Their Library: This Many Boyfriends

Literary influences explored...
This Many Boyfriends

Indie pop has never hid its literary bent.

Whether it's Morrissey's Oscar Wilde inspired witticisms or the image of a Penguin paperback poking out of a satchel, the indie pop scene has never allowed its library card to fall far from its grasp. This Many Boyfriends are no exception - sure, the band's debut album might be packed to the gills with Motown melodies and Pastels riffs, but what shines through most of all is a charming, infectious sense of intelligence.

Unafraid to use the odd big word or two, This Many Boyfriends are clearly enamoured with the written word. With that in mind, we asked the group what's on their bookshelf.

What is your favourite book and why?

 Laura: That’s a very hard question so I’ve picked 3. ‘The World According To Garp’, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, ‘The Beauty Myth’. Why? Because I think they are good.

Tom: ‘Less Than Zero’ by Brett Easton Ellis ‘cos I'm so fucking trendy it hurts my fringe.

Daniel: ‘The Outsider’, because I am a nihilist and I like exploring themes about the pointlessness of life.

Richard: Fiction would be ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ by Kurt Vonnegut, Non-fiction would be ‘Easy Riders’, Raging Bulls’ by Peter Biskind.

Ben: Woody Allen "The Complete Prose" because it is so funny it should be illegal.

 

What other authors do you like?

Laura: Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, Evelyn Waugh. I love Bret Easton Ellis’s books but Twitter has proven him to be a douche.

Tom: Chuck Palahanhnuikkinik, Jonathon Coe, Murakami and other pop culture icons.

Daniel: A lot, but no one in particular.

Richard: Richard Yates, Simon Reynolds, F Scott Fitzgerald.

Ben: Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Charles Bukowski.

 

What draws you to certain books?

Laura: I’ve been reading loads of biographies recently, especially of musicians. That’s pretty easy to guess what draws me to those books. E from the Eels book was great and I loved Grace Maxwell’s book so much.

Tom: Hard to say, just other peoples recommendations usually.

Richard: I’m not sure really, I read a lot of non-fiction so I guess I read about people who interest me.

Ben: Authors with interesting lives probably. Like to know a lot about the writer.

 

Have you ever discovered a real lost classic? What is it and why?

Laura: I’m not really into ‘classic’ classics, I’m not really into old stuff.

Richard: I’m a lot more into music and film so I don’t really ‘dig’ for lost classics in literature.

 

Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?

Daniel: No,but I don't do lyrics

Richard: Well not usually, my references are pretty stuck in music and film. I have made many direct references to records in my writing but never really literature. Granted some of my early drafts of lyrics had titles of Richard Yates short stories and there was a song many moons ago that referenced Vonnegut. In fact there was a song called ‘Kurt Vonnegut’ that never got beyond my notepad. I guess the only other impact was the period when I was writing ‘(I Should Be A) Communist’ and its companion piece ‘It’s Lethal (Part 1)’. They were both partly inspired by the film director and writer Paul Shrader who I learned a lot about through Peter Biskind’s book ‘Easy Riders, Raging Bulls’. Oh and I pretty much learnt everything I know about music from 'Please Kill Me' and 'Rip It Up And Start Again'!

 

What are you reading at the moment?

Laura: I’m reading Frank Skinner’s book ‘On The Road’. Daniel said the other day that it seemed weird but I love Frank, he’s such a lovely, clever man. That’s what I read on the bus to work. I’ve also been reading Susan Faludi’s book ‘Backlash’ and David Sedaris’s ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’.

Tom: ‘Maus’ by Art Spiegelman.

Daniel: Murakami – ‘1Q84’ and ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ by Frank Miller.

Richard: I am looking at Fugel E Farvar,a Swedish book about ornithology. I’m reading the latest copy of Empire Magazine and ‘The Great Gatsby’.

Ben: ‘London Fields’ by Martin Amis, ‘Musicophilia’ by Dr Oliver Sacks.

 

What is the first book you remember reading as a child?

Laura: ‘Dogger’. And ‘The BFG’

Tom: Harry Potter is the stand out.

Daniel: ‘The Hobbit’ I think, but I also read a lot of the Goosebumps series.

Richard: Don’t remember the first book but I remember loads that I loved as a kid. ‘Babar’, ‘Elmer’, the novelisation of ‘Star Wars’, ‘Goosebumps’ and I read all the Adrian Mole books as a teen. And Roald Dahl obviously.

Ben: Something by Roald Dahl and then lots of other things by Roald Dahl. 

 

Did you make good use of your library card as a child / teenager?

Laura: my local library was so small and rubbish that as a teenager it didn’t have anything I wanted. I don’t remember going to the library much before that.

Tom: I tend to buy books rather than library it.

Daniel: Nah.

Richard: My local library didn’t exactly have much choice.

Ben: Yes, but mainly to borrow CDs to tape them. 

 

Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn’t finish?

