Backstage with 4ft Fingers

One of Gloucestershire’s most successful bands, 4ft Fingers, spill the beans on rubbing shoulders with Green Day and Iron Maiden, they talk about their ABBA comparisons, and clear up where the band’s name comes from.

Tell us about 4ft Fingers
We’re a good old melodic British punk rock band made up of myself (Rob) on lead vocals and guitar, Dougie on bass and vocals, Dave on drums and Jon on guitar and vocals.

When did you get together?
Around 1998 – I went to school with Dave then met Dougie at a pizza place where we worked at the time.

Jon we met once we were signed to Golf Records – he was a member of GASH, also on Golf at the time. We’ve all known each other for at least 10 years now.

Are you all from Gloucestershire?
Me and Dave are from Cheltenham, Dougie is from a town just outside Belfast and Jon is from a town near Lemington Spa.

Where did the name 4ft Fingers come from?
I have real big hands and I had an old ET toy which sat on top of my TV – the guys used to say he had fingers like mine and someone said they’re 4ft Fingers, and so we went with that.

What stage is the band at?
So close, yet so far. We have sold over 15,000 albums, have toured Europe and America, but still have to work – not cool at all! We’re still waiting for a major label to say I’m going to make you lot rich!

Main influences?
All sorts, nothing in particular but anything and everything that helps to influence or open up your mind to ideas.

Who do 4ft Fingers get compared to?
ABBA, Prince, Mille Vanilli and our favourite, Diana Ross…

Who goes to your gigs?
Anyone wanting a really interactive night with a band, singing along and shouting! People aged from 14 to 50 come to our gigs, and we play with the older school bands where the fans are a bit older which is always good.

Latest material?
We just finished our fourth studio album New Beginnings of Old Stories, which we hope will be out in April 2008… so watch this space. We’re still shopping around and looking for a label at the moment – we called it a day with Golf Records to see if there is anyone else out and about.

Your favourite Gloucestershire venue?
The Guildhall every time. There’s a great feel to the place and the staff are ace. The home fans always get a bit extra when we play near home.

And where would you most like to play?
We have played pretty much most major cities and towns all over the UK – so I’d say Japan as the next place!

The best local gig you went to?
There are so many – most gigs at The 2 Pigs are great, and most bands out there are doing something right.

Who would you most like to support?
We’re big fans of Social Distortion from Orange County in California, so I’d say them.

What do you do when you’re not making music?

Have you ever thrown a TV out of a hotel window? Would you like to?
Tried to on more than one occasion, but we couldn’t break the chain attached to the back of the TV.

Have you ever had a groupie stalk you?
Many times, then Dougie went out with her…

Have you ever done something you really regret in the morning?
Depends which day of the week, but yes always.

Recommend one album to our readers you don’t think they will have discovered
Sex, Love and Rock’n’Roll by Social Distortion

What’s 4ft Fingers’ number one ambition?
Not have to get up to work every morning. And be our own bosses.

Any claims to fame?
Being in 4ft Fingers I think is okay, but also meeting Green Day and them saying they have heard of us, or Steve Harris of Iron Maiden saying he knows our band.

Any advice for local bands trying to make it in the industry?
Be prepared for a lifelong passion and an uphill fight. But if you believe you are meant to do this forever, then play every show you can the best you can. And remember, you never know who’s watching.

Where can fans see you perform in the next month or two?
Nowhere soon unfortunately – Dave is off drum techin’ for The Damned until Christmas, so we’re practising vocals and getting ready to start our album tour by March 2008.

And where can readers expect to see you in a year’s time?
Well, if the album gets as much good feedback in the press as it’s been getting from fans and labels, then it’ll be driving down the street in sports cars!

Catch 4ft Fingers live on the 2008 UK Headline Tour kicking off on 29 February 2008, including a gig at The Guildhall in Gloucester on 19 April 2008.

© SoGlos
Wednesday 05 December 2007

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