Public Access TV: “Everyone’s down to do whatever it takes”
After their New York flat burnt down, Public Access TV found a way to make the best of it: they set out on the road.
Published: 10:09 am, October 03, 2016
John Eatherly is a man born and raised in late-night jams, a revolving door of projects and ideas, and above all else, a pure love for the classic rock’n’roll sounds that filled his youth. Moving to New York on a whim and longing for the fantasy lifestyle of living in shit and getting by on cheap food all to play raucous late-night shows - he has become a true indie veteran already, jumping between bands including The Virgins, Turbo Fruits and those late-naughties favourites Be Your Own PET.
But in Public Access TV, he’s now taken the reigns and is putting across his very own manifesto for guitar music. “The initial idea of starting the band was being antsy to play my own songs,” he explains, back in New York after a year that has seen Public Access TV play manic sold out shows and release track after track of buzzed indie goodness. “It was cool to play in those bands, but I really wanted to do my own thing.”
Alongside childhood friend Max Peebles, guitarist Xan Aird and drummer Pete Star (no relation to Ringo…), Public Access TV have managed to capture the sort of youthful longing and New York style that blends The Strokes with the US new wave hooks of Tom Petty, The Cars and on a more British front, The Clash. “We’re all on the same page,” says John. “Everyone’s down to do whatever it takes for the band, nobody wants to go and work in a coffee shop or anything.”
So Costa’s loss is definitely our gain. With early shows stocked full of A-listers and industry insiders, the band appeared set to solidify their status as the next great US indie gang. Then on 27th March 2015, the band awoke to missed calls, worried texts and the news that their apartment in Brooklyn was in flames. They watched that apartment block crumble down live in front of them just moments later. It forced John and his bandmates to make a drastic decision to keep out on the road.
Looking back, John sees it as a dark time, but one that brought the band closer together. “We just thought, well if we’re heading out on some dates already, then let’s just get away and take advantage of that. We didn’t have our shit together as to how we were going to live in New York so it was everyone fucked together.
“It was scattered and insane. We just had to make use of being somewhere else. Being fucked.”
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With the road as their only home and a long stint in London where they set up shop and offered themselves out to play any and every show possible, Public Access TV’s experiences come together to form their debut full-length, ‘Never Enough’; a thrilling and punchy collection of 70s inspired grooves that finds John fully flexing the songwriting muscles he’s been teasing for years.
Now back in New York, it seems the momentous events of that evening over a year and a half ago has laid the groundwork for the band they are today. A tighter bond than ever, who’ve been fucked and got back up again, and are now writing their very own chapter in New York music folklore - with a distinctly British flavour.
As John Eatherly looks out on a late-summer morning in the city where it all began, he can’t help but realise the role New York has played in shaping Public Access TV, the band he’s been waiting to for his entire life. “We still have that same idea - of living in a shitty apartment, being there and doing it, and regardless of how we want to be perceived, this is the city where it all started and it seeps into you no matter what.
“It does something to you, living here.”
Public Access TV’s debut album ‘Never Enough’ is out 30th September.