How is the tour going so far? Brilliant, yeah we have had a great reception everywhere we’ve been so far- its been sold out! It’s the first tour since the album has been out, so I think that makes a difference. Usually when I’ve seen bands when the album has come out everyone knows the words and that’s what it’s been like!
Your self titled album was released on August the 5th and it stormed to number one within a week, you have also had appearances on Jools Holland and have sold out headline tours as you have just said, but what do you think has been your greatest achievement since 2013?
Just making an album together I reckon, not what it’s done but just the thing of having an album, its quite a big thing in your bands career. Yeah it’s the first milestone of the bands career and we’re really proud of it. Just finishing it and the whole recording process with Skelly (The Coral’s James Skelly) and Rich Turvey in Liverpool, it was really fun, I can’t wait to do another one.
We didn’t do it in a block of time we just kept going away and coming back which was nice, we came back refreshed each time.
We just worked with what we had because we were on tour all the time from the back end of 2015, so we’d do like 4 days in October, 4 days in September until January and bring new songs in between and record and build on them in the studio.
So how do you plan to build on this in the future? Just continue writing new songs and evolve as a band, strive to be better than the last one and to continue having great body of work, for longevity of the band. We live in a world where people’s attention span isn’t very long so you have to keep people interested and keep working hard.
Being Manchester born and bred how did it feel to get Ian Brown’s approval and get up on stage with the Stone Roses?
It was absolute class, it was surreal, meeting him was a big thing for us because we’ve grown up with them but he was dead normal after a minute of speaking to them. Supporting them was surreal as well, in a football stadium supporting one of your favorite bands, it doesn’t get much better.
With summer just behind us and some incredible festivals under your belt which do you think for you comes out on top? There’s loads for different reasons, Y not festival and Kendal calling we did back to back in the tents and they’re always really good, but then something like Romania was really good too.
We went with the expectation it was going to be really S*it but people were asking for photos, people we’d never met before. There’s been some in Europe where we’ve been a bit like why are we here but something like Romania was good.
There was one in Belgium Rock Verta which was class in a big tent, but they’ve all been pretty good. Leeds was good because the album was out and people were having it but for me my favorite would be Y not.
If you were putting on your own festival who would be on your headline bill? I’d just be biased and have all my favorite bands on, I’d have Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, The Smiths. I’d have either Jerry Saint Clair Comparing it all or Declan Mckenna and cabbage who we’ve got supporting us tonight, give them a listen if you haven’t before.
Who has been the biggest influences and inspirations to your music?
Musically just growing up like what my mum and dads record collection was like live groups, Oasis as I’ve just said then were the first band I got into and then you find like the arctic monkeys now then The Smiths, Abba, The Beatles obviously. Great pop music actually throughout the years has been an influence, a lot of greatest hits compilations too.
That’s why it works so well in our band because we’re all into different stuff, but we’re all into the same stuff at the same time, so all our influences just come together naturally and that’s what comes out in the music.
Speaking of oasis did you see Liam Gallagher’s supersonic film, what did you think?
Yeah I loved it, being a big oasis fan you kind of get an insight into things you didn’t know and didn’t see.
What do you think are the chances of a reunion at some point? I think they probably will get back together at some point Yeah they’ll definitely get back together. It’s just we don’t know when, its whenever Liam and Noel decide to be friends. None of them necessarily need to do it so if they ever do it’d be for the fans. Me: we can always “keep the dream alive” Do you still get nervous on stage, and if so how do you deal with these nerves? Sometimes, some shows you get more nervous than others. A big homecoming in Manchester is probably the most nervous I’ve been on this tour, because its like 2600 people and you know like your family are going to be there, its probably more excitement than anything though. But just have a few drinks before you go on, it combats it combats the nerves. I was nervous at Glastonbury, because we were on pretty early so you don’t have time to really settle your nerves, you’re just kind of thrown on in the deep end, so that was probably the most nerve wracking for me. We don’t really get that nervous we just enjoy it, have a laugh.
What advice would you give to a band starting out today?
