Inspired to go against the grain Jamie Quinn wanted nothing more than to rock. A couple of calls later and Penny Mob was born. Only about a year ago, it’s been full steam ahead for the three-piece. We talked to their leading man about being both a rocker and an actor, their latest release “Love Not Hate,” and what’s to come for them in the coming months.
Kendra: You noted that it was the Brit Awards that made you want to get into rock. Was it one particular performance that inspired your musical side?
Jamie Quinn: It was kind of the opposite if I’m honest, it was more the lack of performances that I saw that inspired me to start writing rock n roll songs. The Brit Awards, and a lot of other music awards, in the UK and the USA, are just kind of swamped now, with the same type of people, singing the exact same type of songs, in the exact same way and style, in the exact same genre, and it all sounds so generic and boring, and funnily enough, the exact same!
The reason for that is, that they’ve all got the same people writing the songs for them. When someone wins an award for best song now, there’s usually about 12 other people who get up and collect it, and who claim to have written a part of it, how can that even be possible? This is what inspired me to form a band, to just write some songs alone in my bedroom, get a group of lads to help me bring them alive, and do it the way it should be done, how rock n roll music should be! A group of people on stage, playing their instruments for real and singing their hearts out, about things that really matter.
Kendra: Before that you all were acting. How does that world compare and contrast from the music realm you’ve stepped into?
Jamie: Acting and music are both quite similar in the performance aspect, as you are essentially doing the same thing in both, trying to entertain people, or tell them a story, or make them feel something. You’re trying to express something. But the way both industries are actually run are quite different, acting you’re usually interpreting someone else’s words, where as music it all comes from you, your own thoughts, your own feelings, who you are essentially. Music can feel at times a bit more personal. Acting a lot of the time you’re waiting for the right role to come along, where as with music, you can just pick up your guitar at any time, and write a song. There’s a real freedom in that.
Kendra: Actually, some are still balancing the two careers. With that, would you ever choose one over the other if it came down to that?
Jamie: I think I’ll always do both, I’ve always wanted to do both. I’ll always be an actor. I think it’s that sort of thing, once you become an actor, you’re kind of an actor for life. It’s kind of just in you. It’s the same with music, I think I’ll always write songs, until the day I die. At the end of the day, it goes back to the performance thing, we’re performers, and I think we always will be. It’s just what we do. I don’t think we could do anything else. We’d be shit accountants that’s for sure! And even worse janitors! But put us up on stage with a few guitars, that’s when we’re in our element! We come alive when we’re on stage.
Kendra: Moving onto the music, was “Love Not Hate” a communal effort by the whole band?
Jamie: I wrote it around Christmas time I think. I’ll usually write all the songs myself at home, then I’ll bring them into the boys, and we’ll rehearsal them and work on them in detail, adding in backing vocals, changing little bits here and there, making them bigger and bolder, and ready to go on stage as a full band, which by that is completely different thing to me just plain the songs on my acoustic guitar in my bedroom.
Kendra: “Love Not Hate” is what we need over in the states right now with everything that’s going on with our presidency. Is that something people pay any attention to over there?
Jamie: Definitely. It’s hard not to pay attention to, it’s everywhere! I think the whole world is looking on at the moment, with fear, anger, and just sheer disbelief. I mean, the guy is essentially a sociopathic reality television star, who is now in one the most powerful positions on this planet. He’s clearly just a power hungry narcissist, driven by hate and prejudice, and uses this to manipulate people into voting for him, by portraying minority groups as the enemy. The same thing is happening in this country as well though, people being driven against one another, by scheming politicians, who are essentially in the back pockets of the rich corporations and banks who run things.
That is what “Love Not Hate” is about. That hate gets you nowhere, we are all in this together, we are equal and should treat each other as so, regardless of the colour of our skin, or our religion, or who we have sex with, or how much money is in our bank account. We’re all born human, we all die human. End of. I wrote this song before the whole presidency thing kicked off actually, and I’d never really planned to record it or demo it, but I remember one day Mullan our drummer sent me a picture of someone holding a sign saying “LOVE TRUMPS HATE” and we all thought, wow, I don’t think there’s ever been a time where a song like this has been more apt.
Kendra: Will “Love Not Hate” be on a record in the near future?
Jamie: I’m not sure if it’ll be on a debut album in future, it almost feels like a stand alone track, and is actually quite different to a lot of the stuff we do. But I definitely think we’ll go on to record it again in future for sure, make it sound even bigger. With a song like that, its message will always be relevant. That was the reason it was written, I wasn’t trying to be cool, or hip, I just wanted it to be a simple message. I think that’s why it feels like a stand alone track, but who knows… it could potentially go on our debut album when we get round to it. You never know.
Kendra: Come the new year, will you all be making any moves to play in the US? How about close to home?
Jamie: America is definitely somewhere we want to play as soon as possible! I love America, and Americans, and always have done. There’s a cool positivity about people that is right up my street. A lot of bands from the UK fear America, of its vastness, and how difficult it it to “crack it” or whatever, but we almost feel the opposite, we can’t wait to tour America, we’re starting to get a lot of fans online from the states. People over there tend to really like our vibe, so that is definitely something we wanna do in the future. At the moment, we’re just starting to build a management team around us in the UK, but all in good time.
Kendra: What is to come for Penny Mob in 2017?
Jamie: We’ve a lot of exciting stuff coming up, and a lot exciting people we’re going to be working with. We’ll be going into the studio to properly record some tracks for our debut EP as well, which we can’t wait for people to hear as soon as possible!