What Now will release their new album Move Like A Sinner on March 11 through the delightfully named Hey & Argh Records, preceded by the title-track single a week earlier.
The band recorded the disc themselves in a miniscule home studio. It’s claimed to be “dark, seductive, dripping in hooks and oozing with all the provocative sleaze of a stripper”. Even if only half of that is true, they could be on to a winner.
Having grown up in the dusty beach town of Ballito, South Africa – a place known for its surfing and skateboarding, but with little trace of a music scene – vocalist and guitarist Ryan Morris met drummer Adam Jenkins at school, before recruiting vocalist and bassist Tyron Layley after overhearing him singing at a friend’s house.
In their first year, What Now recorded their debut EP, designing their own artwork and printing the CDs at home – spawning a DIY ethic that has stuck with them ever since. Next came a full-length album.
“When our debut record came out we got great radio play on the big South African stations,” says Morris. “It was our first taste of real success and we were all delighted of course, but we’re a very ambitious band and we just wanted to go big. We didn’t want to be trapped in South Africa and be limited by that further down the line. It was an incredibly tough decision, but we knew that we had to leave.”
Swapping sweaty summers and warm winters for the London music scene, What Now left their homes, friends and families behind them and relocated to the English capital.
“We didn’t know where to hang out or where to rehearse, we didn’t even know where to live. We were all living in one tiny room. Ty and me even shared a bed together!” explains Jenkins. “It was a really dark time. We were lost, depressed and broke. We forgot who we were and we forgot what we were trying to do. Within six months of being in England we moved into separate flats and decided to split the band. It felt like everything that we had committed to and everything that we had sacrificed, had been for nothing.”
For two years, Morris, Jenkins and Layley explored different bands and developed separate tastes in music before a chance meeting at a gig brought them back together. The trio forged a new musical partnership and set to work recording what would become their second full-length, Move Like A Sinner.
Check out the title track below. Apart from the antics of that red-haired fella, it’s pretty good stuff.
WHAT NOW LIVE
Thursday 24th January – The Lexington London