“I must have known Mike about six years, probably only said a few sentences” – An Interview with Jack Williams and Josh Betteridge from Wild Front

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After gifting our new best friends Wild Front with houmous, we talked about all things gigging and Christopher Walken ahead of their final night of residency at The Joiners.

How are you guys doing?
Jack Williams: Really excited about tonight!

And it’s the second night of tour?
Josh Betteridge: Second night of tour, first proper headline of tour, because last night was The Great Escape first fifty.

I was very excited to see you in the first fifty, I haven’t been to The Great Escape before and I don’t know why because it’s exactly the kind of thing that I would love.
JW: It’s incredible! I think the great thing about is you just see so many new acts. And everything’s so close, like, at festivals, especially the very muddy ones, you have to decide how much you really want to see someone.
JW: It’s too much, I think on our way to your interview at Bestival we just got covered in mud, absolutely covered.

It reached a point on Saturday where it was like “This band would be nice to see but it’s just not worth the half an hour mud walk, and because the press tent was literally behind the main stage I just stayed there most of the time.
JW: There were some great people on that stage, I thought.

There really were!
JW: Really excited about tonight, we had a bit of an issue with the lights which is a bit of a shame. We went to pick them up, set them all up then realised we didn’t have the right converters so we had to pack it all up again, which was a shame. But The Joiners have a decent rig so it’ll be alright.
JB: It’s not like we’re going to be black on stage.

That would be very fitting though, it wouldn’t be weird if you were just in the shadows.
JB: We should do that, just turn all the lights off! You’ve got some fluorescent tape.
JW: Candlelit!

So this is your third night of residency here, and it’s sold out – which is incredible!
JB: To be honest, when we first booked the three nights, about three in three and a half months, we were like “This is a challenge.” We thought the first one should be alright, the second one maybe, but we were really worried about the last night because everyone would have already been.

What made you want to do three?
JB: The plan was, and exactly as it has happened, if they’re quite often people will be building from the hype of the one before and make sure to go, whereas if we’d left it too long it would drop off again. So the plan for each one was to build the numbers, last time we sold out on the night, tonight sold out a couple of days ago.
JW: I think one of the nice things about having these shows is we’ve been able to curate our own lineups, the first time we had Nakamara, another local band who we’re a big fan of, the second time we had Heir and Valeras.

They’re so good!
JW: Unbelievable, both incredible bands. And Luna Bay, we’re friends with their manager, and with Arcade Hearts, so it’s really nice to be able to do that. We’re actually staying with Heir for the night on this tour!
JB: I still have their CD in my car, every now and then I’ll play it.

Who else have you guys seen recently?
JW: I don’t know… I think the last person I saw in Southampton properly was Loyle Carner, it was a while ago. I haven’t been to a proper big gig around here since then, but I love him, I listen to him all the time. I went to see Too Many T’s down here a while back, that was cool. I think because we’re gigging all the time and we see people we’re gigging with, we haven’t had much time. I’ve booked a few tickets, I’ve booked tickets to see Bon Iver, D’Angelo, and Pine Grove in Brighton. They’re probably three of my favourite artists.
JB: And Paramore in January. Nobody’s told me it isn’t happening yet, so I assume it’s happening.
JW: I try to book things in advance to make sure I see them, otherwise I wouldn’t.

I’m bad at doing that, everyone I see is very last minute. I was taken to Scouting for Girls very last minute on Friday.
JB: What were they like?

They were… Quite the nostalgia trip, actually!
JW: They’re one of those bands, aren’t they? Classic back in the day and sort of just the same thing.

Their whole setlist was basically their debut album and a couple from their sophomore. They were very good though. It is nice going to a big gig though, like here I’m assuming it’s very easy to see people?
Yeah, pretty clearly, when the lights are bright it’s hard to make out expressions but you can see people pretty clearly.

It’s nice to just be at a big venue and to be a bit anonymous sometimes. What are you guys looking forward to on tour?
JB: I’ve never been to Ireland, I went to Scotland when I was about 3, it’ll be really nice just driving around. I love driving anyway, but I’m looking forward to just seeing new places I think.
JW: Me too, this is our first headline tour so it’s just exciting. I was booking up some of the accommodation for the places we’re playing in Ireland and some of them just look so, so beautiful.

Are you nervous about turnout?

A little bit, a lot of the places have sold a fair few tickets, more than we were expecting. They’re small venues, and like Newcastle’s sold 50 which isn’t loads, but it’s enough for it to be good. We’re excited about it, it’s new people who we haven’t played in front of.

Have you still got your framed picture of Christopher Walken?
JW: We do.

Why?
JW: Because we think it’s hilarious.
JB: Mike and Joe are quite big film buffs, and they do love Christopher Walken. Mike’s a mysterious guy.
JW: Doesn’t say much. I must have known Mike about six years, probably only said a few sentences.
JB: I still don’t really know why he has a framed picture of Christopher Walken as if he’s a god or something, but it’s quite funny.
JW: He wants to do it and we’re like “Yeah Mike, that’s you, you go for it.” We accept and love him.

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Third year PAIR student and live editor. Also the Wessex Scene's Head of Events. Fan of cats, gigs and a tea lover - find me rambling about politics and cats @_Carly_May on Twitter.

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