There are a lot of big bands playing today, especially on the main stage. Are you excited to be here at Takedown Festival?
Yeah it’s great. Quite a few bands we know are our friends, so it’ll be nice to hangout with them.
In January, ‘Dark Days’ was released and it went to number one in the rock charts. How did you feel about that? That must have been really exciting.
It was a surreal couple of days! It was great, but really weird, us being in the top 40’s and the midweek charts. We’ve never had official chart stuff going on so it was really nice to get nationwide recognition.
Did that create a lot of new fans?
I hope so. I’m not really sure to be honest.
Well, I’ve heard a lot of hype surrounding you guys, especially since January!
Yeah, hopefully I think it all just helps the whole thing, sells it a lot more. But yeah it was a very good week. We played a really good show the day the album came out in a tiny little venue on the 4th floor of a members club in London. We oversold it by 150 people which was quite scary. All of our friends were there too!
What made you want to be in a band in the first place?
I dunno, like other bands? (laughs) Playing an instrument? I think its all just fallen together. I started playing music when I was really young and when you get older and kind of realise its definitely something you could do and you go to shows and you think this is really cool to be down here but I want to be that guy up there, on stage.
Do you think from when you started out, to now that you’ve changed a lot?
I think we’ve all grown up as people and I think that reflects in what you make. When you’re 18 and first forming a band you wish you could do it for a living, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking all I’m doing right now is having fun and playing music. When it does turn into a couple years down the line and you’re actually doing the thing you set out to do, its awesome.
Yeah, you grow up in your musical tastes too don’t you? I used to play heavy music and I’ve kind of grown out of it. You start listening to other types of music, like old stuff, the older the better.
I think there’s a lot to say about growing up as people like in your head and stuff like that it definitely affects the music you make and how you go about making it.
You’ve mentioned you changed the kind of music you listen to, what inspires you now?
Everyone & everything that there is in music inspires. There’s a lot to say for music that inspires you to do something and also music that inspires you not to do something. Like, I’m never ever going to stray away from any type of music.
I think that’s something especially in our band that we’ve never ever set out to sound like another band, but you can take something really cool and make it amazing.
We’ll listen to anything that’s out there, music is just music. A lot of people define the music they make or their style by one type of genre of music, whereas I don’t really see the point in that because its all just music at the end of the day. They’re not two different things its all just music. They’re still all the same, whether its rock, or rap or pop.
There can be awful examples of every type of music. You can listen to an awesome pop song and say “That hook is amazing, how can I write a melody as good as that?”. So, I think you take inspiration from everything. I mean, we do and when you hear bad songs you’re just like I’m gonna make sure I don’t write a song like that.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?
Christ. Well hopefully still doing it. I think all we ever really set out to do is to make music comfortably. It’d be amazing if we could be playing huge arenas, but all we ever wanted to do was get to a point where we’re self sufficient and can do the thing that we love. You know, we don’t wanna be hugely rich people.
Are there any specific venues or festivals you have your heart set on playing?
We’d like to do Reading and Leeds. I’d love to do Glastonbury at some point. There are those milestone festivals out there. We’ve played at a few big ones but definitely those and just a couple overseas like Warped Tour, stuff like that.
Those right of passage festivals that you just have to do. Warped tour is almost as scary as it is exciting, because its like a whole month on the road in every weather condition possible, but its just something that you have to do. So yeah we’d love to do those.
You guys are on tour in April, are you looking forward to being on the road?
Very much so, its been a while. We did a tour towards the end of last year before the album came out. So this will be the first tour we’ve done for the new album. So its really cool, we can now play three albums worth of songs in our set. A lot of songs to choose from, almost too many!
Would you prefer to be playing your biggest hits or new material?
Any band wants to play the new songs they’ve been working on, but then of course you play the old songs to please the crowd. We’ve been playing similar sets for quite a while cause we haven’t released anything new for a couple of years. So it’ll be really good to be able to go out and play all the new songs and play the old ones, but it just makes everything feel a lot more fresh.
On this tour that’s coming up, there are some pretty cool support bands. How do you chose the supports?
I don’t really know, I guess we just kind of chose if there are any bands that we like out there. But then also in this kind of musical and financial climate you wanna put on the best value for money show that people can buy, cause you cant really expect people to buy a ticket for the best part of £15-£20 and then not feel like they’ve come away from it with a really good night.
So, we also just wanted to put on two other bands that other people are really liking at the moment. We ask ourselves, how can we make that night, a night to remember? So that they walk out saying “All the bands were wicked! I’ve had such a good time” rather than “I just sat through the first couple of bands cause I didn’t know who they were”.
Its always good to bring out bands we want to show off, but sometimes you can’t bring out bands that no one knows, cause people won’t necessarily, actively wanna go out and listen to them.
Do you think British bands are giving American bands a run for their money at the moment?
Definitely! For sure. Especially with rock music, I think we’re flying the flag for the moment. Obviously for ages especially with the punk and rock metal scene, America was the place to look for new music. But in the last few years we’ve definitely been giving them a run for their money.
What kind of experience can people expect when they come to see one of your shows?
Great drumming! A sweet rock show. We’re not really one of those bands who like to make it a big spectacle, a big song and dance and run around and say awesome stuff and dress up cool. We just try to play our songs as best as possible and try to give people a good honest rock show, which is what we enjoy the most.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Urm… Hello, How are you? (laughs) No, I don’t know… just the new album has been such an amazing journey and its just been awesome that we’ve been able to carry on with it. It was a fan fueled record from start to finish and its kind of living out through them and its just amazing that we’re still here playing music, so just a massive thank you really!
Interview by Natasha Bird
29th – o2 Academy 2, Newcastle
30th – o2 Academy 2, Liverpool
1st – Studio 24, Edinburgh
2nd – The Duchess, York
3rd – The Deaf Institute, Manchester
4th – Leadmill, Sheffield
5th – The Instituite, Birmingham
6th – Bodega Social, Nottingham
7th – Louisiana, Bristol
9th – Dingwalls, London