(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #87: Leon Stanford of The People the Poet

By on Monday, 2nd March 2015 at 1:00 pm

Editor’s note: I posted Leon’s surname as Spansword in the initial posting of this article, using the name on his Twitter account for direction. Whoops. Be forewarned, rock stars: if you want people to know who you are, use your real name!

Not long now before SXSW 2015! But just as we did for SXSW 2014 last year, we’ll be running a special version of the TGTF Quickfire Questions, served up SXSW style with an extra couple of questions to get inside bands’ and artists’ heads so they’ll tell us what they really think of the event. We’re at the eighth installment ahead of the big event happening in just 2 weeks, and today we’re chatting with Leon Stanford, lead singer of South Wales band The People The Poet this morning who on physical appearance alone looks to give Huw Stephens a run for his money in the cuddliness stakes. What anthemic song in the last 10 years does Leon wish he’d written? Have a read for that, why we probably shouldn’t ply him (too much anyway) with drinks in Texas and much more below.

Keen on learning more about The People the Poet ahead of their appearance at Latitude 30 at the Music Wales showcase Tuesday night in Austin? Read my band profile on them that posted here on TGTF last week through this link.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Being a band who are not really about looks, we mainly get excited about the same thing wherever we go and that’s getting fat and enjoying the local food and drink.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
I’d have to say Catfish and the Bottlemen who we’re lucky to be playing the same showcase as! They’re an exciting young Welsh band who are quickly becoming future headliners for all the big festivals.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Like every other diabetic rockstar I shall be carrying some insulin pens (the hard drugs) to keep me alive throughout the week of drinking, food and music.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
I do like a milkshake being a bit of a shit diabetic so a white Russian or Baileys will do fine.

Also a surprise is always nice, as long as your idea of a surprise drink is not spiking it.

And now on to our usual list of Quickfire Questions:

What song is your earliest musical memory?
Probably something like singing Joe Cocker’s version of ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ in primary school assembly. Oasis – ‘Wonderwall’, The Beatles – ‘Yellow Submarine’ and ‘Praise Hosanna’ were my school’s idea of a good selection of morning hymns.

What was your favourite song as a child?
I always liked a bit of Tom Jones – ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’. Those 8-year old birthday parties would go mental when a bit of Tom came on, clothes would be flying everywhere but not a single party hat in sight.

What song makes you laugh? / What song makes you cry?
‘Short People’ by Randy Newman. He has a way of making you laugh and then the next minute he writes a song like ‘Losing You’ and that’s all you do is cry.


Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
I wish I’d written ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay ever since watching him (Chris Martin) throw a light around the stage to it whilst headlining Glastonbury. It’s such a beautifully written song.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Adam Duritz from Counting Crows is probably my all time favourite writer. His melodies and lyrics are incredible. [Read Carrie’s interview with Duritz from last year here. – Ed.]

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
It seems quite easy to get a job as a manger for Cardiff City Football Club, so I would love the opportunity to show up Russel Slade (current manager) with my managing skills that I learnt from Club Manager 2007 (PC game). I had them promoted 2 years in a row to get them to the Premier League.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
AC/DC – ‘Highway to Hell’.

Many thanks Leon for answering our questions and thank you also to Tyla for facilitating.

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