Laura: John Irving’s book ‘Until I Find You’ but because it’s just so MASSIVE. And Murakami’s ‘Dance Dance Dance’. Shite.

Tom: Yes, but not because it was rubbish, more because I'm a lazy, lazy man.

Daniel: Dostoyevsky's ‘The Idiot’.

Richard: For some strange reason I’ve tried and failed to read ‘Galapagos’ by Kurt Vonnegut. Sticks in my mind because it’s been through about 4/5 houses with me. I’ve always thought ‘Great I’ll read that’ and then just forgotten about it. It’s really short too so I have no excuse!

Ben: I tried to read some Dan Brown over an ex-girlfriend’s shoulder once. Gave me enough ammunition to slag it off with.

 

Do you read book reviews?

Laura: No. I don’t care what some guy in a paper says is good, they’re not going to think the same as me about what makes something good.

Tom: Only the ones on the back of the book. 

Daniel: Not really professional opinions, but reader opinions. 

Richard: No. It doesn’t really interest me.

Ben: Yes.

 

Would you ever re-read the same book?

Laura: loads of books. Especially Kurt Vonnegut ones as they’re so brilliant and easy to read. And I’ve read ‘Please Kill Me’ a million times.

Tom: Thinking of re-reading Harry Potter and seeing if it's as good as I remember. 

Daniel: Yeah, not ever in a short space of time though, give it a two year gap.

Richard: I’ve read ‘Rip It Up And Start Again’ about 4 times. Granted I did use it extensively in my dissertation about Post Punk!

Ben: Definitely. Would listen to a record again so why not a book?

 

Have you ever identified with a character in a book? Which one and why?

Laura: Patrick Bateman.

Tom: Christian Grey. As a young, handsome, sexually devious billionaire I can truly relate.

Ben: As a 9 year old I wished I was Charlie Bucket. As an 18 year old I though Holden Caulfield was me. Later in life I will become the bitter alcoholic bastard from Post Office.

 

Do you read one book at a time or more than one?

Laura: usually loads at once ’cos I want different things at different times.

Tom: I normally have one novel type and one toilet book on the go.

Daniel: I've got two on the go now, graphic novel for work, novel for the rest.

Richard: Yeah, I have a very short attention span.

Ben: Dip into several, which is probably a bad habit. I'm not the greatest fiction reader in the world. In fact, why am I here?

 

Is there an author / poet you would like to collaborate with?

Laura: Poetry can fuck right off.

Richard: I don’t really like poetry mixing with music. It feels very pretentious and makes me think of either that cringey bit on Cerys Matthews’ 6Music show or ‘performance poetry’. Both make me feel uneasy and a bit sick.

Ben: I’m sure Simon Armitage would dig This Many Boyfriends.

 

What is your favourite book and why?

 Laura: That’s a very hard question so I’ve picked 3. ‘The World According To Garp’, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, ‘The Beauty Myth’. Why? Because I think they are good.

Tom: ‘Less Than Zero’ by Brett Easton Ellis ‘cos I'm so fucking trendy it hurts my fringe.

Daniel: ‘The Outsider’, because I am a nihilist and I like exploring themes about the pointlessness of life.

Richard: Fiction would be ‘Slaughterhouse 5’ by Kurt Vonnegut, Non-fiction would be ‘Easy Riders’, Raging Bulls’ by Peter Biskind.

Ben: Woody Allen "The Complete Prose" because it is so funny it should be illegal.

 

What other authors do you like?

Laura: Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, Evelyn Waugh. I love Bret Easton Ellis’s books but Twitter has proven him to be a douche.

Tom: Chuck Palahanhnuikkinik, Jonathon Coe, Murakami and other pop culture icons.

Daniel: A lot, but no one in particular.

Richard: Richard Yates, Simon Reynolds, F Scott Fitzgerald.

Ben: Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Charles Bukowski.

 

What draws you to certain books?

Laura: I’ve been reading loads of biographies recently, especially of musicians. That’s pretty easy to guess what draws me to those books. E from the Eels book was great and I loved Grace Maxwell’s book so much.

Tom: Hard to say, just other peoples recommendations usually. 

Richard: I’m not sure really, I read a lot of non-fiction so I guess I read about people who interest me.

Ben: Authors with interesting lives probably. Like to know a lot about the writer.

 

Have you ever discovered a real lost classic? What is it and why?

Laura: I’m not really into ‘classic’ classics, I’m not really into old stuff.

Richard: I’m a lot more into music and film so I don’t really ‘dig’ for lost classics in literature.

 

Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?

Daniel: No, but I don't do lyrics.

