INTERVIEW: Bug Prentice

Posted on 23.11.2015

INTERVIEW: Bug Prentice

Bug Prentice have a long history as a band, beginning with singer Ally Craig singing solo before joining with bassit Ruth Goller and drummer Stephen Gilchrist to make things less lonely. Along the way they've played Club Attitude and been heard on 6music, and now they're releasing their debut album.

When did you first know you wanted to make music?
I can't remember - ever since I realised that music was a thing people can make, really. My parents say I was singing before I could talk. (It was something by Huey Lewis and the News, apparently.)

Tell us about the journey of the band – you were originally a solo artist?
I first started playing solo after all the members of my first band moved away to different universities. I did solo gigs for a few years, but then I started to get a bit bored and lonely on stage. My sets usually went down well, but it wasn't what I wanted to do. I was listening to stuff like Cardiacs, Shudder to Think, and Sonic Youth, so I wanted to make NOISE.

I met Ruth when I supported Acoustic Ladyland (with whom she played bass) in 2006 or so, and I met Stephen when Stuffy and the Fuses (in which he was the singer and drummer known as Stuffy) played in Oxford around the same time. They were both lovely, and really enthusiastic about my songwriting. The following year, despite Ruth and Stephen never having met before, and none of us having played together, I asked them to record some stuff with me. Luckily we all liked the results enough to form a band together.

Could you tell us the story behind your favourite song on the album?
My favourite song on the album would have to be 'Spoons', which is dedicated to my best friend Rachel. If you're not familiar with the spoon theory, it's an analogy used by some people with disabilities or chronic illnesses to describe how much energy you have for the day. Getting out of bed costs one spoon, going to the shops costs five spoons, etc. We both have to measure our spoons, and the song is a tribute to her, and a promise that I'll never demand more spoons from her than she can afford.

What’s in the future for Bug Prentice?
Hopefully there will be more gigs, and I'm trying to cobble together enough songs to start planning more recording sessions. I also have some other exciting collaborations in the pipeline, but I can't predict the order in which all these things will happen.

How important is Attitude is Everything to you?
As both a musician and a fan, Attitude is Everything is vital to me. They've made venues more aware of the varied needs of their customers, and enabled me to play many gigs I would have found otherwise impossible. Their club nights are brilliant - it's always a joy and an honour to play for them, and it's fascinating to see my lyrics translated into BSL. I cannot thank them enough for all their support.

Bug Prentice's debut album, The Way It Crumbles, is available now.