Interview: ZOAX, Luxor (Köln)19. April 2016
Lest We Forget: How is the tour going so far?
Doug: It’s been awesome! We are a really new band, so playing in front of this many people is amazing for us.
Adam: In the first night, the people who see us are terrified. They’re just so scared. In the second night, they get us. A lot of people are coming to both shows so they know what’s going to happen.
Lest We Forget: How is it to open for Funeral For A Friend on their farewell tour? Is the mood of the audience rather sad?
Adam: There are definitely a few people upset about them ending. You can see that when Funeral announce their last song – it’s like pulling the heart strings. We grew up loving Funeral For a Friend. Being on their last tour seems like the maddest thing. I don’t think it even hit us yet because they’re being so nice to us and we’re having the greatest time with them. It just seems like we’ve been friends all our life.
Doug: Yeah, we’ve heard their music for like 10 years or longer.
Adam: It’s weird. Last night I went up with them during their song Juneau and it was just fucking mental. This was so insane.
Lest We Forget: It’s really sad that you won’t have the chance to get those moments on stage with them again.
Adam: I know. But they’ve worked so hard for more than 15 years and left amazing records. It’s so great to see some people coming to both shows and singing every song.
Lest We Forget: You recently released a music video to your song “ The Bad Blood“. Who came up with the concept for this video ?
Doug: We had a concept for that video but it just didn’t end up happening. So we just took the cameras we usually use to evaluate our stage performance, hung them at the roof in the middle of our practice room and just hit the play button while we were rehearsing. It was one night before we were support for The Qemists in Brighton.
The Z was made by the girlfriend of our bass player Joe. She’s a shop designer for Urban Outfitters and she did the Z in the lightbox. Joe and Jonny -our drummer- went around in London moving the Z and filming it.
Adam: The video had to be done within 48hours because we just let the time go of how much time we had to do it. So the idea we originally had didn’t work out. But then Joe and Jonny just said that they were going to do something. I knew that we had that footage from the practice room but I didn’t see the Z until the video came out. It was funny when we watched the video. I really liked it.
Doug: It’s the exact opposite of the video we’ve done for our next single where we went to the studio, spent 12 hours filming. It will come out in about six weeks and the video is already pretty much done.
Lest We Forget: But how did Joe and Jonny move the Z? It seems pretty big and heavy..
Adam: They had a trolly where they put the Z onto while they were carrying it through London city. They brought it down to the tube stations and stuff. There’s a scene in the video where the tube train closes all its doors and the Z is just sitting there. In that very moment a guy who was working at the station said over the speakers: „Would the guys with the big giant Z, please move.“
When they let the Z standing alone on central places there were people coming up to it who started touching it. Joe and Jonny were sitting way back filming it so nobody saw them. All they saw was that giant Z standing there alone and everybody was wondering about the meaning of that Z. It was good fun.
They took the Z onto the tube for their final shot and one of the guys that you can see walking in the shot was like „What the fuck is this Z, I’ve seen it everywhere!“ [laughs]
Lest We Forget: You’re about to release your new record in may. What is the concept and style of it?
Adam: I’m not gonna go with all these simple cliches like „This is the best thing we’ve ever done in our life our blood sweat and tears went into it.“
Doug: I’m going to do that: „This is the best thing we’ve ever done in our life our blood sweat and tears went into it.“ [laughs]
Adam: [laughs] When we started, we never planned to do an album at a certain point. We were just writing some songs, seeing what would happen, doing EP’s and stuff like that. When we decided to do an album we ended up scrapping two albums of material what was just not good enough. We were trying to get the whole vibe of what we do live on tour. The EP’s were like big learning for us. It took us two years of writing for the album.
Doug: Yes, but the writing really got intense from February to September of last year. It was tracked in November/December and mixed in January.
Adam: What happened for me personally was that I’ve written some of my favorite lyrics of all time. There are a lot of songs where I even can’t believe I came up with the lyrics because they’re really great. [laughs] But that’s for all of us in the band. We worked together really well on the record. So wether people like it or not we don’t really care because we’re so proud of what we’ve archived. We’re playing the majority of the songs from the record on this tour. I think we’re playing four new songs both nights and three or four old songs. People are already picking up on the new songs and really go for it. This is so funny because there are always a couple of people in the crowd who are singing back the words but they can’t know the words by now. This is the best and I always feeling like I want to give them all a record right now, but yeah, it’s coming out at 13rd of may.
Lest We Forget: So basically you just said that this is the best album you’ve ever done and that your blood sweat and tears went into it. Was there anything special about writing this record?
Adam: We’ve all been in different bands. But this time all the guys came over to Ireland, my hometown. Ireland is just hilarious. It is just the funniest country ever. There was that whole period of having everyone over, meeting my family, meeting my lifestyle, recording the album with one of my closest friends. So whenever I hear this record all those memories come back.
Lest We Forget: We heard that you take photos with your fans and then put a sticker on it with a free download code for your new song „The Bad Blood“. Who came up with that idea ?
Doug: I think it was all of us.
Adam: I think I’d give more credit to Joe. He’s kind of the creative side of the band. He’s the guy who’d want to push the boundaries of doing something. He came up with the idea of taking polaroids with the people and getting them a free download of our single on top of that. „The Bad Blood“ track is by the way not on itunes or anywhere else to find. So the download code of the song is the only way to get it (besides watching the track on Youtube).
