In The Spotlight: Codename Colin

The eclectic group of Ska Punk lads, namely Codename Colin comprising of; Charlie Gabriel – Guitar/Vocals, Kieran Storrie – Drums/Vocals, Iain Wheeler – Tenor Saxophone, Sam Baker – Alto Saxophone, Lewis Bayfield – Bass Guitar have been gigging hard and laying down some serious studio time around North London and Hertfordshire. Catchy beats, melodies and impressive Sax driven hooks are rife throughout Codename Colin’s current discography and being on the brink of a new whopping 7 track EP, we wanted to hear from they boys how they were getting on!


For the people who don’t know you, tell us a little about Codename Colin.
Charlie: We are a third wave Ska band. We’ve been together just over a year, kind of. The band started originally back in 2011 or 2012, and played half a dozen shows, recorded some songs, then folded. Then at the end of 2015 I decided to give it another go and started writing my own songs again and looking for band members, and found the rest of the guys! So it’s kind of a new band as i’m the only one from back then and the majority of our songs are new. Our sound pretty much sticks to that good time happy third wave Ska sound of Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris and Less Than Jake.


Tell our readers in three words what your sound is.

Sam: Ska Pop Punk


We’re yet to see you live but will be at our festival in July, will everyone be two stepping around the barn as soon as your drop your first track?

Charlie: We hope so! Our opening track kicks in right away with the fast Ska beats, so hopefully people hear it and instantly start moving their feet.


You’ve had a couple of gigs already in 2017, and lots more lined up for the Summer but it sounds like March is a recording month for you guys, any cheeky hints or previews? Chunky 7 track EP we hear!

Charlie: There’s a clip or two on our Instagram page of songs we’re working on, so definitely go follow us on Instagram!  

Mewis: Also regular up dates on our YouTube channel so go subscribe to that as well.


We’ve seen you do an awesome cover of Feeder, are they in your top three artists who influence your music? If not who is?

Charlie: This is a tough one, as our music tastes are quite varied, I wouldn’t say Feeder are in the top three, but that song itself is definitely a big influence, probably for a lot of British Pop Punk, Rock, and Indie bands. To give you an idea just how varied our tastes are;

I’m into Reel Big Fish, Madness and Thin Lizzy,
Kieran:  I’m a metal head at heart but I like all sorts, favourites include Lamb of God, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Slipknot.  
Sam: Bit of everything really, I do like the indie rock stuff, like Oasis, Libertines and Arctic Monkeys.
Iain: I’m into some really varied stuff such as Mayday Parade, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Bright Eyes
Mewis: rancid are a huge influence for me, Matt Freeman pretty much inspired me to play bass. Sublime for their rhythm and system of a down for their passion.


Agent 23 & You Don’t Know include rather explicit lyrics, would you like to comment on this? Can we expect more in your new tracks?

Charlie: Those two songs you’ve mentioned are quite old, and were written collectively by an old line up of the band when we we’re spending more time partying and doing stupid stuff than focusing on song writing. I hadn’t really written much for a very long time until the beginning of last year, and although there is still silly stuff, there are a lot more personal feelings coming through.


Our favourite track is New Years Resolution, there is quite a contrast with the lyrics and chirpiness of the sax, but it works so so well!. How did this track come about? Is 2017 better than expected.

Charlie: Thanks! It was the first song I wrote when we started putting this band together again. It was written during a difficult personal time so the lyrics aren’t exactly uplifting, but musically, I’ve never really strayed from a major key when writing so it ended up a really upbeat, Pop Punk style track.  
Iain: It’s a fun one live too, as the audience tend to bounce along with us.


What is your favourite venue and watering hole? Any funny stories we should know about?

Charlie: Probably the New Cross Inn, in south London. We’ve played a few shows there and it’s always a great gig. Made a lot of friends within the Ska scene there and shared the stage with some incredible bands. I don’t think there are any noteworthy stories yet as we’ve only really played a handful of gigs, no one’s fallen off stage or anything yet.


What would the title of a book about your bands journey be called?

Iain: Bad Sandwich: It’s a piece about violence in its immediacy, the instancy of the event. A synchronic rendering of three explosive, aggressive, expressions… (okay, this is just a Spaced quote)


Do you have any pre-gig rituals e.g. drinks, ‘moments of self realisation’, group high five?!

Iain: There was one occasion when we checked that we were in tune before we went on… that was a special gig.


If you were stuck on a desert island and only had three items to take with you, what would it be?

Iain: A book: How to Survive on a Desert Island for Dummies

and a Burrito

Kieran: Lemon, Salt and a bottle of Tequila…. Can a tequila slammer count as one item?!

Mewis: Machete, a hammock and a replicator from star trek.
Charlie: A second bottle of Tequila, a third bottle of Tequila, and probably a fourth bottle of Tequila.