Interviewed: Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
by Nick Toseland
With a name like Sam Duckworth, it’s only fitting that he’s the front-man of politically-opined Britpop outfit, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. The name stems from an article about Batman: “Just a night before a gig and didn’t have a clue what to call it. Opened up a magazine and it was standing in front of me.” The reference to the Dark Knight is purely incidental to their six-year spell spent in a musical crusade. “I just liked the alliteration: it’s kinda clumpy but it’s cool.”
Not everything comes as easily as picking a name, of course. They’ve just released their latest album Maps, and were about to navigate a UK tour at the time of interview: “We’ve been in the studio getting it all going for pretty much 16 hours a day.” And what of the motivation? “I just like doing it. I think I’m being content, I guess. I don’t think I want to be doing anything else with my time and fact is that I’ve got the space to do it in.” Just as well, really, since when asked what he’d be doing if not a musician, he replied, “Every time I look in the mirror in the morning, that’s what I ask myself. I don’t know, is the answer.” We know exactly what you mean (barring the crucial ‘except-for-being-a-musician’ part, of course).
Unlike the quintessentially self-centred shores of The O.C – ironically propelling GCWCF into the wider British eye in 2006 – Sam is known to busy himself with political/animal activism. I asked him whether the world can be made a better place: “I think you can. I think it can be better you just got to make it better. I think I’m quite pragmatic in the way that I do things in my own life – I think you have to be – but when I turn to the bigger picture I like to be idealist. I don’t think that karma’s unachievable. I mean there are certain elements in our lives and elements that we comes across, you know, music being one of them, relationships another, where things can work on a fairly idealistic level, so it’s not just limited to the more political activism sides of society.”
After that, I just couldn’t resist turning to a cliché: ‘If you could change any one thing, what would it be?’ “I’d want to find a way to give people more time, just to actually have more time to spend with their friends and their family and relaxing; I think that it’s very hard at the moment because everybody’s – I hate this phrase, but – tied down to the grindstone a little bit. I think there’d be something positively good about a society of people where they’ve slept more, a bit more relaxed and a bit calmer. It’s a good starting point, as long as you use that time wisely.” As always (and after exams), it’s idealism of a down-to-earth variety that makes the most sense of all.
This is not to say that GCWCF are bogged down with amiable jeremiads; Maps is an album suited for the summer, a life-affirming record with hints of Weezer and early Blur with a wide, wry smile. “The biggest musical influence is actually the producer, Jason [Perry]. Our other records had lots of music written from guitar, but most of this record was written from the bass.” He adds: “I was just writing songs that made me happy at the time, and Jason was able to capture that energy and urgency and pop it into shape.”
Sam took time off with doing a solo-effort last year, but returns to the band more committed than ever. “We’re starting to get back into road mode so we’ll try and take it as it comes really; this upcoming tour is so important for us.” They’re confirmed in Truck Festival’s summer line-up (easily one of the best-quality alternative festivals around this year), with others pencilled in – wishing them all the best, this summer could be one to remember for Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.