Having played the last couple of Rebellion Festivals and turning the Opera House into the DeRellaDome we thought it was time to fire some questions at founder and Bass player Timmy DeRella. When we spoke at the last Rebellion last August with one thing or another we never quite got together to have that chat.
As we leap into a brand new decade we finally catch up and all isn’t as it seems in camp DeRella with the ever-revolving Revolving door turning and another two new faces emerge with big changes in the band. I’ll let Timmy fill you in…”As you know, I’m now fronting The DeRellas – which is probably something I should have done when Robbie left the band. It’s a pity things didn’t work out with Joe, he’s a good guy, he has great style and we did some brilliant gigs together, but we had different ideas. The new lineup is fab – we have Luca on lead guitar of course and a new rhythm guitarist – Marky T, formerly in London glam band The Bad Girls and more recently starring as Steve Jones in The Sex Pistols Experience (he looks very fetching with a knotted hanky on his head, how could we say no..?!). And I’m pleased to say that Steve Grainger (Chelsea) will be playing drums on the new album and hopefully playing a few gigs with us – true rock n roll. So I might fall on my arse with the singing but it’ll be 100% the band I want it to be.”
So there you have it folks that’s where we are as of February 2020. Soooo, onto the questions, I originally had seeing as a whole bunch are now irrelevant.
Tell us when did you first pick up the bass and why the bass?
Not until I was 21 – I had tried to play drums and keyboards first, I just wanted to get a band started as quickly as possible.
You’ve put out a couple of albums on cd and vinyl and a few singles you always kept it real and never bowed down to going digital and kept true to releasing records. Is it important for you to keep making records? And 7″ singles?
Vinyl rules but you have to be realistic about the future and about costs. Our new single ‘Soho Hotel’ is currently on download only (check it out on CDBaby), but it will defo be on the shiny new vinyl album.
Yourself and Luca have been the mainstays in the band how does the writing process go?
Luca and I just get together – I will have some lyrics or even just a title, he’ll have a guitar riff and we come up with songs. We’ve always worked well together. Sometimes some lines or a riff will be sitting around for a while until something clicks into place.
The latest line up of the band is really strong and the last Rebellion Festival performance was by far the best I’ve ever seen you guys or any line ups that have performed under the band name. How do you see that performance?
Obviously the line up has changed since you asked me that question! Billy’s joined The Godfathers and I’m now fronting the band. Last year’s Rebellion was brilliant, but we can only get better.
It’s a big old stage in the “DeRella Dome” that is the opera house but you guys made it feel intimate what other venues have you loved playing?
We’ve played some legendary venues – although one of our most mental nights was in an old garage in Liege! Favourite places – Freakshow in Essen, 100 Club in London of course, Bannermans in Edinburgh, Wild at Heart in Berlin, Mondo Bizzaro in Rennes, the Wurlitzer in Madrid.. and I have to mention Rockaway Beach at the Hope & Anchor, Islington (the club night I run with my missis). But it’s down to the people – the punters of course, and the owners and promoters who put their heart and their wallets on the line to keep a venue alive. It’s tough and good places are closing all the time because of developers, local noise laws, etc.. Support your local venue, kids!
What’s next for the band? A new album?
Yep, the new album is well underway — hopefully out this summer. The new songs sound brilliant. We have a video out any day now for Soho Hotel, and we’ll be promoting the album in the second half of the year, but before that, we are booked for Scotland Calling in April and we’ll do a few dates around that. And we’ll be back at Rebellion again of course.
Who would you say are your biggest influences musically and bass playing-wise?
Clash, Manics, Hanoi, Bauhaus, Banshees, Heartbreakers, Adam and the Ants, Lords of the New Church…
You guys always look as if you’re having the best time onstage is it as much fun as it looks?
It has to be fun. Like Viv Savage (Spinal Tap) says “have a good time all the time”
The last ep was your strongest work and ‘high rise’ is a great track are there many new tracks demo’d?
The new album is going to have more of a High Rise Supersize feel. We got a little bit of stick for being political when High Rise came out, but it’s a tough world out there. We just want people to have a voice, not take things lying down, to ‘stick it to the man’.
That’s all for now from The DeRellas but rest assured we’ll be back for more when the record is ready for release until then check out the most excellent ‘Soho Hotel’ and we wish the band all the success and extend that to Billy and Joe.
Currently only available on download through CD Baby
Pic of Timmy courtesy of ‘David Newbold’