By Dylan Bryant (Music Editor)

Following two huge Top 10 records, The Amazons have charted with their highest position yet, thanks to their brilliant new record How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? 

Filled to the brim with sing along, uplifting indie rock bangers produced by Jim Abbiss (Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Adele) It’s no surprise that they have achieved their first Top 5 album.

Locked down in Brighton, where frontman Matthew Thomson wrote the majority of the record; he felt like a positive spin was needed – “I said to the boys, enough with the darkness. As cheesy as it sounds, I wanted to make music that was a force for good, after everything we’ve all been through.”

I was lucky enough to catch up with Matt, along with bassist Elliot James backstage at Resident, Brighton ahead of their intimate in-store acoustic set and started by asking how it feels to have the record out?

“It feels good! I was having a listen in the van on the way here and it sounds good. I’m very happy and very excited and very thankful that we’ve got the opportunity to do this.”

The conversation quickly moves on to the relationship with the music post release; 

“The relationship with the music is strange. You listen to the songs to death ultimately, when you’re making it – the mixes, the demos, the masters and all that sort of stuff. But by the time it actually comes out the job’s done, so I can’t envision myself listening to it too much.”

Elliot adds; 

“I haven’t listened to it since the mixing process, which is probably about 3-4 months ago. We had it all mastered and done back in February. It’s been a long time so I can finally listen to it again.” They then joke – “Now it’s too late to make any changes!”

(Elliot James left, Matthew Thomson right)

This record is drenched in positivity with addictive riffs on Bloodrush and Wait For Me, matched by the uplifting lyricism on tracks such as Say It Again as frontman Matthew Thomson chants “The sugar on your lips, The daylight from your kiss, My universal fix”.

Speaking on this hopeful direction, Matt says;

“We came off touring Future Dust at the beginning of 2020, just before lockdown. I think there was an element of not being totally fulfilled by the songs when we came off stage. We wanted more material that ultimately almost pushed back against the tone of everything at the moment. It’s just so bleak and oppressive. So maybe it’s actually more subversive to make something else that’s upbeat and uplifting. Not in a way that’s pretending that it’s not tough at the moment, more just trying to keep productive and contributing something.”

The Amazons are one of the most versatile UK rock bands, with gigantic rock hits such as Black Magic from their self-titled debut album, contrasting with the more intricate Northern Star from the new record that demonstrates their ability as songwriters.

Speaking on this versatility, Matt says;

“I want to be in a band where we can express ourselves in lots of different ways and challenge ourselves. I think it’s also reflective of our music taste. We don’t just listen to one type of thing. With Northern Star, I was listening to a lot of Country and Nashville records at the time and I just wanted to reflect that in our way and do our version of that. I mean, it would be so boring if we did an album of all the same kind of arrangements and had a formula to stick to. We most certainly don’t have a formula at all.”

On the topic of differentiating and having played some of the UKs most notorious rock venues, Elliot discusses how the more acoustic and intimate shows compare;

“I think it’s fun stripping back the songs and going back to the basics. All of these songs were written in this sort of setting. They were all on acoustics, they were all on a piano. They weren’t full band productions when we started writing them, so taking them back down and really just working out what makes the song great and how to translate that into a more personal and intimate environment is a fun exercise for us. We enjoy doing the instore shows a lot.”

Earlier in the year The Amazons were invited on tour with Rock n Roll duo Royal Blood which included a huge show at the O2 Arena, London. Speaking on this experience, Matt says; 

“That was definitely a bucket list moment. It’s somewhere that we’ve always wanted to play. We’re so thankful to the guys in Royal Blood for giving us that opportunity, especially after a couple of years of not touring at all, to come back and then do those shows was a blast, a real thrill and kind of overwhelming at times.”

Sarcastically joking about dodgy deals, Matt adds; 

“They let us use the screens behind us which is mental! We paid off one of the operators’ cash in a brown paper bag!”

Speaking more seriously on the topic of support slots, Matt says; 

“It was awesome and it was amazing that they let us do that. I also like support acts who take the opportunity by the scruff of the neck and try and pose themselves on the situation. I think they should try and demand your attention – that’s when I’ve seen the best support slots. Rather than just being a part of the furniture whilst everyone talks and drinks and waits for the headline band.”

It was amazing chatting to the guys backstage. They were effortlessly funny and easy going as we chatted about their incredible new record. I finished by asking what they would like people to take away from How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? 

Matt – “I think with this record – lyrically I just want people to feel like whatever dreams you have, or aspirations, or hopes or whatever, I think if you just hold on a little longer then you’ve got a chance.”

Elliot – “It’s a record that reflects what we’ve been through the last couple of years – how could it not have? We’re just so happy that it’s out now and we can’t wait to play it and take it on tour. We’ll be back touring in October for the night of your life!”

How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me? OUT NOW.

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