Return Of The Ordinary Boys – Preston Interview

After a hiatus of nearly 10 years, The Ordinary Boys are back with what is arguably their strongest album to date and a new tour. Hot on the heels of their energy driven single Four Letter Word, the band are playing Cardiff Globe on November 5.

The reformed line-up consists of the original trio – Preston, James Gregory (bass) and Charlie ‘Chuck’ Stanley (drums) – plus new member Louis Jones from celebrated power-pop band Spectrals on guitar.

After a brief stint in the limelight following his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, Preston has spent the last 8 years building a solid reputation as a successful songwriter, having written hits for John Newman and Example and a number one for Olly Murs with Heart Skips A Beat. Andy Howells recently put questions to Preston .

You’re back with a new album and tour, what made you decide you wanted to make music together again?
I had fallen out with our drummer, Charlie in 2004. He only played on our debut album and then as I reached the peak of Saturn Returning I decided it was time to put the past behind me and give him a call. By the end of the phone call we had somehow decided to put the band back together and make a new record! The whole new album and tour is just a way for me to force my friends to hang out with me for a whole month! I can hold them hostage in van and force them to have a lovely time with me.

Its just over a decade since the original Over The Culture Counter was released and you rose to fame quite prominently what was that period like for you looking back?
The first tour and everything around that first album was so exciting. I look back at it as such a nice time in my life. It took ten years of time away from the band to be in the same position, completely unaccountable to anyone, that allowed us to make another record exactly the way we wanted to.

Did your time on Celebrity Big Brother, affect or detract from the inner workings of the band at all?
Massively but it was also an important factor in getting to the place that we are at now. I learned how to write pop music and, although the third album wasn’t really an Ordinary Boys album, it taught me how to write pop music, which is what I do for a living now. I write for Olly Murs, John Newman and the Vamps.

Can you give us some background on your latest album?
We have a new guitarist, Louis from the band Spectrals, who immediately became one of my best friends. It’s very much an album sparked by friendship and a desire to make some fun, singalong punk rock songs, which is what we always did best!

What are your memories of the first time The Ordinary Boys played Wales?
We played TJs a lot. The first time was supporting the Vandals in the late 90s. We stayed in the bunkbeds above the venue. We returned a few tim,es and were heartbroken to find out that it had closed down.

You’re playing Wales on November 5, what can people expect from your show?
Every show on this tour has been great fun. Lots of kids moshing and singing along. We are having a brilliant time and I think it shows!

What do you think you’ve learned in your time together as a group?
I’ve definitely learned what the important things the get out of being in a band are. Friendship and making sure the amps are turned up really loud.

Finally, what has been your personal highlight in your time with the band?
We had a number 1 album in Japan and we played a 40,000 seater baseball stadium over there. That! We are returning to Japan in December which is very exciting!

  • Catch The Ordinary Boys at Cardiff Globe on November 5.
  • A version of this Q&A by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus on October 30, 2015

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