How’s the tour been so far? Any experiences you’d like to share with us?
Thom: Yeah, we’ve had a great tour!
Charlie: Yesterday was like, the show we’ve been waiting for, for 2 years of being in a band. It was insane! We sold out The Exchange in Bristol, and so 250 kids. It was like, constant stage dives. We’d say “Do this” and everyone would just do it. Kids were jumping off the monitors whilst having their arse’s out and shit.
Thom: It was really funny! Everyone was connecting with what we were doing, which was amazing! We’ve had that each day of tour. We’ve pretty much only done support tours and the odd headline show, so to do it and for people to come out and watch us and really be into what we’re doing is pretty special.
So, would I be right to say you have high expectations for tonight?
Charlie: Well, it’s sold out and everyone’s coming to see us, I presume, so yeah…
Thom: It’ll be great! We always have a cracking night at Old Blue Last anyway.
Charlie: Cracking… something like that.
Out of all of the tours you have been on, what is the funniest story you can recall?
Charlie: Most of the time its pretty funny to be honest, there’s always something that goes on. Like, when we were in Birmingham with The Story So Far, we played real-life fruit ninja in the dressing room. We got the blame for it and The Story So Far – Nothing!
Thom: The email said ‘We know that TSSF are nice guys so they wouldn’t do anything’ and we were like, they fully did though (both laugh). Thing is, when you’re on tour. The minute you wake up until the minute you go to bed is a little bit weird anyway. It’s not normal life by any means, so everything is a weird funny story.
Maybe you guys should write a book some day?
Thom: Yeah, you never know. If I could ever separate the mash in my head
Charlie: Maybe if I quit drinking for a couple of years.
Thom: It might all start coming back.
What are the highlights of 2013 for you guys?
(Both start talking at the same time and laugh)
Charlie: Going to Europe twice. For a month straight and then another month straight.
Thom: Playing Reading was amazing
Charlie: …Playing Reading
Thom: Slam Dunk
Charlie: …Slam Dunk
Thom: Put out a record
Charlie: …Put out a record
Thom: Going on tour with The Story So Far was pretty amazing.
Charlie: Yeah, that was really cool. This, the headline tour we’re doing now, we’ve worked so hard for it and really happy with the way it’s going. We’re getting more and more into the whole thing of doing merch too now.
Do either of you still have part time jobs then?
Thom: Just me, I’m the only one with a job
(Charlie gives a disapproving thumbs down and both laugh)
Thom: I work full time when I’m at home. The others don’t!
Charlie: Funemployed! Wooooo! (does a celebratory dance). Yeah, people ask me what I do for a living and I kinda have to say I’m a musician ‘cause if I don’t they’re just gonna think I’m a doss.
I am guessing the dream is for all of you to become full-time musicians then?
Charlie: Thom really likes his job though, that’s the thing.
What is your job, Thom?
Thom: I’m a mental health support worker. I’ve been doing it for about 5 years now. Technically, I could do the same as Max and Charlie, but I wanna be at work. It gives me inspiration for life.
Charlie: I’ve not had a job for a year now and it’s really weird. I’m so used to work, I’ve been working since I was about 13.
So, it’s nearly Christmas! How do you usually spend the festive period?
Thom: Work. I go to work on Christmas Day, and then we get drunk at one of our houses.
Charlie: I do the whole family thing. Go to my girlfriend’s Christmas Eve, then go to Essex
Thom: Me, Max and his girlfriend will be at my house on Christmas Day. Cooking up some..
Thom: I dunno, I might just do steak for Christmas.
Charlie: He’s just has this sudden rush of steak. He does like steak, don’t get me wrong, but he had steak for breakfast the other day and now he has to have steak all the time.
When you guys were younger what did you aspire to be?
Charlie: I wanted to be a comic book writer when I was a kid.
Thom: I started playing guitar when I was six. From then, I wanted to do that, but before that – before I was six (laughs) I wanted to be a scientist. No specifics, just a scientist. I was obsessed with volcanoes and I remember one time watching a programme about the big bang and the making of the universe and making my own theories about the way the universe was made. I decided that the universe was made of bubbles for some reason. That was my theory, when I was five. Absolute dork!
Describe your music in three words.
Thom: Fast, Catchy, Punk
Charlie: I’d say Skate, Punk, Piff
As a band, how do you usually go about the song writing and recording process?
Thom: It changes from record to record and song to song really.
Charlie: Thom sits at home, does a little twiddle and writes a couple of demos . We see if we like them and all put our heads together at a practice. There’ll be connection and we’ll be like, that’s it. Done.