It’s really good fun because normally people come and ask US to take a photo, but now I turn up to the people and ask if I can get a photo with them. They’re so weirded out by that. When Doug takes the photo and they see the Polaroid coming out they look so confused. I love making people wonder what the hell is going on.
Lest We Forget: Like with your big Z in London.
Adam: Yeah, and sometimes when people ask me for an autograph I ask them for their autograph, I mean that’s just fair.
Lest We Forget: Do you know any german words?
Doug: Tut mir leid, mein Deutsch ist schlecht.
Adam: I could sing a Rammstein song but I don’t think that’s gonna be great. Kinder is just my word because a police men came down in the park when we did some balancing rope things and jumping around. He came and he was shouting all these german stuff at us, but we didn’t understand anything. At some point he said kinder. So I knew that he means that we’re children. I was like But we are Kinder!
Lest We Forget: What was your favorite tour date on this tour so far?
Adam: I have to say probably Hamburg. The venue was really cool. But we also played in Wiesbaden and the promoters of the venue were the nicest people I’ve ever meet. They treated us so well. They made us feel so welcome. These things are highlights because when you’re on the road you usually don’t get food and stuff but then these guys gave us a hot meal and everything.
Doug: That doesn’t seem much but when you’re on tour in the UK it’s a miracle if you get a hot meal. You turn up and just get six bottles of water and six bottles of beer. But when you’re in germany you get everything. It makes all this so much easier.
Adam: Yes. But so far every show has been great for us. We’re the first support band of Funeral For A Friend and the whole tour is sold out, so we get to play in front of a lot of people who never heard of us before. It’s great to see the interaction and what’s gonna come when the album comes out. I just don’t want it to end.
Doug: I think I could tour germany for the rest of my life. Exclusively germany.
Adam: On your own?
Doug: Yeah, Douglas Wotherspoon solo show.
Lest We Forget: Like these One-Man-Orchestra where you put a drum over your belly.
Doug: Oh yeah that would be great!
Adam: You’d sell so many places out. You’ll be so great!
Lest We Forget: Do you have time to go sightseeing on this tour?
Adam: Today, we went to a vegan pizza place [laughs].
Doug: And we saw the Dom today. We’re not staying far from there.
Adam: Did you see that?
Doug: Yeah.. I’ve got photos in front of it [both laugh]. When we were in Berlin we went to Brandenburg’s gate, we went to the Ramones museum, when we were in Hamburg. We’ve never been to something like that before so it was really interesting.
Adam: When we were in hamburg we went out to the pubs and they just never close. It was amazing. They stay open all night. We’re so used to our clubs back home that close early.
Doug: In London the bars or pubs close around 11 o’clock and all the clubs at 3.
Adam: Yeah. So when we went out in Hamburg there was a moment in the morning where I realized that we’ve been there for so long. I remember looking at my phone at half 6 in the morning. I wanted to go but then Parkway Drive came on over the speakers so I thought Jesus, here we go.
I actually think that I’ve become drunk and then got a hungover without sleeping and then got drunk again. That’s why I haven’t seen that much in germany. [laughs]
Doug: Adam and me have a very different experience of germany.
Adam: It’s really good though. I’m loving it [drinks from the bottle of beer in his hand].
Lest We Forget: What was the funniest thing that happened on this tour?
Doug: [instant] Adam finding my washbag. I have a very feminine looking washbag. It looks like a handbag but it’s great.
Adam: Oh Jesus! It has got the color cream and it is pretty small. I was crying so much from laughing when I saw it at first.
Doug: For me there was another funny moment at this tour. Funeral For A Friend are playing 40 songs, over 2 nights which is just A LOT of music (to remember) On the first night of the tour Gavin, the guitarist, couldn’t remember one of the lead lines. He played the first seconds, looked at me and said in despair „I don’t know what’s next!“ So he played just something and was so out of tune. My stomach was hard for two days because of the laughing. That was so hilarious!
ANSWER FOR THE OTHER
-What is Dougs favorite band?
Adam: I’m gonna say John Mayer or Ryan Adams.
Doug: Yeah, I love them both.
-What is Adams favorite food?
-What is Dougs favorite TV series?
Adam: House of Cards?
Doug: Yeah pretty much.
-What’s Adams favorite game?
Doug: Grand Theft Auto.
-What’s Dougs favorite drink?
Doug: Yeah, or currently: Spezi. That’s so good! I never had that until 2 days ago in munich. I’ve drunk 9 bottles. My stomach hurts so much because of that.
Adam: That explains it all! He woke up this morning in the hostel, looked at me and told me that his stomach hurts so much. There you go! You drank 9 bottles of Spezi!
-What is Adams favorite Star Wars Episode?
Doug: Episode V: The empire strikes back.
-If Doug would be an animal, what would he be?
Adam: We never talked about that I think [laughs]. What’s a really small animal?
Doug: I’m the only guy in the band who’s not 6 foot. If 6 foot is 5”12, I’m 5”11.
Adam: Could we define hobbits as animals? Then he’d be an hobbit.[laughs]
-Describe Adam with one word
Doug: Hairy. Or can I switch over to pubes?…[laughs]