The Rills


The Rills have certainly shed a skin or two to reach this point, on the eve of their effervescent debut album ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’. Produced by Dave McCracken (the indie mastermind behind many Ian Brown solo records and key works by dEUS and The Rifles as well as lending a hand to albums by the likes of Depeche Mode, Sports Team, The Snuts and Beyoncé), ‘Don’t Be A Stranger’ sees these three young friends take that untapped energy that made them viral sensations and darlings of the grassroots scene and direct it something more considered, complete and heartfelt.

Warner-Webb and frontman Mitch Spencer met in their native Lincoln as young teens, losing their spare time in a skate park. A few years later, that same urge to kill smalltown boredom saw them pick up guitars and start jamming together. A brief stint living in Sheffield chasing some of that Arctic Monkeys magic saw them soon return home to university where Essex lad Mason Cassar joined as drummer and their line-up was complete. Often referenced in their music, there’s a Lincoln Imp spirit baked into The Rills’ DNA – notably in their ability to always see over the horizon and carve something out for themselves when no one else will.

They didn’t have a lot of choice when they came out of uni, hungry to make a break when COVID
shut the world down. “We were just a little idiot band,” admits Spencer. “Obviously we had these
dreams, but then lockdown happened and we were forced into doing TikTok and all that stuff
because we didn’t have a way to play or release music.”

It worked, and The Rills quickly found themselves with millions of likes on TikTok, thousands of
streams, and a healthy following on social media. “All of a sudden, it blew up, we had fans and we
we’re talking to the NME. Everything in that time, we scrambled together.”

The fans followed them to the shows, where their live performance and the songs came with that
same young punk charm, “trying to match our online personas”, as Spender puts it. “The indie
funniness was working for us, so we thought, ‘That’s who we are’.”

Signed to Nice Swan Records (the tastemaker label home to early releases by scene leaders like English Teacher, Sprints, Sports Team and FEET), the band felt in good company and learned a lot – but their ambitions outstrip the tag of ‘indie’. “Our trajectory will be nothing like those bands, because we’re something totally different,” says Mason. “We’re not ashamed to admit it: we want to sell loads of records and break America.”

The album’s due in November, springboarding them into a “huge year of festivals” in 2025 – and even bigger things beyond. For now, as the bassist says, their own ambition and future will likely play out in the upcoming artwork and ambitious music videos: “Expect some of those sexy ‘90s Formula One vibes – like Senna or Schumacher! They’re the real rockstars. We pale in comparison to them.”

Zac represents the band Worldwide excl USA.