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Q & A with… Preston!

08/04/2015 By Chris Middleton

prestonIts been a while since we last heard from The Ordinary Boys, after the split in 2008. Frontman Samuel Preston, simply referred to as Preston, has had a pretty diverse career since then. From being token indie frontman at the time, to reality TV star back in 2005 most of the world had thought he’d gone quiet, but lately he’s penned songs for the likes of Olly Murs, Kylie and Cher. Now The Ordinary Boys are back sounding louder and more energetic than ever.

It’s been over ten years since your debut album, what’s changed for you and the band in that time, and what made you decide to get back in the studio?

It really suited us to be unaccountable to anyone other than ourselves. To have nothing but our self-belief. I think that that is why our first album has such a feeling of confidence and energy. We never had to think about where it sat in any larger scheme. Then for the succeeding albums there were various factors influencing the decisions we had to make. Even the fact that decisions had to be made at all! The strength of the new record is that we are back to making music that is unaccountable to anyone except us again. I have been working as a songwriter for the last 5 years for Enrique Iglesias, Kylie and Cher among others and I needed to go and write some music that didn’t have to conform to anyone’s expectations, it could just be ‘good’ and that was the only unshifting factor.

It almost feels as if you’re starting your music career again, as opposed picking up where things left off. Would you say that’s a fair observation?

We are all very busy with real life and careers. James and Louis are taking this tour as their annual holidays from work and Charlie will have to set up a workstation backstage at venues. It’s more for us working out how we can find a work/band balance that we can keep going and keep touring and making records with minimal upset to real life. But it does, certainly musically, feel like an alternative timeline. It’s the record we could have made.

All your albums seem to have a different direction and influence. Over the Counter Culture was very pop punk, Brassbound was quite ska influenced, and How To Get Everything Your Ever Wanted was a more pop/dance influenced album. What direction are you taking for this album?

This record is much more pop-punk like the first record. Britpop-punk we used to call it. But rather than the opinionated social-commentary of the first album this one is lyrically much more personal. Once you creep closer to thirty the personal really does become the political, more for lack of free time than anything else! Having had a few albums to experiment I think pop-punk is what we feel most comfortable playing and what translates best live.

What records have you all been listening to recently and have these given you any inspiration for the new album?

There are some great newer pop punk bands that I’m listening to actually. Pity Sex were a big influence on this record. I like Basement a lot. Nothing’s album is really good. And Modern Baseball. I’ve also rediscovered some old gems. Stick Your Neck Out by the Bollweevils particularly.

What do you think is the future for the Ordinary Boys? Do you plan to play any festivals next summer for example?

We had a number one album in Japan so we are planning on getting back there for the summer festivals. In terms of our future, we now have a great set-up for releasing records through our own label, Treat Yourself Records. So hopefully this is the start of something really regular. We are already thinking about the next one!

You’re embarking on a pretty hectic tour after being quiet for so long, have you missed life on the road?

I missed the quiet life when we used to tour a lot before more than I miss tour when I’m living the quiet life. But I can’t wait to spend some time with my best friends and leave the real world behind for a solid month. We only have a couple of days off on a 30-day tour so I’m sure my thoughts will change fairly quickly.

After Celebrity Big Brother you seemed to be everywhere in the media at that time. Did you enjoy that level of fame or is it nicer to be away from the spotlight?

It’s pretty hard work honestly and I didn’t enjoy it that much at the time. And it’s taken me a long time to carve out a nice life for myself, far from media scrutiny. But in retrospect it was actually really fun, but best left back in 2005 where it belongs!

If you could pick only one song from your discography so far that you would want people to remember you for, which one would it be?

‘Boys Will Be Boys’… only joking. It’s actually a hard question because I am proud of the diversity of my back catalogue. I wrote a song for Olly Murs called ‘Heart Skips A Beat’ that was number one and I am super proud of how catchy that one is, but Ordinary Boys wise maybe ‘Seaside’ from our first album because it sums up so well my feelings of being a teenager in Brighton trying to convince my friends that life could wait until tomorrow, and as we are about to embark on this 30 date tour it seems I haven’t changed my opinion!

The Ordinary Boys was released on 2nd October through Treat Yourself Records.