10,000 things

We catch up with drummer Stobb and bassist George from 10,000 Things on a warm, late April day. They’ve just supported The Rakes and Kaiser
Chiefs at Carling 24 – a unique gig-going event spread over 2 cities, 6 venues and over 24 hours. The Things invite us down to an impromptu
after-show party at Elbow Rooms, Angel where the band are also DJ-ing. It’s all part of a days’ work for the newest signings to Polydor.

These Leeds’ likely lads have just finished a national tour with Dogs (where SSS first spotted them) and have just released their self-titled debut
album. George greets us with a smile outside Elbow Rooms, having just stepped off the decks. Oh dear, what have we missed? “Eddie Cochrane
and some dance-hall,” he announces. “Davro (Things guitarist) is up there now,” he says pointing at the decks and looking on wistfully like a
proud parent. Brother of singer Sam Riley, George looks quite dapper in his navy suit and if it wasn’t for his golden Carling VIP pass draped around
his neck, he could easily pass as another trendy, young Islington boy. “The gig today went really well,” he says rolling up a cigarette. “The thought
of playing at 11am didn’t really bother us. The crowd were great! But getting up at 8am after coming straight down from another show and city
isn’t really the best way to start a Saturday morning!”

It was at their support slot with Dogs at the Barfly in early April where the sheer size (there are 6 band members), power, confidence and songs
made SSS take heed of the Things. The new album is an impressive debut and no doubt the extensive gigging will help get this heard by the
number of listeners it deserves. I ask George about working alongside legendary Hendrix/Zeppelin producer, Phil Brown. “It wasn’t intimidating at
all. He’s such a really cool guy.” He then pauses. “He’s quite like a cat, actually! Just really, really relaxed.” He tells us that they were fortunate to
have such a good experience but prefer hitting the road. “We loved working on the record but all our energy, everything comes out when we play
live. We love it.” The band are also known for chucking in the occasional cover in their repertoire. “We like trying out different stuff and have done
everything from Little Richard to Talking Heads. They all started out as jams.” From seeing the reaction of their audiences, the band certainly feed
off their punters and musically vomit back the vibe on them. Scottish drummer Stobb has joined us at this point. Looking at the two sitting side by
side with their fags and drinks, I’m reminded of the cool guys at school who were always cheeky to the teachers and got away with it. The kind of
boys who most girls would fancy and end up forming a band. What makes 10,000 Things special, is that they are also very, very talented.

Recent video for new single ‘Dogsbody’ featured their mighty, supportive fans. So, if they could do a cameo in another band’s video, whose would
it be? Stobb thinks hard and says seriously, “definitely Il Divo,” much to my surprise (Il Divo are an operatic quartet and granny favourite). I don’t
know whether to laugh or cry at this point. Perhaps Stobb aims to befriend the Italian stallions and then moon them or steal their hair gel when
they least expect it. Really, Il Divo? “What?! Who?! No!” he laughs. “I said, ‘Devo!” Oops, sorry. What a time for my hearing to desert me. “Well
actually,” George says draping his arm around Stobb. “We’re huge fans of the band….”

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Sticking with videos, I ask the boys which celebrity they would pick to star in theirs.
“We’ve thought about getting in actors to play us,” George says. “I’d probably ask
George Clooney, Stobb would get Ewan McGregor (there is a striking resemblance),
Will (guitarist) would ask Nicholas Cage, Davro (guitarist)-Steve Buscemi and Sam
would just be himself. Oh, and Justin (percussion)..probably Danny Devito!” They both
laugh. “Definitely Devito!”

I wonder how these political suggestions would go down with the rest of the band. I
also ask them which way they will vote May 5. “I can’t vote,” Stobb says with a smile.
“I’ve just been kicked out by my landlord so you can say I’m in between houses. So, I’m
not registered.” He then tells us that he would probably vote Lib Dems. What about
George? “Yeah, I’ll probably vote for Green Party.” So you’re an environmentalist?
“Well, I don’t really recycle enough and so I’m more of a polluter. I feel really guilty
about it so sometimes I just sit at home, switch the lights off and sit in the dark.” Ah,
bless!

From there we digress to the subject of downloads being included in the Top 40
charts. They both agree it’s a good thing. “We have to keep up with the times,” Stobb
says. “It’s a great way of people trying out new bands and seeing what they like.”
George agrees. “I’ve gone out and bought albums after downloading songs.” This
seems to be the general opinion that SSS is hearing however the threat to indie label
existence is still present.

The band’s website mentions a special dedication to Hunter S. Thompson, something
which I want to know more about. “He’s greatly influenced us and our songs,” George
tells me. “He was such a character. An extreme character. You can learn a lot from
him but he’s not really one to emulate.” George then tells us about author Kurt
Vonnegut, who he admires. “He writes post-modern, apocalyptic stories. Really great
stuff.”

By this time, George is a bit anxious that his wheels might get clamped (he’s driving
straight back to Leeds), so we begin to wrap up the interview. We end on a few

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frivolous questions. Mark asks, if they ever met label mates Girls Aloud, which Thing
would go for former Ginger, Nicola? The boys laugh. “Erm…none of us!” I then ask
them, if they could steal someone else’s mind for the day, whose would it be?
“Bush’s!” George says, instantly choosing his namesake. “I would also pick a
George,” Stobb says. “George Clinton’s.” And with that, the thought of George Bush
and George Clinton making sweet music together in the bodies of two bright young
Things, is a thought we’re left to ponder.

10,000 Things, ‘10,000 Things’ is out now on Polydor Records.
Special thanks to George, Stobb and Mick McCarthy.
FOR MORE INFO: http://www.10000things.tv/www/index.php

Interview by Dee Sekar with help from Mark Smith.
Photographs by Johanna Macdonald.

Read our coverage of Roskilde 2005
Read our coverage of Leeds 2005
George Riley
How many Things does it take to change a lightbulb?
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