The Amazons talk to Adam Skirving in this exclusive GIGsoup interview. Edited by Zoe Anderson.
Reading, England’s The Amazons seem comfortable and confident before their headline show at Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on Saturday the 8th of February. Recently signed with Fiction Records – home to Tame Impala and The Maccabees – The Amazons brand of anthemic and highly melodic rock sits at home with the labels roster. The band are currently touring extensively around the UK, and 2016 is set to be a particularly interesting year. I sat down with Matt (Vocals and guitar), Chris (Guitar), Elliott (Bass) and Joe (Drums) to discuss what lies ahead for The Amazons.
You released your debut EP ‘Don’t You Wanna’ in October 2015. Has much changed since then?
Joe: The gigs are starting to get better since we’ve put a release out. And the amount of gigs we’re getting. February is jammed packed for us. This time last year we’d only done about three shows or something like that.
How did you guys end up getting involved with Fiction Records?
Chris: They’ve been involved for quite a while actually.
Matt: We got contacted by them in a previous band about four years ago, and it’s just a relationship thats carried on. Our A&R Gary was always someone we could just kind of chat to and was always looking out for what we were doing. He came to our first ever gig in September 2014, and then it was just a year of back and forth coming to gigs and hanging out, and then we singed a deal in September 2015, so after a year of The Amazons basically.
Were you guys fans of bands on Fiction before signing?
M: Massively. Tame Impala!
Elliott: Death From Above 1979 are mine and Joe’s favourite band. Jesse Keeler basically made me want to play bass guitar. If you’d told me at the age of eleven we’d be on the same record label as them, its superb.
You guys previously worked with Catherine Marks (who has worked with Foals, Wolf Alice and White Lies, amongst others), how valuable was her input in the recording process?
C: Extremely. She just brings a different perspective. Its more of a collaboration, not just her recording the tracks. And we know her enough now, that now we’ve got a proper working relationship.
Do you think you’ll work with her again?
M: Yeah we already know. We are planning the next couple of singles with her, and we’ll probably do the album.
Is there an album in the pipeline for Fiction?
M: Yeah that’s the plan. It’s being recorded this year.
J: Probably won’t see the light of day until 2017, nothing’s been set in stone.
M: But it’s gonna happen next year for sure.
In terms of the sound of the album, do you imagine it will continue in the vein of the EP? Or is there other directions you see yourself exploring?
M: Well, most of its already written, so we already know what its gonna sound like. You’ll be able to see lots of the material live, but there is so many other ways we take the songs. There is a lot of stuff that we can’t necessarily do live at the moment, because its not our own shows or whatever, and we play more clubs and stuff. But more acoustic stuff and jam-based stuff. It’s not just gonna be a ‘ten’ rock album.
J: It will have dynamics won’t it.
M: Theres gonna be lots of different things on the album. It will surprise people!
What does a pre-show day entail for you guys?
J: Phone club! Everyone sits round and doesn’t talk to each other on their phones for a while.
M: Yep *laughs*. Usually a lot of travelling. A lot of waiting around, looking for food. Its like we’re bloody scavengers!
Have you guys had any Glaswegian junk-food yet?
J: No! We’ve just had some soup and some chilli.
Matt: Last time we were in Glasgow we had cheesy chips, of course. Just chips with grated cheese just dumped on them. Amazing.
E: Last time we were in Scotland, in Edinburgh, a guy at the venue bought us all Bucky bombs!
We don’t get them down in Reading.
J: What’s the cuisine of Glasgow?
M: Is it not all the deep-fried stuff?
The cliche is the deep-fried mars bar.
J: Where the hell do you get one of those?!
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Whats been the most memorable tour for you guys so far?
M: This time last year we were on tour with The Kooks in Germany. That was particularly memorable. We kind of peaked really early.
E: Literally like our 5th gig, was our best gig.
M: In terms of just the amount of people we played to anyway. Every time we play Reading now, it just feels a bit nuts, which is great.
J: And Reading Festival, playing that, seeing as its on our doorstep, its great.
E: And we go every year.
M: I’ve gone since 2007 myself.
Chris, Elliott and Joe: 2005
So fulfilling a dream then, in some sense?
M: Oh yeah, for sure. It shapes your ambitions when you’re in a band, you see the big bands and you wanna do it.
Do you guys have any pre-conceptions of King Tut’s?
C: Heard loads of good stuff about it. Its pretty legendary, every gig we’ve done recently and they ask us where we’re going, we say Glasgow King Tuts, they say we’re in for a good time.
J: My mum and my sister came to Glasgow just on a weekend away, and they came here and bought me a t-shirt.
M: You should wear it dude!
J: I know I haven’t got it with me!
M: You should have pre-empted it! Next time mate.
Is there any music so far in 2016 that has caught your guys ears?
M: ESTRONS, from Cardiff. Their name is Welsh for Aliens and they’ve got a song called ‘Make A Man’ thats really good.
All the Reading bands are awesome as well. Sundara Karma are doing well. Haize are really cool, they’re a new band, and a band called PALM HONEY are really cool.
C: They’re all our mates as well.
Have you guys felt good support in Reading?
C: Oh its getting a lot better man, a few years ago there was like nothing.
M: Now theres like club nights, and people being inspired to start magazines and blogs, and the bands are playing and people are coming to the shows and going nuts.
J: Theres enough to write about now, I think thats the difference. Theres actually a scene happening. All the creatives are kind of pulling in the same direction.
Things are coming together for The Amazons. They will continue to play around the UK throughout February and March.