Recently The Edge caught up with Southampton-based alternative metal band Infamous Nobody for a chat before their set supporting Ashestoangels at the Joiners. We discussed the struggles a band can face getting on in the music industry, how they got into music in the first place and why it’s probably a bad idea to let people who claim to be your fans act as your bass player.
How did you guys come up with the name Infamous Nobody?
Mike [vocals]: At the time when we started there wasn’t much support about for local bands, so we started with the name Infamous, as we knew some people were going to pretty much hate us from the start, and the nobody part was just because no one knew who we were or anything like that.
How did long have you been playing in the band together and how did you all meet?
Matt [bass]: I knew Ryan from school, and then I met Sam and Mike at college. Mike and Ryan had been writing some songs, and they called me one day and asked if I’d like to come and work with them.
Sam [drums]: Mike and I were on the same course in college, and he mentioned he had a band. I went to see them play, and although they had a drummer, I kept drilling it into him that he was shit, and eventually he listened and let me play! Not that I’m much better [laughs].
Have any of you been in other bands before?
Ryan [Guitar]: I was in a band way back in 2009 when I moved to Chamberlayne school, but we were terrible! I was with them for about six or seven months, then I left to join another band, as a vocalist. They were called ‘This Noel is Angry’. I joined after they had the name though, I didn’t get any choice in the matter! After I left them I joined Infamous, and I was with them from the start, which was about three years ago.
Mike: Yeah, I was in a band before, but they were more pop-punk based than anything else, and that wasn’t really my preference. When I started writing my own songs that were a bit darker and heavier, they refused to play them, so we had a big argument. I left after that, and that’s when I started Infamous Nobody.
Matt: I was in a jazz and funk band in college! It was good though, it gives you skills that you wouldn’t necessarily get being in other kinds of band. In a metal band, you could play one note throughout the entire song and no one would notice. I promise that’s not actually what I do though! [laughs]
As a local band, what do you think of the Southampton music scene?
Sam: We certainly have a lot to live up to, especially when you look at bands like Bury Tomorrow who’ve done amazingly well. But equally, they show that it can be done if you get yourself out there.
What made you all want to start playing music?
Mike: When I was 13 my dad bought me an acoustic guitar, and I completely didn’t want to know, as I wasn’t really into music at the time, I preferred sports. Then, about two years later, I knocked someone out during a game of rugby, and the following week managed to knock someone out with a discus. After that, I gave up sports, went to a new school, and the first person I met was playing one of my favourite Slipknot songs. I wanted to be able to do that, so I bought an electric guitar and taught myself how to play.
What’s the worst thing about being an unsigned band?
Mike: At the moment, so much of what we do is about getting our name out there, so although we could have started selling stuff ages ago, a lot of what we put out is free. People are more likely to pick something up out of curiosity if it’s free, that way, if they don’t like it they haven’t lost anything. So that’s how it is at the moment, we give out basically all our music for free.
Have you ever had any bad experiences with being in a band so far?
Mike: Well, there was one guy, he played bass with us once and he was weird! At one point we ended up eating a meal in KFC, watching the window just hoping he wouldn’t walk past and see us!
Ryan: I knew it was bad news when we got to the gig and we asked him if he’d learnt the songs and he said he’d learn them all on the night. Well, it was the night, and he didn’t know the songs, so there we were sat under a tree in Hoglands Park teaching him the songs just before the show. And he still got it wrong!
What’s next for you guys this year?
Ryan: Well, Mike and I have been writing like crazy, we currently have about twenty songs and we’re hoping to record an album later on next year. We’re actually going to be playing a couple of new songs at tonight’s show. We have a gig booked for later on this month on the Isle of Wight. I hadn’t mentioned it to these guys yet though!
Mike: We’ve hopefully got a tour of Europe sometime in April, and that should be fun.