Friday the 13th I headed upstairs to the Prince Albert pub, Trafalgar Street. My hand was stamped and I was handed some flimsy 3D glasses. For most the date is unlucky, but for lovers of live music and dance culture, just like electronic trio NOISY, this date marked the return of Fast FWD to Friday.
“Let’s start the night as we mean to go on,” lead singer and rapper Cody Matthews demanded as he split the room into two, encouraging everyone to go mental in the centre of the dance floor as the first track played. The combination of red flashing lights and a beat to make the room bounce made the night fun and sweaty mayhem.
Speaking with NOISY, also consisting of guitarist Connor Cheetham and producer/guitarist Spencer Tobias-Williams, I wanted to hear their perspective on how and why they created Fast FWD to Friday. “We are massive fans of Friday night life and usually people are living for the weekend, and we wanted to put on something for those people” Cody explains. The next event will take place once again at The Prince Albert on the 23rd of February. Explaining the event further, Connor describes it as “a fusion between two things we love with one being a gig, and the other a club night, so this sits somewhere between the two”. Spencer then reinforces that everyone is welcome to the party.
Cody, Connor and Spencer have been friends and making music together for coming up to ten years.
Being from Worthing too, they consider Brighton their hometown when touring. Spencer says how “every Brighton show we do, because it feels like home, it always feels so relaxed, like playing to your mates”. This intimacy was definitely reciprocated from the crowd as fans reached out to Cody as he sang right on the edge of the stage, and people were waving and cheering names from across the room. You find yourself dancing with the strangers next to you and smiling the whole show because nothing matters but the music.
Except I seemed to be dancing a bit too much because every now and again I would spot 3D glasses on the floor, in fear of them being my own. Cody tells me that the motive was to create a participant response to the lyric “put your shades on” from their new track RUDEBOY. Further, Connor states that they had lots of visual inspiration from 50s cinema photography, wanting to create a cool image. At the end of the night, we all squeezed into a photograph with the trio, wearing our shades creating that sick image the boys had in mind. Plus “if you’re a little bit waved, it makes you even more waved”, Cody adds about the 3D glasses.
Wanting to know more about the formation of NOISY, Spencer defines it as “the ultimate thing they could do” with the knowledge and experience they had gained through playing music throughout their decade-long friendship. It was in 2018/2019 that NOISY came to be, a project which was a long time coming.
The billion dollar question it turns out, is asking NOISY to define their music.
Spencer says it is quite simply “something that sounds like NOISY”. Cody appropriates the sound as “mosh-pit pop”. To elaborate, he says “we play dance music in a live way, we put big beat influences into there and hip-hop influences”. The joy of their music is that there is no label for it and while they have fun creating something mixed-genre and energetic, the crowd can’t help but have fun with them.
The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim have been listed as some of their many musical influences, and Connor says how they too want to make similar crazy tunes. “How do you even make ‘Praise You’ for example”, he giggles. But Cody explains there is no point trying to become a band if you are not striving to be a household name. Spencer wants to make “a big stadium dance anthem” that everyone will recognise, and Cody says in order to achieve this they “drill the music into our brains”. Listening to their tracks mean that big sounds and big energy naturally finds itself referenced in NOISY’s sound too.
Their number one goal is to headline Glastonbury, “everyone’s dream from when you’re a little kid” says frontman. Their dream collaborations include The Prodigy, Disclosure, Slowthai, and of course those legends already mentioned, The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim.
Reflecting on some of the big goals they have already accomplished, Cody says that “our highlights are mostly based around playing live because that is the thing that excites us the most”. NOISY played the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage at Reading and Leeds festival, at 12:30 on the Saturday afternoon. While they were expecting a load of drop-off hungover people, their crowd was packed and the energy was electric.
Other career highlights include their track Young Dumb being on the Fifa 22 soundtrack, and Spencer states that “when we headlined XOYO in London, that was pretty crazy.” The boys headlined this renowned London dance club to a sold out crowd to which Cody says “that felt so much more special [than playing to a crowd at Brixton Academy] because they are there to see you”.
NOISY are playing to crowds which will do anything they command, evident at Fast FWD to Friday.
When they say “get down”, we crouch amongst the bodies. When they say “jump” we do. There is something about this control and connection between music and audience which seems to epitomise the freedom and euphoria of dance music.
While having a tour pay off can be the “coolest feeling in the world” in Spencer’s eyes – the rehearsing and build up all being worth it – it is also important to NOISY to maintain collaborations with other artists. They supported Yungblud on tour and released 24/7, remixed by High Contrast. Spencer describes collaborations as a trading of secrets, while for Cody, it is “interesting to see how others take on our song [24/7]” and see High Contrast’s interpretation of it. To collaborate with other artists is to absorb inspiration and vibes from other people, which inevitably “spurs you on to create your own music as well”.
There are no limitations to who NOISY would work with, and the lack of boundaries in their music was one of the starting points to their band. Connor remembers thinking “we can literally do whatever we want, so let’s do it”.
While NOISY evidently have a clear sense of identity and plenty of goals to achieve, they are yet to release an album. They are in the studio five days a week and have loads of tunes ready to go, but Cody wisely asserts that “you only get one chance at a debut album”. They are keen to get it right, but all of their songs released so far have been absolute hits. Maybe in the next year and a half we will have a complete NOISY album, “maybe sooner”.
RUDEBOY was also released on the 13th of January, and the reaction to this song was far from unlucky. In fact, everyone seemed to already know and love it, even when hearing it live for the first time the day it was shared. On the writing process, Spencer reveals that they wrote it in an air BnB in Essex – a converted barn which supposedly looked like an air raid shelter. They were there for a week writing, and it was around that time “we were starting to listen, really listen to loads of music” “we were trying to get inspired and RUDEBOY happened, didn’t it?”.
Connor says that RUDEBOY is a bit of a new vibe; the first time they have done a tune which is a four to the floor beat. Cody says it is a track for the club instead of a festival and I become fascinated by this concept that different songs have different settings in mind. It “definitely helps to have a picture in your head of where it would sound good” Conner responds. Spencer says that end goals such as ‘this would be really good at Reading’ is what spurs them on to finish writing songs and creating projects.
You can catch the next NOISY Fast FWD to Friday event on the 23rd of February as they continue to develop the club experience of enjoying dance music performed live. They unashamedly describe these nights as a movement to escape; it is music for a happy sad generation. That is NOISY.