A five piece act with a gift for anthemic indie-rock, that draws from the canons of both C86 and grunge
Names: Billy Lowe (guitar/vocals), Eleanor Rudge (vocals), Thomas Northam (bass), Martin Edwards (guitar), Rupert Willows (drums)
Location: Brighton, England
Style: C86 melodies mixed with grunge riffs
Look out for: Greatest Hits, containing the band’s early recordings, has just been released. A debut LP is due out in 2014.
The brilliantly named Seattle86 Brighton five piece, Tyrannosaurus Dead are borne of a childhood friendship between guitarist/vocalist Billy and guitarist Thomas. Though Billy had been kicking ideas around in Brighton, it wasn’t until Tom relocated from Poole that the genesis of the band truly began. With Martin and Rupert brought to add the bands percussive element, it was the addition of singer Eleanor that made the quintet a ‘real band’, with Billy advising that ‘she brought in some of the harmonies that I’d been unable to reach’.
Part of the collection of bands that have thrived since the introduction of Brighton’s Green Door Store venue, which has seen Tyrannosaurus Dead play with local heroes Playlounge and King Of Cats, their rise has been supported by a group of excellent independent record labels. Labels such Reeks of Effort, Oddbox and Fortuna Pop have helped to build a communal ethos that recalls the ‘do-it-yourself’ spirit of indie-rock titans K Records and Sub Pop; one that catered for like-minded souls, swollen with creative intent.
Billy is the bands principal songwriter, with the songs written primarily on his Gibson Firebird. The songwriting process sees Billy putting together a rough demo and compiling the lyrics, before presenting the ideas to the other band members. It’s in the songs that Billy is less certain of that the roles of Eleanor, Tom, Martin and Rupert in T-Dead’s Songwriting process really come to the fore, with Billy stating that ‘they see the good in the songs that I don’t and add in ideas’.
When pressed on the inspiration behind his work, Billy is quick to name Conor Oberst’s alias Bright Eyes as his favourite artist, advising that ‘Conor is really good lyrically’. In terms of the inspiration behind his lyrics, Billy ‘takes themes from books and comics’, as well as from those around him, picking the song Buried In The Ground, a wry comment on ‘people who are fed up of living in England and see Canada as an impossible dream to distract from their everyday lives’, as an example of this.
It’s not just comics, books and Gibson’s that help to inform the sound of Tyrannosaurus Dead. Billy explains ‘our previous recordings have been influenced by us thinking about how they would sound live’, with ‘time and financial constraints’, giving the bands recordings their lo-fi feel. This is a process that the band is going to turn on its head when they enter the studio shortly to record their upcoming LP. As Billy explains, ‘we’re recording with Rory Atwell, who’s a really good producer and knows exactly what he’s doing, which allows us to focus on the songs. In this recording session it’s all about writing the songs, it’s our responsibility to write as well as we can’.
With Playlounge making their name known, friends Joanna Gruesome quietly becoming the new indie-rock darlings, and the band set to enter the recording studio in the next couple of weeks, 2014 could be the year that name of Tyrannosaurus Dead becomes known and sticks.
You can watch the video for Tyrannosaurus Dead’s song Pure & Apart below. Keep up to speed with the band’s progress and forthcoming live dates here.