The future is looking very positive for Billy Bibby, the former Catfish and the Bottlemen guitarist, with new releases and tour dates that will keep him (and the Wry Smiles) busy for the rest of 2017.
We caught up with Billy just before the release of his new single and his headline appearance at this year’s Fleecetonbury festival.
Hi Billy, the new single ‘Substitute’ has just been released and is gaining great press as a strong indie/country/rock track. You must be happy with the strong reaction the press has been giving it?
Yeah definitely, I think it’s been the best reaction so far. Our last single ‘Are you ready’ was out about 5 months ago, and since that time we seem to have built up a fan base which is growing and growing. We’ve also had a lot of radio time so it’s been brilliant so far.
The sound of the track feels little like Thin Lizzy meets The Flying Burrito Brothers, is this more in line with the direction you see the band taking?
Yeah, I hope so. The songs I was writing before I had the band together were a bit softer and a bit more acoustic, but now that we have the band together the sound is getting heavier. (Laughing) Not to say that I can’t write a ballad now and again…
The humour of the band comes across in the video for Substitute, which is a very funny and surreal take on the song. Where did the idea come from?
The last riff our guitarist made on the track sounds quite country so we all said that we needed to get my brother, our manager, Stephen to be walking down the street with a cowboy outfit on. We just wanted to embarrass him really. Then the idea just expanded from there and we all ended up wearing cowboy outfits. We are professional on stage but outside of that we try to take life not so seriously. We just try to enjoy what we’re doing.
You’ll be headlining the Saturday night of the Fleecetonbury festival. Are you looking forward to the festival?
Yeah, definitely. It’s got some great acts on it, and people we’ve played with a lot over the last few months, so it’s always good to catch up with people you enjoy watching play. It’s a good step up for us to headline this festival which is a really good platform for emerging artists. The Sherlocks headlined last year and look at them now.
What can our readers who have never seen you play live before expect from the set?
I think we don’t try any tricks, we just make sure the songs are as tight and professional as possible. We try to enjoy ourselves and hopefully that comes across.
Will you be coming down to see some of the rest of the festival, and if so are there any acts you’re really interested in seeing?
Velcro Teddy Bears we really like to see and the Tyrants as well.
Finally, what does 2017 look like for Billy Bibby and the Wry Smiles?
Hopefully more of the same, more touring and then some festivals. Our new single ‘Always something’ will be released at the end of March and then we’re back in the studio in March with more material being released towards mid-year. We’ll be keeping www.billybibby.com up to date with release dates and live shows.
Billy Bibby and the Wry Smiles play Fleecetonbury on 15th April. More information about their ‘Substitute’ and ‘Always Something’ tracks can be found on www.billybibby.com