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No Hot Ashes: ‘We’ve always said use the platform we’ve got for good’

The four-piece played Tramlines on Friday

As the sun went down on Friday evening at Tramlines, thousands flocked towards the main stage for Stereophonics' headline set, but over on the Library Stage were one of the most exciting new bands in the country.

Describing their unique sound as "post-pop disco funk", No Hot Ashes played an energetic set which showed why they are now on the same booking agency as Arctic Monkeys and Tame Impala.

The band spoke to us about all things Sheffield, mental health, and what's next for them as a band.

Who's who in the band?

Jack: I'm Jack, I'm the bassist.

Isaac: I'm Isaac, I sing and play guitar.

Matt: I'm Matt, I play drums.

Luigi: I'm Luigi, I play guitar.

Have you played Sheffield much before?

Isaac: Yeah we've played a few times. We did The Rocking Chair a few times, but that's now changed into

Jack: Cafe Totem or something?

Isaac: Cafe Totem or something. We haven't played it since it changed.

Jack: Record Junkee, Crystal Bar.

Isaac: Done a few in Sheffield.

What stands out to you about the city and in particular Tramlines?

Jack: People are nice really, aren't they?

Isaac: Yeah, yeah, people are quite friendly. I mean Tramlines, it's nice to see it all popping off this year in a field and everyone having fun, you know what I mean?

Jack: Getting everyone together in one place.

Luigi: We're kind of sick of the walk around a city sort of gigs, there's been too many of them.

What can people expect from a No Hot Ashes set?

Luigi: Who knows!

Isaac: Surprise every gig. Even to us, mate, we know what songs we're doing.

Jack: Isaac's got tape on the back of his jacket today!

Isaac: We try and keep it fresh for ourselves, you know what I mean? There's a few different things we'll come with but nowt specific.

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Who would you say your main influences are as a band?

Luigi: Each other, man.

Isaac: It's hard because we all listen to such different music and that, but who, who? Nile Rodgers, the whole of Chic, the whole of that 70s funk. Sly and the Family Stone to Sugarhill Gang.

Luigi: Frankie Valli.

Isaac: MF Doom. There's a lot of rap. There's a load of shit man.

Luigi: Big melting pot man, big melting pot.

As seen on the Skint Kids Disco EP, you're a band who actively talk about social issues and mental health.

Isaac: RIP Chester Bennington as well, a year today.

Jack: I think we just try to connect with our fans, and we're quite young as well so we've got that on our side. As musicians, we try to understand other musicians' mental health issues. Being in a band can be-

Isaac: I mean we're all fucked up, aren't we?

Jack: We're sort of growing up with the audience in a way, cos as they get older we get older, and we're on the same level as quite a lot of them.

Isaac: It's good because we have the ability to say whatever we want as long as it's said poetically enough.

Jack: I think we've always said, use the platform we've got for good, to do something good.

Isaac: And as much as I said (Eight Till Late) is about mental health…it's just about me innit, and what I've gone through, and it stopped being about mental health or politics. It's just this is my life and how shit it is, you know what I mean? That is what I'd say.

Luigi: Which everyone can relate to.

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Who else are you looking forward to across Tramlines?

Luigi: Stereophonics.

Jack: Magic Gang, they were wicked.

Isaac: We're shooting off to Truck Festival so we won't get that much of a chance, but we just saw Magic Gang and they were good fun, and caught up with The Orielles, they're a good lot.

Jack: I wish we could stay longer, but we're in and out these days.

Finally, what's next for No Hot Ashes beyond festival season?

Luigi: Summer tour.

Jack: Recordings as well, lots of recordings for you.

Isaac: Yeah we've started getting demos going, so hopefully we'll get some new music to you after festival season.

Photo credit: Sam Crowston