Getting down and dishy with East London’s Dishy Tangent: Mark Wincott catches up with the band.
Thank you for doing this. Tell us a little bit about how you met and why you’re called Dishy Tangent?
Louis: Dishy means good looking, but we’re trying to change it to cool, trendy and having a good time. Tangent, as we’re at a tangent to different genres, we fuse a range of influences in hopes of being unique, so like the tangent line, we touch the circle, but we don’t enter it. Also, a tangent is the part of a clavichord that helps make the noise.
The name itself was an Xbox default name, Dishy Tangent 69 or something like that. I was looking for a band name at the time with a geezer called Matt Kelsey, a talented multi-instrumentalist, who later went off travelling the world, but we already had the Facebook page and all that, so Wayne (guitarist) and I carried it on. What happened was, my old band, Panning for Gold, split, Wayne was in East End Promises at the time, but they also split. The Cockney Rejects then had me rapping on some stuff and Wayne was their guitar tech, so we started writing together.
I had a solo gig booked at Caravanserai and Wayne’s riffs were all over the record, so I asked him to play. Del (bassist) was the sound engineer and played bass, so we just moulded on the day. We needed a name. I already had Dishy Tangent, no one else in the world has it. We already had the logo, socials and website. Iason, who was also in East End Promises (drummer) was actually in the crowd at that first gig, two years before he joined. I met Fitz at UEL studying music. He played keyboard amongst other instruments and joined four years into our journey. Finally, there are two layers of guitars in recordings; Wayne couldn’t physically do that, and we always knew Brett (MrBeeMc), and were fully aware of his skills on the guitar, so he joined just before lockdown.
You practise above the world-renown Peacock Gym; are you able to tell us which boxers have passed through those doors?
Louis: Floyd Mayweather Jr did an open session; he said he wanted the whole gym locked down, and the gym said “Nah, we will be open to members only” and then, the night before, Mayweather announced the open session on social media and the area was rammed. Many other known fighters have trained here, such as Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno, or still do train here, like newly crowned British Middleweight champion Denzel Bentley, and of course, British Heavyweight Champion Daniel Dubois. The list really is endless; there’s tons more. Henry Cooper used to come in for a cup of tea. Even Stephen Fry has been through 60 minutes of hell with Martin.
Your second record is called Jumping on The Bandwagon. Where did you record this?
It’s all done here at Muscle Memory Musik, it’s our own personal studio which has been our headquarters for a decade. The writing itself takes no more than two days per song, but the recording took about a year, two or three nights a week. The more you rehearse and perform each song, your part evolves and you get more confident with it, so you end up wanting to re-record or change parts.
Tell us the process of creating a tune. From the lyrics, the beat, how does it all go down?
Louis: Usually me or Wayne will come up with a guitar riff and we develop the whole track from there. Then Del learns the bassline, adding his spin, same with Iason on the drums, Fitz on the keys and Brett on the guitar. I write all the lyrics and lay them on top of it.
If I write on the guitar I sometimes come out with the whole song before I put the guitar down. Sometimes I’m inspired by emotion in life or a certain chord progression, it’s always different. Everyone chips in with different bits and ideas along the way; for example, Del actually wrote the guitar melody for “Monster” and Brett for “Unusual”.
How do you feel you have moved on from your debut record?
As a band we have achieved some amazing things since our debut record. We have played arenas, iconic venues, on national TV and (like Johnny Cash) at Warren Hill prison to a load of lifers, so it has been an amazing start to our journey already.
Musically we are also flying. We rehearse a lot, we are here all the time, working on things and perfecting our craft. We have a new member, Brett, and we are evolving. We have so many songs; some we are still learning. We have about 34 original songs on the setlist and can play 20-odd. Learning new ones along the way keeps it fresh.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Louis: We all sing on Shure microphones, SM58s and I play a Yamaha keyboard, a Yamaha Acoustic Guitar, Korg Keytar and my harmonicas are Hohner Rockit.
Del – I play any bass. I’m not fussy really, I play anything.
Wayne – Fender Telecaster, Boss ME70 multi-effects, a deluxe amplifier which is digital, Jim Dunlop picks.
Iason: I’m a Mapex artist so I have a beautiful Mapex black panther design Lab “versatus system” drum kit, Istanbul cymbals, Big Fat Snare Drum accessories and a few other bits and bobs.
Brett: I’m using a Gibson Flying V. My preferred set up would be a Fender Stratocaster and Marshall amps, but I’m blessed to be using these guys’ instruments.
