Hello Mark and Tristan. What can we expect from your set today?
Tristan: A lot of pain and suffering, especially on Mark’s behalf.
Mark: Yes. I broke my rib the other day, so it’s going to be quite tough. However; I’m actually really looking forward to it. Online, the reaction to us playing has been nuts. You always go into a festival not really knowing what to expect; but we’ve always had a great reception at Trees. It’s our first time on the main stage; so honestly, I’m expecting a really good show.
Tristan: I think it’s one of our favourite festivals to be honest. Everyone’s super into it, and they all seem to be here for the music; which is what it’s all about. Like Mark said, we always get really good response here, and it’s a great atmosphere all round.
As you said, you guys have played here at Trees for the last couple of years on the smaller stages and now you’re graduating to main stage, which is great. Is there anything in particular that keeps you coming back to this festival year after year?
Tristan: We just keep getting asked back, which is really nice. We did the Axiom stage two years running, and last year we were slightly higher up on the bill in there. We also did a forest sessions acoustic set then, as well. We got asked back to do the main stage this year, so it’s really good.
Mark: Ideally, we’d like to do it every year. That would be fantastic.
Are there any other bands that you are hoping to watch this weekend?
Mark: Unfortunately we are only here for the day today; but the lineup is really good. At The Drive In; that’s a good one for us. Our management friends Boston Manor are playing, so i also want to check them out. Marmozets are also on the main stage. So yeah, there’s a lot of good music today.
You guys released Reiði earlier this year and that’s very dynamic and adventurous as an album. How do you feel that the reaction has been for the new album compared with your previous release, I’m Not Well?
Mark: I think it’s great. I think everything has just sort of doubled; the streams have doubled and the music has expanded in terms of genre, so we appeal to a much wider audience now. It’s what we wanted to do. We made an album like that for that reason; so we can kind of branch out to festivals that are maybe a little more alternative. I think it’s really opened doors for us.
Tristan: It’s like a natural tradectory. It’s just been a constant up and up for us, which is really cool. People have taken to the album very well and everyone understands the direction that we’ve taken with it. We couldn’t be happier.
You wrote most of the album in Iceland, which is a stunning location to visit. Can you tell me a bit about that experience?
Mark: I had been over quite a few times and just fell in love with it. The intention wan’t really to write an album while I was out there; but I found myself writing all these lyrics and came back with them and from that, it just formed naturally. The songs are a lot more dynamic; there was a lot more room for strings and things, and we could hear that as we wrote them. The moment that I went to the country, I knew it was really important for me to take the guys along to experience it; so we flew out and shot the video to Manic there. I think that the moment when everyone was there together; they really understood how the album sounded like it did. It was really cool for it to be like that. That’s something that I’ve tried to do more and more actually; to write on the road. I was in France for quite a while after a tour with my acoustic guitar and wrote quite a bit out there. We’ll see what happens next time, but it’s nice to do it that way.
When I interviewed you guys a few years ago, Mark actually mentioned that the dream place to play a gig was in Iceland. Did you have the chance to do that while you were there, or is it still on your list?
Mark: It’s still on my bucket list, unfortunately. I think it will happen; but i think it’s one of those places that really you’ve got to be bringing in a big audience, because it’s such a niche place to go. There is a festival there called Iceland Airwaves; so getting on a bill for a festival like that would be great. However, having our own headline show in Reykjavík; that’s bucket list. One day we’ll get there.
Mark, you’ve got your acoustic tour coming up visiting different cities including Bristol, London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds, Cardiff. Is it nerve-wracking to play such a stripped back set and how have you been prepping for it?
Mark: Yeah it is; I hate it. It’s so much more nerve-wracking than going on with the guys; but it’s just something that I wanted to do this year to push myself further. It’s also about making the most of it while we’ve got down time. It’s something a little bit different. I haven’t started practicing yet, purely because we’ve been writing and doing festivals; but after this I’m going to get really stuck in. I’ll be doing a lot of originals and Foxxes tracks and covers, so it will be cool.
Mark’s dog Tarka featured in the Joy video and a lot of social media posts, which has resulted in some cute Tarka fanmail and artwork. Do you think you might incorporate her into a future merch design like Grumble Bee did with his dog Tomsky?
Mark: That’s cool. I think that would be a money maker and also it would be awfully cute, so I think we are maybe missing a trick there.
Tristan: I don’t know why we haven’t done that already!
If you guys were to choose any artists for own festival, living or dead, who would you choose?
Tristan: I’ve been listening to a lot of Poco recently. I don’t know how many of them are still alive; but I think they’d be great.
Mark: We always answer the same ones, so it’s trying to think of something different. Bands that are alive; I’d love to see Radiohead, and get Oasis back together. Small bands coming up; I think Idles; they’re doing really well and they would be fun at any festival.
You guys have got lots of dates planned for this Summer including Truck Festival, Boardmasters and Reading and Leeds. Have you got anything else in the pipeline for the rest of the year that you can tell us about?
Tristan: Other than the festivals, no.
Mark: We’re trying to get on some support tours at the moment, but they haven’t been confirmed yet; so unfortunately not.
Tristan: There’s nothing set in stone basically, so just keep your eyes peeled.