Breaking Through | 5 Questions with TV Priest

After the lengthy pursuit of 'real jobs' and 'real life' ultimately didn't deliver, this new London four-piece decided to channel their exhaustion into a propulsive, polished post-punk mosaic that's carefully and consciously melodic.
Posted: 27 August 2020 Words: Tom Curtis-Horsfall

FFO: Protomartyr, Preoccupations, Ought

Despite only releasing a handful of tracks and having only played one live show together as TV Priest, this new London four-piece's frenetic yet considered post-punk has been cultivating for some years. After the lengthy pursuit of 'real jobs' and 'real life' ultimately didn't deliver, the subsequent exhaustion coupled with the void of a creative output resulted in TV Priest. 

Clearly, The Fall's snarky, what-I-say-goes approach and the drawling delivery of The Stranglers have both proved influential, as the four-piece make a real racket, but carefully and consciously ensure their propulsive and polished post-punk mosaic is concurrently melodic. 

And much like the aforementioned icons, they back themselves; the band's first two singles 'Runner Up' and 'House Of York' have been totally omitted from their debut album Uppers out via Hand in Hive later this year. A ballsy move, but retaining their autonomy is at the band's core, self-producing their entire output in bassist Nic Smith's homemade Hackney Wick studio alongside their visual assets and artworks. 

With their debut album slated for release, and an accompanying headline tour announced (that we're quietly hoping will go ahead), we caught up with frontman Charlie Drinkwater.

Who or what inspired you to make music?

It’s a lot to do with our shared history as a group of friends, this feeling of creating a little universe or world of shared experience. We’d all had a time away from making music and forming TV Priest was a way of coming back to that feeling. To make something that was 100% ours.

How would you describe your creative process?

It's a pretty democratic one. We all live in different bits of London or its outskirts so we have to be quite self-reliant, making demos and sections of tracks in the first instance in isolation from one another. It's then shaped up in a live room where we play extended versions of each track, then finally we take it to our studio which Nic built in Hackney Wick where we finesse and record. It’s all pretty DIY and we like to keep each section of the process close. This goes for all our artwork and visual material which we also produce ourselves.

Which of your tracks is your favourite to perform live, and why?

We’ve only actually played one show before the pandemic hit in full so it’s hard to give you a good answer here!  I would say a track we wrote before the lock down called “Decoration”, it has a bit of a ’swagger’ to it and I really enjoyed collaging the lyrics together like a surreal poem.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

Buster Keaton; he could teach me to jump out of a burning building or how to fall over properly. Solid and useful life skills.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

"Never join a club that would have you as a member." - Groucho Marx.

Uppers is out via Hand in Hive on 13th November.

More from buzz