Friday, 12 February 2010


YMC chats to Sally Tucker and Johnny Hannaford from Leeds/Wakefield band Metro

YMC: When did the band start, has it always had the same members?

ST - Metro was originally born in 2002/3 when university students Sally Tucker and Simon Bailey started playing and recording covers and eventually original material. The pair studied for their degrees and Metro was put to the side until Sally re-formed as a 3-piece in the summer of 2004, by this time tho Simon had moved back home to Wisbeach. Sally Tucker kept Metro going and stuck at writing material for the band throughout various line-up changes. When Bassist Johnny Hannaford joined, at late notice in June 2005 to help Sally and Derek Tucker (drummer from 10/04) go ahead with a GuilFest appearance, his postion became a permanent move and the pair audtioned and recruited James Robinson on the Kit at the end of July 2005. Metro gigged all over the country but in July 2006 James decided to leave the band. Sally's faithfull 'old man' took over the sticks again.
YMC: You originally started playing covers, do you think this is a good way to learn your trade?

ST - We've never been a full on covers band, we have slotted the odd one or two in every now depending on what we feel the audience would appreciate but as a band we've always concentrated more on getting our own songs out there!

JH - For me, its got to be a mixture of both covers and originals, you can improve your technique, and get a good feel for how songs can be written in different ways, from learning to play covers, but without spending the time trying to write and play original stuff you won't get anything original.

YMC: Who writes the songs?

JH - Sally writes the initial song, then Dirk and I add our parts, sometimes Sal will provide an idea of how she thinks the bass and drum parts should go to fit, and we try to keep and element of this in our own ideas.

ST - when I write it usually takes me a few listens to decide whether it's worth passing onto anyone else to listen to, if I do I hand it to Johnny (who normally comes back with an awesome bass line!!) and it's only really then I begin to like a song and see the potential...thats usually when the ideas start in full flow.
YMC: Who are your main influences?

JH- Madness, Specials, Jam, and more "recently" Spencer Davis.

ST - John Lennon, Paul Weller and a little pinch of everything I ever it good or bad!

YMC: Do you think the music scene has changed a lot since when you first started? For better or worse?

JH - I've been in 2 bands prior to Metro, one originals and one covers, and we played a different circuit to the one we play with Metro. The most obvious thing I can see now, is it's much more difficult to get people interested in what you do, there are many more ways to promote yourself through online media, and a lot of talented musicians and
songwriters go unnoticed.

ST - I was in an original band while I was at University, we faced the same sort of issues with promoting ourselves as we do now, but with the launch of sites such as myspace and facebook it is getting better. We were a Rockabilly band though so the circuit, venues and audience were slightly different. Other than that i've only ever been a solo artist (singer/songwriter) and again just think with modern technology it is getting better to get your music out there and reach as wide an audience as possible.

YMC: Do you have any immediate plans, gigs, recording, etc.?

JH - We're starting to gig regularly on the back of a soon to be released recording. The new songs are brutually honest, and represent the highs and lows of the last 2 years. We have a new promoter, Donna, who is working hard to get us gigs, and improve our fan base. Our immediate plans involve beer, sex, football, and kebabs, however gigs will centre around Wakefield and Leeds, with the occasional trip further afield. Starting on the Sat 27th Feb we will play at the Jockey in Wakefield, continuing with gigs throughout the early part of the year, see for further details, and early previews of our new material. Only alcoholic nymphomaniacs
need apply !
ST - Here here! 

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