Towers of London | Reality Bites

From court appearances, to being kicked off tours and out of clubs, they've got the attitude. And in an image vs. substance industry, it's all about looks, innit?



Torches are passed, and thrones are inherited. All of the clichés describing cycles in rock's revolving credibility in pop culture. From the Stones to the Pistols to the Gunners. But extended hiatuses (and $13 million, and 12 years waiting for the production tragedy that is Chinese Democracy) have left audiences dehydrated for the next chorus of rock's "bad boys"

Will a culture sit around and let itself be pecked to death by Christina Aguilara look-alikes? Are we a culture thirsty for "bad boy" rock, left choking on the salt water thirst quench of The Darkness, who seemed to throw the possibility of a rock revolution back to the Bronze Age of Stryper?

Are Towers of London the answer?

"Other bands are careerists. Jumping on band wagons for the right thing or the wrong thing," says Towers' rhythm guitarist Dirk Tourette of his band's credibility. "We want to make our thing count. I don't believe in many things but when I wake up in the morning, the one thing I truly believe in is Towers of London. That's all that really matters to us."

Towers of London have taken Britain by storm. Whether or not they play a show, they always seem to grab attention. They've got the same penchant for the spotlight aa their past punk, rock, and glam influences—the Pistols, G n' R, Iggy and the Stooges—proving that it's not always the sound, it's also the attitude.

From court appearances, to being kicked off tours and out of clubs, they've got the attitude. And in an image vs. substance industry, it's all about looks, innit? Teased-out bleached hair, homemade graffitied wife beater tank tops, Top Gun aviator sunglasses—they are the image of music, the Maverick, Goose, and Ice Man. With no need for a wingman. All show and…well, there's got to be some substance there, right?

Brothers Donny and Dirk Tourette (vocals nad rhythm guitar, respectively), bassist Tommy Brunette, drummer Snell, and lead guitarist The Rev grabbed this attention on the strength of EPs, live shows, and word of mouth. And in Britain—where the fans don't take their music lightly—that speaks volumes.

"In London, they need to let their hair down a bit." Tourette says of London's judgmental audiences. "Everyone's quite serious. Inside of London, they love it but they don't show it. They want to see what chords you play or whatever. Outside of London they kids love us and just go crazy. It seems that in America, [music] is instilled in their system, in the blood. No matter how you dress, they seem to enjoy it."

Their debut, the tongue firmly planted in cheek and (so damn) aptly titled Blood Sweat and Towers dropped Stateside August 1 and scorched all expectations of Darkness comparisons. When most bands these days exploit myspace even before they have their act together, the Towers have gained mass publicity with YouTube video sharing, documenting their various exploits from soundcheck pranks to early morning brawls with drunken instigators. (The Rev tried to walk away from that street fight!)

A reality show unto themselves, and as a result, Bravo (UK) jumped in with a pitch to follow the Towers around in their daily lives, debuting October 19. Tourette says, "It's not a reality show where everyone's just sits around talking about shit and pouting with all the drama. It'll be good for our fans, 'cause there are people who are dubious about if we're real or not and if we live the ‘life' or not."

The key to living the "life" is choosing what to take seriously. One of glam/punk's innovators was Hanoi Rocks, pouting, glam performers who, at their best, were campy for lack of a better word. They took themselves seriously as musicians but acknowledged their campy side; after all, they were not poster children and not preachers.

Towers of London, with anthemic party rock, take their music seriously but won't compromise one iota of their credibility or work ethic. "I've never really thought of it as work. Try working as a demolition man. That's work right there."

Perhaps it was passing the torch or whatever you want to call it, as Towers of London found themselves opening recent Gunners shows. A torch passed, akin to that of Gn'R opening for the Stones all those years ago. "We stood off stage and watched Axl do his thing. Like a dream come true. We always dreamed of playing on the same bill as the Sex Pistols, the Clash, or Guns ‘n Roses but never thought we'd be supporting them."

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