Manchester's own ex Northside front-man Dermo is back with new band V Thirteen, a fantastic mix sounds & influences and right now they're shaping up with some welcome shows playing with Shaun Ryder.

Dermo talked to

Whats it like coming back with a new band, and whats the line up?

It's great, we can write and play what we like, literally. Complete artistic freedom.

Me and Matt write the songs. The usual scenario is, at home I set the drum machine up as a guide line and tempo, (or Dug comes around and punches a pattern in while I sing him the basics). I play something over that on the guitar and then sing whatever naturally comes out of me (sometimes I use the words I have that are already written). I'll play it back and decipher what I've said, write the words out properly, add harmonies, then re-record what I've done. Then I'll ring Matt, when he comes around I explain to him my ideas and thoughts, we discuss them and the arrangements. He then takes them to the next level by adding his own guitar parts and musical ideas. Next we take the songs to the practise room for the rest of the band to hear. They add their magic to the mix and it all comes together quite quickly. If someone comes up with a cool idea in the practice room then that goes in there too.

Me - Songwriter/Vocals/Lyrics/Rhythm Guitar
Matt Rynn - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals/Songwriter
Dug McLeod - Drums/Percussion
Andrew Saunderson - Bass
Miz De Shannon - Keyboards/Backing Vocals

Where did you get the name from?

It's a song by Big Audio Dynamite who are one of my favourite bands. I wanted a name for us that didn't use 'The'. I like band names that don't use 'The'

V Thirteen played their 1st gig last week at the Salford Music Festival, how did it go?

Well it was a buzz to actually play live for the first time as V Thirteen. We enjoyed ourselves. It went really well.

The band have already put a couple of songs together, one being " What happened to You" which I'd imagine Northside fans loving as much as new listeners?

We've got an albums worth now and we're creating all the time. I think Northside fans will love V Thirteen.

Musically whats VThirteen all about, and have your own influences changed over the yrs?

V Thirteen is about good songs, rhythm and melody. Lyrically, outsiders, imagination, love that goes wrong, death, immortality, exposing charlatans, celebration, positivity, staying free, being yourself, betrayal, unity, good times, the future, mistakes, forgiveness, tales of the unexpected etc etc, the usual. We aim to move you one way or another with our music. I still have the same influences which will always be with me but they keep growing all the time. As long as there's new music and experiences they will continue to grow. What's the point in switching off? I'm an observer of people and life and am interested in most things......

Musically, bands such as, New Order, SLF, Love, The Pixies, Sex Pistols, B.A.D. Syd Barrett, The Wedding Present, Miles Kane, Graham Coxon, Little Dragon, The Stooges, TV On The Radio, Neu!, Small Faces, The Byrds, The Black Angels, The Jam, Guided By Voices, Tricky, Durutti Column, Campag Velocet, The Smiths, Electronic, Black Grape, Lo Fi Allstars, Acid House, Curtis Mayfield, Unkle, Spacemen 3, Sonic Youth, Mogwai, Jesus And Mary Chain, Beck, Shack, DJ Shadow, Ian Brown, Jimmy Cliff, David Bowie, Velvet Underground, Stockholm Monsters, The Horrors, Swervedriver, Zounds, Crass, Ghostpoet, The Strokes, The Pop Group, Lykke Li, Martina Topley Bird, Killing Joke, Puressence, The Chameleons, Funkadelic, Tim Dog, Canibus, Dr Alimantado, Public Enemy, Dead Kennedys and much much more.....

Have you been writing all the time then Dermo, even before you put VThirteen together?

I've always been writing lyrics and melodies for as long as I can remember. Lyrics are very important to me I've got a pile of words to get through and am always adding 'phrases' onto my phone too. I can be quite cryptic in my lyrics, or they can be in your face obvious. My mate lent me his guitar and a small amp earlier this year and that inspired me to buy a little 8 track to record at home. It's the best 200 quid I've ever spent, I should've got one years ago!

So whats the plans recording wise...album...?

We plan to go in the studio straight after the New Year. We're going to do a few more gigs then get busy recording. It'll be out as soon as it's ready. We'll put out an EP first though, then the album.

How would you say you've changed as far as writing and recording over the an artist?

Teaching myself the basics of playing the guitar, (while singing) has helped me to focus more. It's seems easier to me to sing a song that way. Harmonising with myself on the 8 track demos has been a good learning experience for me too and it's helped me to take the melodies to another dimension. As for the actual recording, I love it. It just used to be about playing live and improvising for me (which I still love and do) but structured creating in the studio is also what I'm really getting into as well. A mixture of the unknown and certainty keeps me alive.

hat about future shows, your supporting Shaun Ryder soon aren't you, that should be a good night?

Yeah we go back a long time, from the early raves and then obviously through both being on Factory and touring with them. I've got a lot of respect for Shaun, both personally and musically. He sticks to what he believes in and does it. I'm looking forward to our gig supporting him and catching up at The Castle in Oldham on Saturday 17th December, it'll be an early Crimbo party haha. Before that gig though, we play our own show upstairs at Gullivers in Manchester on Friday 25th November, can't wait for that one, you should all get down there!

and finally, are you enjoying it, a new band and writing again, is it good to be back?

I love it, it's exciting for me working with people who are on the same wavelength. Being able to write and create songs again is a great relief and a major part of who I am. V Thirteen is where it's at and we're on our way!