Fitz: I play Yamaha Keyboards and an egg shaker.
When growing up, who were your musical influences?
Louis: When I was younger, mainly Billy Joel, little bit of Van Morrison and Queen from my parents but I’ve always loved all music. The first rap song I remember hearing was Tupac’s “Changes”. Then a few years after getting into rap, Dizzy Rascal came along. While I was at school I was involved in the grime and garage scene. When I finished school, I was in rock bands and listened to a lot of Dubstep. I felt like listening to other people’s music had a negative effect on my creativity as I was too influenced by other people and didn’t want to copy anyone’s music, so I shut off from it all to write constantly, daily, for years… and I’m still going, drawing inspiration from the artists I work with.
Del: for me bass – Bootsy Collins, Flea, James Jameson, always liked a bit of dance like Prodigy, all British stuff, anything that came out of the UK that was different and then American Funk.
Wayne: I always listened to mum and dad’s vinyl like Elvis, Motown; that was my intro music. In school I liked rock and punk which made me pick up the guitar. I picked up the drums first, then went for the guitar, it’s a mash-up of genres for me.
Fitz: I listened to a lot of variety of music like indie rock to grime to hip hop. I made a lot of beats and that got me into playing the keyboard. I can’t pin it all down. At uni, I only made Trap music. I’ve always played in my church band as well.
Brett: A lot of blues; everything comes from that anyway, BB King, De La Soul, Sam Cooke, I split between the blues and grime; it has expanded and I try to listen to everything. As I got older, I appreciated other types of music.
Iason: I enjoy hearing drummers like Thomas Pridgeon, Aaron Spears, Tony Royster Jr – all of them are ridiculous players. Growing up, it was hip hop and listening to John Bonham, Dave Grohl or breaks by Jazzy Jeff. Then I dove head-first into rock music. My dad is a musician, and he would have Turkish classical music around the house, as he makes film scores and has to know a little of everything. After college I was Metal until I die and wouldn’t want anything mainstream. At 25 years old I became more open minded with glitchy electronica like Aphex Twins and Squarepusher. Now I listen to anything from progressive instrumental to pop music; anything with a good hook.
Best place to go for food in East London along with your favourite pie mash shop?
Wayne: Maureen’s pie and mash in Crisp Street is Powerful!
Louis: I second that, you can be from anywhere; if you eat that, your kid is coming out with a Cockney accent. There’s a decent Robins in Chingford. Stevie Walder’s hot dog stand or Borras Kitchen.
Iason: There’s Robins in Romford and the Thai place by the cable cars is nice.
If you could describe the band…yourself…. your music as a cartoon character, which cartoon character would it be?
Wayne: Johnny Bravo because he’s cool.
Fitz: Rick and Morty, because Rick as a character is so out there.
Brett: I’d say Pinky and The Brain.
Louis: Yeah, definitely Rick and Morty.
What’s your best lockdown tip?
Louis: Stay productive, try something new. I built a shelf out of a guitar, then built an electric guitar and even had a baby.
Wayne: It isn’t all doom and gloom it’s about getting the best out of the situation; you can’t be the best if you’re sitting there moaning and not doing anything.
When life goes back to relative normality, what can we expect to see or hear from you?
Louis: We were meant to play Royal Albert Hall with Chic and Nile Rodgers before lockdown, which has been postponed. We haven’t done anything like that since we supported UB40 in Cardiff Motorpoint Arena and London O2. We did the Big Narstie show, our name was the last thing he said at the end of series 2. So, hopefully next year, more gigs. We did a socially distanced festival in Kings Lynn before this second lockdown and a gig in Hackney on the “last night of freedom”. The third album W.I.L.D. is coming out. We have a new video out soon, “Clear”. We want to do more videos, bigger ones, but we need loads of people for that and it brings too much risk at the moment.
Del: We are thinking of doing livestream, we own our brand and also looking at making our channel.
Louis: We’re contemplating having different artists share the stage on our livestream.
Iason: Cranking up the listeners on Spotify.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Del: Yeah, the future is bright.
Louis: Keep It Dishy.
Mark Wincott is a born and bred East Londoner. A recovering grunger, music gives him peace of mind. He’s a lover of pie mash liquor, likes the smell of rain and has written articles on music, MMA, Pro Wrestling and dealing with anxiety. “I’m unique and different just like everyone else”.
Images courtesy of Dishy Tangent