Bristolian sextet The Wizards Of Delight will be the opening act at the APF Records Showcase at The Bread Shed in Manchester on Saturday 3rd February. They’re on at 2pm so get down early for a dose of their funk-tinged stoner-inflected hard rock majesty.
In advance of their appearance, the band’s great leader Dan Greensmith gave his time and a few words about all things wizard.
APF: What was your highlight of 2017:
Daniel: Well, 2017 has been a year where everything just kept stepping up and up. Recording in April with the mighty Joe Garcia was a highlight in itself, because it was so much fun, then we got the incredible Tim Lewis to mix the EP. He’s an in-house engineer at the legendary Rockfield Studios – as well as being a celebrated and notorious musician in his own right, performing as Thighpaulsandra – and his own studio has dozens of vintage keyboards. So we got our Henry to slam on some greasy, sleazy Hammond organ, funky clavinet, and various devices with knobs on them to make zappy noises, which really sweetened things up. Then we sadly lost our drummer Reece (he’s still alive, but he works in B&Q), we gained Ben to replace him, and he almost immediately established himself as a crucial part of the band in every way, so we’re in profit, drummer-wise. And just as we were wondering how we could take the EP further, the lovely Fieldy came along as if by magic and offered to put it out. Having never had anything of ours put out on a label, and having someone not otherwise connected with the band put their faith in us, has been a genuine thrill and an utter privilege.
Then the EP came out, and we got some amazing reviews and comments that seemed to “get” what we’re trying to do (and the ones where they don’t are a real giggle). Then ‘Gypsy’ got put on a cover-mount CD for Classic Rock magazine, and I’m still not entirely sure how we swung that one, but I’m still buzzing over it. That was pretty fucking sweet.
But the thing I’m most proud of is to be playing in a proper & mighty band that kicks ass with some amazing musicians and performers.
Also in 2017, I found that my urine has healing powers. You really don’t want to know how I discovered this.
APF: As a member of The Wizards Of Delight what’s your proudest moment so far?
Daniel: Writing the riff to ‘We Got The Rock n’ Rollz’ in my head whilst doing the school run with my daughter. I managed to take her down the road, chatting all the way, met up with the school gate mums, had a natter with them, bought some stuff at the Co-op, walked home… and all the time I’ve got this Sly Stone-ish melody in my head and I’m working it all out internally. Got home, picked up the guitar, strummed the riff, and realised I had composed a psych-rock monster whilst multi-tasking parental duties without really trying. That was a morning.
APF: Which of your label mates are you most looking forward to seeing at The Showcase and why?
Daniel: As many as possible, bearing in mind all the driving we’ve got to do, coming up from Bristol! I’m particularly hoping to catch Under, The Hyena Kill, Mastiff, and Diesel King, but to be honest I’m just looking forward to communing with the APF family.
APF: What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
Daniel: We did a pretty good one on January 5th. That was pretty sweet. I mean, it’s the one that’s most in my mind for obvious reasons because it’s the most recent. We’ve done a few quite superb shows (our first was pretty explosive, there was a good one in Cheltenham, and we also did one at a very friendly space-rock festival in Bromsgrove where we had the rare luxury of having a stage manager and crew who kept things tight), but the last one was quite special because we a) haven’t gigged in ages; b) we played with Sergeant Thunderhoof, who were great; c) it was the first gig with this line-up, and it kicked everyone’s buttocks raw; and d) it was the Friday of the first week in January. NOBODY goes out to gigs this early in the year, still stuffed with all the cheese and port from Christmas, right? Well, the place was packed.
We have a band motto for live gigs: “Give it some c*%t!” If you’re not giving it maximum c*%t, you shouldn’t be on stage. You can apply that motto to everything in life.
APF: What are your plans for 2018?
Daniel: We’re been back in the studio for EP number 2 in January, then it’s the APF Showcase, and then in all probability a track on the cover-mount CD for MOJO magazine. Fuck it, why not? Plus lots of gigs, hopefully. We need to get out of Bristol for a few of them.
APF: Tell us something we don’t know about you or your band.
Daniel: Our collective ambition is to make enough money for us to splash out on a band trip to the Aqua Sana spa and sauna at Centre Parcs, Longleat. A bunch of cool chaps together, getting massages, getting sweaty in the steam rooms, and hanging out in jacuzzis, possibly smoking cigars if they’ll let us? Yes please.
APF: Anything to declare?
Daniel: “Anything to declare” reminds me that I once – many years ago – got thrown out of French Passport Control for being sick everywhere, as a result of a heavy booze cruise. It’s not the most rock n’ roll thing I’ve ever done, but it does make me sound way more debauched than I actually am. I actually like birdwatching.
“Anything to declare?”… Yeah, well, it’s usually at this point that someone declares war, independence for Wessex, a cure for cancer, the future for all Mankind, sanctuary, retirement from this cricket match, insane rulership of this land, emancipation from tyranny, this building to be unsafe, or this shopping centre to be open.
Personally, I’m opting for Diplomatic Immunity. I’m normally a bookish sort of chap, who likes history documentaries on BBC4, but left with no inhibitions or rules I will do something naughty like do a shit on Her Majesty The Queen if I can get away with it. Or just use my healing piss to make the world better. I’m sure someone would object, or try to stop me, but… y’know… Diplomatic Immunity, mate.
“The Wizards Of Delight” is out now on APF Records and can be bought from:
The APF Records Showcase takes place at The Bread Shed in Manchester on 3rd February. Tickets available from: wegottickets.com/event/418903
Event information: facebook.com/events/791925504312658/