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Cowboyy: Britain’s Latest Bandits

If you’re a Londoner like myself who seemingly can’t stay away from the holy trinity of music venues, The Windmill, The Sebright Arms and The New Cross Inn,  you’d have certainly already heard about Cowboyy. The latest 4-piece lineup to come storming out of the UK’s woodwork has already rightly attracted the attention of music heads and BBC 6 DJs alike with their exceptional first single ‘Gmaps’

At first glance, the band’s lineup is a patchwork of secondary school stereotypes, each styled like the four kids in your class you’d never thought would interact, let alone form a band. But behind the athlete on drums and maths wiz on vocals exists a brotherly bond which has been essential in forming the band’s unique charm. We got to know a little more about Cowboyy when we spoke to them recently.

Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. What has the reaction been to the new single?

Reubin: I think the response has been really good, so we’re excited to see what’s ahead, but for now, we’re just happy for it to be out and to see what’s next.

Tell us a bit about the process. When did you start working on recording the single, and how did you do it?

Stan: I wrote everything beforehand, and then I got a band together to record the songs. It was about 6/7 tracks in that day. We had a different drummer and an additional guitarist who joined to help but they weren’t permanent members and we then went back and recorded another track after meeting and playing with Rhys, making the forthcoming EP a five-track. ‘Gmaps’ is the first song from the EP. I recorded and co-produced it with the David Evans at the Old Chapel Studios, which is local to me. I mixed the songs with him and over-dubbed guitar round his house. I intentionally did this all beforehand as I wanted to do something by myself for myself. We then worked on the live set and playing together after this.

How would you describe your style? You mentioned the first time we met that you disliked being pigeonholed by today’s very broad stylistic labels.

Reubin: I think the idea of being forced into a category or compared is always gonna be a factor in music but right now I think we all know what we’re making and what we’re all proud of it regardless. 

Stan: Our musical style or personal? Either way, I’m just doing whatever I want.

Rhys: I don’t know, when people ask I just say experimental noise rock sort of thing.

How did your name come to be?

Stan: I’ve liked the sort of Hollywood idea of cowboys since I was younger. Before we started gigging, we went by my full name. Cowboyy kind of alludes to the solo artist thing but we are and will always be a band  

How did you all meet, and what were your different influences like?

Reubin: I met Stan at a party a few years back and we instantly got on because of our passion for music, especially hip-hop.

Stan: I then met Kai and Rhys through Instagram. we all like math rock, jazz, fusion, hardcore, funk etc.

Rhys: Tony Williams is a big influence, Chris Pennie from Dillinger Escape Plan and I like the drumming on a record called Scenery by Ryo Fukui

Have most of you played in bands before?

Stan: Yes I’ve played guitar, written music and been involved in production since about 16, but never done my own thing.

Kai: I’ve played in bands before this but only really at a local level.

Rhys: I’ve played drums in bands since I was about 16.

How do you think the music scene has responded to your music?

Reubin: I’m not sure but there definitely something brewing that got people talking.

Rhys: Sometimes it’s really good…sometimes not so much.

Who are some bands you’re excited about or could see yourselves playing with?

Reubin: None have really caught my eye for me or maybe it’s because I’m intimidated by their current status but I’m sure one day we’re gonna support some really cool bands.

Kai: Deathcrash are a band I really like at the moment and I could see us playing with them at some point.

Top three records of the year so far?

Stan: There’s not been a massive amount of music coming out this year I’m super into, I guess DOMi and JD BECK’s ‘NOT TiGHT’ and Palm have dropped a couple of singles, I’m excited about their new album.

Rhys: I really liked Island Of Love’s ‘Songs Of Love’ EP

Kai: As Stan said, Palm’s new singles are great and I’m really excited to hear their new album. For the other two, I’d say Return by Deathcrash and Badi Sabah Olmadan by Altin Gün

Reubin: For me, it’s Cheat Codes by Danger mouse, Gemini Rights by Steve Lacy and Arrangements by Preoccupations. Like Stan said there hasn’t been a lot coming out but there definitely some albums on the way I’m really excited for. 

What does the long-term plan look like for Cowboyy?

Stan: Have fun playing music and hopefully people like it.

Reubin: I’m looking forward to the journey ahead and the music we gonna create next!

Rhys: Space.

Kai: Moon first then Mars.

Along with the release of their first music video, the band announced their upcoming EP, ‘EPIC THE MOVIE’ coming March 6th next year.

Yeehaw.

Photo by Ele Marchant
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