Happiness Is A Wet Nun
Something must be seriously wrong: we have a band called Wet Nuns desecrating the front cover of our magazine AND our website. The person behind such a ludicrous decision was almost certainly possessed by the powers of evil. That, or it was just a really slow month…
No, we jest. In all seriousness, the despicable duo have rather a lot to look forward to this year: a new EP out this month, a UK tour, their very own festival and a casual trip to Austin, Texas to wow the industry bods at SXSW. That doesn’t even account for the inevitable carnage they’ll reap across the festival season this summer. Walking round a snowy cemetery in Sheffield with singer/guitarist Rob, drummer Alexis, a small toy goat and Cliff Richard’s latest calendar, Amy Collin tries to work out how 2013 became the year of the ‘Nuns.
Your new EP, Broken Teeth, is due out this month. What’s your favourite track?
A: The lead track, Broken Teeth is our favourite, obviously.
R: Actually, I don't think I have a favourite. There's two older songs on there and two new so the new ones are perhaps fresher. I guess 'All The Young Girls' is my favourite. It’s a pretty dirty sexy tune.
Dirty sexy nuns. Nice. There’s a tattooed lip on the cover of the EP. I’m pretty sure it isn’t either of you two. Why didn't one of you man up and get your lip tattooed?
A: I want my lip tattooed, but not with the name of my band, because that would be pathetic. The cover model, Rev. Nik Peach, originally offered to have our name tattooed on his pecker.
R: Because I don't want a tattoo of my own bands ridiculous name on my lip? And because I'm a total wuss.
So the cover model felt his lip was next best choice to his penis? Right. Does being 'Radio Friendly' ever come into consideration when you're writing new material?
A: Not particularly. Most radio stations seem to play bedwetters music anyway, so we're not too bothered if our stuff doesn't get aired.
R: Radio friendly-ness is never a concern really. We're called f***ing Wet Nuns. I guess sometimes there’s a "I want this tune to be gross" kind of decision. But no matter what we do there's always a bit of melody there somewhere.
You’re about to embark on your biggest UK tour to date. How does your ultimate gig pan out? (Crowd surfing, sacrificial offerings etc?)
A: The perfect gig would be entirely attended by hot women and monsters, who would all suck us off and mate with each other to create babe monster offspring. Then we'd set fire to all our gear and run off through the crowd whilst soiling ourselves.
R: All gigs are fun. Pretty much. But the things you listed all make them better. Just being able to see that people are enjoying themselves is cool.
Babe Monster Offspring is a good band name. Any venues you're particularly looking forward to playing?
A: The Brudenell Social Club is an exciting prospect. We've seen so many great bands there and it's an incredible venue with a fantastic reputation. It'll be an honour to play there.
R: The Roadhouse should be amazing too. It’s always a privilege to play for Now Wave in Manchester, those guys really know their shit.
If you could support any band in the world on tour, who would it be?
A: It's a toss-up between Enya and Queens Of The Stone Age.
R: Pffft, I dunno. Alien Ant Farm?
Top line up, that. You've been invited so SXSW, a ridiculous achievement. What are US customs most likely to stop you for?
A: Possibly the collection of plastic body parts in our suitcases?
R: Being ungodly.
What are you hoping to get from the trip? Is 'breaking America' on the cards?
A: We're unlikely to break America in a single week. Hopefully we'll get noticed and invited back. That's when we'll fully bring that nation to its knees.
R: A tan, and some new shirts. Gonna eat loads of bbq. I guess it'll just be interesting to see how people respond to us over there. Whether they `get it` or not.
You have to publicise your own showcase over there, people can get fairly outlandish in doing so. Any plans to shock them into submission?
A: We have to publicise it ourselves? That's going to be difficult when we don't have any contacts there.(Yes, yes it is.). We were hoping to just turn up and play to an enraptured crowd of Hollywood celebrities who'll give us lots of money. That's what happens, right? (No, no it isn’t.)
R: I think a pant dropping is our major attention-grabbing trait. Maybe that. Alexis can sort that out.
You’re behind a two day music fest, Detestival, at Queens Social Club here in Sheffield at the end of March. Not many bands are savvy enough to put on their own festival and pick the whole line up. Is Detestival filling a void in the Sheffield music scene or is it a totally selfish endeavour?
A: It's mainly selfish. We just wanted to show people some of the bands we like. Most of them have played Sheffield before, so it's not like we're breaking new ground. We just wanted a really solid line up, and that's what we're getting!
R: I guess with Detestival we’re just putting on loads of bands that we think people should see. That's quite selfish. Its filling the space in the scene that we`ve quite selfishly decided exists.
Who are you most excited about seeing over the weekend?
A: For me, Bo Ningen are one of my favourite live bands ever. And I'm looking forward to Temples. Rob and I saw them in Leeds and booked them straight away.
In the spirit of ludicrously dark Wet Nuns endeavours (Detestival, New Year’s Evil), you've started your own label, ‘Throng of Nobs’…
A) What's your obsession with penises?
A: Isn't everyone obsessed with peni? Anyway, 'Throng of Nobs' is a reference to a crowd of people at a certain Sheffield city centre bar, whom we had to carry all our gear through after playing.
R: Willies = funny. That's essentially it. Most of our activities are based on a very instinctual sense of humour.
B) What's the plans for the label? Are you hoping to take on other bands or is it solely for promoting Wet Nuns?
A: Initially, it was set up as a label for which we can release our own material, but we're very keen to release other bands too. Watch this space.
R: We do want to put out other people’s music. We just can't afford to yet. We can't really afford to put our own stuff out. But no one else will. I guess we wanted to do more than just be a band. Make more of a mark and help other people out. We wanted to start putting stuff out this year – but because of the cost issue we’re doing the festival and probably some other gigs too.
Have you found time in your busy schedule to whip up an album?
A: We've written and recorded most of our debut album. In fact, we've got more than we need, but we're still writing….
In ten years’ time, where do you think Wet Nuns will be?
A: Rob will be dead, Alexis will have cut himself off from civilisation.
R: Ten years is a long time. I'd be surprised if we haven’t exhausted the possibilities of the setup to be honest. There's a limit to what you can do as a duo. I guess we’ll have to keep reinventing ourselves like Madonna. If we’re still at it then we’ll still be making music that's interesting and exciting and hopefully doing the label thing and putting loads of good stuff out and having a good time and enjoying life and all that shit.
Top five band names you've come up with today so far?
A; Egg Wolf, Golf Wolf, Wolf Sausage, Wolf Curtains, Wolf Toilet. Today is a wolf special, because there aren't enough bands with 'wolf' in their name.
I’d like to throw Cliff and the Goats into that mix. Not wolf based, just funny. Given that you’re cover stars for our Valentine’s issue, it’s only right that we show a bit of love. Word association game! What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say:
I expected those EXACT responses. Given that I’m sure you two are totally avid fans of Saturday night's TAKE ME OUT with your hero, Paddy McGuiness, what song would you come down the Love lift to?
A; I don't know what this is. What is a Love Lift? It sounds like curb crawling?
… And that’s that folks. They don’t watch Take Me Out, they might end up like Madonna and Peni is a constant source of amusement.
Wet Nuns head out on a UK headline tour throughout February and March (sadly, no Sheffield date). They curate Detestival at Queens Social Club on March 30/31. For all ‘Nuns related info, head to their website and follow them @WetNuns
Words by Amy Collins
Band Photos by Timm Cleasby for The Picture Foundry