Interview with Craig (lead vocals and guitar)
How did the band get together?
Well it sort of started off as a joke – me and a friend were kind of taking the piss out of what we call noise bands like Wolf Eyes, and we recorded some really terrible demos, and someone actually took them seriously. But there was something about them, like some nice riffs mixed in with all the noise. So from then I ended up playing with Eddoux, [a fourth member of the band who is currently in America for a year] and eventually got someone in on drums, and it sounded really good.
Are you still unsigned at the moment?
At first it seemed like we were gonna work with a label called Smalltown America, but in the end we decided we’re probably gonna release our album ourselves with another label. Because two of us [Craig and Jamie] are at university it doesn’t seem fair for us to use up the money and resources of another record label. I think with any album we release whilst we’re at uni for the next year and a half, the impact is gonna be buffered by the fact that we can’t really tour all the time, and apparently the holidays between terms are the worst time to tour – probably because everybody has less money. When we toured in Easter I was praying for my student loan, but obviously we were like two weeks away from that. I literally had £50 to last two weeks on that tour, but it worked out alright!
What can we expect from your album?
Well we’re planning on releasing the album in September. One thing I’ve always been aware of while writing is wanting to make songs in the same kinda style, but fairly unique from whatever we’ve written before. The style always seems to be quite energetic and a bit shouty, and lyrically pretty obscure. Some of the songs we’re writing now seem to be the extremes of things; like if there was anything kind of melodic before, it’s a lot more melodic now, and if there was anything noisy before then it’s a lot more noisy now. But I don’t know exactly how this album’s gonna pan out yet.
Are there any particular bands that have influenced you?
Yeah there are a few – we put our influences up on our MySpace page and in a lot of reviews people compare us to them, and whilst I don’t think we really sound like Fugazi, or Liars, or Future of the Left, there’s certain things we’ve picked up from all those bands. We’ve kind also been inspired by other things apart from musicians, like artists and even comedians.
Aren’t you supporting Future of the Left soon?
Yeah we’re supporting them in a few weeks, I think that’s gonna be a pretty good one. I’m really looking forward to it, they’re the type of band that we do have more in common with than most of the bands we’ve played with, so hopefully we can steal a few of their fans.
What are you guys like live?
Well I’ve been thinking a lot, especially with the tour, about how genuine bands should be when they’re playing. We’ve played with a lot of bands that kind of have gimmicks, you’ll expect them to do a certain thing like smash their guitar and jump into the crowd. We used to do that, but then it just seemed too pre-thought out. When we play live I try to get it as accurate as possible, but I also want it to seem like a proper performance, you know, we’re there to entertain people. So there’s a lot of movement and energy, but on tour that movement can become a problem because you end up breaking stuff, like guitar leads splitting in half, and strings breaking, and you knock drinks onto things – or like Jamie you get carried away and throw stuff at people and then bad things happen from there!
Do you have any particularly memorable live performances?
We did support the Futureheads on one of the days of the tour, which was a really strange experience. It was like a normal gig except that the venue we were playing was ridiculous. It’s called the Hippodrome and it looks like some sort of secret bad guy’s underground lair. There’s loads of crazy lighting, and it looks like something from a nineties Batman film, really weird. I quite like it when we’re playing with other bands, especially ones that are really different to us – I kind of like us being like the sore thumb, and exploiting the fact that they may think that everything we do is kind of random, or that we haven’t really written the song yet, though we clearly have as we’re all doing the same thing at the same time. When we’ve played with really serious post rock bands they seem to either really like our music, or are really confused by it.
We’re running a festivals feature this edition – are you playing any festivals this summer?
Well we’re going to tour in September, and Artrocker have been trying to get us on a few festival bills. They asked us to play the Great Escape but that was really short notice, and it was during the week, so cos we’re at uni we couldn’t go. We’re going to try and do Offset Festival, which is in Hainault Park, in Essex. That’s got a really good line up. That’s all I really know actually… our booking agent already sent out the message that we’re looking to play festivals, so if anyone had really wanted us, they would have told us! I think we’re just going to do as many gigs as we can over the next few months to support the album, and we might do something in Cambridge with the record label we’re releasing the album with.
Are there any festivals that you’d recommend?
I’m going to Primavera in a couple of weeks, I’ve never been before but the line up last year was amazing, and this year’s is really good. I’d recommend Truck Festival in Oxford; it’s a really good experience. I’ve actually never been to a festival where I’ve camped apart from Truck Festival, and I used to go every year until recently when, well I just got lazy. But they usually have a pretty good line up, and it’s nice to see bands performing in what’s basically a farm, with articulated lorries used as stages. I don’t know what kind of animals go in this place but it’s just like a big farming shed basically, its huge, and it just kind of stinks of, well, shit. But you get some really good bands in there, and the atmosphere’s actually quite good. And all the All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals – for the last few years I’ve gone to them.