The Guns are ready to shoot to stardom

Written for the South Wales Echo 14/04/10

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With a fervently loyal following, The Guns are being tipped as the next Welsh band to emulate fellow Valleys heavyweights Lostprophets and Funeral For A Friend. Guns’ frontman Alex Wiltshire tells Jarrad Owens why they’re now ready to roll

YOU wouldn’t think there’s a link between South Wales upstarts The Guns and the best-selling band in rock ’n’ roll history. However, with an album mastered by veteran knob-twiddler Tim Young, the man who’s worked his magic on The Beatles, The Manic Street Preachers and Van Morrison, The Guns are set to make their mark this year.

The band currently comprises Tom Coburn, Adam J Turner and Alex Wiltshire, the man behind edgy YouTube hit The Milk, a series of videos showcasing Wiltshire’s bizarre comedy prowess.

It’s been little under a year since their last album With The Guns was released to a rapturous reception.Now The Guns are currently awaiting the release of the follow-up If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It, which according to their inventive frontman is something they’re massively proud of.

“I’m happy with it, it’s banging, and the guy who mastered The Beatles mastered it, so that made me feel a lot better,” he says. “I’ve been in bands since I was 14, it’s the first thing I’ve ever done that I’m just entirely 100% proud of.”

The Guns will be making their eagerly-awaited live return tonight at Clwb Ifor Bach with a new drummer, Rhian Eleri Williams. Wiltshire is no stranger to the gigging circuit. He’s the former vocalist of the one-time post-hardcore kings When Reason Sleeps, a scream-ridden outfit consisting of talent that eventually found its way into The Blackout, The Guns and Jump The Underground. Unfortunately the band ignominiously split in 2005, at the height of their popularity.

“Basically we just sort of withered,” explains Wiltshire. “I guess, at our peak, we just gave up on it.”

Luckily the tenacity of the singer shone through and he didn’t give up , forming The Guns from the broken shards of his former band.

“A couple of us wanted to do a much more rock ’n’ roll kind of deal, we just wanted to do what we love, so we did it.”

The band certainly define the very notion of rock ’n’ roll and have developed a wild reputation, with gigs that can be about as subtle as a bar brawl. They often stay at venues well after a show to party with their fans into the wee hours, a lifestyle that is documented in Gordons and Lemonade, a live favourite written about their fans.

It’s evident that Wiltshire and Co established one heck of a reputation very early on, so much so that they landed a UK tour with Ponty’s finest, Lostprophets, following an impressive debut gig.

“The second show we played was the Lostprophets tour, we were playing to a couple of thousand people at a time,” says Wiltshire.

“The fourth show we ever played was the CIA, I was pretty stoked about that. How we got it I don’t know.”

Despite flirtations with superstardom, The Guns are determined to keep it real. Their debut album was very much a DIY affair – the band went so far as to build their very own studio in the cellar of a local nightclub.

“We went down the beer cellar, it was full of junk,” he laughs.

“We made a control room and a live room. We soundproofed it. We did everything we could.”

Even though the album achieved success, peaking at 18 in the iTunes Alternative Chart, Wiltshire is notably blasé about his efforts.

“It’s a good album I guess, but I don’t think it reflects us as we are live or what we are as a band.

“Considering it took two years to come out, it’s complete rubbish!”

The Guns with support from Canterbury and Cuba Cuba play Clwb Ifor Bach tonight. Tickets are priced £6. Telephone 029 2023 2199 for info.

Article on Wales Online

Jarrad ‘Nöir’ Owens

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