Radar Band Of The Week – The Weeks

If you really want to know where The Weeks are at, you need to hear about the insane bar where they cut their swamp-punk teeth in their hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. Legendary über-dive WC Dons not only let these county-rock rabble-rousers in from the age of 12, it also used to be a brothel. Oh, and rumour has it the place was once run by a convicted murderer (“He was a nice dude!” the band say unconvincingly when Radar meets them in a dusty Austin alleyway). Soon enough, this mini-mob became the de facto house band. Once, during a characteristically wild gig – a tangle of long hair and pale limbs – a guy drove a motorcycle up to the front of the stage. “During the whole show you could hear this faint engine,” explains guitar player Sam Williams. “And then it got less and less faint…”

Now based in Tennessee, they’re still majorly enamoured with their eccentric home state. They have Mississippi outline tats and drummer Cain Barnes says the Southland is still the “number one” influence on their swampy pace, which reaches back to the classic 1970s grooves of Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers as well as vintage gospel. “We will rep Mississippi as hard as we can forever,” he states.

Aside from keys man and sometime church organ player Alex Collier, who lives in Charleston, the band are currently shacked up in two side-by-side apartments in Nashville. “It’s pretty shitty,” says Sam, as bassist Damien Bone nods in agreement. “There’s gunfire,” adds frontman Cyle Barnes (Cain’s identical twin brother) of their neighbourhood’s nocturnal soundtrack.

Nashville just so happens to be where Kings Of Leon, bosses of The Weeks’ label Serpents & Snakes, live too. “We met Caleb over an awesome southern meal,” remembers Cain. “Cornbread, greens, everything.” Coming over like a ‘Youth & Young Manhood’-era version of the band, it’s no surprise that The Weeks scored a royal reception with the Kings. After they release their debut UK album ‘Dear Bo Jackson’ this spring, The Weeks will be joining the Followills on their European arena tour, making an unmissable run of gigs even more essential. “I am so excited,” beams Cyle. You’re not the only one, fella – we’re already revving our engines in anticipation.

BASED: Nashville
FOR FANS OF: Kings Of Leon, My Morning Jacket
BUY IT: The five-piece’s first UK LP ‘Dear Bo Jackson’ is out on May 27, but you can grab their US debut ‘Comeback Cadillac’ on import
ON NME.COM: Preview their debut album and an exclusive documentary
BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Bo Jackson was the first ever All-Star player in two different US sports: American football and baseball. “He’s without a doubt the best athlete of all time,” says Sam