Seven months after its U.K. release by Heavenly, the 22-20s self-titled debut will finally arrive in North America on April 19 via Astralwerks.

Seven months after its U.K. release by Heavenly, the 22-20s self-titled debut will finally arrive in North America on April 19 via Astralwerks. The question for North American audiences will be: is this a rock band that tease the blues or a blues band that enjoys a little rocking out?

"I think what we wanted to do was to make a record with our kind of influences, which is a live-based blues thing; we didn't want to make a record that was based in 1966," lead singer/guitarist Martin Trimble tells Billboard.com. "When [producer] Brendan Lynch got involved I think he used the MC5 and the Stooges as a reference point but was still able to make it into a contemporary record."

Initial tracks were laid down in three weeks and mixed by Rich Costey (Secret Machines, Doves) in New York. Trimble says half the songs were worked out in the studio, a fact demonstrated by the album's mix of upbeat hooks and unpretentious, country-tinged ballads.

Recently, the band has taken inspiration from Bob Dylan's 1966 tour footage, Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt and Willie Mason. "I've always been into simple songs; I've never been into 'massive' bands," muses Trimble.

Beginning at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, later this month, the band will hit the road with labelmate Graham Coxon. After a quick breather in April, 22-20s will be back in the States for a May-June tour. Trimble is quick to point out the challenge of making an impact in such a big country.

"Once you get some hype in London and Nottingham, that's it," he says. "They want you to be the biggest thing around. [But] it is such a small place that it's too much in a way. When you come to America, there are bands all over the place -- everything is spread out."

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