Belfast Telegraph

Sleaford Mods: Q&A

By Edwin Gilson

The duo from Nottingham, who are fronted by Jason Williamson, will be bringing their aggressive tunes and hard-hitting lyrics to Belfast's Voodoo bar next month.

Q: Hi Jason. You worked in a number of jobs before starting Sleaford Mods, and failed in most of them. You've said that these experiences inspired you creatively …

A: Yeah, because I stopped feeling sorry for myself and starting writing about it. I realised that work is not a natural thing at all, even though it ends up controlling most of your life.

I quit my last job two weeks ago, so now the band is my full-time job. If I went back to my old career in 10 years I'm certain it'd be the same, though - oppressive and claustrophobic. There's that awful realisation that your time isn't actually your time. Nothing will change in that respect.

Q: This rage at the 9 to 5 life is quite evident in your music. Why do you think people are increasingly interested in what you have to say?

A: Because it reminds them so much of their own lives, I guess. Sleaford Mods is like group therapy! Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not some Oliver Twist urchin.

I've been lower-middle class since I was 15, so it's not exactly some skin-of-my-teeth existence. I still think people just understand the misery of being tied down to something you don't enjoy for 40 hours a week. A lot of these unskilled jobs - the type of jobs I was doing - don't pay enough. There are loads of workers that you think are your friends, but it turns out they're only looking out for themselves in order to secure a few more quid. It p***es you off. All those things combine into a terrible melting pot.

Q: How did you vent this frustration before you started Sleaford Mods?

A: Through drink and drugs, like a lot of normal people. I really despised these people at work, and that would give me an energy. When I started Sleaford Mods, I used the medium of the rant to exert my frustration.

Q: Your songwriting process seems very spontaneous and raw. Is that a fair assessment?

A: Well people force this idea that a 'perfect song' has to sound like Noel Gallagher, or have loads of layers behind it. That's not true at all - a perfect song can be anything. You don't have to spend hours producing one song.

We just like anything that sounds a bit s***. If it's really bare and vulnerable and badly produced we normally go for it."

Q: You've heavily criticised Paul Weller amongst others recently …

A: There's just not been much motion with Paul Weller recently - he hasn't kicked out any decent music in a good decade! I get stick for criticising these people, but it's true!

Paul Weller, who was quite instrumental to my introduction to music, is now on the cover of the NME! It's like 'What are you doing?' I guess you get old and stop caring. People say I need to chill out, and say it's easy to criticise someone. It's actually not easy to criticise anyone! It takes a lot of gumption. We live in a society where everyone's too eager to please each other."

Q: Do you get restless on tour?

A: It gets very dull. You can't drink a lot because you've got to watch your voice, you can't smoke - well you can, but you'd fail spectacularly. Also I'm 44 years old, so physically my body can't deal with that. At the end of the day it's work, isn't it?"

  • Sleaford Mods play Voodoo, Belfast, on December 3. For further details, visit

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