Interview with ‘Billy Bibby and the Wry Smiles’
Billy Bibby and the Wry Smiles are a four piece alternative rock band formed in Wales/Cheshire, after guitarist Billy Bibby left Catfish and the Bottlemen in late 2015. He decided to reinvent himself with a new band, and a completely different sound and Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles evolved.
This involved swapping out his powerful and gritty guitar riffs from The Balcony for more light-hearted tunes, such as ‘Don’t Fall’ and ‘This Kind Of Summer’ on their debut EP, Bide Your Time.
So far, the band have released six singles and an EP, which are all available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music. They’ve also played an impressive number of gigs and festivals up and down the country, including Tramlines in Sheffield, Victorious Festival and Kendal Calling.
Are there hidden meanings in any of your music?
Yes there are. I don’t want to delve too deeply into what they all mean because there’s no mystery behind them. However, some lyrics in there involve my experiences of life whilst in Catfish and post Catfish.
If you could have your top five of musical influences (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be and why?
Elvis Presley, I was brought up on his music by my parents. He is my number one go to Spotify artist when I want to listen to something I know inside out. Highly suspect, a band from Cape Cod USA. I love their music and Johnny the singer is a unique individual so I’d like them. Liam Gallagher purely to entertain us all whilst we eat, he’s a hero. John Lennon but I don’t need to explain that one. The last one would have to be a toss up between Alex Turner, Richard Ashcroft, Dave Grohl, Abba, Kurt Cobain and Kelly Jones.
Can you describe each member of your band in ten or less words?
Matt (bass) – So solid crew. Always leaves the light on.
Tom (lead guitar) – Spanish Zak Mooneyham from school of rock. Face melted.
Alan (drums) – Metronome tempos without the metronome. Colin Farrell look a like.
How could you describe your music?
With the Band, I’d say it’s simply Rock or Alternative Rock. People would say indie but I hate that phrase.
How did everyone in your band meet?
In 1985 by way of a Facebook Post calling out all musicians wanting to be in a Godlike rock band. (Sic)
Which of your songs do you play the most frequently?
A song Called Don’t Fall. Thats always in the set. Except when we forgot to play it once. All but once since the start of the dinosaurs.
What is your ultimate direction for the band?
There’s only one direction, and that’s to be as big as One Direction. In all seriousness though, just being a big arena headline band and topping festival bills one day.
If you weren’t involved in music, what would you be doing right now?
I’d be a TV chef making Jamie Oliver Bankrupt.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t do it! No, simply just fuckin’ enjoy it. Enjoy the ride with your band or on your own and don’t forget why you started in the first place. A lot of bands forget who they are and forget why. Being in a band is a business but part of that business is about being happy and being true to who you are.
Finally, do you have regrets about leaving Catfish and the Bottlemen?
None at all. I wish them all the best and will still follow what they do but once the boat has sailed you jump on another one and don’t look back.