1883 Magazine

Embodying the spirit of true musicianship and living and breathing the ethos of rock ‘n’ roll, Bedford’s The Wholls have well and truly earned their place amongst the Jack Rocks 7 line-up.

The four-piece released their rollicking debut record earlier this year and have been winning over new fans nationwide this summer with a lengthy list of festival appearances. We cornered vocalist and guitarist Tordy Cocchiarella in the backstage bar at the Jack Rocks stage to find out more about their plans for world domination...

How has festival season been for you?

The festival season has been treating us very well, we’ve had a blast, it’s been amazing. It’s been sunny, it’s been raining, it’s been four seasons – but it’s all good.

Were you at Y Not Festival?

Yeah, we managed to play and then the next day it was called off so we got lucky, it was really good though.

Any funny stories or has it all been going smoothly?

Every day is super funny, I’m like the curator of laughter and funniness, so if we aren’t having fun then we aren’t doing it. It’s always jokes, I couldn’t pinpoint one thing, it’s always stupid, it’s what we do.

It must be more fun that way...

It’s the only way. There are far too many bands that I see that are a bit too serious. It’s good to be professional and know what you’re doing, that’s a given, but if you’re not having fun you may as well not do it.

Who else on the line-up would you recommend that we go and see?

All of the bands playing the Jack Rocks stage, we’ve done so many gigs together; Broken Witt Rebels, Paves, White Room, The Assist, Breed, Bang Bang Romeo, The Shimmer Band, Trampolene, there’s far too many to mention. I got the Reading line-up app on my phone and I looked through it and all the bands that I want to see are pretty much playing Jack Rocks. Grass roots bands are my favourite thing to watch, it’s cool, I like seeing bands before they become famous.

What would you say to people who think guitar music is dead?

I would say, ‘go and fuck yourself,’ and ‘each to their own.’ You can’t please everyone, the people that are not interested? So what. There’s enough people that are interested, for me that’s where music is at, with guitar music and rock ‘n’ roll music that’s where the fun is. I like all sorts of music so it’s not like I’m against anything else, I like everything.

Can you tell me a little bit about how The Wholls’ songs evolve?

Some songs come really quick and some songs take a little more time. The track that we open with, and it’s on the album, ‘The Only One’ I wrote that in 15 minutes and had everything, obviously before going in the studio with it, but I had the song. I got that because I struggled writing a second verse to ‘Roll Out’, which is another song on the album, and that one took a couple of months to finish, not because I was working on it for a couple of months but because you work on it when it’s right to work on it, and I know when you’re struggling you need to do something else. There’s no formula really for when you sit down and write a song, practice makes perfect.

What is your most rock ‘n’ roll story?

The most rock ‘n’ roll stories that we’ve got... I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

Are you sure?

I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you.

What’s your favourite way someone else has described your music?

We’ve had some wicked reviews, I couldn’t recite them to you but they’re so complimentary. Some of the reviews we’ve had honestly make me blush, I think, ‘Fucking hell are you actually talking about us?’ One of the security said today, ‘I’ve been doing this for 10 years and you’re one of the best bands I’ve ever heard.’ Those things warm our hearts, because they don’t have to think that or say that and things like that inspire you to carry on.

Words by Shannon Cotton

Photography Anna Smith

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