You guys have previously described ‘Mothers’ as an album you’re “going to war with”, how do you think that’s been reflected on stage?
AUSTIN: Quite well actually I reckon, it’s a lot more aggressive than the first album that’s for sure, and it’s a lot more dynamic and wider. Yeah I’d say that statement holds quite well.
Now you’re two albums in do you feel as though you’ve secured your sound?
AUSTIN: We definitely haven’t secured it. Well, we’ve secured our sound as a band I think and we’ve given ourselves a platform to do whatever we want now. I don’t think anyone knows what we’re going to do next, which is quite fun.
How was it writing ‘Mothers’ in comparison to your debut, ‘Where the Heaven Are We’?
AUSTIN: I guess we wrote most of the first album songs in Zach’s shed, with two guitars, a reverb pedal and a bag of weed. Whereas second album we had a bit more money given to us by the label to record so we had more instruments and we had lots more to play with- lots more scope on the horizon. It was a much different experience. We’re better musically as well on the second album so it was funner because we could do a lot more with what we had.
You’ve been supporting a few bands recently, have you got any plans for a UK tour this year?
AUSTIN: We just did a UK tour in October, but.
ZACHARY: We’d love to do another one.
CAVAN: Hopefully we can do one before the end of the year, it would be nice to do a small one of places that we’ve never played before.
Your new album’s a lot more dancy, does this win the crowd over or are they still lusting for tracks like ‘She Changes The Weather’?
AUSTIN: I think they like it to be honest, I think it’s given us a bigger audience.
How’s it different when you’re supporting other bands to headlining your own tour? What are your thoughts on supporting?
ZACHARY: It’s nice.
AUSTIN: It’s less responsibility and you can kind of have a bit more fun with it, like we can just go out all the time and have a bit more fun, be a bit more naughty. But also you’re playing to people that might have never heard you before.
ZACHARY: It’s just as important isn’t it.
AUSTIN: Yeah, whereas a headline tour you know that people have bought a ticket because they’ve heard you. So it’s nice knowing that [whilst supporting] you could be giving someone some new music to listen to.
When you came onto the scene you came with a lot of the B-town bands, do you still feel that you’re a big part of that scene?
CAVAN: Not at all I don’t think, we were saying this earlier that we don’t feel connected to it at all anymore.
AUSTIN: That scene was us lot trying to get jobs and just chatting about trying to be in a band, make music and get out of Birmingham and visit all these incredible places around the world. So as soon as we started touring, us and Peace or whatever, that scene was not there anymore because we weren’t in Birmingham anymore. But there’s still a buzz in Birmingham, just like any other city really.
CAVAN: I love it, I love Birmingham so much.
Still one of your favourite places to play?
CAVAN: Yeah definitely, I still live there I love it.
How do you feel that you were such a pivotal part of the B-town scene?
ZACHARY: People really seemed to catch onto that.
AUSTIN: Yeah there was a little part of me that was like “this is quite sick”, we’re kind of one of the pillars in this Birmingham scene- but the scene wasn’t big it was the press that made it big, because it’s just like a press thing innit? Like a device for them to write stuff.
ZACHARY: There was only like 3 bands?
AUSTIN: It’s not like anything massive came out.
CAVAN: I think it was just Birmingham hadn’t had any good music out in a while.
AUSTIN: There also hadn’t been a scene in a while had there. So I think everyone just loved that there was like a scene or whatever, yeah nothing to get excited about.
It’s weird even bands like Wolf Alice from London were getting dragged into the scene.
ZACHARY: I swear it was like even Splashh. It was just bands that we were mates with.
CAVAN: Just because we all played shows together.
AUSTIN: Yeah because like we’d all go down together when Wolf Alice played Birmingham and everyone kind of knew we were mates and that, it’s funny. It was a good time but it’s not really a scene, we’re not a guitar band as well so when we were linked together with Peace and stuff it was a bit weird because they were a guitar band and we weren’t so.
