Little Barrie have been brewing a groovy rock ‘n’ roll sound for almost 15 years, touring with some of the finest acts around and releasing four excellent full length albums. We spoke to their front man Barrie Cadogan ahead of their show at Band on the Wall in June, to discuss the importance of the rock three piece, the world of music and soundtracking for motion picture.
Who’s the most important three piece band for Little Barrie? Have bands like Cream shaped your approach to rock trio sound?
It’s an obvious one but my favourite trios are any of the lineups that Jimi Hendrix played with. I like the Cream stuff too, my dad played a lot of Jimi Hendrix and Cream records in the house when I was a kid. I didn’t know anything about sounds then but liked the sound of the guitars and drums more than the modern rock stuff on the radio at the time. When the band started I wanted it to be stripped down, a trio was all that was needed. Although there’s less of you, it can be more powerful, it also gives becomes more rhythmical as there’s more space, the beat element of the band is just as important as the guitar. There are other trios that I like a lot too like Dinosaur Jr., The Jam, Blue Cheer and ZZ Top. Lewis likes The Goodies and Virgil likes The Bee Gees.
Does working on other music projects between Little Barrie albums give the band inspiration for getting back together and working on new tunes?
Yes definitely, it broadens things out and gives you a different perspective. It’s really interesting seeing how people approach their music and put it together and how you work within that. Working on different projects has also brought out a different side to my playing and performance that I wouldn’t have done if I was just thinking about writing my own music.
You’re avid music fans, what’s peaking your interest at the moment, old or new?
I like people like Anton Newcombe, Gil De Ray, Ty Segall/Fuzz, White Fence, The Schitzoponics and Derek See. I still love older favourites like Can, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Stooges, MC5, lots of blues and R&B and strange old surf and sci-fi sounds. Virgil and Lewis are listening to people such as Hanni El Khatib & Black Moth Super Rainbow.
You’ve a good following in the Asian continent, what do you think translates about your music to the audience around the world?
To be honest I’m not sure! But it’s been great. We love going to Japan and are playing Vietnam again too. It means a lot to us to be able to go there and play.
Though it was only premiered a few months ago, have you received lots of attention off the back of the ‘Better Call Saul’ theme tune?
Yes, we have. There is someone who looped the title theme for Better Call Saul for 10 hours on YouTube and it’s had over 51,000 plays. That gives you an idea of the attention this has received.
Would you consider venturing into full on soundtracking of motion pictures, or would that be a bridge too far?
I would absolutely love to do a film score, definitely. The ‘Shadow’ album was written as if it were a soundtrack.
What can we expect to hear from you at Band on the Wall in June, any new songs in among the older material, perhaps a few extended jams?
At Band on the Wall we’ll be playing a mixture of songs from our last album ‘Shadow’ and some earlier tracks too. There will also be a new song or two in there, really looking forward to it!
Little Barrie have been growing up in the shadows for 15 years now. Slowly honing their sound and crafting their art. Avoiding hype and surviving fashion and its whimsical dalliances. It’s what great bands do. Little Barrie are on their own journey and pursue their own musical agenda.
Their latest offering “Shadow”, is an expansive, swaggering, musical masterpiece blending all their previous influences with a darker, more cinematic edge to the production. Anyone who has witnessed the band’s live performances over the past few years will testify to just how tight, accomplished and telepathic each element of the band has become.
Over a 15 year career, it’s safe to say the band have not gone unnoticed, having toured extensively around the world, including personal invitations to support artists such as The Stone Roses, Charles Bradley, Dinosaur Jnr, Kasabian and Primal Scream.
It’s safe to say Little Barrie have their admirers. On first hearing the band, Edwyn Collins offered to produce their first album, despite them not having a record deal at the time. Collins remains one of the bands biggest advocates and has since gone on to produce 3 of the bands 4 albums.
In 2014 the band were personally invited by to write the main theme for AMC’s ‘Better Call Saul’, the premiere of which drew 4.4 million viewers, becoming the biggest cable premier in history.