Just before jetting back to New York after spending a year in London, I was lucky enough to catch up with Rhys Jones from South London-based Good Shoes. A favorite among Britain’s indie contingent, it became clear that we need Good Shoes to come to NYC. Various reasons may have prevented the boys from rocking SXSW and NYC this spring, but Jones is pretty adamant that they’ll be coming this way soon enough. They’ve got the booking agent, publicity and the whole lot—but where are Good Shoes? Expect to hear more when their debut album Think Before You Speak finally hits the States on March 18th, followed by a hopeful visit to our fair city in the coming months.

What were you up to last night?

Rhys: I was out really late last night. Went to this night called ‘Girlcore’, it’s a really funny night run by this girl who’s also from New York. Well, a group of girls who call themselves Girlcore. They all deejay and it’s just really funny, they have a band and the woman who left Bonde do Role did a rap over some song. The NME Awards were yesterday so loads of indie bands were around Shoreditch, so it was like a big party.

That’s so random! Sounds uber hip.

Rhys: It’s very DIY, all their friends. It’s a monthly night. Ended up staying ‘til 4am, the night just got carried away!

You’re from Morden, south London, so do you feel it a world of a difference now that you’re living in Stepney Green, in East London?

Rhys: I don’t mind traveling; now it makes a difference since I can walk home obviously. But I travel to rehearsals since we still rehearse in Morden. I’ve grown up there my whole life so I’m used to it.

Obviously as clichéd as it is, it’s inspired what you write about, right?

Rhys: I don’t mean it to be, but it’s where I’m from so I just sing about going out in London, etc… I can’t really help it.

Morden is a nice quiet suburb right?

Rhys: Well, it’s kind of a sh*thole, but you know! [laughs]

Whenever someone describes the town they’re from in the UK, they always say it’s a sh*thole! That seems to be the word of choice! [laughs] You seem to be friends with a lot of London-based artists that have made it big in the past year or so.

Rhys: We played our first gig with Jamie T and Larrikin Love. Last night I was with Blaine from Mystery Jets, we went to art foundation together.

It’s cool seeing all your friends do well, isn’t it?

Rhys: Yeah, it is, everyone was starting to do stuff back then. I went to study in Brighton and Orlando from the Maccabees was the year above me, Metronomy was in third year. I guess if you go to art school you’re going to be with loads of people like that.

You’ve got lots of connections!

Rhys: When you’re in a band, it becomes that all the people you know are in bands, from being on tour. If you worked in finance you’d know loads of people in the industry as well. It’s nice. You can get into places for free! [laughs]

What are you guys doing at the moment in regards to the second album?

Rhys: We’re just writing now. We recorded like twelve demo songs the other day and we’re going to write for another two months and hopefully demo ten more. We were chatting to Erol Alkan the other day and hopefully we’d like to record with him.

So what happened with South by Southwest?

Rhys: It’s stupid. We’re on Brille, and it all got messed up. We should’ve been going out and playing a New York show too. The album is coming out in March, so it would have made sense.

That makes no sense! I anticipated a conversation all about it!

Rhys: Our record label is so small and we on our own couldn’t have afforded it, visas cost so much, etc… it would’ve been a big expense. I think when we do go to America, we’ll do a post on Myspace and just see if anyone wants to book a show—we have a booking agent in America too! We’ll just try and get a tour booked [that way].

Do it DIY?

Rhys: Yeah, we want to play tiny, tiny venues. That’s how we did our first tour in England. We drove around, and our friend worked in a car showroom took holiday and drove us around in his company car! We just loaded our stuff in and we just went ‘round the whole country. That was the most fun I had next to touring Europe.

I guess that’s the best way to go about a DIY tour, isn’t it?!

Rhys: Well none of us can drive so we’ll have to get someone in America to do it.

I will!

–Andrea D’Alessandro

http://www.goodshoes.co.uk