Aidin Vaziri | Lee Newell isn’t shy. Appearing on the cover of the British music magazine NME earlier this year, the 23-year-old singer and guitarist of Viva Brother declared, “We want to be the biggest band in the world.” To ensure its climb, he has picked feuds with just about every other act on the charts. The bravado has worked a treat. Famed Britpop producer Stephen Street signed on to helm the group’s album, “Famous First Words.” Morrissey took the band on tour. And Viva Brother put in a knockout U.S. television debut on “The Late Show With David Letterman.”
Lee Newell of Viva Brother
Q: You grew up in Slough, the setting of the British version of “The Office.” Is it really that grim?
A: It is grim. It’s just a factory town with little going for it. There’s not much to do other than get smashed every night, which is what I do now, but I also play music to break it up a little bit.
Q: Do you have any good memories of being there?
A: I have one good memory: the day I left.
Q: At one of the band’s first shows you announced, “Anyone who doesn’t want to see the future of rock ‘n’ roll should leave now.” Do you feel like you’re fulfilling on that promise?
A: I would never smugly sit down and say I’ve done so well. It’s just not attractive. But I’m pleased with what we’ve done. We are the most exciting new band around at the moment.