Following an unlikely collaboration, Amy Taylor and Jason Williamson formed a friendship that will make you rethink your stance on rap rock.
by Glenn Alderson Illustrator: Alex Kidd
Australia’s mullet-sporting rockers Amyl & The Sniffers and UK post-punk hip-hop hybrid Sleaford Mods might seem like an odd pairing on the surface, but their recent collab suggests otherwise.
Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn recently invited Amyl & The Sniffers’ celebrated frontwoman of the year Amy Taylor to drop a verse on their new single, “Nudge It.” Featured on their new album, Spare Ribs, the track fuses a muddy, minimalistic electronic beat with Taylor’s talk-shout rap vocals.
With loads of spare time on their hands, we asked Williamson and Taylor if they would let us tap their phones to get a snapshot of what the two newfound musician friends talk about when they’re not trading verses or making new tunes with their respective projects.
Jason Williamson: Ok let’s go.
Amy Taylor: Hell yeah. What are you doing right now?
JW: I’m going to the shop to buy chewing gum. I’m addicted to it. Lol.
AT: Haha. Fuck yeah. What kind you get? Send pic of ya view.
JW: [Photo of street] My street.
AT: Sick puddle.
JW: [Photo of Trent Bridge Cricket Club]
AT: Got any Trent Bridge fun facts?
JW: The bridge separates my area (West Bridgford) from the city of Nottingham which isn’t really a fun fact but I’m glad I no longer have to live in the city haha. I’m posh these days! [Photo of Extra Ice gum]
AT: Fuck yes I love Extra!
JW: It’s my new cigarette.
AT: Did you punch durries pretty hard?
JW: Yea for a long time. Gave up five years ago. So I’ve been through nicotine replacement stuff, then mints, and now chewing gum. It’s fucked.
AT: It’s like a gateway drug but the gateway leading out instead of in.
JW: That’s a good analogy actually.
AT: Love the new album btw and pumped to be on it. Austerity (Austerity Dogs, Sleaford Mods’ 2013 debut album) is so sick. I had to google the meaning of the word and it’s a beautiful word. Do you read heaps? I’ve just started reading books. I wanna be a mental weapon.
JW: This is why you’re exceptional in lots of ways, Amy. You’ve come from a background that many don’t in our business and it’s refreshing because it’s the real take. It’s real because so much of the world is skint but buried under gatekeepers who ain’t that great. I’m the same with words. I get them from other people or occasionally from books. I’m crap at reading. You nailed “Nudge It.” It was a complete success. You are partly responsible for its success too. Deffo.
AT: Haha fuck that’s nice, thank you. I see the same thing about you. Yeah also it’s so easy to learn things with Google. I would like a stretched vocabulary, sometimes I feel limited by the words I know when I’m trying to explain shit that’s in my mind ya know? But it’s sick to have the simplicity.
JW: You have that knack of describing a shared experience. It’s very good. It’s hard to do too.
AT: I’m such a huge fan of your lyrics. I’ve also got copies of your books! I’m pumped to be on “Nudge It.” You and Andrew nailed it. How come that song made you think of me?
JW: I think the guitar and the kinda garage feel on it. It’s low down. We thought it might suit your vocals.
AT: How was it working with Billy (Nomates)? I found her through you guys. It’s really fresh that you collaborated and included females aye.
JW: We wanted to have women on the album. To support women really. You two are obviously good at what you do and we are fans of you both so it worked really well like that. Billy has known us for a while and we got bang into her music cos it’s just so off the cuff. No one is doing that stuff like her in this country. I really wanted that soulful vocal on a tune and when I tried doing that (myself) it didn’t quite work. So I asked her.
AT: Yeah it’s great. Appreciate the support. It’s also a mad honor.
AT: Also your boss mama lady is Claire right? She sounds like a powerhouse.
JW: Haha. Yea she’s the boss of bosses. She knows her shit really well. It’s been life changing for me as her partner and us as a band.
