On Thursday 20th November Danii Penny caught up with the lovely Sam Douglas, bassist and songwriter of Mallory Knox, for a chat about the band before their incredible headline gig at Bristol O2 Academy. The first part of the interview was published last week, below is the second half. Sam explains why he doesn’t want Mallory Knox to ‘make it’ as a band, his festival dreams, bands giving each other a helping hand, their upcoming US tour, chilling with Frank Iero, and more!
Danii: At which point did you think that you’d kind of ‘made it’ as a band?
Sam: I still don’t!
Sam: No, there’s nothing I hate more than bands that sell out a venue and think that they’re this and they’re that. We still get weirded out that people wait outside for us at 2am just to get a picture. We don’t ever feel like we deserve that. It still doesn’t make sense to me! 5 years ago I was working in a factory!
Danii: It’s so nice that you don’t take yourselves too seriously!
Sam: If you do then that’s where you become everything that I hate about the music industry, right there. I just think that people need to remember where they’ve come from and how they felt about the bands that they grew up listening to. Say we sold out somewhere like Brixton Academy, I think that on like a professional level I’d say, yeah we’ve made it. But you can never turn around and say you’re a rock star. Because that’s just such a tool thing to say! Just say you’re a musician, that’s what it should be! That’s my stance on it!
Danii: It must be pretty cool though when you hear your songs on like Radio 1 or whatever?
Sam: Yeah that still blows me away! I remember there was one specific time about 2 months ago when I was sat in a traffic jam just outside of Cambridge, going to pick my mate up from the train station. There was traffic going the other way as well and some guy had his windows down and Ghost In The Mirror was playing. I thought, hang on, the single isn’t even out yet so this guy has either illegally downloaded it or it’s on the radio! So I turned up my radio to check and there it was. So I turned it off and thought wow that’s cool. But then I saw this guy singing it word for word, proper going for it and I just started laughing and he caught me!
Danii: Do you think he recognized you?
Sam: No he definitely didn’t because he looked at me as if to say ‘urgh, whatever man’ and drove off. I just remember thinking that was so cool to see! But yeah, whenever we get played on the radio it’s just dead weird still!
Danii: I still have like a personal little victory dance every time you guys get played on the radio after having followed your music for so long!
Sam: That’s amazing!!
Danii: What festival haven’t you played yet but would love to?
Sam: Erm, there’s a few. Rock Am Ring is on the list, but we’re doing that next year. So that’s really really cool! It’s in Germany and we’ve wanted to do that one for a long time. Warped Tour in America. Hopefully we can sort something out there! And Gros Rock has always been on the list for me. That’s in Belgium. But Reading and Leeds has always been the one for me though!
Danii: It’s my festival too! It’s the best!
Sam: It is for me as well! It absolutely is. I never actually got to go much when I was younger, I was always that guy that used to watch the highlights, for years on end! So playing there now is just amazing!
Danii: How did you choose your support acts for tonight? There’s quite a few: Moose Blood, Fort Hope and Frank Iero. Do you get along with all of them?
Sam: There are a fair few yeah. We get on amazingly well, which is awesome! As I said, we’ve not run into a situation where we haven’t got along with a band that we’ve toured with. Moose Blood are a band that I’ve known about for a while. How good looking is Eddy? He’s so cool. He’s got it all sorted in life! They’re fantastic though, probably one of my favourite bands in the UK at the moment. The other guys won’t mind me saying, they’re my favourite band on this tour with us, in terms of what I listen to anyway. So that was kind of the reason we wanted them on the tour. Going back to when we were starting up, we would’ve killed to have got onto a tour that was playing in such great venues, so you know, we took them out for that reason really. We’re friends with a couple of the guys in Fort Hope. Again, we felt that they deserved a shot at going out on tour so that’s why there here. And then there’s obviously Frank and well, Frank is Frank!
Danii: How did touring with Frank Iero come about then?!
Sam: We wanted to have a support band that could pull tickets within their own right. We never said lets take Frank Iero out; it never came around like that. We have the same booking agent and he said, ‘what do you think about taking Frank out?’, and we were all like ‘well…um…yeah, obviously!!’. We didn’t even think that that would be an option. We didn’t think that he would want to come on tour with us, but then a couple of emails later, he was keen, so it was a no brainer! And he’s amazing. As a human being, he is just so down to earth, so humble. He sat where you’re sitting last night and we were chatting to him about My Chem for like two hours and all of his experience and he was just giving us advice. I think it’s amazing when a guy has been there and done it all still takes the time to just be a normal person and help others out. I’ve learned a lot from that. He’s just a good mate now, which is really cool for me to say, because My Chemical Romance are one of my favourite bands ever!
Danii: So next up, the US!
Sam: Yeah…how’s that gonna go?!
Danii: Have you ever played there before?
Sam: No, never. We’ve never even been near it! We’ve barely played Europe. We’ve been stuck on this little island for a long time now, never really got out there! But the fact that bands such as Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens want to take us out is amazing because we’re not worth any tickets out there. We’re probably worth about 2 tickets in each state. And when the tour is as big as it is (it’s a massive tour with some of the venues being 5-6,000 capacity) I just think it’s amazing that we’ve been chosen to do something like this and it all comes down to just a couple of those guys being into what we do. It’s really really cool that bands are still supporting each other like that! There’s no reason for them to take us out other than that they like our music. I can’t be any more thankful for that!
Danii: It’s a good way to get your music out around the US though!
Sam: Exactly. I couldn’t think of a better starting point than that! I can’t wait to get out there and see what it’s all about really!
Danii: Do you prefer playing to a live audience or doing studio recordings? I feel like there might be a bit of an obvious answer to that, but still?!
Sam: No no, its not! Most people would say live and I would still personally say I prefer playing live, because that’s why you’re in a band, ultimately. But then again, being the songwriter in the band, it’s kinda like, that’s why I’m in a band as well, to write songs! So I really enjoy the creative process. I know Dave just plays the drums and once he’s done his bit he wants to get out, which is fair enough. Obviously you’re in a band to play live music to a live audience but the whole creative process for me is really special, a very very close second for me. But yeah, live shows has gotta be where it’s at!
Danii: My only request now is that you guys come and play Cardiff!
Sam: I would love to come back! We did Cardiff like, 3 weeks ago? In Clwb Ifor Bach. We did a couple of underplay shows for the album and we specifically asked for Cardiff because we weren’t playing there on this tour! We get the whole ‘Oh you’ve completely missed out Wales’ complaint and we’re like ‘sorry, it’s not our fault, we don’t book the tours!’.
Danii: There’s a lot of interest in Cardiff for you guys, so please do come back!
Sam: Yeah definitely! We played Clwb Ifor Bach, but we chose to play in the bottom room because we wanted it to be really intimate. The top room is really cool but they close the cap. It’s like a 400 cap room but they close it at 250! So I was like no, let’s play downstairs, let’s get it rammed and do it proper old school. We played on the floor and it was amazing! It was like going back in time three years!
Danii: I can’t believe I missed that!
Sam: It was soooo good, there were people crowd surfing onto our gear and stuff like that. People just like coming up and singing and it was so so much fun, I’d love to do it again!
Danii: Please do, I’d definitely be up for that! Well thanks very much for your time!
Sam: Thanks for having me!!