Five Minutes With

MUSIC FEATURE: Five Minutes With…Poisonous Birds

Bristol-based trio Poisonous Birds are ready to make waves, with the imminent release of their new EP We Can Never Not Be All Of Us. The unique group take most of their inspiration from the visual arts, whilst melding elements of art-rock, electronica and post-rock to deliver a multi-layered, emotively captivating sound. We caught up with Tom Ridley (vocals, electronics, producer) to find out more…

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your band.

My name’s Tom. I used to be a guitarist, but I fell in love with synthesisers and have spent the last few years making music primarily using electronic instruments and my voice. Finn also plays drums, and Jack plays electric guitar.

How did the band form and how long have you been together?

Like most people I’d fiddled about with software synths over the years, but between an overwhelming number of knobs and awful UI design never really understood them and found it completely boring. I realised that in order to understand synths…I should probably buy a synth, so in 2014 I bought a Korg Monotribe and that started my love affair with the instrument, and with electronic music. Eventually I had some songs that I felt said something new, and kind of assumed Finn was on board, I don’t know if I ever really asked him. I still haven’t asked him.

Can you remember the first time you realised you wanted to make music?

I always wanted an electric guitar at primary school. Mum and Dad said they’d buy me one if I carried on playing the recorder til secondary school. I ground that thing until I was eleven and held them to their promise.

Who and what are the band’s main influences?

Experiences, each other, paintings, films, being sad.

What do you aim to achieve as a band?

To affect people. I’m a quiet person – so are Finn and Jack. But through music we can say something interesting and important and say it loudly and clearly. If we affect any positive change in the world, even in the smallest way, then it is all worth it.

For those who are yet to see you live, what can they expect from a Poisonous Birds show?

They can expect that the show they witness will be completely unique and different from yesterday’s show, and tomorrow’s show. We carry a light show on the road with us, even to the smallest venues. It’s kind of the fourth member of the band and is super important to us.

What’s next for Poisonous Birds?

Our new EP We Can Never Not Be All Of Us lands on 14th August which I hope is a really interesting and bold body of work. We’re really proud of it. We’re also on tour around the UK in Feb 2021 with our friends in Phoxjaw. It’s going to be our longest tour to date, we’re playing the whole record back-to-back, and I still have no idea where we’re sleeping.

Poisonous Birds‘ new EP We Can Never Not Be All Of Us is due for release on 14th August 2020, available to pre-order HERE

A 30-something year old journalist and freelance PR often found at a gig, a festival or holding a dictophone to a band and asking them all kinds of questions. I'm a sucker for whiskey and vinyl.