Following their intimate gig at The Joiner’s on October 19th,The EDGE catch up with lead guitarist and vocalist Matthew Murphy.
Firstly, how you doing?
Really good thank you. Last night was a full blown success, it was quite literally the sweatiest gig I have ever played, I reckon I lost about 12stone overnight. It was a bit of a shock to the system, we’ve not toured in a while, I’ve got such a headache now!
What was the idea behind this intimate tour? Was it to showcase your new material?
Yeah, it was partly that, put partly so we don’t shit ourselves when it comes round to doing a full tour. Get ourselves back into the swing of things, you know?
And which to you guys prefer, big or small shows?
Small shows are more nerve racking. At least with 500, 600 people you can’t see all their faces, but by that same token, a sea of faces at a festival is terrifying. You tend to lose concentration, get a bit overwhelmed by it all. But small ones are good too, you get real close and personal with the fans, which is great.
With the second full length album on the way, what can you tell us about it? How does it compare to Tales of Girls and Boys and Marsupials?
Well, it is due for release early next year. It was December, but it’s been moved back to February 2011 ‘cuz we’ve got a few things left to do. It’s been a good little evolution. We decided we wanted more synth, and from there it got greater and greater depth with less of a day-glow feel to it. It wasn’t a conscious decision though, it not being all that similar to the Tales of Girls, but it’s hard to compare. It’s a bit more serious, which just kind of happened. It definitely wasn’t intentional [laughs]
When you were making this new record, or any record for that matter, where do you look for your influences? Any people, music, places in particular?
Well, often it’s a combination of all those things – things people have said, phrases, places we have been – but mostly I guess it just comes from hard work. When there’s no inspiration in particular, that’s pretty hard going, we’re like ‘what the fuck are we gonna write’, and we write something.
Given the success of Tales of Girls, which this new record will inevitably be measured against, and the whirlwind touring that ensued, do you find it hard to keep your feet on the ground? Or do you find it all very overwhelming?
I think you have to have a laugh. I’m not the most grounded of people anyway, running between London and Liverpool with various girlfriends and what have you. I do play golf though [laughs]
Golf…? I can’t see you in the get up…
[laughs]No? Well, perhaps not. Perhaps I shouldn’t have told you this. Should have waited until after the third album to preserve my dignity [laughs]No, but it is hard to comprehend it all really. I wouldn’t say that we’ve ‘made it’ – I don’t even know what ‘making it’ is. The whole thing is a rollercoaster. After the first album, and the tours and what have you, we were like ‘what the fuck do we do now’ and felt completely wretched. It was like we have been physically thrown about. So when it all stopped, I was still fluctuating and finding it hard to adjust, which I think comes out in the second album.
And what do you guys have planned for the future?
A lot of touring. After releasing Tokyo all we want is people to hear the new material, which is partly what this has been all about, and it’s gone down pretty well. But we have another tour coming to coincide with the album release, and then a mental summer of festivals presumably.
Thank you very much for taking the time out to talk to us. Just to round off, what would you do if you weren’t a musician?
I actually don’t know because I’m shit at everything! [laughs]Pete would probably teach languages, and Thor would be a fisherman [laughs]. I was a waiter once, I spilt beer all `over the customers, I was terrible! But I really don’t know. Let’s hope it never comes to that [laughs]