Hi Matt! First of all congratulations on the new album we’ve been really enjoying it over the summer here at Quench.
How is the tour going this year? We know you’ve done headline tours before but the schedule looks pretty intense, and a few dates in America too! Could you tell us how it compares?
This year’s been a bit of whirlwind, but it’s something that we’re enjoying to no end. When you form a band in a place like Reading, your eyes are always looking outwards. We had a yearning to escape, a taste for adventure. Once you’re on the ride, last thing you want to do is get off. So we’re tired, busy, can’t maintain proper relationships outside of the tour bus but we’re seeing places we would’ve never imagined, meeting great people, playing great shows and we wouldn’t change it.
There’s a lot of travelling to do too, how are you keeping yourselves entertained? And how is the tour bus playlist looking?
It’s something I keep track of, we used to throw them into a Spotify playlist to share with our followers. I’m sure we’ll do that again soon. There’s been a lot of great music released this year so its been fun to keep track of. The new War on Drugs album is great, as is the latest Queens of the Stone Age record. Other than that we try to read, watch films etc.
Having been an established band for a while who would you say your main influences were to begin with, and have they changed through the band’s lifetime?
Our influences in The Amazons have always centred around the bands and artists who got us excited about music, playing instruments, Rock and Roll. From Led Zep, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana etc. Obviously being influenced is quite a fluid thing so it’s hard to pinpoint anything direct. You could say everything we’ve ever listened to has influenced in one way or another, some smaller than others. We dig a lot of new music, I think the music we’ve been listening to in the van has influenced us in some way, it’s hard to really say until you finish some work and have time to look back on it.
I read that you sat on your debut album for a year, what was the thinking behind that?
We recorded the album at quite an early point. We were very much under the radar even by the time we’d completed it, so while we had escaped any real external pressure and made the record we wanted to make, there wasn’t really an audience for it. It was just a case of getting out there and touring, releasing singles, filming music videos and also mixing and mastering the record. That year really flew by for us.
Does it mean you’ve been writing new stuff in the meantime? And if so, might the fans be treated to some of it on the current tour?
Yes and probably. It’s much harder right now, in the age of social media and how fast things can be shared, we unfortunately need to keep an eye on how much new stuff we play live, I just know we’ll see it creeping up on YouTube the next day. A crappy iPhone video isn’t really the way we want our audience to hear the new songs, but road-testing songs is an important part in our process.
Otherwise what are your favourite tunes to play live? Palace went off at Tramshed I thought.
Yeah, its been nice to play Palace live on this tour. It’s important to prove misconceptions about The Amazons wrong. It’s added a new dynamic to the show which has been cool, we just want to keep moving forward. The reception has been great, for me personally, playing the song alone for the most of the song, when I think of its beginnings, on my parent’s piano in our living room, its humbling.
The album has a very striking cover image, who came up with that? What’s the significance of lighting up the old tour bus and were you sad to see it go?
It was a collaboration between myself and our artist Matt Goff. We’ve worked with him on a number of music videos, all our single artwork, which led up to the album artwork. We had bought the Ford Transit a couple of years back with our record label advance, named her Big Suze and toured around the Uk and Europe extensively until we ran it into the ground. To shoot it in Reading felt like the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. Life before the debut record and after. We felt cremation would’ve been her preferred way to go.
Thank you very much for your time and from all of us at Quench, we hope the rest of the tour goes well!