Not even album delays, a legal wrangle and the customary jibes from Liam Gallagher have dented Slough band Viva Brother’s (formerly just Brother) supreme confidence. But as their Britpop throwback debut record arrives, will they be remembered as the new Oasis or the new Twang? It’s time for lead singer Lee Newell to let the music do the talking. Well, almost — there’s time for one more rant…
You’ve called yourself “the future of music”. Is it for real?
Yeah. A lot of people want it to be an act because that’s how cynical British people are. In the States they love it and they get it quicker. We do believe in our music and we are arrogant b*stards, but we have a laugh with it. I really do think we can be the biggest band in the world.
Does any part of you regret building yourselves up so much?
No, but if for whatever reason it doesn’t happen — say there’s a one-month power cut and nobody can play it or download it [laughs] — we’ll keep going and we will get that No1 album.
What did you make of Liam Gallagher calling you “posh boys with tattoos”?
Maybe we’re posh to him. He’s trying a bit hard to be relevant, isn’t he? Different Gear, Still Speeding [Beady Eye’s debut] sounds like the name of a Status Quo album. A lot of people compare me to Liam, which I find ludicrous, because for one thing I’m actually articulate.
Can you talk us through your recent name change?
This Australian band have got Brother trademarked in the US. When we were playing in San Francisco, someone pushed their way to the front and put a writ on the stage. We went upstairs, read it, and realised they were suing us. We offered them some money and they wanted more so we said “F*ck off”. We were gutted at first. We could have happily co-existed because we don’t sound anything alike. Viva Brother was something that the fans came up with.
Do you think modern bands could learn from you?
Totally. We’re here, we want to be rock stars and we’re not afraid to tell people. Bands such as Fleet Foxes are awful -— even Kings Of Leon aren’t rock stars. Who’ve we got left? Pete Doherty?
You face the notoriously tough Reading and Leeds festival crowds in August. Worried about being pelted?
Oh yeah, 100 per cent. Actually, our booking agent said, “You could play Download festival if you want.” We said no, but maybe we should have done it and gone out in a suit of armour each with [our own] pre-bottled p*ss.
Famous First Words by Viva Brother is released on 1 August