If you like a bit of attitude in your music then female duo Rews, consisting of London-born Collette Williams and Belfast-born Shauna Tohill, are going to make you feel alive with their raucous songs full of anger, rage and angst.
Not teenage angst, mind you. The drums and guitar-toting girls, who only formed their band a couple of years ago, look like they’re seriously in control rather than out for a good old whine. As they appear to like things that come in twos we decided to go with the twosome theme. Here’s what they had to say to Susie Daniels…
What two things couldn’t you live without?
Shauna: Food. Thai food! In general I love being able to cook and make a healthy meal. I couldn’t live without writing and playing music – my creative instrument. It’s one of the most cathartic things ever. I find it easy to express what I feel. Otherwise I’d go off the rails.
Collette: I’d be Jeckyll and Hide without chocolate! Dairy Milk and Galaxy! Also, I couldn’t live without hair dye. I’ve been dyeing my hair since I was 14 years old. I’m addicted to it!
What two things do you wish you’d done in life?
Collette: I guess I wish I’d skydived. I’ve always wanted to do it. I wish I’d written Ever Long by the Foo Fighters. It’s my all-time favourite.
Shauna: Ride a horse bareback and shoot a bow and arrow. I’d ride side-saddle and shoot an apple! I’d love to go to Space. I have a book I’m studying on astronomy and I’ve watched a couple of documentaries by Brian Cox and Space looks amazing.
Anteros singer Laura Hayden, who we interviewed in the last issue, married the girl who produced the band’s music video for a laugh. What crazy thing have you done?
Shauna: I thought it would be fun to run a half mile marathon in April this year. I hardly did any training as we were on tour before. Oh yeah, and playing with fire, playing stupid games. I jumped over a bonfire and my shoes caught fire and melted and my jeans were synged! I’d had two bottles of Buckfast, well, we all shared it, and I was completely gone. It was a little camping trip in Ireland.
Collette: In my last job we taped air horns to people’s chairs, permanent markers to people’s phones and once locked our manager in the closet! A couple of years ago I went to Las Vegas and you can jump off the top of the Stratosphere Tower. I also went on a rollercoaster drunk. It was the scariest experience of my life and the whole time I was trying not to throw up.
What two things would you like to do by the age of 40?
Collette: I’d like to have visited all the continents and visited at least one place in each of them. I’d love to play on Jools Holland’s Hootenany at New Year. Don’t tell anyone but they film it a few days before!
Shauna: It would be cool to have a log cabin or vegetable patch and a wee dog. It would be a sanctuary between touring. I want to be touring in Japan by then (when I’m 40) and have a good fanbase worldwide and to be considered alongside Biffy Clyro. Be as big as them!
This seems to be the time for female artists. Does it feel like it?
Collette: Yeah, it’s a good time to do something a bit different for rock and alternative music.
You’ve been compared to other rock bands and called a female Royal Blood – happy with that comparison?
Shauna: It doesn’t bother us. I feel like we are quite like them.
Collette: Mostly because we’re a duo but we’re not really like them. We’re a bit more melodic and mainstream.
Shauna: Anything different is great.
Ever wanted to play in a mixed band or are you happy just the two of you?
Shauna: We come from very different backgrounds. I love artists and bands from Tori Amos to Nails – real, honest people pouring their heart out. At the moment we’re really happy, just the two of us.
Collette: I was brought up on Sex Pistols, Police, Rancid and Fleetwood Mac who focused on the harmony and vocals.
So bands have always influenced me but we’re fine as we are.
Shauna spent one and a half years as guest vocalist with Snow Patrol and American indie band Darwin Deez. Was that amazing?
Shauna: Yeah. We toured across Europe and in the UK. It was the biggest band I’d toured with and it was mental and amazing. It gave me a taste of what’s to come. It was so inspirational. Snow Patrol say it took them ten years to be an overnight success! It makes you want to work harder.
Collette, you drummed in a Gabrielle Aplin video and played on the Graham Norton show. Was that where you wanted to be at?
Colette: A lot of session stuff I did was pop and chat friendly. You work for passion and work. I always wanted it to be rockier.
How did you get involved in music and what instruments do you play?
Colette: I play drums, keys, guitar and violin. I sang in church. I learned drums at 14 years old.
My dad bought my first drum kit and I dabbled in violin. I was really inspired by Dave Grohl and played with Lenny Kravitz, Cindy and Travis Blackman.
Shauna: I play guitar, piano, bass and cello