live music is resurrected, we will be playing as many gigs as we can! We also plan to write new music and with any luck will be releasing it before the end of the year. I think a celebration is in order too, seeing as we’ve only seen each other a handful of times in the last year and we need a hug.

Any words of wisdom you’d like to leave us with?

You can’t please everyone, so try and please yourself.

‘Uppers’ is out tomorrow (February 5th) on Sub Pop. The official video for their latest single, ‘Press Gang’, is below:

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