Mods Of Your Generation Interview- Proper- Keep Music Live, Keep it Proper!
Mods Of Your Generation Interview- Proper- Keep Music Live, Keep it Proper!
When I discovered the band which came highly recommended, I was instantly blown away by the catchy lyrics and their up tempo sound. Proper’s aim is to reaffirm the good values of a catchy 3 minute good-paced tune. Referencing the heritage of the “oldies, but goldies” and particularly with that “1979 sound” in mind, the result is a familiar but contemporary sound of original tracks. Their debut album released in 2017 “To The Point” is definitely that.
The line-up consists of Ivano Bonfanti (guitar/vocals), Joe Duggan (guitar), Jez Payne (Bass) and Len Fleckney (drums).
My personal favourites from the album are Lucky things, Today, tomorrow, The Heroes Return, Three Times, Together and Beg to differ. The album is 11 tracks of proper music.
Recently 2019 seen the release of two independently released EPs, produced respectively by Brett “Buddy” Ascott (The Chords, The Fallen Leaves) and Dave Cairns of Secret Affair “Welcome to This town” & “Sinister”.
So much great music from them and a must have for any listener of proper music. Make sure to like their Facebook page and follow them to keep updated about all their latest releases and gigs. click here
I needed to find out more about the band and wanted to help promote a Proper band playing proper music.
Where can we buy or download your music?
we have a brand new website, www.propertheband.com with links to our releases which can be directly purchased with a simple click. We also have a link on Soundcloud.com/proper-band if you just want to have a listen.
Who Are Your Biggest Influences?
Too many to mention, if you can think of a band who delivers an energetic three minute song with a solid rhythm pattern, crunchy guitars and a catchy vocal melody, that would be what we aiming at!
What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened On Tour?
After a March of the Mods gig in Scotland this year, we were all dancing merrily and a band member (not to be revealed) was so merry that fell literally on his face triggering security to jump on him. Scottish ales probably a tad too strong!
What’s Your Songwriting Process?
There is no set formula, at times there is a melody that kick starts the process, sometimes a significant passage from a book or from newspaper article or maybe some personal situations, sometimes a sequence of chords or a riff, sometimes a mix of them all.
Ivano normally comes up with a song in rehearsals and we all work together on the arrangement.
Who Do You compare your Sound to?
We would like to compare ourselves to a long list of bands, but essentially through our music we just want to respectfully “nod” to all those bands who kickstarted the new wave sound of the late seventies through the mid eighties and we try to give it a contemporary twist. By all means, if we had the luxury of having a brass section, we’d like to emulate The Redskins, energetic tunes delivered with a dollop of melody.
Tell me about your favourite performance venues and some of the places you have performed?
We debuted at the 100 Club in London and that has to be right up there. We enjoy playing everywhere and we always give it 100%, but at a push we have to admit we had a fantastic time every time we played in Scotland, they are really supportive towards bands playing original material over there!
Tell me a bit about each of you and your interests when not performing together?
We all enjoy performing live as well as working in the studio with Pat Collier and our producers. We all have day jobs, but we all take this band seriously as if we were professionals.
Ivano likes to cook for his family and enjoys teaching a bit of guitar playing to his daughter and her boyfriend.
Len likes bike riding as well as scooter and motorcycle riding.
Jez is a new dad and is working on getting his son hooked on music.
Joe is a Sunday league football player-manager.
Proper’s debut album “To the point” was released in 2017. Tell us about some of the people who helped produce the album?
The album is a collection of songs written over a fairly long period, some of them even before the band was formed. Our common denominator for all our recordings is Pat Collier, frankly one of the best sound engineers around, to us the best! Roma Greening, a gospel chorister and friend of Ivano contributed with backing vocals on a few songs. Tony Morrison of Long Tall Shorty very kindly and enthusiastically supported us by producing some of the songs on that record.
The band have been on various indie radio stations. Tell us about some of the stations?
The Glory Boy Mod Radio Show, The Lucky Bag Show, Modradio.co.uk, The Ice Cream Man show, The Third Class Ticket radio show, Dave Edwards played our songs on Soho Radio whilst standing in for Gary Crawley, Radio Dacorum, Radio Coop (Italy), Gaz Heckman’s radio show, The Underground Route Show. Hopefully we have not forgotten anyone. We also recently featured in a couple of Steve Worralls’ Retrosonic podcasts.
We are very grateful to all of these people for playing our songs!
Before forming the band you were part of other bands. Tell us a little about them?
Ivano played in The Direction, a London mod revival band back in the 90’s. Len played drums for Long Tall Shorty and Eleanor Rigbby, he then moved to Canada and joined a band called The Crescent Heights before returning back to the UK.
How then did you then all meet and form the band together?
Joe, Jez and Ivano were work colleagues and decided to try out over a few pints at a pub during a company do. We then placed an advert looking for a drummer and Len replied!
Describe the bands unique sound?
We are guitar based and we are fairly traditional in that sense, Rickenbacker and Fender Telecaster guitars, a Fender Jazz Bass and Yamaha custom drum kit, so very much in line with that 1979 sound we all like. With that said we have some keyboard layers too, in our last release provided by Stevie Watts of Secret Affair.
What future gigs have you got coming up that we can look forward to?
In October we will be touring with All Mod Cons for their farewell tour. They are the first tribute band to The Jam, endorsed by Weller, Foxton and Buckler and to many the best tribute band since 1989. We’d love to give them a proper send off as they have been championing The Jam for 30 years, come and join us! We’ll be playing in London, Brighton, Hastings and Woking. Tickets available on www.wegottickets.com(search for ‘all mod cons”).
(click here for more details)
It has been a busy year with the release of your new album “To The Point” as well as your EP’s “Sinister” & Welcome To This Town” Whats next and what can we expect in 2020?
We have new material ready which we will record with Pat Collier and with Brett Buddy Ascott (The Chords, The Fallen Leaves) back as a producer. Hopefully we will also release a new feature video, budget permitting!
Do you have anything you’d like to add or say to all the bands supporters?
It might sounds very obvious but we are very grateful for all the support we get. Most of the people following Proper have massive record collections and have seen countless bands, so we are blessed with a following of proper music experts who are really into original music bands! We are always keen to play and we are a bunch of easy going lads, so to any promoters out there, do get in touch. Keep music live, keep music Proper!
Copyright © Johnny Bradley (Mods Of Your Generation) & Proper 2019, All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without the permission of the authors.
Photo © photo by Derek d’Souza as shown