► It’s been almost four years since your last album, what have you guys been up to since then?
It wasn’t our intention to leave it four years at all. This album was recorded ages ago but mixing became a very very lengthy process and then getting a release date added yet more time. All the while I’ve been songwriting so hopefully album 3 will be out long before 2016!
► How do you feel the band has developed between your first album and your most recent release “100 Miles of Broken Pavement”?
I think people will be surprised at this sudden change in our sound from the first album, but the truth is that it was a gradual progression. The first album was quite synthy but the more we played it live the less synthy those songs became. As new songs were written they followed the style of how we played live. The change in sound was really very gradual – much more so that you’d know if you just heard us on record. This album sounds a lot different but the themes and core remain I think.
► With a such great response to your debut LP, did you feel there was an extra bit of pressure to try and live up to the high expectations for your new album?
No not at all. I’m always fondest of the songs I’m writing right now – I think every song I write sees some improvement. We don’t have a label to pressurize us into producing an album. We make it how we feel it should be and then cross everything and release it!
► What was it like getting the album written and recorded? Was it a long process?
It was long but not in any way torturous. Everything was recorded and produced by Richard Lower and Me so we had a lot of freedom to spend time getting the sound as we wanted it. This was a both a blessing and a curse; when you’re not paying large amounts to a studio you find that you spend too much time. In the end we had to force ourselves to say ‘OK, this track is finished now.’
► Is there a particular track from the album that you are most proud of?
‘About Our Love’ is my current favourite. I don’t think there’s anything I would change about it to make it better. It’s also, it seems, our most misunderstood song which surprises me as there’s no hiding lyrically or musically. It’s about relationships but its most certainly not a sweet love song.
► After your first album you received a lot of praise from people like Huw Stephens as well as exposure on Radio 1. In recent weeks bands such as Rams’ Pocket Radio and Wonder Villains have received similar exposure. Is there any advice you’d give to artists who have been given this break to help them progress?
I think the best advice is to go and listen to advice from those who helped us, Rams and the wonder villains! All of us have benefited from the wisdom and help of people like Jimmy Devlin (No Dancing) and Davy Matchett (Third Bar). Any big steps we’ve taken have been after consulting them – and I can see them steering many more bands to success. Jeff Robinson has been great to us as well and of course, any NI band that doesn’t send their music to ATL, Radio 1 and Electric Mainline needs their head seen to!
► You have supported some big acts in the form of The National and LCD Soundsystem. Are there any moments that stick out during those tours?
We first met James Murphy as he emerged from the toilet on his tour bus. That was pretty momentous! The National were absolutely lovely. My girlfriend and I were subsequently on their guest list for their Central Park ‘homecoming gig’ of sorts in NYC. That was pretty special.
► You’ve had your music featured in many adverts and television shows in recent years, including American drama “Grey’s Anatomy”, the same show which many credit to be where Snow Patrol got their big break. I’m sure it must have been a great feather in the bands cap?
It’s pretty clear that bands are making less and less money these days but one of the areas that still pays reasonably well is advertising and TV. I think it’s great that we’ve been featured on so many given that I don’t think our sound is overly mainstream. It’s not viewed as selling out as much anymore either – it’s become essential for survival for a lot of bands. The only downside is that you find your music gets played to millions of people without them knowing or ever finding out who you are!
► Recently there has been a sharp emergence of quality local talent. Are there any new acts which have caught your eye?
I’ve not kept an ear to the local scene as much as I used to due to work commitments but it’s great that there’s so much quality there. I’ve loved Our Krypton Son for years so it’s great to see him finally getting exposure. Third Man Theme are the most exciting and interesting act that I’ve heard from here in the last year and I can’t wait until they produce a full LP.
► Finally, looking towards the future; now that the album is finished what are the plans for the band in 2012? Are you planning to go out on tour?
Hopefully we’ll be gigging a lot more later in the year, but in the meantime we’ll be playing our first show in about 9 months on March 2nd in QUBSU bunatee bar. We wanted to do a floor show and keep it quite intimate – its gonna be more of a party than a gig 🙂