8th February 2010
Rock City, Nottingham
First question, which I’m sure you get asked all the time but I like to ask bands, how’s the tour going so far?
Ross: Good, I didn’t think that was going to be the first question. The tours going really good, we’ve been away since the 2nd January but not on our tour, we’ve been with Enter Shikari and now we’ve come on to our own tour which has been really good. There have been lots of people from before when we played in cities that have come back. I wouldn’t say masses of people but there’s obviously a progression.
For anybody that hasn’t heard the music before how would you describe it?
Barry: We’re quite a schizophrenic and collective band; I think which is what reflects in our own personal music taste because we all listen to anything and everything. We go from really dirty rock to light airy-fairy pop and anywhere in between, it’s really like music by numbers.
Would you say that’s what makes you different as a band, or is there something else?
Barry: I think it’s a combination of that, and I know that a lot of other bands type cast themselves to a specific genre, so like they only play with say other metal bands or support other metal bands, but we’ve made a point of playing with other stadium bands. We’ve played with the Smashing Pumpkins, and we’ve played with YouMeAtSix, and the Subways who are more of indie rock, so we’ve played with loads of different bands, which I think has helped us to stand out, and not type cast ourselves. Also, I think Sam’s vocals really help because I know a lot of people from Britain like to sing with Americanisms because a lot of people have grown up listening to American bands, so Sam stays true to his roots and sings with his Glass Norwegian accent which not a lot of other bands, and probably not even from Scotland do I guess.
Was it a conscious decision to keep the accent or did it just happen?
Ross: When we very first got together and we didn’t even have a band, I mean me and Sam had this idea that we would have a band, but then we met Barry and Craig and became an actual band. We had been thinking about what we were going to do and we had both been in bands before and it was just apparent that, like if you’re reading a story or if we were doing this interview we’d do it in a Danish accent and it was bizarre, so this one day it just clicked. I know the band you were in before (points to Barry) it was the same for you.
Barry: Yeah we were all in bands before that put on fake, well I’d guess fake accents but for us our music is all about being honest and expressing yourself. The best way to express yourself is through your own voice and not be a character and saying what you truly feel.
Ross: When you’re growing up through being in bands with friends in school you copy what you’re listening to, and then all of a sudden you have this moment of realization.
You mentioned a few bands that you supported such as Smashing Pumpkins, Funeral for a Friend. How does it feel that you’re now the main act rather than supporting?
Barry: It’s good.
Ross: Yeah but it’s hard to get use to though because we just did a month of not being the main act, but then now you have to start playing for double as long and it takes a bit of getting use to.
Barry: When you’re supporting you’re effectively playing to someone else’s crowd.
Ross: Like when we played Sheffield it meant we were on later in the day, but had to be there earlier and there’s a lot more hanging about, and then playing for double as long takes a bit of getting use to.
Barry: Playing as a support is a bit like being an underdog and I guess when you come from Scotland you’re use to the underdog status, and you really do feel like you’ve got to try but when it’s your own show more people are there because they’ve heard of your band and because they get your music. It’s more different and relaxed
Ross: Yeah it’s weird. We played the biggest gig we’ve ever played of our own gig the other day and usually the bigger gigs back home in Scotland we usually get nervous about playing. But the other night, I don’t know where we were but it just wasn’t like that at all.
Barry: No, it was really relaxed.
I follow you guys on Twitter and you posted up that…
Ross: Thing is right, I shouldn’t have it on my phone because sometimes when you’re out when you’ve had a few drinks and stuff you want to update with silly stuff.
Have you done that?
Ross: No, I’ve always managed to control it.
You posted up on the 4th February that you played the best gig ever in Manchester, and I was just wondering what it is that makes the best night for you guys?
Ross: Oh that was the best gig that we’d played in Manchester. We’ve played loads of gigs in Manchester.
Barry: I know for me it’s just the vibe that you get. It doesn’t matter how many people are there, but like we played to about 200 people in Manchester and the vibe there was amazing. It wasn’t even sold out but the people that were there were there to have a good time. We were in a good mood and we played well which helps.
Ross: I think there are so many different factors and I think that if they all slot in to line then it helps.
Barry: It’s really not about how many people are there it’s about getting a connection with the crowd.
Ross: You talk to other bands and there are certain cities, I’m not going to name them but there are those that you say ‘I can’t wait to go there’.
How did you come up with the name of your album?
Barry: Well the name came from Sam and his crazy brain. I guess because we’re a band that are fans of many different albums and instead of being a collective of individual songs and all this means something together as a band. The album flows well and then concept that Sam came up with Vivarium and all our songs and how they fit together. I don’t think I actually explained what it means I just talked around it.
Ross: Sam also liked the word vivarium, so we just kind of made something up.
Barry: I guess our answer falls somewhere in the middle of those two!
So you guys charted at number 21 in the UK.
Barry: Did we?!
Yeah you did, you’ve done very well.
Ross: That’s great.
Ross: That’s really exciting; I didn’t know that at all.
You’re tipped for big things.
Ross: Well fingers crossed it all keeps going in the right direction.
I was going to ask how you felt about that but I think your reaction said it all.
Barry: It’s cool. We didn’t actually expect the record to do that because up until we released it in September we built up strong followers in Scotland and a few Scottish radio stations started playing our songs.
Ross: I think that was largely down to the number of Scottish people that bought it though.
Barry: Yeah but we expected the album to be an introduction to people, it wasn’t suppose to chart or have phenomenal success it was just to make people aware of us.
There’s a quote on the Internet from Sam saying that he believes in himself and the band so much that he believes that you can be really big. Where is it that you can see yourselves as a band?
Barry: We do have a lot of ambition for what we’re doing and if we didn’t we wouldn’t be doing it. Let’s face it, anyone who plays in a band and are being honest with themselves, don’t got ‘I want to be in a band because I want to play to 50 people in my home town’, people do it because they want to headline Glastonbury or play stadiums. Everyone has dreams and aspirations, that’s what keeps you going. I think for us it’s not so much an end product of ‘we’re going to headline or play…’ as long as we keep seeing a progression in doing what we’re doing then we’ll keep doing it.
What is your favourite moment so far as a band?
Barry: I’ve got mine. 2 nights ago we played Glasgow and it was sold out, and being able to play that to people that we know like our band it was incredible for us. We feel we’ve reached a landmark that we felt would take long to reach, so for that it would have to be my favourite so far.
Ross: Yeah, I’m with Barry on that one.