Knebworth, Cluedo and Knob Cheese, we talked about it all with Pastel.

“I’m convinced I could out sniff some rockstars” Jack Yates 2022

From left to right: James, Eli (me), Kenz and Jack

I went to the pub with lead singer Jack, 22 and rhythm guitarist James, 24, who make up two-fifths of the upcoming band Pastel. The band is made up of Manchester cousins Jack and James and Swansea boys Joe Anderson (lead guitar), Rhys Wheeler (drums) and Liam O’Shea (bass). 

The boys met with me in a Manchester pub where we spoke all things, song writing, proudest moments, and Liam Gallagher. Jack and James were with their mates Benno and Alfie who you will see mentioned below. 

Pastel have two EPs out, with their first single, She Waits For Me being released in 2020. Despite their short time in the industry, they have so much behind them already and with much more planned for 2023. 

How did you all meet?

Jack: How did we meet James?

James: Um, good question

Alfie: You two are related

James: Are we?

James: Me and Jack are cousins, so we’ve actually known each other all our lives, haven’t we jack?

Jack and James at Knebworth

Jack: I think so, yep

James: I can’t remember when I met him

Jack: I actually can’t you know, genuine, I don’t know when I met him 

James: Well probably because you were about fucking three days old

Jack: Yeah probably, yeah yeah

James: But then the rest of the band, me and jack are from Manchester, but we moved to south Wales a few years ago because our dads went to rehab down there. so, and our dads moved down there, we moved down there, and that’s where we met the rest of the boys in Swansea and Merthyr Tydfil and stuff like that.

When did you form the band? 

Both: Before we formed the band

Jack: Before we started playing together, yeah, pretty much straight out the gate, me, James and this guy called, well I don’t know his name anymore

James: Can’t remember his name

Jack: Some little gimp, started a band, we didn’t even start a band, did we, we just said let’s start one, and then uh three days later Reece fell into our hands and a bass player

James: And the rest is history

Jack: History

Why did you choose the name Pastel?

James: Because it sounds cool for one, and two, there’s a lot you can do with it, like colour wise

Jack: And fruit pastels

James: Like that t-shirt is quite pastelly…  for the record, she’s wearing a pastelly coloured t-shirt, for the record

How did you start, pubs/scouted/reach out? 

James: No, we started out, we knew nothing, we knew no one, about anything and along the way we’ve just like, I think it’s because were not dickheads right, so people like us, and we’ve just like, gained friends along the way. Like people in the industry and stuff, and they like us, and they take us under their wing. We get a lot of shit from people who will say like ‘ah you know you only got to play Knebworth because of like Charlie lightening, you know, whatever, but I didn’t know Charlie lightning

Jack: Fuck off, he was a fan you prick

James: What I mean is, I didn’t know these people, before we started the band, I just met them along the way, and yeah that’s it basically

Who writes the songs?

James: We pay someone, his names Alfie Gildea, he lives in Texas, and he literally, it’s like, he just takes 80% of the royalties for the songs and he sends us a tune back, and we just go with it

Jack: We basically took too much acid, and he met aliens and that’s where the songs get given to us, through out of space, aliens 

Alfie: You talking about me?

James: Nope! No, we write the songs

Jack: We write the songs

James: We definitely, don’t listen to what he just said, we definitely write the songs, uh me, jack and joe, will write the songs and we just like, Jack will come at us with an idea…

Jack: And they will tell me its shit

James: And the three of us will just sit there and manifest over it, massage it, 

Jack: Give it a rub down

James: Give it a rub down, give it a happy ending and then thats the song

Who are your biggest influences?

Jack: Alfie Gildea

James: Benno

Jack: HA Benno

James: Um Shack

Jack: Abba

James: The Talking Heads, Stone Roses, who else Alfie?

Jack: You had it at Shack there didn’t ya

James: Yeah, Mick Head, New Order, just anyone cool really

Jack: Talking Heads again

James: Acid is a big influence, as well but it’s not a band

Jack: Yeah, I think drugs are a big influence DRUGS

What has been your proudest moment so far?

James: Ooooo 

Jack: That’s fucking…

Pastel with John acquire

James: Great question…. my proudest moment is meeting John squire, just that’s it, that’s mine done

Jack: Getting recognised in front of a bird that hates me, that’s it, that’s the best moment that. You know when they just eat their words, they call you a dickhead, call you shit and then someone’s like can I get a picture? Fucking sit on it mate. That there right there that’s it, proudest moment

When did you find out you’d be playing Knebworth?

James: At Jacks mums funeral 

Jack: FUCK, he’s not wrong

James: Genuinely, honestly

Jack: Yeah, at her wake, every time someone dies, or something bad happens, something really good happens, so I might become a serial killer just to see what happens

James: Jack doesn’t know it yet but it’s actually a sacrifice

Jack: It’s actually a sacrifice yeah, yeah at her wake yeah um

James: Yeah, we got the email, at jack’s mums funeral and me and jack were just kind of sat there like half in tears, just an emotional roller coaster

Jack: So, we got on!

James: And then our manager just phoned us up and was like, aw you’ll never guess what, and then told us. And it was just like the worst but best day of our lives at the same time. Unbelievable, an emotional roller coaster some might say

Did you get to meet Liam Gallagher?

Jack: More than meet, bloody heeelll

Jack: We got to meet Jesus that night

James: Yeah, we did yeah. We had a party with him on the Saturday afterwards

Jack: We all drank tea and watched the price is right, we cuddled on a couch

James: We had a game of catchphrase, we won, he lost, we beat him at catchphrase, um and we had a nice game of cluedo, but we never got to the end of it

Jack: We never got to the end of it, why though?! who was the killer? 