Thom: A lot of bands go in and write like 50 songs and choose afterwards, but we do the quality control at the beginning. If it doesn’t feel right when we first start writing then it’s probably not gonna feel right later on.
Charlie: Yeah, if we’ve written pretty much half a song and we’re all looking at each other like something’s not right, but no-ones saying it, then we’ll just start a fresh.
Is that why you only have a few tracks on your releases? is it quality, over quantity?
Thom: The reason we haven’t put an album out is because we’re only two years old as a band. The way we think is that putting out an album when you first start as a band is ridiculous because you don’t know who you are as a unit. Putting out an album straight away is like saying “Here’s some material that we haven’t really thought that much about – here you go!”
Charlie: It’s a big achievement to have three EP’s and now we’re writing a fucking album. We’ve got four songs, but it took a long time to get those four songs.
Thom: It’s happening quite naturally.
Charlie: Yeah, we’re into the swing of it now
Thom: I’d rather put out four songs in a year and they all be songs we really, really like than put out an eleven song record with two songs we like and fill it out with a load of shit.
If you were stranded on an island and could only take one person with you, dead or alive, who would it be?
Thom: Take Mum, she’ll sort it out
Charlie: I have to say just one? I’ve got loads. I can take anyone?
Thom: Anyone in the world? Oh, sick! Just bring Scarlett Johansson.
Thom: Sorry about that Scarlett. We’ve only got a couple of days to live.
Charlie: Eddie Vedder, probably?
Thom: You could bro out.
Charlie: We could suck each other off as well. That’d be nice.
In your opinion what’s been the best album release of the year?
Charlie: For me, ‘Nails – Abandon All Life.’ The new ‘Pity Sex’ is really good
Thom: There’s been loads of good records this year. It’s been a well good year for music.
Would you like to get signed and move onto bigger venues or would that affect the atmosphere of your shows?
Charlie: I think we’re gonna be no barrier shows, for most of our lives.
Thom: That’s a really big question. It depends on what label it was and the terms. If we naturally got to a point of playing bigger venues then, yeah. Label-wise in the UK there’s not really anything past what we’re on now that we really aspire to go to. Big Scary Monsters and Tangled Talk are the best labels in the UK.
Charlie: The labels that approach us are the labels that we’ve listened to for a long time. It’s a dream come true. I wouldn’t sign to a major label, we don’t need to.
Thom: They suck, they eat bands alive and spit them out the end.
Funemployed has been out for a while now, do you feel it has developed from the style of your previous work and how so?
Thom: Yeah. As we said earlier, as you grow as a band your musical style changes. You pick up what other people enjoy about it, and what you like about it. Obviously, your personal circumstances change so you start writing about different things, you listen to different things and you’re influenced by what you listen to.
Charlie: We tend to write off what records we’re listening to at the time. When we first wrote Fun Club we listened to the RVIVR record, back to front every day. I suppose it’s just what we’re listening to at the time really. We’re listening to a lot of Iron Chic at the moment actually.
How do you see the band’s style developing in the future?
Charlie: Its gonna be punk
Thom: We just wanna write big fucking anthemic punk songs.
Charlie: I’d say we’re getting a bit more like The Get Up Kids and Brand New and kind of where they’re headed.
Thom: Just hard. Still going hard. More melody, more heavy, more fast, more slow – everything bigger than it was before is the plan.
Which is your preferred song to play live?
Charlie: Mine is ‘Tongue Surfer’
Thom: I like playing new songs live. I do particularly like ‘Community, Stability, Identity’ at the beginning because of the way the crowd react more than anything else. I’ve had some welling up moments from some reactions.
What would be your ideal festival line-up?
Thom: Groezrock 2014
Charlie: Hellfest is looking pretty good this year.
Thom: If we were to make our own stage and have anybody on it I’d probably stick brand new on there.
Charlie: I’d probably stick Pearl Jam on there. Then obviously heavier bands like Converge but they would have to play Jane Doe in its entirety. All the bands we choose, they have to do an album in its entirety.
Thom: NOFX and The Get Up Kids would play.
Charlie: NOFX would do their greatest hits record because that’s the one we listen to the most.
Thom: And, opening up, we could just have The Used, but before they put their first album out, so we can see what they were like before it all went horribly wrong for them. (both laugh)
Charlie: Then we’d get one of our mates bands to play.
Thom: And all the good UK punk bands.
Any final words?
Charlie: Thank you!
Charlie: You’re all rad!
Thom: if you’re having a bad day, have a cup of tea, you’ll be alright.
Charlie: Oh yeah, one ground rule… Don’t grab my mic stand when you’re stage diving!
Charlie: Thank you!
Interview by Emma Bott