We recently pointed The 405 Radar at a fantastic band from Oxford called This Town Needs Guns and we decided to follow it up with a mini interview with lead singer of the band, Stu Smith. Hello! How are you today? Fine thank you. I've just had a lovely breakfast and looking forward to a relatively lazy day at home. Just in case our readers haven't heard of you, could you explain who you are? We're a group of 4 gentlemen that play music together. We live in Oxford (UK), but only 1 of us was brought up here. How did your name came about? Have you ever received any negative press for the gun reference? The name came about out of a mixture of desperation and an unfortunate event where someone threw a brick through the window of a bus, at one of our old band members. He wrote a letter about it. The last line of which was "this town needs guns". I thought it was a pretty interesting thing to write. It sounded like the kind of name that people would remember and just about the furthest thing from what we sounded like. We needed a name for our first gig and "This Town Needs Guns" was better than "The Rad Jazz Box". A few areas of the press have said negative things about the name. I think that they're under the impression that we mean it (which we don't. Quite the opposite in fact)...but oh well! We're never going to please everyone. You released Animals this year and it's just beautiful. Are you proud of it? We're very proud of the record. I think we did something pretty different to a lot of bands around at the minute. It seems to have become the norm that bands spend years saving up their 'hits', so they can glue them together for their first record, rather than just writing an album in it's own right. We are always writing and hope that we're improving. We wanted to write a record that was a snapshot of where we were at a particular time in our lives (especially when Dan announced that he was leaving the band to become a dad). I think there are some things we would have done differently if we'd have had more time and money, but seeing as we had to pay for the record ourselves, I think we did a really good job. You often get labelled as some sort of hyrbid emo band. To me I can see it a little bit, but more the kind of emo music that American Football made. What kind of genre would you put yourself in? "Emo" is such a bad description of any band. When you think about it, virtually all music is emotional. We do have things in common with bands like American Football, Mineral and Texas is the Reason, but to call us "emo" in a time when that tag is used to describe manufactured acts like My Chemical Romance and Panic at the Disco is weird. The word has lost all meaning. It's no longer useful at describing to a reader what music sounds like. We've recently been described as "Math-pop" and "Kinsella-core" I'm not sure I agree with these either, but I can see where their coming from. Finally what are your plans for 2009? 2009 is going to be pretty special for us (or at least, that is the plan). We've got a UK tour planned for February and we're discussing going back to Europe in Spring. We should also be heading out to the US. 'Animals' is getting a release there in early '09, so we're looking to tour at some point. We've already started writing the second album, so hopefully we'll be demo-ing tracks for that at some point as well. You can check out This Town Needs Guns at www.myspace.com/thistownneedsguns Listen: MP3: This Town Needs Guns - Elk