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Performance Anxiety w/ Insecure Men


Insecure Men were playing Rock En Seine Festival on Saturday. I was there too, and despite getting a press pass, didn’t have an interview with them.

It was kind of a let down and made me feel like a bit of a loser. What was the point of ‘working’ the festival if I wasn’t talking to anyone good? I chose to spend the Saturday morning taking it out on Jared Leto and his band, who were slagged off to anyone who would listen.

SUDDENLY, my intel told me Saul and Ben were entering the festival and were heading for the portaloos!! When we sped-walked over to Ben and asked to talk, he said, “Yeah, sure.”



Saw you guys at Scala. Nice job.

Saul: That was our first proper proper London show. I was really nervous, man. I did loads of coke before we played.

Ben: It was a horrible experience before the gig because the backstage area was a room which is basically on the stage.

Saul: And we were all really nervous, so we thought if we sang the Eastenders theme song it would somehow stop us from being nervous. So everyone was sat there going like: duh duh duh duh.

Both of you are in different bands. Which one is better live?

Ben: It depends on the venue. If I’m playing a festival and it’s late at night, I’d rather be playing with Warmduscher. If the show’s at a theatre or an intimate place, Insecure Men.

Saul: The last festival we did in France was a bit of a shocker.


Saul: No one knew us and it was evening and you could hear house music over the top of our set. It started off with 400 people and by the end only 80. That made me think maybe Insecure Men isn’t my favourite band to play live. But when we do little club shows and stuff, I really like doing Insecure Men. At festivals, I’d rather be playing with Fat White Family.

Is there anyone you’re excited to meet backstage today?

Saul: I don’t know who’s actually playing.

Jared Leto is!

Saul: Jared Leto? (laughs)

You’re called Insecure Men. What’s your biggest insecurity?

Saul: Just … kind of … always thinking that you’re shit. Everyone’s wracked with insecurities these days. It’s everywhere.

Ben: I think the main insecurity is actually when we make music. Music is the only thing I do that I actually care about. Not obviously the only thing but it’s the most important thing to me. Anything else I can quite easily take the piss out of myself or accept that I may’ve a lot of shortcomings.

Saul: I have sexual insecurities.

What, performance anxiety?

Saul: Yeah exactly.


Do you have a method to get yourself out of it?

Saul: No. I need to come up with one!

How do you balance being in a band and not coming across too seriously?

Saul: I feel like it’s hard to take what we do too seriously.

Ben: It’s impossible in a way, cause it’s the whole premise of it is not serious. We never really intended to …

Saul: … It’s not like Cigarettes After Sex.

Ben: We never really intended to be a band so in a band context we don’t take it with real pride to be at a festival and get all our gear in the right place with roadies or like try to make it . We didn’t really realise we’d be doing these things when we first did it, so now that we’re doing it- it doesn’t feel like something that we anticipated.

Saul: And not that many people are into it, so we don’t really care.

I actually think people rate Insecure Men more than Fat White Family.

Saul: In general people like Fat White Family more.

Yeah but Fat White is more about the ‘mosh’, repressed anger in the live shows.

Ben: Saul, you got figured out. (Laughs)

Your music videos are really cool, especially Teenage Toy. How much control do you have over the creative process?

Ben: We had none in that video actually. The rest of the film ideas were Saul’s.

Saul:Jak Payne, a very old friend of ours, made that video and he is good. But with the other videos, if I have a good idea, I like to do it.

When’s the last time you cried?

Ben: Probably quite recently to be honest (laughs). Probably about Playstation or something. I’ve recently been turning into an extreme gamer. No, no. Actually, to be honest, the last I cried was probably when I broke up with a girlfriend.

If I need to cry, I’ll cry right now, ya know? I’m not gonna hide it.

If you had to take someone around London for the day where would you take them?

Saul: I take people to the French House in Soho if they’ve never been to London before. You’re not allowed to use your phone.

Ben: I’d just go the the local pub in my house really (laughs). I don’t really know. I actually struggle with this.

Saul: Where did you take Julia?

Ben: To … the pub (laughs).


Who are the kids singing on “Whitney Houston and I”?

Saul: It was basically our friend’s kids. They’re in a band called the “Honey Hahs” who are signed to Rough Trade. They’re like 7, 12 and 14. They’re really great. Their record just came out. Three songs on the record have kids choir on them and it was mostly them. They’re all sisters and they can do that thing where they harmonise without even having to discuss it. Blood harmonies.

What keeps you up at nite?

Ben: Probably music.

Saul: Performance anxiety mostly.

What can we expect next?

Saul: Another record. More of the same. But more.





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