HTS: Your debut album ‘Good Luck’ came out in January. What’s the response been like?
Joe: It’s been overwhelming. We actually recorded it at the end of 2012, and we started getting the mixes back at the start of 2013, and we pretty much sat on it for a whole year. I remember listening to it every couple of weeks and be like, “I’m really proud of us” and then it go to like a week before and I thought “are people actually going to like this?”
Harry: There’s always this little bit of doubt when it’s like, “is it just me that thinks it’s good?” but thankfully a lot of other people thought it was good as well so it’s be really good.
HTS: You recently finished a small UK Tour. How did that go?
Joe: Incredible. We’ve done one batch of headline dates before, but this was just unreal for us. I mean, Newcastle, London and Manchester were definite highlights. London was a full room and them knowing every single word. Newcastle was half the amount of people, but made twice as much noise and we finished it in Manchester with a pretty much sold out show. It was just incredible.
HTS: You have a single called ‘British Weather’. What have you thought about the weather at the moment?
Harry: It’s been a bit annoying. At the start of the tour it was glorious and we’ve rocked up today and it’s chucking down with rain. But that’s being British Weather in its classic form.
HTS: What’s it like to be a part of such an incredible Slam Dunk line-up?
Joe: When it started to get announced, and we weren’t sure if we were playing or not, I saw All-American Rejects about seven years ago, and wanted to see them ever since. Then more and more bands got added like Letlive., absolutely love Letlive., and then there’s bands that we know like Save Your Breath, Blitz Kids and Mallory Knox so it’s just really cool to hang out in one day and get to see everyone play.
Harry: There’s something about Slam Dunk, there’s a different vibe from any other UK festival for me.
HTS: You’re one of the UK’s rising bands at the moment. What do you think of the music scene?
Joe: I think British music is doing better than it has done for a while. Last time I remember a lot of British bands people were getting excited for were bands like One Hundred Reasons and Hell is for Heroes, and obviously since then there has been some amazing British bands, but that was the last time I felt like the alternative music scene was really booming here. Thankfully a lot of music fans still go to shows and it means bands do come here and tour. It’s great.
HTS: What do you think makes Slam Dunk so special?
Joe: I dunno, I can’t really put my finger on it.
Harry: There’s just something about it.
Joe: The atmosphere is so relaxed for one. Everyone just seems so happy to be here. Traditionally it always used to be sunny, and it brings out the best in everyone. Luckily, it looks like it’s brightened up now which is great. It’s like they plan the line-up, obviously there are clashes, but you can spend all day watching bands. When you go to a bigger festival you always end up with three hours spare throughout the day. But at Slam Dunk you’re pushing to see everyone you want to see.
HTS: You’re playing 2000 Trees and some other festivals. Is deciding your festival setlist a lot easier than deciding a setlist for a headline show?
Harry: I’d say it’s easier. Headline there is different pressure. Festivals you can kind of do what you want, but headline shows have to be a bit more planned and fit together better. So I’d say festival is definitely easier.
Joe: The thing is for us, not sounding big headed, but when we play festivals we play the same set as when we do support slots. At a festival or support slot we’re showcasing our best songs and the energy levels are consistent throughout. But this was the first headline tour we’ve had to plan in a while and it was hard.
Harry: We literally had to play our entire album because we don’t have enough songs.
Joe: But that was cool that we could do that because everyone seemed to enjoy it.
HTS: Which do you prefer, headline or festival?
Joe: I would have said festivals if you asked me two weeks ago, but since we did the headline tour I don’t know. The challenge of being at a festival, today we played at 3:20 and we arrived here just before 1:00 so we only had a couple of hours to relax and get our stuff out of the van. A headline show you show up at like two in the afternoon and play at ten at night. And trying to battle of a nap is horrible.
HTS: What bands do you take inspiration from?
Joe: That’s a tough one. Weezer. I mean when we first started the band we listened to pop-piunk and not much else. But gradually we started to listen to all the bands we listened to growing up, like One Hundred Reasons, Reuben, Queens of the Stone Age and we’re all big fans of bands like Arctic Monkeys, we do have quite varied music taste between us.
Harry: Yeah, all of us are quite individual.
Joe: But I think that helps with us writing our songs. Cause we stop trying to commit to a certain genre. We just started writing and putting things in from all over the place. It’s nice putting a song together and not feeling restricted with what you can do with it. It’s bizarre when one of us thinks of an idea and it’s like, “where the hell did that come from?” But then it’s like, it doesn’t matter because it works.
Harry: Our song ‘I Don’t Care’ is a good example.
Joe: Yeah, it has a chunky riff you’d probably hear on a Foo Fighers album, but it’s mixed with fast pace Four Year Strong pop-punk. But it chopped and changes, but it works. Or at least we think it works.
HTS: What’s your one favourite thing about festivals?
Joe: The copious amount of alcohol is pretty good. I do love the fact if you do go to a festival to attend it or playing it, people are just stoked. Going into a room and seeing people go nuts is so satisfying.
HTS: Your debut album is called ‘Good Luck’, what was the last bit of good luck you’ve had?
Joe: Probably getting a Charizard in a Pokemon pack.
Harry: It’s called ‘Good Luck’ in an ironic sense. The day we decided to call it good luck we were on the Don Broco tour and we had just broken down on the side of the motorway. We had to get our van towed into Brighton and then get another tour company to pick us up. So we were like why don’t we call it good luck because we never have any. But then on the other side, we have lots of good luck with the opportunities we’ve had and festivals we’ve played. It’s sort of good and bad side of life.
Joe: I think there are so many hard working bands out there, publications like Rocksound to consider us a rising band is good luck. I mean we work really hard, but getting recognised I’d say is good luck.