How has touring changed from when you first started out? Knowing that now you can go to a sold out venue as opposed to pub shows?
AUSTIN: The first tour that was the Joiners in Southampton and all those little venues that was just one of my favourite tours because
CAVAN: Absolute chaos.
AUSTIN: it was just like wow, we’re doing something and people are coming to see us, in different cities and not just our mates and stuff. It’s a whole different kettle of fish really, it’s weird.
What’s your best highlight of the Wolf Alice tour been?
ALL: Last Night.
It was James’ birthday last night wasn’t it? Are you still feeling it today?
JAMES: Na I’m fine,
ZACHARY: The Leeds show was one of the best, everyone just performed really well like all three bands.
CAVAN: I think that could have been one of the best shows we’ve ever played.
AUSTIN: It’s coming to a bit of a climax and an end now and everyone’s losing it a bit. Like Higgy was in hospital today, James just got here from Brighton because we left him there.
JAMES: Manchester was really good as well, I got thrown out of the Deaf Institute because I kept crowd surfing during Wolf Alice’s DJ set.
AUSTIN: Cav kept his record up by being kicked out of Nice & Sleazys, what was that club the other night you got kicked out of 5 times?
How did you keep getting back in?
AUSTIN: You can’t not let him back in really.
With Mothers how difficult was it to choose your first single?
AUSTIN: It wasn’t like the whole album was written so it was like ‘To My Brother’ was the first song that we recorded where we thought “alright this sounds like it could be off a record that we want to make” so we ran with that and we made a bunch of songs around that, so it was quite easy really.
ZACHARY: It’s the most like the first album as well, off of the second album so that stood out as the one.
AUSTIN: It could have gone either way, I was thinking about it the other day if I could go back and change it, it could have literally been anything, even Fueiho Boogie. It’s hard because some people are so not into change, especially when their favourite bands evolve just change. Not change their colours or anything like that, we’re still wearing the same colours, we’re the same band we’ve just evolved musically, naturally, but yeah it’s quite hard.
What’s the most well received track that you played on this tour?
CAVAN: I think Fueiho Boogie goes down quite well, but I think I just think that in my head cos I like playing it.
Do you reckon it’s still the old tracks?
AUSTIN: I don’t know, it’s a bit of a mix, I think ‘Grand Affection’ goes down the most, people dance the most to ‘Grand Affection’. With ‘Fueiho Boogie’ when you see people stood there you know that they’re listening to it in a different way because it’s not an obvious one, it’s more of like “it’s a thing”.
CAVAN: It’s quite fast as well it’s quite a hard one to dance to.
Do you think touring after you brought out the first album influenced the second album at all?
JAMES: Yeah we said when we went to Ibiza Rocks that when we came back we wanted to make an Ibiza album.
AUSTIN: That was at like 8am on the beach in the morning.
JAMES: It was a cliché night out in Ibiza like “lets make an Ibiza record!”
AUSTIN: We were like; we wanted to play here and live here and play here every week, get a residency slot, we want to be an Ibiza band- I still kind of do to be honest.
Have you learnt any lessons from second album that you’ll carry on into your new material?
AUSTIN: Yeah loads, just like developing as a band, and that fact that you should bond as a band as much as you can, because as much as it’s most of the time me writing it- there’s only so much that I can do. You need it to be a whole group effort for it to really feel like you’re “doing” it and making a good track. And everyone’s very involved and I think we’ve learned that from the second album, to just get stuck in.
If you could give any tips to anyone wanting to start a band or are already in a band at University what would they be?
AUSTIN: I reckon rehearse loads, like rehearse your best songs loads, because we never really did that and it could’ve gone so much different for us if we did rehearse, I think. I feel like we could’ve been much bigger at that time, but yeah I think just rehearse and make good songs. You’ve got to be doing it for the right reasons too, don’t just try and be like other bands, because their formula works, you might get successful by all wearing black leather jackets and skinny jeans but it probably won’t work.
I literally just slagged off every band that wears leather jackets and skinny jeans.