An interview with Lisbon
You’ve played in Brighton before, do you like it here or are there other cities you prefer to play in?
M: I like Brighton because it’s a unique city and out of all the ones we’ve travelled to in the past two months, which is over twenty-five, this is definitely one of the most interesting.
You did quite a big tour in January, didn’t you? We really enjoyed your gig at The Hope and Ruin
M: Yeah, it was brilliant! We thought it was really good.
J: It was the first time we’d been to Brighton.
M: Everyone was really nice and the vibe’s great around here. We had a good walk around, as we actually had our day off here. We did seven days on and Brighton was that seventh day and we spent the Sunday just in Brighton.
What did you get up to?
M: Obviously we went to the Pier, did all the culture stuff. We played in the penny arcades, went on some rides, saw some birds.
J: Saw some pebbles on a beach
M: Had some doughnuts. Didn’t ride any donkeys. Oh and went to a pub called The King & Queen. We went there today actually.
Would you say that Southern crowds are a bit different to up north, where you’re from?
M: It really varies; a lot of people ask that question but it obviously depends on how the gig goes. If you go with the stereotypes, then you’ll get people who warm to it as the set goes on, obviously they’re enjoying it from the off but by song number five or six they’re really starting to get into it.
J: I think that Southern crowds are more accepting earlier on, than later on. Whereas, you kinda have to win over a northern crowd a little bit more than you do here.
M: It’s nice to be accepted after one song instead of after four or five tunes and then someone’s like ‘Okay, now I get it’.
J: Every gig we’ve done down south, it seems to us like we’ve been accepted early on. It’s really nice and you can just enjoy it and people enjoy themselves.
How would you describe your music to people that haven’t heard of you before?
M: That’s the hardest question in the world isn’t it? It’s hard to answer because at times you’re in a little bubble and you’ve got your own interpretations of what your music sounds like. We want it to sound as energetic and as cheerful as it can be. But at the same time, we try and get an emotional reaction as well. We just want it to be exciting, and at the same time, give people a good time. We just want to see the crowd dancing.
J: We’re a live band and we’re not not going to play gigs. Our music is so energetic and lively and when we’re on stage it’s pretty much like running round a track four times, for me.
M: It’s like a full on workout, to be honest.
J: If you give what you should give, you deserve what you get back.
M: Our performance reflects what we want to see completely. That’s putting it in plain words.
Your new track ‘Vice’ received a good reaction. How did you approach writing it?
M: Really quite strangely. It wasn’t much of an approach, which is why we think it’s been perceived quite well. It was one of those fast writes and our drummer and our bassist came up with the original idea. Within the next day, Joe had written about twenty-two guitar parts.
J: I think there’s thirty guitar parts on there.
M: The hook on the chorus, I think I heard it in Sainsbury’s for the first time. I was doing some shopping and they sent me the idea and I was just walking around with my phone to my ear, just sort of like singing along. It was one of those song that literally came about instantly. We wrote it and then a week later we recorded it. We don’t usually spend a lot of time writing music, the process is usually quite fast but that one was particularly speedy.
J: I think the more time that you spend mulling over it, because we’ve done this before. We’ve mulled over songs for a year and a bit and it just never works out the way that you quite want it to or it never fits. I think if you do that, you can never be finished with the painting almost and to do something within a week and not really having to think about whether it was finished or not was nice. It just felt right, you know?
M: The best hooks comes out of feeling naturally right. The best hooks are all instant. A good song will stay with you instantly.
J: If you don’t get the gut feeling, the hair’s standing on your arms when you’re hearing it for the first time, then I don’t really see the point.
You’ve been backed by Radio 1, how does that feel?
M: It’s pretty ideal, isn’t it?
J: We’re really thankful because without that we probably wouldn’t be here right now.
M: For a band of our genre and our sort of aims, it’s certainly one of the biggest resources we have, to have Radio 1 on our side. I think they’ve played all of our singles so far. It’s not like they’re just playing them and nothing’s happening, we’ve seen a progression from our first single to ‘Vice’ and it’s been the biggest reception we’ve had.
J: It’s transferring to the live shows and a lot of people that come to see us first heard of us on Radio 1, so we can only be thankful to them for getting us here right now.
M: That tour we did, on day 1 we played ‘Vice’ and the fans and the crowd weren’t necessarily singing along but by day 22, when the radio played it again and again, you just saw that as the tour went by people were singing it more and more. More people were singing it louder so radio definitely does work.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
M: No, not really.
M: For a long time, it was Nando’s
J: It was Nando’s but recently it hasn’t been. Usually, I’m pretty avid of setting up everybody’s gear, making sure it’s all working. I don’t really know what the others do because they’re backstage doing something and I’m on the stage getting it all sorted.
How’s life on tour been with Model Aeroplanes been so far?
M: We’ve known the lads for quite a while because we’ve played shows with them and Little Comets, they’re really sound lads. We get along musically and in the traditional sense of music.
J: We definitely work together well, we bounce off each other and it’s really nice to have a good laugh with another band.
Are there any new bands you’ve got your eye on at the moment?
M: A lot of new bands are similar, they’re all in the same boat as us, like Model Aeroplanes and High Tyde.
J: There’s a band I really like called New Carnival. They’re my brother’s friends and what they’re doing is really cool. I liked them a few years ago but they’ve reinvented themselves and started putting out new music, which sounds really cool. I’d definitely go check them out.
M: We’re both big fans of Vant as well. They’re from almost our neck of the woods and Little Comets former session drummer plays with them now, he’s their drummer and our old sound guy is actually their sound guy; we cross links there. They’re one of our favourite new acts.
Can we expect an album from you anytime soon?
M: Eventually, we’ve got an album or two, that’s the thing.
J: We’ve got an album or two worth of material
M: Production wise, we’ve got fifteen songs that I think could actually become a good album but we’re not going to put that out until we’re ready, or until we think people are ready to receive it. Not that we’re going to shock the world, I hope we do, but we want enough people to receive the album before we put out a body of work, which we’ve nurtured and cared for.
J: It’s kinda like a life’s work because it’s everything that you’ve done and that you’ve built up to. You want it to be that kind of album, that record that would seem a shame if we put it out and it wasn’t heard by as many people as we would have wanted. We’ve already seen a connection and if we couldn’t do that on a bit of a bigger scale it would be a shame. We’re just really keen to work harder and keep playing shows.
M: We just want to keep gigging and spreading our music everywhere as much as we can. We’ve been gigging a lot but it’s still half as much as we want to and need to really. It’s all about getting bigger and getting better. We are going to work as hard as we can to do what we want to do because it’s what we love doing. We love seeing the connection that we’ve been able to make from our music and we just want to work hard for the fans that we’ve got now and we want to do them justice. If we can get a reaction from the masses as well as doing the thing we love, then it’s ideal.