Dan Bibby & the Aesthetic Knobs

Pop punks DAN BIBBY AND THE AESTHETIC KNOBS have not one but two EP's released so far. At the current time though, they are hard at work upon what will be their first full-length release yet! The band discusses this release, previous EPs, and what plans are ahead!

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

We’ve been together for almost five years now. We originally came together for a one-off album launch show, but afterwards, people started asking us when we were going to record some stuff together. We all got on like a house on fire, so it seemed like a no-brainer to just carry on in the same set-up.

Most of us had known each another for a few years before starting the band. JB (bass) was the last one to join. I’d probably known him the longest through friends of friends. Pete and Hagrid (drums and bass) hadn’t met him yet, but right from our first rehearsal it was clear that it was all going to fall into place.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

So the album launch show we formed for was for an album I’d written on my own. I asked the guys to join me to help me play it live once it was finished. Because of that it felt kind of right of have a Dan Bibby & the Somethings kind of format to the band name.

When Jay auditioned for the band, he’s since admitted he was really nervous (although you’d never be able to tell). His nervousness presented itself in the form of being completely unable to turn on the bass amp in our practice space. None of the knobs or dials on the bass or his amp were doing anything.

This part is up for debate, but I believe it was me who referred to the inert controls as “aesthetic knobs” – because they seemed to be just for show and not actually useful in anyway. We laughed and said that sounded like it could be a band name, as any group of musicians would say about any two cool words strung together. 

While it may have been kind-of joke, it made it onto the poster for the album launch anyway, and it stuck. So, yeah, it’s not actually the reference some people think it is! They just have filthy, filthy minds.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We’re a little nomadic in terms of where we’d say where we’re based. We just say the North-West of England. We’re split between Merseyside and Lancashire, but we tend to play all over the place. There are some great bands we’ve played with lately, although not many of them are super local to us.

Cuecliché (London), Character Actors (Leeds), Das Kapitans (Peterborough), and Lucky Hit (Formerly Keep Summer Safe, Surrey) are amongst some of the best bands we’ve played with in recent years. We’re currently in the process of booking some more shows with them – and some are already booked!

4. How would you describe your style?

This is something we try to nail down on a monthly basis! As a band, our biggest shared influence is probably Pop-Punk. Although, I wouldn’t say that’s a genre that’s particularly forthcoming in our material – although you can definitely tell it’s there amongst it all.

We all have bands and artists that inspire us on an individual basis, and the coming together of all of that – including extensive trial and error/experimentation – is what makes us sound the way we do. The easiest thing to do is to just slap the alternative rock sticker on us. We tend to play everything pretty fast as a default, so punk is in the mix as well, for sure.

If I were to name one artist each that I know at least one member would hitch their wagon to, they’d be Green Day, Frank Turner, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance. 

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

As a four-piece, we’ve put out two EPs so far, and you can find them anywhere you stream your music. All of it is pretty up-tempo, but the musical and lyrical vibe darts around a lot. I think when we write, we tend to focus quite intensely on how fun it will be to play live.

The progression between those two EPs is super satisfying for me to hear. I love both of them, but they just capture different eras of the band. For Keeping People Happy, you can hear four guys coming together to rock out, and that’s definitely what was captured. With Up For Coming Down, there’s a certain amount of extra maturity and experience that we’d built up in the years in between. 

Shoutout to Tom Dring for being a stalwart behind the desk for both of those recordings. He’s become an honorary Knob over the years, and his input and ability is super important to how we sound in the studio.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Boy, do we! Since October we’ve been working away at recording our first full-length release. It’s definitely been a new kind of challenge. With the EPs, we just locked ourselves away for 3 or 4 days straight and came out with a finished product. The album has been much more of a marathon than a sprint. We want to do it right, and make sure we hit all the same beats as the albums we grew up listening to. It’s an entirely different artform to an EP, and we’re learning that as we go.

You can hear Bleeding Out now, the first single we’ve put out from it. It’s a little more hard rock than much else we’ve done before. But don’t be fooled, the album is going to be a goddamn rollercoaster of genre.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

July is going to be a hectic one for us, and we can’t wait. We have a 5-year anniversary show at Outpost in Liverpool on 14th. It’s going to coincide with a single release so that should be an amazing gig. A couple of weeks after that we’re going on a tour of the UK from 26th-29th July. We’re just in the process of finalizing venue bookings and other admin that we’re learning a tour requires.

We finished our first tour in October last year. That was a blast, and if we can have even half as good a time as we did then, then we’ll consider it a success.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

Finishing and releasing the album is what’s in our immediate sights. Then we have the summer tour coming up. I’m sure we’ll carry on writing in the meantime amongst it all. We just want to keep going, and doing what we’re doing. The more we do that, the more the word of our band spreads. That gets us more heads at shows, which makes the party even more wild.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

You can find us in a whole bunch of places! All the big ones like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Youtube, and so on. We’re also on Tidal, Pandora, even on Instagram stories (if you feel like Knobbing up your posts). If you’re feeling really retro, you can even buy CDs at our shows.

Most of our merch sales take place at our live shows, but we are looking into setting up an online store. We have a ton of new merch ideas in the works for our anniversary and the tour. Follow us on our socials to stay in the loop.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Lyrically, I think our songs are very honest. We try our best to funnel our weaknesses, hopelessness, anxieties, into songs that everyone can relate to, while trying to put a positive spin on it. I think almost every single person is struggling at the moment, fighting some kind of battle that maybe no one else can see. Leaning into that with brutal honesty I think is our way of saying that you’re not going through it alone. Not to mention the kick-ass rock ’n’ roll backdrop that we set it all against.

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