Richard: Well not usually, my references are pretty stuck in music and film. I have made many direct references to records in my writing but never really literature. Granted some of my early drafts of lyrics had titles of Richard Yates short stories and there was a song many moons ago that referenced Vonnegut. In fact there was a song called ‘Kurt Vonnegut’ that never got beyond my notepad. I guess the only other impact was the period when I was writing ‘(I Should Be A) Communist’ and its companion piece ‘It’s Lethal (Part 1)’. They were both partly inspired by the film director and writer Paul Shrader who I learned a lot about through Peter Biskind’s book ‘Easy Riders, Raging Bulls’. Oh and I pretty much learnt everything I know about music from 'Please Kill Me' and 'Rip It Up And Start Again'!

 

What are you reading at the moment?

Laura: I’m reading Frank Skinner’s book ‘On The Road’. Daniel said the other day that it seemed weird but I love Frank, he’s such a lovely, clever man. That’s what I read on the bus to work. I’ve also been reading Susan Faludi’s book ‘Backlash’ and David Sedaris’s ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’.

Tom: ‘Maus’ by Art Spiegelman.

Daniel: Murakami – ‘1Q84’ and ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ by Frank Miller.

Richard: I am looking at Fugel E Farvar,a Swedish book about ornithology. I’m reading the latest copy of Empire Magazine and ‘The Great Gatsby’.

Ben: ‘London Fields’ by Martin Amis, ‘Musicophilia’ by Dr Oliver Sacks.

 

What is the first book you remember reading as a child?

Laura: ‘Dogger’. And ‘The BFG’.

Tom: Harry Potter is the stand out.

Daniel: ‘The Hobbit’ I think, but I also read a lot of the Goosebumps series.

Richard: Don’t remember the first book but I remember loads that I loved as a kid. ‘Babar’, ‘Elmer’, the novelisation of ‘Star Wars’, ‘Goosebumps’ and I read all the Adrian Mole books as a teen. And Roald Dahl obviously.

Ben: Something by Roald Dahl and then lots of other things by Roald Dahl. 

 

Did you make good use of your library card as a child / teenager?

Laura: My local library was so small and rubbish that as a teenager it didn’t have anything I wanted. I don’t remember going to the library much before that.

Tom: I tend to buy books rather than library it.

Daniel: Nah.

Richard: My local library didn’t exactly have much choice.

Ben: Yes, but mainly to borrow CDs to tape them. 

 

Have you ever found a book that you simply couldn’t finish?

Laura: John Irving’s book ‘Until I Find You’ but because it’s just so MASSIVE. And Murakami’s ‘Dance Dance Dance’. Shite.

Tom: Yes, but not because it was rubbish, more because I'm a lazy, lazy man.

Daniel: Dostoyevsky's ‘The Idiot’.

Richard: For some strange reason I’ve tried and failed to read ‘Galapagos’ by Kurt Vonnegut. Sticks in my mind because it’s been through about 4/5 houses with me. I’ve always thought ‘Great I’ll read that’ and then just forgotten about it. It’s really short too so I have no excuse!

Ben: I tried to read some Dan Brown over an ex-girlfriend’s shoulder once. Gave me enough ammunition to slag it off with.

 

Do you read book reviews?

Laura: No. I don’t care what some guy in a paper says is good, they’re not going to think the same as me about what makes something good.

Tom: Only the ones on the back of the book. 

Daniel: Not really professional opinions, but reader opinions. 

Richard: No. It doesn’t really interest me.

Ben: Yes.

 

Would you ever re-read the same book?

Laura: loads of books. Especially Kurt Vonnegut ones as they’re so brilliant and easy to read. And I’ve read ‘Please Kill Me’ a million times.

Tom: Thinking of re-reading Harry Potter and seeing if it's as good as I remember. 

Daniel: Yeah, not ever in a short space of time though, give it a two year gap.

Richard: I’ve read ‘Rip It Up And Start Again’ about 4 times. Granted I did use it extensively in my dissertation about Post Punk!

Ben: Definitely. Would listen to a record again so why not a book?

 

Have you ever identified with a character in a book? Which one and why?

Laura: Patrick Bateman.

Tom: Christian Grey. As a young, handsome, sexually devious billionaire I can truly relate.

Ben: As a 9 year old I wished I was Charlie Bucket. As an 18 year old I though Holden Caulfield was me. Later in life I will become the bitter alcoholic bastard from Post Office.

 

Do you read one book at a time or more than one?

Laura: Usually loads at once ’cos I want different things at different times.

Tom: I normally have one novel type and one toilet book on the go.

Daniel: I've got two on the go now, graphic novel for work, novel for the rest.

Richard: Yeah, I have a very short attention span.

Ben: Dip into several, which is probably a bad habit. I'm not the greatest fiction reader in the world. In fact, why am I here?

 

Is there an author / poet you would like to collaborate with?

Laura: Poetry can fuck right off.

Richard: I don’t really like poetry mixing with music. It feels very pretentious and makes me think of either that cringey bit on Cerys Matthews’ 6Music show or ‘performance poetry’. Both make me feel uneasy and a bit sick.

Ben: I’m sure Simon Armitage would dig This Many Boyfriends.

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'This Many Boyfriends' is out now.

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