Gareth Noon / Serpentine – pre tour interview

Dave Farrell.Hi Gareth!! The last we talked was in Wigan, you were on the bill with Crash Diet and Houston; you said then, you were looking forward to your debut Firefest gig, so how was it for you?
Gareth Noon.“It was an absolute blast, and coupled with Rockfest in Madrid a week later, it really made for an amazing week! Everyone made a lot of noise for the band and gave us a great reception, so we couldn’t possibly have asked for more. It was a shame it was only a short set because we would have loved to play for ages (haha!), but hey, I’d be happy to open Firefest Friday anytime! We were made to feel very welcome and won a lot of friends and fans that night.”

DF.To be honest, I was a little surprised to find you NOT on the bill for this years Firefest, as I felt you gained a lot of new fans when you played the festival, who wanted to see you again?
GN.“Well, lucky for them, they can see us now on our UK tour this week, if they live in the UK, alongside Ten and White Widdow! And at £12.50 a ticket, it’s a no-brainer for UK rock fans, surely!!”
“There are loads of bands who want and deserve to play Firefest, so although I was disappointed that we weren’t asked back again, to play a longer set this year, I understand it. Hopefully we can play some great shows, make another cool album and impress the Firefest Team enough to ask us back again. On the other hand, we have been invited to kick some ass at the Hard Rock Hell festival this year, so coupled with the tour, and some other bits and pieces in the pipeline, we are getting out to see the people who want to see us again in 2012.”

DF.Now you are finally working alongside Matt Black, do you feel the wait to finally have him on board was worth it, that Matt is the final piece of the Serpentine Puzzle?
GN.“Well, whether we wanted it to be or not, Serpentine is proving to be an ever evolving beast! Chris, Gareth Vanstone and I started the band in 2007 and we are the surviving members from the debut album, but we’ve always been hopeful for a settled line-up! I think Matt brought a lot to the band when he arrived last year, as he had a vast amount more experience playing live than the rest of us. When we started getting out and about last year that really took the pressure off….. He is a total natural onstage. I think that his charisma and stage presence also has helped win us a lot of plaudits…I don’t think I’ve ever read a bad live review of the band, either on the net or in a magazine, and we are moving from strength to strength in the types of gigs we’ve been playing, so it was definitely worth the wait to get him involved. The band is moving ever upwards.”

DF.The up-coming tour with Ten and White Widow is heading for a sell-out, I take it you are pleased about this; it shows that there is still a demand for AOR music in this country?
GN.“Oh, the demand is there. I just think the bill has to be juicy enough and advertised at the right price. The turnouts at events like Firefest show that there is a market and a demand. Likewise, a few of the shows we did with Houston and Crash Diet last year were packed with people…. Although, I have to say, the sales figures for this tour appear to be far out-doing the tour we did last year and Bolton, for example, has already sold out!”
“The bill we’ve put together is undeniably a good match of bands and now I just can’t wait to get out there and play for the people who make the music so worthwhile!”

DF.When can we expect some new material from Serpentine?
GN.“Well, it’s in the pipeline. Chris and I have written a good few songs now and we are playing with some more ideas. The music has always come before the lyrics on the albums we’ve done, and it seems to be going that way again so far. We’ll be bringing out a new album and video single in 2013 for definite, but we won’t be stopping playing shows in the meanwhile… It’s so much fun taking the music on the road, and we are working hard to bring some new tunes to people as fast as we can!”

DF.And finally, can you tell everybody one thing about Matt; are his jokes really as funny as he makes them out to be?

GN.”Well, half of our set is his stand-up show, so I’ll leave that for you and the readers to decide! Or the poor bloke who tried to heckle him at the Amaranthe gig and lost?”

With thanks to Gareth David Noon, Keyboards.

About David Farrell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at Manager of The Goddanm Electric, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.
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