Having been stuck in traffic for several hours (poor lads!), Feed The Rhino arrive at Slam Dunk North, where Lee (vocals) and James (guitar) sit down and talk to us about their upcoming album, picking their setlist and their favourite touring bands.
HTS: Your new album ‘The Sorrow and the Sound’ comes out June 16th. What can you tell us about it?
Lee: Basically, it’s bigger, hopefully better. We’re really excited to release it. It’s coming up really close now. We really enjoyed recording it. It’s been the best experience so far for us as a band, in writing and recording. Being together just the five of us and writing what we think is the best Feed The Rhino stuff.
James: Yeah, proudest album we’ve written. We’re really happy with it and can’t wait for it to come out.
HTS: When you go into the writing process, do you think about how you want to sound?
James: No, nothing like that.
Lee: It’s all natural with us. We’ve always been like that, we write on instincts. We don’t try to contrive anything; we don’t do anything different, or try and be ground breakers. We started a band on our instincts and our feelings, and I think that’s something that has grown and progressed with us as we’ve matured as a band.
James: Yeah it’s all natural. Nothing is ever too over thought. Mainly ideas, if we think an idea is good enough we’ll work on them and make them the best they can be.
Lee: Yeah, we try and keep it as simple as possible. If it feels good and it sounds right we’ll keep it.
HTS: What messages are on the album lyrically?
Lee: Lyrically, to be fair there is no set structure or hidden message coming across in anything. The way we always are as a band, we’ve been through a lot. We’re all in our 30’s now so we’re not writing from an immature state; we just write from our experiences and phrase it in a way how we’ve grown into phrasing. There’s no hidden agenda or secret code, or any political background, it’s all gut instinct and fun lyrics. We try and write the music and the lyrics as simple as we can so people can hear it and relate to it, and understand the words. It’s just Feed The Rhino. Feed The Rhino fun.
HTS: Why did you choose ‘Give Up’ as your first single?
James: We thought it had a bit of everything from the album in there. We think it represents the album really well so that’s why we chose it.
Lee: The thing is with ‘Give Up’, it’s a really sharp and straight to the point song.
James: It’s got some old school Feed The Rhino in there as well.
Lee: Yeah, it’s got a nice bounce to it, a nice feel to it. We felt it was the right song to give off the right first impression of the album so we went with it.
HTS: Your live sets are known for being very energetic. What can we expect from your set today?
Lee: Exactly that really. We always go out and do the same thing. We always go out and try to play and have as much fun as possible, get involved with the crowd as much as possible, and get involved with ourselves as much as possible. It’s the same thing every time, we don’t really expect anything from it. We just go out and do it.
HTS: As it’s Slam Dunk, and your album is a month away, how have you decided your setlist?
James: We had this conversation earlier. A bit of everything really, bit of old, bit of new, bit of middle.
Lee: The thing is it’s a weird ground when you play festivals. It depends, by the time you go on people have had a few drinks, it’s a much younger crowd at Slam Dunk, you just try pick a set that you think will get the crowd going, and also mix it in with the songs you’ve released before and slip a few of your new songs in there.
HTS: Is it difficult at the moment, are you itching to play your new stuff?
Lee: Yeah definitely. I am.
James: We all are. That’s all we wanna do really is play our new stuff.
Lee: You’ve got to remember, when people say new stuff, we wrote it seven months ago.
James: All the songs apart from two or three from the album we’ve never played live once so we can’t wait to see how they go down.
HTS: Do you prefer playing festivals or your own headline shows?
James: That’s a tough one. The last tour we’ve done, everyone that came, we had never seen so much passion which we were so happy about. We’ve always said festivals are the best because they have the best vibe, and you get to hand out with your best mates, it’s a bit of something there for everyone. It’s a great vibe and that’s what it’s all about really. But headline tours are great as well.
Lee: The thing is with festivals it doesn’t really matter what status you are as a band. Everyone really gets involved and everyone cheers the band on and has a good time. Festivals are f**king awesome. I do love a festival myself. But the headline shows have been awesome.
James: It’s 50/50 split.
HTS: You get to see lots of your old friends from tours, who are your favourite bands that you’ve toured with?
James: Well I just saw Becca from Marmozets just walked past and ignored us completely, but we love those guys. They supported us on a tour a couple of years ago or something. They play just before us today so we get to see them.
Lee: We’ve just had Zoax play with us on tour, they’re not playing here today but they are f**king awesome. They’re a great band, and they were great fun.
James: It’s always nice to bump into bands you haven’t seen in a while.
Lee: Yeah, Bury Tomorrow are friends so we’ll go see them. Mallory Knox as well.
James: We all be knocking around touring so it’s great to see them.
HTS: Is there anyone else you want to check out today?
James: Letlive. definitely.
Lee: Yeah Letlive.. We’ll try watch Bury Tomorrow, Mallory Knox and Marmozets. We’ll try see as many as possible. A little bit gutted The Ghost Inside are playing the same time as us. But the festival is over two days. The first day is always a bit of a weird one cause you turn up late, but the next two days we’ll be getting there early so we’ll try catch as many as we can.
Like this interview? Tweet it!
Feed The Rhino’s third album ‘The Sorrow And The Sound’ is out June 16th.