Written by Octavia Graham
Just prior to their Cardiff show supporting Royal Blood’s 2022 UK tour, The Amazons members Matt and Elliot met with me to discuss all things music, covid and new releases! In a tour bus a little posher than the one they famously torched ahead of their debut album. Now, a few years later with their album How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? on the blocks for release on September 2nd and brand-new single ‘Bloodrush’ out to stream only three days before the show, I was tingling with anticipation (and maybe some nerves) for what they would have to say.
What inspired the title to your upcoming Third studio album How Will I Know if Heaven Will Find Me?
It’s the lyric in the chorus of the first song in the album ‘How Will I Know’ – Joe picked it out, our drummer.
That song is really kind of about a long-distanced relationship that I (Matt) had been in over the pandemic and just wondering if I was going to be able to see this person again and if I did will it be the same, will it have changed will we have changed. Dreams that you aspire for, dreams that you have or things you wanna do – am I going to get that? Am I gonna be able to achieve what I wanna achieve, live the life that I see myself living?”
What inspired the album art?
Charlie Drinkwater. Loved the work that they did with Easy Life, Fontaines DC and Sigrid. Met with him a good 6 months and settled on an image that was a depiction of how the album was written. A bedroom window past midnight. A little bit dark but there’s a warmth coming through the bedroom window.
Matt: “I just feel like it’s me… and the way that the title “how will I know if heaven will find me” the question is handwritten – feels like me writing a letter or writing the lyrics… although I’m sure other people will interpret it different.
It’s about feeling human again. A lot of the things that we may have passed off as trivial or luxuries a few years ago – connecting with your mates or letting your hair down, just a release whatever it is could honestly just be having a drink now or jumping out of an aeroplane, I just wanted to talk about it at a chemical, stripped back level and how integral that seems now to feeling whole and human and real.
A state of euphoria in a sense like that, a release of emotion and inhibition as well.
It’s kind of META that we would sing a song like ‘Bloodrush’ about that, whilst playing a show that we’ve been deprived of for two years and kind of it being the most literal as we’re playing it.
How was the lockdown experience? – did you get lots of writing done?
It was all we could do really…
It’s such a massive event now that you can’t really pick or choose whether it influences your music – it’s been so long, and there’s been so many facets of it/ so many dimensions to living through it… some more extreme than others… that I don’t think you can find a single artist out there who’s work isn’t going to be influenced because it’s just influence by life and that has been our lives for the last couple of years
We, I think actually got very lucky in that we finished touring our second record in late February 2020, just before it all kicked off, got home (from the states) and about a week later it all kicked off.
To look back, what are positive memories from lockdown?
Recording the record. Chris had to quarantine in their Airbnb whilst recording. But otherwise, was just 8 weeks of being able to ‘do something awesome’- the fruition of two years of writing.
Recording the demos in the summer. Everyone would all have separate ideas and came together. The band thing without having to watch other people going on tour or doing thing. Being able to just write for the sake of it.
It was like before we were a band, before you had any inkling of what being a band was like when you were doing it as kids.
Social media – TikTok?
I actually love it, it’s one of the few social media platforms. Twitter would potentially be exacerbating problems rather than helping whilst TikTok is not perfect, but I (Matt) feel we can be creative and feel creative on it
You can be more genuine on it as well. It shows a side of us that we don’t necessarily broadcast to the world and we can through that media.
How does your experiences now compare to when you were first getting together?
More enjoyable now. It’s way more enjoyable. It’s easy to romanticise when you start and that kind of naiveté and that energy you had when you were just kind of shooting in the dark, but actually this – what we’re doing at the moment. Writing and recording a record with a producer that we have always known and loved: Jim Abbiss.
Playing an arena tour with a band we’re really big fans of – that’s exactly what we wanted to do when we were laying tiny bars when we were first together and the amount of questions that remain unanswered when you’re a band at that level: like are we going to be able to keep this going? Are we going to be able to get time off work? Are we going to get signed? Are we ever gonna make it? Like even though you’re happy and you’re not necessarily carefree. At the time I – just wanted to do it y’know?
There are other pressures when you get to other levels as well, it just changes, it’s just all changes. The things you worry about like, they don’t go away, they just evolve into something slightly more abstract. The fundamentals of what you worry about when you first like – has the van got enough petrol? Or do we have a hotel for the night? Then as you get more successful you can pay people to worry about that (like Callum) and then we worry more about like did the people on row Z have a good night kind of vibe? like are we doing a good job? A lot of the job now kind of entails like do we get enough TikTok’s out? did we get enough insta stories out? Is the artwork signed off? That kind of vibe.
Last question, what advice to emerging bands and artists would you give?
Songs are the currency of the business.
I (Matt) think maybe the temptation now would be to put your time into things like social media and more promotional ways of doing things that are so easy, you just kinda pick up your phone and promote yourself. But I think that the most important thing is the art and the songs. No 1 priority is the songs and getting them as good as possible, as exciting and truthful as possible. Building blocks. And everything else comes after that.
Been in a band 6/7 years now and you see bands come and go. They do social media quite well but the things that actually sustain is the art– art touches people.