Hey guys, Thanks so much for taking the time out for doing this interview, I know it comes as a very busy time for you with your new album and everything!
No problem, thanks for talking to us!
So this new album was announced back in November last year, how has it been sitting on the record for that long? Did you give yourselves that time so you could build to it properly?
It’s actually been okay! We recorded in it March last year, and we had the complete finished product by May. So it’s been a long while! The main reason was because we were told it’s best to avoid a Christmas time release, and then to get all the prep done in time for October would have been a bit too much at once. So we just set February and took our time a bit more. It’s been good really! I feel like I’ve had a bit of time to live with it and I’m finally ready for people to hear it without worrying if it’s good or not.
With this being your second album, which can always be difficult. What are your feelings coming out of the record? Are you happy with the finalised piece?
Yeah! I think this is the happiest I’ve ever been with anything we’ve ever done. I feel like this the first time we had a plan, in hindsight we perhaps didn’t know ourselves well enough to make the first album at the time, whereas this time the whole thing was conceptualised way before we hit the studio. Hopefully you can hear that a bit more this time round.
What sort of influences did you take into this album, was there any specific album or artist you hand in mind when creating the album?
I don’t know if there was any specific artists, but at the time I was listening to a lot of Kraftwerk, Caribou, Frank Ocean – a lot of stuff that was a lot more about texture and the general atmosphere. I think that had a big effect on the record. At one point MJ, who was producing, asked ‘do you want it to sound like this or feel like this’ and it was definitely the latter. So blending that pretty vintage floaty vibe with the sort of thing we naturally do was a big part of making this record, hopefully that comes through!
Did you approach this record the same way as You Might be Right seen as it went so well? Or did you try some different things going into the studio?
I think we approached it completely differently. You Might Be Right was tracked mostly live, with fewer overdubs, and relatively quickly. For this album we still tracked the drums with us all in the room, but spent a lot of time layering and finding different sounds. The main difference this time was that MJ was involved – and that brought a whole different way of thinking into the mix. He’s made so many records we love and so we we definitely learnt a lot about the whole process. It was intense, but ultimately great!
I’m always interested to see what the recording process is like for any band, as some find it really difficult. How was it for you guys, do you find the process fairly simple or is it just a big stress box?
It definitely swings back and forth between simple and a stress box. I find that I get into flows where I’m in the zone and it’s all going really quickly and it’s great fun, but then as soon as I hit that wall, that sets the tone for a certain period of time. It’s really just a case of bouncing back and forth between those two vibes. Hearing things back is always something I struggle with, since it’s never how I imagined it would be in my head, and it’s too easy to let that cloud over how it’s great in its own right. Thankfully I think I learnt this about myself making the first album and tried super hard to combat it, to varying degrees of success. I read a Thom Yorke quote not long after finishing that said something about how The Bends was hard to make, but then he learnt that every record is hard to make. So that kind of put it in perspective that maybe all the negative aspects contribute to the end product to some degree.
You also released it with Alcopop Records, who I constantly hear great things about and they rarely put out a bad record. What are they like as record company and to be a part of such a great roster of bands?
It’s great! Jacks super easy to work with and it’s very cool to be able to do what we want. With Alcopop, it’s usually a case that Jack comes through with such off the wall ideas (releasing the first album on a scooter), that anything we can possibly imagine doing is on the cards. I feel like we’re about to push the boundaries of that pretty soon.
You have some great things coming up this year, firstly the tour with Milk Crimes and Kermes! You’ve got some nice venues on there, which ones are you looking forward to play most? (Also I’m gutted you’re not coming to Birmingham!)
I’m looking forward to The Lexington in London! Although that’s pretty daunting, but I think it should be fun. Sorry about Birmingham, hopefully next time, though Leicester and Nottingham are pretty close!
Milk Crimes and Kermes are great bands as well, have you played with those guys before? And are you looking forward to touring with them?
We’ve played with Milk Crimes before! Simon actually put on a show on our first ever weekender so we’ve known those guys for ever! Such a good band and their new upcoming EP is amazing. We’ve not played with Kermes yet but they’re awesome and we’re really looking forward to finally seeing them! It’s nice to know that we have good bands to do it with.
I need to bring up this Booze Cruise Festival in Hamburg coming up this year! This sounds unreal, how did this come about?
I think they just emailed us! We’re actually planning a complete Europe tour for not long before it, so for ages we didn’t think the timing would work. But then in the end we’re actually flying out specifically for that show, which is the most rock n roll thing we’ve ever done. Fights were so cheap that it was more cost effective to book extra seats for our guitars than it was to check them in the hold. Extravagant travel plans aside, the actual show looks great too!
Along with all of this going your playing Truck Festival, who have an amazing final! This is your second time I believe you’re playing it? What’s it like playing the festival, and who are you looking forward to seeing playing there?
Yeah we played in 2016, so it’ll be nice to come back. Last time we played my guitar kept cutting out and I just ended up dancing instead of playing the song. It was my proudest, silliest moment on stage and someone captured it for youtube. That aside, everyone was super receptive and it had a really good vibe! I’m looking forward to seeing The Spook School, their new album is incredible and I’m very glad their part of the Alcopop! team.
Finally, you have so much going on 2018 I don’t think you could do any more. BUT what would make this a successful year for you lot, and what do you want to achieve by the end of it?
I think I just want to play some shows at this point, we had a relatively chill year in 2017 so it’s gonna be nice to chuck ourselves in the deep end again. Me and Phoebe also want to record another record by the end of the year, Neil’s skeptical as to how realistic that is – I guess we’ll all find out soon enough. Most of all I want to see if I can maintain some sort of band/ life balance that works for me. Personal goals ya know?
I do know! Thanks so much for taking the time out, cannot wait for the new record which is out February 16th!
Thanks so much again for taking the time to talk to us!