Don’t sell tickets for a promoter who’s saying here’s 50 tickets for you to sell, don’t do that because it will just end up with your mum and dad and a few people who don’t want to see you. So just do your own thing and don’t care what anyone else is doing. Just focus on writing good songs, believe in your songs. Make sure that before you put anything online you’ve got everything that you want do you know what I mean, because first impressions count don’t they- so if you’ve only got one song don’t just throw it up, wait until you’ve got a few more and then time your releases, put a bit of strategy to it I suppose.
Have you had any really embarrassing moments on tour?
There have been a few disgusting moments, crude moments but none what we can share. You know sound city festival in Liverpool, my strap broke and had to play the whole gig with my bass down here but as far as embarrassing moments they’re a bit too crude
You feature on the indie playlist on Spotify and have also been described as a “psych pop band” which I know you don’t like, so how would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before. No one really says psych pop anymore, since the album has come out and probably for the last year, we don’t really get that anymore. I say we sound like guitar synth pop, but ultimately it sounds like blossoms. But in the early days people want something familiar to put it to , so I think maybe yeah guitar synth pop. If its contrived to fit into a particular genre then its not he same. Everything that comes out is natural, but there’s little things like we like r and b so specific songs we’ll say let’s give it a proper r and b feel, but just because we really like that and we think its something different. Fundamentally Tom’s song writing is very pop driven but everything on top of the lyrics is adapted, there might be a particular band or song your into and you’ll put it into that song. When a songs in its earliest form you can kind of go anywhere with it, like for example “my favorite room” we tried that loads of ways. We tried loads of organ on it, then we tried a bollard thing with string but sounded a bit like a wedding band and didn’t work, but then you strip it back and you just leave it as that which is why we left it acoustic. But some songs you need more than just the acoustic. That’s the fun thing about being in a band, there’s no rules to it. A good song will always stand up on its own and my favorite room is one of them, you don’t need that much. Someone came up to me in Leeds the other day and said “what I like about you is you’re not afraid to say you’re a pop band” and I like that.
Now you are getting more well known do you have any crazy fan stories?
When we went to Japan, people printed of pictures of Miles the keyboard player and wore masks of them on the front row. Japan is usually the maddest place for like fan memorabilia, they printed our faces Kit Kats, so that’s quite mad! When you meet people they’re shaking, it’s like why are you shaking! Have you heard of Russian fan fiction? it’s like these forums where people write fiction which is usually quite sexual, there’s quite a few about Tom and miles, but its not got too graphic yet. I think we’ve had a kiss in a toilet but you can see where its going.
You’ll scroll through these Russian websites and not be able to understand a thing, but you’ll see pictures of yourself that you have never seen before, it’s like where did you get these from! Profile picture material!
People tweet you some mad stuff too they just don’t care! We have a Korean fan account called blossomskorrea and it was just pictures of my head (Charlie) and captions like “he sings” or “he had a good voice” like I’d died, like an arbitrary. Most of the time we find it funny, and its nice to have some of that stuff written about you, maybe not the Russian fan fiction though!
After this you are off to Manchester, then Toronto and round the US! Yes Fu*king can’t wait We’re going to New York, I never thought we’d go to New York, well not this early on! so to go with the band is just class. Then we’re off around Europe with Jake Bugg, then another UK tour in December. It’s going to be exciting next week because in a way its like starting again doing small club shows with like 300 capacity. Tonight is nearly 2000 people sold out whereas next week will be like 200 capacity with only the guy cleaning glasses.
Have you played Rock City before? We supported the Rifles in 2014, it was the first big venue we played so it’s nice to come back and play in our own right. We were on first with a band called repeat offenders. Adam Jay was watching and the actress Nikki McCaley, she was side stage which was cool.
Finally without giving too much away what can we expect from tonight’s gig? Just the songs from the album with a cool light show. It’s really good, we have a nice young man called Ed on lights from York. We don’t have to do as much dancing, we can just stand there and the lights are flashing. If you ever get a chance to speak to him he has the softest voice!
Thank you so much for you time guys, it’s been great to chat to you! Good luck with the rest of the tour!
Image courtesy of SJM Concerts.