James: I don’t know, basically I’ve got anger problems and halfway through

Jack: lashed out

James: I flipped the board, so we never got to find out who the murderer was

Jack: Someone was holding Liam back, someone was holding James back, and then it just got really weird when they got really close and started kissing… and that’s where the night ended really

James: And then we met him again a couple of weeks ago at his premiere for the Knebworth film

Would you say your music is inspired by oasis?   

Jack: To a degree I’d say

James: I think so 

Jack: Early on it was like one of the first bands you’d listen to do you know what I mean, it’s like a stepping stone for music, an easy listen

James: Sometimes, I think oasis like, when people get so deep into music you forget, they pretend that oasis is shit or whatever, and it’s like you’re fucking chatting out your arsehole

Jack: You can’t deny they’re good

James: You can’t deny how fucking good oasis were and not even, like their music’s unbelievable but just everything about them, their attitude, they don’t give no, Liam Gallagher to this day, still does not give one single fuck about nothing, and no one, apart from football and clothes and I love that, that’s my vibe 

So, what was it like opening for Liam Gallagher then?

James: Normal

Jack: What?

James: Normal

Jack: Yeah, skipped out, easy 

James: Like it was meant to be, we shouldn’t be playing shit pubs, we should be playing Knebworth

Jack: Yeah, it felt like, not like we had arrived, arrived at the right place where we should be, it wasn’t like oh my god look how big this is, like fucking nice right, I’m not playing a pub, this is where it is, yeah, felt like home

Pastel walking up to the stage at Knebworth

So you weren’t nervous before Knebworth, so what were you feeling?

James: A bit pissed

Jack: A bit fucked

James: Excitement, I think, that’s probably the best way to describe it 

Jack: Yeah excitement, aroused, that’s a good word, horny for it

Do you think you’ve had your “I’ve made it moment” yet?

James: No, no

Jack: Not until I’m sat on a large amount of… never mind, no, not until I’m on top in LA or something mad, with Alfie Gildea massaging my feet

James: And Benno feeding me grapes

Jack: Just with a leaf over his crotch 

James: Likes treating me like an Egyptian princess

So, you came up on peoples Spotify wrapped this year, so which is obviously quite cool

James: Very

But who was on your Spotify wrapped?

James: I’ll have a look

Jack: I don’t have Spotify… ooo maybe I do, maybe I have it now… I’ve not paid me phone bill

James: So, my top 5 groups, number 1, The Talking Heads, number 2, New Order, number 3, The Las, number 4, The Beatles, and number 5, The Happy Mondays. But I don’t know what my songs were, I didn’t screen shot that one, I can’t remember. I know there was a lot of… I know there was two Mick Head songs, one called Kismet and the other is called American Kid but I don’t know what the rest of the songs are I didn’t screen shot it

Jack: I don’t know if I paid my phone bill… James let me use your hotspot I wanna see whose on mine, that’s a sad little comment that innit, aw Gorilla free Wi-Fi, you’re lyyyiiinnn 

If you could only listen to one song or album, what would it be?

James: Okay so song, Naive Melody by the Talking Heads

Jack: That’s a double that one there

James: And the album would be, Water Pistol by Shack 

Jack: It’s weird, but same

And then, other than Knebworth, what else has stood out to you this year?

James: The afterparty of Knebworth

Jack: The afterparty of Cardiff

James: Yeah, maybe playing, with Liam again in Cardiff

Jack: That was actually quite light that was

James: Playing soccer AM was pretty cool as well, I think Soccer AM

Jack: Ahhh Soccer AM, shit yeah 

What are your plans for next year?

James: Album

Jack: Just survive

James: That’s where we’ve just come from, yesterday, is we record in Hull, in a studio in Hull, we’ve just started recording our first album, so hopefully sometime next year, maybe the summer, the album should start to come out, that’s the plan anyway

Jack: If we have the songs, have we written the songs? 

James: We’re currently working on our first album… some is recorded, and some is yet to be written, but its mega!!!

Me: What genre would you say your music is?

James: I think the best way to describe our music is a bunch of scallys making psychedelic music… let’s call it scallydelic

Me: I think that’s everything!

Jack: Do you have any more [questions], anything else, anything random?

Alfie: What’s your favourite cheese?

James: I just go cheddar me

Jack: Standard cheddar, something funky, let’s get pretentious

James: what’s YOUR favourite cheese (to me)

Me: Idk like brie? 

Jack: Brie, that’s solid

James: Nice choice, what’s your favourite cheese (to Kenz)

Kenz: I don’t like cheese

joint disappointed shouting

Jack: What the FUCK, hang on, interview him, he doesn’t like cheese?!

James: Why don’t you like cheese?

Kenz: It’’s a bit complicated actually, I like cheese on things

James: But on its own? 

Kenz: Yeah, I won’t eat a cheese sandwich

Alfie: Yeah, I wouldn’t have a cheese sandwich 

Kenz: But I have cheese on a spag bol

James: So, what’s your favourite cheese on something then?

Kenz: Cheddar

Jack: I put cheddar on anything

James: Really what can you not put cheese on 

Jack: Your knob, I mean it grows there

James: Oh, that’s my favourite cheese, the stuff that grows behind my bell end when I’ve not had a wash

Jack: That is fucking rank that

James: Don’t knock it till you have tried it Alfie

Stay tuned as Pastel are only going to get better. Find them on Instagram @PastelBandUK for tour updates, music releases and merch! You can also catch them on Sunday Brunch tomorrow, bringing in the new year!

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