About a decade ago, The Weeks began plying their trade in the bars of their hometown, Jackson, Mississippi.
Nothing unusual there, except for the fact they were barely in their teens.
Now in their mid-20s, the five-piece grunge-flecked southern rockers already have numerous EPs and a brace of albums under their belts.
Frontman Cyle Barns spoke with The Guide from his home in Nashville, Tennessee, where they are currently based. ‘It’s funny, people talk about their first jobs,’ he says. ‘I had a summer job, and then we pretty much started doing the band seriously.
‘I was playing in bars since we were 14, so it seems to be a very normal and logical thing to do, but I can see how that might not be the case to everyone else. It made for some interesting teenage years, that’s for sure.’
But in America, where the legal drinking age is 21, it meant the band had to sneak into the bars to play.
‘You definitely couldn’t drink. We grew up playing in a dive bar WC Dons – it’s not open any more. It was the most disgusting little dive bar – it was a brothel before it was a bar. We would tip the door guy a bit more and he would turn the other way to let a couple of 14-year-olds in to play. We played there almost every other weekend, we didn’t know anything different, it was fun times.’
The band are about to release a new EP, Buttons. The title track is a rerecorded version of fan-favourite and first song the band ever wrote together.
As Cyle explains: ‘The original version we recorded when we were 15 or 16, but we play it every night, so it’s got a different feel to it now – songs change.’
It’s being released through Kings of Leon’s record label, Serpents and Snakes. Their label bosses brought them to Europe for their 2013 arena tour, an experience which inspired the band, completed by Sam Williams on guitar, Damien Bone on bass, Cain Barnes on drums and Alex Admiral Collier on keyboards.
‘I was amazed that people who are a lot like us, southern boys – to see thousands and thousands of people willing to pile into a room and sing every lyric with heart – it’s an intense thing.
‘We’d never played to 20,000 people before, it was a bizarre experience.
‘You can’t play in front of that many people and not want to play that again.’
See them at The Joiners in Southampton tomorrow.
Doors 7.30pm, tickets £5. Go to joiners.vticket.co.uk