From left to right: Will, Jim, Charlie and Jamie
A while ago I met the wonderfully unusual band that is Will and the People. You haven’t heard of them? Well, now you have. They are quite honestly the most inspirational and individual band I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and being a fan of. The band consists of four members. The front man and lead singer, Will Rendle is not only incredibly lovely, he also has a raw beauty in his voice that really suits the reggae/pop/ska themes to the band’s music. Then, there is Will’s younger guitar playing brother with an abnormally good taste in hats, Jamie, head banging drummer Charlie and the very tall and talented keyboard player Jim. I loved the whole atmosphere of being involved in such an unusual event, I mean, how often can one brag about not only having a full conversation with their favourite band, but also being involved in their music video?
This small interview was done at a small one day festival in Devon called Lemonfest about a week later. Honestly, for a one day festival, it was excellent.
Unfortunately, Charlie couldn’t be there, but Will, Jim and Jamie were more than happy to answer my questions.
How do you compare playing in a normal gig to playing at a festival?
Will: I would say that, essentially they are exactly the same, but the people are coming for very different reasons, you know? It’s nice to play outside as well. And, at a day festival such as this people just come to let loose.
Jamie: there are people stumbling onto new music as well, which is really cool.
When I met Jim and Jamie they mentioned that they played squash together and I couldn’t resist asking them about it.
Who would win in a squash match?
Because he’s the best?
Jamie: I used to do it as a sport at my school. Squash is all about teckers*!
Jim: He coaches me as well sometimes, giving me little tips and tricks.
Jamie and Will, was there any sibling rivalry growing up?
Jamie: Not growing up but there definitely is now.
In what sense?
Will: we just fuck each other off. We’re very different but not dissimilar at all.
So it’s fun, living together?
Will: Yeah. It’s kind of annoying for me, to have my younger brother in the band, but very healthy at the same time.
As a fan of the band and a hopeful about their every widening fan base I have always hoped that one day there would be a film made about them.
Who would play you in a film about your lives?
Will: Bradley Note, from Sublime.
Jim: George Harrison.
What about Charlie?
Jim: The drummer from Foo fighters. He looks like Charlie don’t you think?
Chinese or Fish and chips?
Will and Jim in unison: Chinese!
Jamie: Fish and chips. A good fish and chips though!
Madness or the Specials?
All: The specials.
Brighton or Amsterdam
Hotel or Yurt
Jamie: Well, it sort of depends. If the yurt in Yeovil or something, then maybe not.
Spaniel or Terrier?
Jamie and Jim: Terrier
Will: Um, Terrier!
Yoda or Vader?
Jamie. Yoda. Definitely Yoda. – said in an obvious, duh voice.
Jim and Will: Yoda
Will: It’s just the obvious answer isn’t it?
Rihanna or Adel
Jim: Well, it depends if you’re talking singing or… General aesthetic.
After several moments of argument, they all agreed upon Adel, after I cleared up it was about the voice, not the ‘general aesthetic’ as Jim so eloquently put it.
VW camper van or Range Rover?
Jamie: VW bus. – Again with the duh tone.
St Lucia or Scottish mountains.
Will: wherever’s hottest.
Shakespeare or JK Rowling
Will: Shakespeare- Will and Jamie have the same duh tone when they speak of the obvious, it must be genetic.
Jamie: Well, I mean, to be honest, JK Rowling is probably the Shakespeare of our day isn’t she? The story lines in Harry Potter are brilliant, but, I mean, Shakespeare a bit of a legend as well.
Scrumpy* or Bordeaux
Jim: I would say scrumpy.
Scrumpy* Rough strong cider, especially made in the West Country of England.
As you burst onto the music scene in the Netherlands, did you have to change your image?
Jamie: No, not at all. In fact, our image sort of became stronger as we got bigger in Holland.
Jim: And as we learnt why people liked us.
How are the fans different in Holland, compared to the UK?
Jamie: The fans who love us, I don’t think there is any difference. I think, in England maybe the fans understand the lyrics a little bit more, but in Holland it’s like the same man, I mean, Dutch people speak English so well and they understand the lyrics. They get it. I think we just have more fans in Holland, so it’s in a bigger scale; it’s a bit crazier.
One word each to describe Will’s roller skating
Jamie: It’s good. Actually, if you saw him in proper, inline skates with four wheels then you’d really see how good he is.
Will: Aggressive. Very aggressive.
Jim: Fearless. He’s the kind of skater who will just go for it so hard that he’ll fall over, get back up, and be absolutely fine.
What is the most unusual place you have been recognised?
Jim: Um, I got recognized in a local petrol station, which was quite funny.
Jim: Paddington station as well, which was really strange. No one in England really knew us back then.
Will: I was recognized once in Kathmandu Airport by a guy with dreadlocks.
What does Charlie do to look after his hair?
He dyes it blond though doesn’t he?
All: Yeah – they are rather good at the unison of answers, great minds must truly think alike.
Will: I reckon, one day, he will arrive at a rehearsal with short hair. He will do it and shock us all.
If each of you could name yourself after a character from Lord of the Rings, who would it be?
Jamie: Charlie would have to be Legolas.
Will: I know I’m not like him but I would definitely be Aragorn.
Jim: If we’re being honest I’d probably be like Gimley. I think Jamie would be Samwise Gamgie.
Jamie: I have hairy feet.
None of us can predict the future, but have a guess. What will it be in five years?
Will: I’d like to be able to speak Spanish fluently and I could be homeless. I might be mega rich, on the other hand, or I could just be normal.
Jim: I want to live on a beach, and grow some fruit.
Jamie: I’d love to still be playing music with Will and the People. That would be amazing.
Jim: That too.
Check out the link to their two most recent music videos, the top is the roller-skating video.
Shakey Ground https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsNdWrinKpU
Trustworthy Rock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ1nc-Vl38Y
Will and the People website http://www.willandthepeople.com/