“It’s all about love and squalor, not politics”: An interview with Forms

Forms: An Interview With

Forms are a new 4-piece band that started out in March this year. They have just released 4 new tracks including the song ‘Considerate’ and they play the band in feature film ‘Riot on Redchurch Street’; a story about the music scene in Shoreditch.

I caught up with them on the film set to find out what they and the film are all about.


On the Band:

They are sitting on a brick wall, 3 with their tops off absorbing the sun. There is an uncanny resemblance between the two brothers Rhys and Owen. Mark sits back relaxed and James is sole band member with his t-shirt on.


How would you describe your music?

[They all sigh in thought looking down before an answer comes]

James: I think it is has got an old school vibe to it like punk and rock. It’s not trying to be fashionable.

[A few of them laugh as they hear “old school”]

Mark: It has got bits of Iggy Pop, Bloc Party and Joy Division in it. Not many people get the Bloc Party link but they are all influences.


How do you want people to respond to your music?

Mark: We want them to say, “Ooh, that’s really grabbed me by the balls and shook me.”

Owen: It’s not got political messages or anything like that, at least not yet.

Rhys: Not Yet!?

[More laughter. Owen tries to defend himself but the he gets ridiculed instead for the suggestion]

Mark: It’s all about love and squalor, not politics.


How did you come up with the name ‘Forms’?

Owen: We didn’t come up with the name; Trevor Miller [director of Riot on Redchurch Street] suggested it.

Rhys: The idea came from the fact that in America they call park benches ‘forms’.

So we are named after park benches.

[Cue laughter]

Mark: We didn’t like the name at first but we’ve come round to it.

Rhys: [Looking at Mark] Well, since we put it on the posters we couldn’t really change it so we had to like it.


How did you guys meet?

Owen: Well, I popped out of mum and he was already there. [Pointing at Rhys]

James: I started working at Old Blue [a pub in Old Street] with Rhys and he went to university with Mark.

Rhys: I saw Mark with a bottle of Fanta Fruit Twist at university looking hung-over and I was also worse for wear. I decided there and then that this is a guy who could be my friend.

Mark: Yeh, Rhys and I started a band together last September with a guy called Rob Brick. However, he was a bit too “folky” for what we wanted to do.


You’ve all been in bands before. What’s different about this one?

James: I was a guitarist in previous bands but a bassist in this one. Being a bassist is like going back to my first band because all we played were riffs and all I do as a bassist is play one note.

Rhys: I used to play the bass for ages but this is the first time that I am the front man.


To the brothers: have you been in the same band before?

Rhys: No, this is the first time actually.

Owen: I started playing guitar before he [Rhys] started playing anything.

Rhys: We were never in rival bands either. Sibling rivalry is not a thing we have ever had.

Owen: We always used to play music together. We spent lots of time in our bedrooms making and recording music.

[If you looked away while they were speaking you wouldn’t know who was saying what]


How would you define success for your band?

Mark: I want a record on my wall.

Rhys: I want a theme park all about us.

James: I want a video game like GTA with us as the main characters.

Rhys: Yeh, I think it is important to mention that we are a crime-fighting band.

[Somehow, I think they have not thought that far ahead]


On the Film:


You have all got roles in the feature film ‘Riot on Redchurch Street’. What’s the film about?

Owen: It is about a band and also the love triangle between the band manager, the front man to the band and a girl singer.

[They all start joking before James breaks the laughter with something more to add]

James: The band’s on the cusp of being signed but they mess it all up because the main characters cheat on each other. There are lots of drugs and sex scenes as well.


How did you get the roles?

[Rhys gets up to get some tobacco for a roll-up. He got the starring role as Danny so he’s got a lot of talking to do.]

Rhys: I got into the film because they asked me to play in the band during the auditions for the main characters. But the actors auditioning for the film were not really up to it. That’s not surprising considering they were trying to get actors to play in a band when they had never been in a band.

James: But then they got a band member who had never done any acting to play a starring role in the film!

Rhys: They invited me to have a go at an acting audition. It went well even though I thought I was going to be a quivering wreck during the audition. Then everyone else in our band got roles as well.


Do you enjoy acting? And if so what do you prefer: acting or playing music?

Owen: We enjoy acting but making music is more our thing.

James: There’s a nice little buzz after you have shot a scene but the waiting around can make it tedious.

Rhys: I enjoy the acting but music is where I feel strongest. But you get to meet some really cool people that you would not get to meet otherwise on film sets.


What’s the hardest thing you have had to act out in the film?

Rhys: The delightfully awkward sex scenes.

Mark: The drunken scene. The hardest thing is to act drunk without any alcohol.

Rhys: There is a scene where I am covered in blood. It was not hard to act but the fake blood was sticky and horrible and I got loads of awkward looks when I was waiting in a pub for the film crew to be ready. It didn’t help that the scene was shot just outside a hospital!

James: Les Mckeown made me laugh throughout a scene.  I couldn’t keep a straight face. If you watch the film you will see me fighting back the laughter.


Why should people watch ‘Riot on Redchurch Street’?

James: I don’t think anyone has done anything about the current music scene in Shoreditch, so that makes it interesting and unique.

Mark: It’s aimed at young people and has got heavy subject matter.

Rhys: It’s a black comedy and will be especially funny to people who know the places. Trevor [Miller] has got a wicked wit. He is infinitely quotable and I think that comes across in the script.

[A dog then approaches the band and takes their attention away. Which was just as well because that’s when the memory card ran out of space]

‘Riot on Redchurch Street’ is due to be released next year. You can find out more about the film at http://riotonredchurch.com/.

You can also listen to new music from Forms at http://www.myspace.com/forms

By Adam Dobrik


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