One of the UK’s rising indie bands The Amazons are on the verge of embarking on their biggest tour to date. The four-piece from Reading kick start their trip with a visit to intimate bar, The Rocking Chair in Sheffield. We had a chat with Matt from the band ahead of the show.
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There’s a big extravaganza of a UK tour coming up, including a headline show at Sheffield’s Rocking Chair, what can we expect from these shows and how do you think the Sheffield show this time around will compare to previous ones there?
I think this time round we have a lot more music released into the world. We’ve released three singles over this year, as well as an EP late last year so hopefully there will be more people familiar with the songs in the set. We like to leave everything on the stage, so it’s good Sheffield is the beginning of the tour, who knows if we’ll make it to the end in one piece.
It must be nice getting back in the van and doing a proper headline tour after various support slots. What’s life on the road like and how do you occupy yourselves between shows?
We’re especially looking forward to the tour after a summer of festivals. They’ve all been amazing but you can imagine for us, nothing beats our own shows. Life on the road is where I feel most alive, it feels like you’re in a bit of bubble and you can leave a lot of bullshit behind. We listen to a lot of music in the van, read, drink probably a little more than we should. We’ve recently re-discovered our childhood game boys but I’m not sure how long that’s gonna last.
What’s going to be playing in the van this tour?
We keep going back to the new Miike Snow record. It’s got some real depth and interesting sounds all packaged in these great pop songs. We’ve been enjoying the new Mystery Jets EP too, looks like they’ve hit a great vein of form in the last couple releases.
You’ve had a pretty hefty summer; how did you find that? Are there any particular memories you’ll take away from this year’s festival season?
There has been so many. Big Suze our beloved van died a number of times at Festival No.6, which was experiencing some kind of biblical storm at the same time. The battery was leaking acid everywhere and all the locks were broken, jamming all our possessions in the back. Had to jump start the old girl to get her back in gale force wind and rain.
The singles out already all have a trademark building and atmospheric sound to them that I’ve not really heard too often. What’s your writing process when it comes to nailing down tracks?
I’ll typically start the song at home on a piano or acoustic guitar, I always believe if it doesn’t sound good that stripped back, then it never will. Then it’s a case of taking it to the boys in the band and beginning a process of trial and error in arranging the song. I worked out very early on that collaboration is the key to music with depth. From us in the band to the ideas of a producer like Catherine Marks, there’s a number of voices involved and that’s really key to what we do.
Who or what would you say is your main inspiration in writing, and your overall musical style?
I’m not sure if we always go back to the same artists directly for inspiration. It’s a fluid thing. It might not even be a whole song that gets me inspired. It could just be a groove from a song I’ve heard on the radio in passing. However if we had to mention some artists we collectively love I think Queens of the Stone Age, Arcade Fire, Nirvana would feature pretty high on the list.
We’ve been treated to a fair few singles now, is there any juicy gossip you can give us at The VLM on an album release in the future?
We’ve been working pretty hard on the album all summer. It’s nearly done! It was much more emotional experience that I think we imagined. I can tell you it will be out next year. Other than that, I think we’ll leave you all guessing a little longer.
Finally, what do The Amazons set their sights on in the next 5 years?
I think in the next 5 years we want to be able to release the best music we’ve ever made.
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