AT: I fell asleep! I’ll keep asking you stuff. What’s your favorite thing about Andrew Fearn (Sleaford Mods bandmate)?
JW: That he gets on with it. He knows what it needs and what he can do to achieve that. We don’t argue really, we accept each other’s contribution. It works because of that I think. You can’t own it all, can you? Compromising is part of being in a band I guess and that’s what makes it work.
AT: That’s true. Compromise is huge. I’m so stubborn but try hard to consider the band’s opinions. Our setup is a democracy most of the time but sometimes I’m da boss.
AT: When did you hear of the Sniffers first?
JW: I heard of you through a friend who posted a video of you playing live. But simultaneously I came across you just through fucking about on my phone. Think it was YouTube. If that makes sense. You lot stood out.
AT: It’s sick that people are doing Spare Ribs graff over there.
JW: Yea it’s cool innit re: the graffiti.
AT: [Selfie of Amy Taylor in a wig shop] I’m going to buy a wig.
– NEXT DAY –
JW: Is that a wig? Fuck. Nice. Looks wicked.
AT: Haha yeah like long as! It’s synthetic but she reckons you can straighten it haha. Fun why not.
JW: Looks wicked. What else have you been doing? I guess you’re asleep now?
AT: I’m awake! 2am.
JW: Yesterday we visited ‘Newstead Abbey’ the ancestral home of Lord Byron. The poet, drunk, and critic of his own privilege. [Sends photos of estate]
AT: What do you mean critic of his own privilege?
JW: He hated his own privilege. He was rich and from a good family. He hated the house above. He died very young. He travelled a lot.
AT: Interesting. I’m going to Google him.
JW: I don’t know a lot about him but I kinda like the idea he felt uneasy about himself.
AT: [Photo of Amy’s toenails painted orange] Garbage man orange toe nail polish.
JW: That’s a good color. Claire likes that color too. Those tattoos are 100.
AT: Giddy up [in reference to the tattoo on foot]. Haha.
JW: Did you do that one? It looks brilliant.
AT: I did. I remember when I did it I was drunk, obviously. Ha. I couldn’t even write it in a line with a pen. Sketchy but not uncommon.
JW: Looks homemade.
AT: [Photo of bandmate with baby face filter] I’m going through old photos on my comp. It’s 2:23am on Friday night. Haha.
JW: That’s some serious shit. Haha. It’s not like we’ve got anywhere to go. I’ve gotta go to the post office but I’m still in my dressing gown. It’s 15:30 here.
AT: That’s true. Lockdown barely exists here at the moment to be honest. There’s like gigs and cinemas and everything! Perks of island, convicts revenge.
JW: Convicts revenge! Haha. Yea that. [Jason sends a selfie of himself].
AT: Haha. Sick robe.
JW: Fucked innit.
AT: I bought one during lockdown. Custom made that says “iso angel” As in isolation.
AT: Oi I’m buying a car today.
JW: That’s funny. Not buying a car. That’s wicked. Nice. You doing gigs out there?
AT:[Sends selfie photo of herself] Nah not yet but other crew are. We aren’t doing fuck all. Haha.
JW: That DG (dressing gown) is [fist pound emoji].
AT: Haha, got one for three of my good friends too as a little treaty.
JW: That’s decent. You got yours booked yet then? Tour I mean.
AT: To be honest, nah. No gigs booked really. We’ve got some postponed. Album two is almost in existence though tbh.
JW: Yea was thinking about that yesterday. That’s gonna be [lightning bolt emoji].
AT: Keen to play sometime though. Very keen for the new songs. What are you taking to the post office?
JW: Records. Fucking game.
– NEXT DAY –
AT: Morning Jason! Fell asleep over here. Nice chatting with you I reckon we’ve given BeatRoute enough juicy chats. Pleasure.
JW: Evening Amy. Pleasures all mine. Cool ok no probs, it was funny. Take it easy and speak soon. x