Hello Luke and Inigo. It’s been a busy year for you since we last spoke at Slam Dunk last year. How has the year been for you?
Luke: It’s been non-stop really. It’s been a whole year since Slam Dunk and we’ve scarcely been home since. We’ve come back to the UK one more time since last year, and this is our third time in the UK in general. Slam Dunk 2016 was one of the coolest experiences that we’d had up until this point in our career and still is; so we have big expectations for tonight.
Inigo: Hell yeah. Hopefully we kill it.
You’ve just announced another tour in Australia in August, so it looks like you are showing no signs of slowing down…
Luke: It’s funny; that’s our only Australian tour planned for 2017, which is rather weird for a band from Australia. We’ve been in the UK and the US like, fifty more times more than our own country.
You’ve been seeing a lot of the world then.
Luke: Yeah, it’s been sick!
Inigo: We did our first Europe tour as well this year, which was insane.
Luke: That was extremely crazy for us, as it was a headline run and we’d never even played there before. It was an absolute privilege to headline and it was both nerve wracking and spectacular, because so many more kids came out than we could’ve ever expected and everybody was so enthusiastic.
Inigo: We sold out some of our shows!
Luke: We sold out Eindhoven and then some of our German ones. It was great.
When you’re so busy do you get much time to relax on tour and how do you like to do so?
Luke: It really depends on what you classify as relaxation time. We’re fortunate in the sense that we get to be on the road constantly; but the only downside is that it does get a little bit grating to be doing the same thing day in and day out, both mentally and physically. We’re at this point in our career though, where we’re good and hungry for it; this is what we want to be doing. We’re just so stoked. When we do get time off, we relax hard! We chill to the extreme!
Inigo: He hit the nail on the head; we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t enjoy it.
Recently you did a headline tour of the US with State Champs, Against The Current and Don Broco…
Luke: Yes, Don Broco; what a band!
How was the tour and did anything crazy happen while you were out in America?
Inigo: It was actually a pretty chilled out tour.
Luke: Behind the scenes it was chilled. The actual tour itself was just incredible; some of the craziest shows we’ve ever done.
Inigo: I think the LA show was one of my favourite shows that we’ve ever played.
Luke: LA and New York both stepped it up. Can I tell you what the worst part of that tour was?
What was that?
Luke: The worst thing was playing after Don Broco every night; because they are the best god damn band that I have ever seen! Everyone on that tour had the collective agreement that Don Broco are the best live band ever. For us to be playing after them felt wrong and very awkward. Luckily, they are the loveliest people in the whole world and we became super close friends, so getting to know them was great. It’ll be great to see them play tonight in front of a gigantic home country crowd; that’s going to be insane.
I also noticed that you played a house party while you were in LA. How did that come about and would you ever consider playing any intimate house shows or secret shows over here?
Inigo: Funnily enough, it came through the person who discovered us.
Luke: Our friend Brit Hughes runs a label called Common Ground Records. She is a close friend of the band and used to work for our label Hopeless, and she reached out for the potential of doing a small, fifty people only house show. We jumped at the idea.
Inigo: We’ve always wanted to play a house show, it’s just the sickest thing! You see bands playing houses in movies and we’d never done that.
Luke: Back in the day I played maybe one house show ever and I was so drunk that I fell over into a mic stand.
Inigo: Oh yeah, that’s true!
Luke: We’ve done it on a smaller degree in our previous projects before the band, but doing that was incredible for a couple of reasons. We got to play to those fifty kids who were some hardcore fans; so it was really nice just to spend the afternoon playing music and then meeting everybody and hanging out afterwards. It’s also a breath of fresh air to be able to do something like that when we’re just coming off such a big tour. With this, we just get out into someone’s back yard and plug in our shitty small amps and just hang out and talk to our friends.
Inigo: And have a couple of drinks.
Am I right in thinking you visited NASA while you were over there too?
Luke: That was a funny day. It was so cool. It was very unexpected. On this previous tour in the US, we were sharing a bus with Against The Current; which was lovely, because it was our first time ever on an official tour bus.
Inigo: Shout out to Ryan for hooking that up. He’s an amazing tour manager and took care of us as well as managing us.
Luke: So, the visit was arranged by Against The Current’s tour manager Sophie. She was like ‘Does anybody want to go to NASA?’; everybody was like ‘Hell yeah!’. That was a weird experience, because I believe that we were really in the stratosphere that morning….
Inigo: Yeah definitely! We were really above the Earth!
Luke: We were over the moon!… But yeah; it was really cool. We got to see the robot rovers that they have on Mars and all that cool stuff.
Inigo: All the futuristic stuff.
Luke: We actually got to see ground control too where they launched the Apollo missions. That was insane. Those rooms are completely refurbished to be as they were in the Sixties. I was wondering what would happen if somebody puked on the floor.
Inigo: They’d destroy a bunch of priceless equipment. That would be bad.
If you were to send one of your songs into space for life on another planet to listen to, which would you choose?
Luke: What song do you think aliens would be stoked on? Ummm… all our songs are great. No; I’m trying to think. If I were in space and I stumbled upon some music, what would I like to hear?…
Inigo: Gravity! I think that would be very fitting.
Luke: Yes, the song Gravity; track five off our album. That song has got that atmospheric vibe that I think would do very well in space. I think we’d definitely chart somewhere on the alien charts!
Congratulations about your album Better Weather doing so well when you released it last year. Are there plans for a follow up any time soon?
Luke: Yes, of course. We’re always unofficially working towards new music. We don’t have a definitive time where we’re locked into the studio yet, but we are currently writing and demoing stuff. We’re trying to accumulate everything ready and probably aiming to get into the studio towards the end of the year, because we’ve still got a lot more touring planned. I think the rough time frame is maybe mid next year for the next album to come out; but obviously there’ll be a few new songs before that.
What have you guys got planned for your set at Slam Dunk today?
Luke: We should probably write a set.
Luke: I think the fortunate thing from doing so many tours this year and also doing Slam Dunk last year, is that we know what works well. I think with Slam Dunk and Warped Tour under our belts, we’ve honed in on what makes a good festival set; so we’ll do that, but we’re going to do it ten times better this year!
There are eight stages at Slam Dunk. If you were to choose any eight acts that have ever existed to headline stages at your own festival, who would you choose?
Luke: Any eight acts. Arghh… We are going to have wildly different answers.
Inigo: Yeah, we are.
Ok, then. Four each?
Luke: Four each. With Confidence, obviously. We have to be on this dream festival lineup. I’m going to say Blink 182, Green Day, Sum 41 and then I’m so torn between my fourth. I think I’d like to to resurrect Motion City Soundtrack.
Inigo: I’m going to say Brand New, Trophy Eyes; they’re already here today actually. Safe To Say. Ummm, I don’t know, I don’t know!…
Luke: Shannon Noll. There was one more wasn’t there?
Luke: Ahh no; it’s us. Obviously we’d headline above all those bands. That’s clearly what would really happen.
What have you got coming up for the rest of the year?
Luke: A lot more touring. I think we’re actually going to be announcing a lot more tours; both in the UK and Europe, and in the US over the next few months. Keep an eye out for that; it’ll all be on our social media. Basically, lots and lots of touring and trying to squeeze in that next album.
Photo: Brandon Lung