RIOT Introducing: TV Priest

Conceived around London’s outskirts, TV Priest announced their arrival earlier this year with the thumping track ‘House of York‘, becoming a favourite with the likes of BBC 6Music in the process.

Like their debut offering, new single ‘Runner Up’ was produced by bassist Nic in TV Priest’s own Hackney studio and channels a similar pang of observational punk. The band are set to headline their first show on October 28th at London’s Shacklewell Arms – a more than fitting way to celebrate the return of live shows.

We spoke to frontman Charlie Drinkwater, already an established visual artist in his own right, about the new single.

You state that the new single, ‘Runner Up’, is about white goods, work ethic, guilt, game shows, not dancing at the Christmas party, 4 car garages, meal deals, spam folders, lotteries, carrots and sticks.. which of these things do you find the most inspiration in specifically?
It’s really about what these things represent symbolically. It’s a kind of a reaction to a lived experience as a citizen of a globalised, late capitalist nation. I think we were interested in this notion of ‘accumulation’, or a kind of perpetual motion of capital. You have to keep ‘climbing’ and this climb is already naturally benefiting people with existing privilege or re-enforcing a status quo, the whole point is that most people can never ever expect to ‘reach the top’ of something as fundamentally broken as this. These little fragments, or snippets, are kind of collaged into the lyrics and meaning of the song. I’m not offering a design for living through the lyrics but hopefully expressing the frustration, anger, and sense of humour at the systems that have been built to re-enforce this model.

Charlie, you have contributed to cover art for some great artists, how did your collaboration with Fontaines D.C. come about?
I met the guys last year through a friend of a friend at Glastonbury festival and we just chatted as music fans after their set. I was obviously a big fan of what they were doing artistically but just chalked it up as a good conversation with good people. Then later in the year Carlos from the band hit me up for a poster and we began working together, so it’s been a pretty organic thing.

What came first for you chronologically; the visual art? or the music?
The two have kind of developed in unison – if we go way back I was always drawing on anything I could find as a kid. My day job is as a visual artist and designer but I’m only really working in this field now because I was such a music fan and always making stuff for the people I was playing with or making work for other bands I knew!

What was the last gig you attended before lockdown
Fontaines D.C. at Brixton, was amazing to hear the new tracks in such a massive space.

TV Priest have announced their awaited first headlining show, on the 28th October at The Shacklewell Arms (BUY TICKETS)

Author avatar
Matt Ganfield

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