MORE! Part 1 is here.
Can you tell me about the importance of unity on the album? I can’t think of a band operating today that has more of a sense of all its members working for the same goals, everyone in it together.
DR: It’s just something we’ve always done.
JBJ: It’s weird, our opinions on certain things, our ethics, have always been defined from the beginning. Everyone always agreed on things strongly. It just so happens that our live show and the way we write and record is a result of us defining ourselves early.
DR: We didn’t hold auditions or anything like that, it’s just a gathering of friends. I think right there, right at the start, we’ve had that unity. Friends first.
So if it got to the point where people started falling out…
DR: We fall out all the time.
JBJ: It’s six people living on buses, you’re going to fall out with everyone. If we were a three-piece and there’s a falling-out, you can’t exactly get away from it. But if there’s six of you, then you can…
DR: Avoid certain members! Yeah… unity on the album, what do you mean by that?
Well, you chant your own name, you begin the album with everyone at once on one rocktageous note…
DR: The album was supposed to be a “hello” to the world. The idea is that it catches people’s attention, us shouting our band name is just telling them who we are.
JBJ: And a sly teaching people how to say it… our name just highlights idiots that can’t read.
Jim Bowen or Jim Davidson?
DR: Jim Bowen.
JBJ: Who’s Jim Bowen?
DR: The guy from Bullseye.
JBJ: Oh, so it’s him or Jim Davidson the racist homophobe?
Mario or Luigi?
JBJ: Luigi. I think Mario’s a bit of a wank. Luigi’s the underdog. On Mariokart 64 I would always go with Luigi.
DR: And he’s green for Celtic.
JBJ: And the IRA.
Now that the vocals in the band are split between John and Calum, do you find you play the drums less, John?
JBJ: When I joined the band, it was as a second drummer. The two-drummer thing is amazing, but it’s better if you show the contrast between one drummer and the reason it’s so amazing. The first idea was to drop drums from certain sections so the sections with two drummers would be bigger, like in [recent single] ‘Black Wax’. I think the first song with two vocals was ‘Watch This’, and we thought I’d just play drums in the chorus and make the verse really spacky. It boosts the crowd interaction thing, so there’s two people in your face. We sometimes write lyrics together. There are verses where I’ve written it all, there are verses where Calum has.
There are certain tweaks and differences in some of the older songs on the album, there’s that guitar line at the beginning of ‘Song One Puzzle’…
JBJ: The triplet-y crotchet bit?
DR: That’s Duncan’s part. I’ve been playing the exact same thing…
And you thought “What the HELL is that guy doing?!”
DR: The thing is, I tell Duncan what to play! Then sometimes he comes up with his own parts. He’s a lot better than I’ve given him credit for.
JBJ: It’s not even that, it’s playing the live so much. You start finding little shortcuts, little things to add. They’re never spoken of, it’s natural.
Matthew Horne collapsed on stage this afternoon, what would you do if that happened to someone in the band?
JBJ: It’s almost happened a couple of times, honest to God.
DR: I reckon if it happened it would take a while for someone in this band to notice that that person actually was in any distress.
What’s the nearest you’ve come to it happening?
JBJ: I’ve had proper dizzy spells, from screaming or just exhaustion.
DR: We don’t really care… not really, we’d call all the necessary authorities, clean away the body and get our old drummer back!
Good times. Goooood times.