Steve Hanley is the bass player with Brix and the Extricated. Steve was an early member of The Fall, his longevity in that band second only to Mark E Smith. Steve very kindly phoned Clunk HQ for a little chat.
Steve’s brother Paul also plays with Brix and the Extricated, as drummer. Were they from a musical family, not particularly they “ just wanted to pick up an instrument”. They have played together in a number of bands over the years. Steve explained that Paul got his first kit as a schoolboy for the princely sum of £25. He took to bashing the drums very quickly along to Steve writing songs with a mate in a bedroom of the family home for their band Staff 9. When Mike Leigh left The Fall after the album Dragnet there became an opening for a drummer. Young Paul had to audition for it and got the job. In fact Paul was still at school, Steve explains “ Our kid had to change out of his school uniform at the service station”.
Brix and the Extricated were formed in 2014. Four of the five members are ex-Fall members, hence the name Extricated. Steve elaborated on how they got started. He said that once they got together they were performing some of the songs from The Fall days, just to get going. They soon moved on to writing their own material. I mentioned that the latest album, Breaking State, was full of strong songs. Steve elaborated when I asked him how the writing process went within the band, “We are very lucky because Steve (Trafford) and Jason (Brown) are a real driving force and very talented guys, as is our kid. We get together with ideas for new material then we play together until we have something.”
So, does Steve get a chance to look around a city when on tour? “Yes, sometimes, depending on the time available. When we were recently in Stirling we decided to go and have a look at the castle. Brix went in but the rest of us pulled out on the £15 admission fee and went to the pub!”
Any spare time Steve gets he watches football, a keen Manchester United follower he is a little concerned about the Champions League quarter final draw with the mighty Barcelona commenting “anything from there will be a bonus”. He also can be found out and about cycling, he’s got himself an electric bike. Well, we all need as much help as possible getting up hills!
What else did Clunk find out about Steve Hanley? He’s a really nice bloke, modest and amiable and if you’re going to the gig at the Old Fire Station on the 6th of April you might get chance to say hello. Top fella.