“When I was a kid, I wanted to be farmer”: The EDGE catch up with Joel Pott, frontman from Athlete

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You’re now about half way through your UK tour, how’s it been?

It’s been great so far, the London show that we played was pretty immense. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a gig like that, which is nice because it’s our home gig. All the other ones have been brilliant too. It feels like everybody knows every song.

Do you feel welcome playing gigs elsewhere in the world?

The U.S and Canada feels pretty homely, I think that wherever you go, you’re just made to feel at home. I love touring in Germany. Obviously if you can jump on a tube home at the end of a night it’s slightly different.

Having released your singles album, does it feel like you’ve made it?

Yeah, I think that when you’ve been going for ten years and you’ve made a career out of it, that’s unusual these days. For us it’s a time when we can look back, take stock and go “wow… we’re one of the lucky ones and long may it continue!”

Most bands seem to wait years before releasing a Greatest Hits album, did you feel under pressure to release this record, or was it a personal decision?

It was our ex- record label EMI doing it to earn some money for themselves! We managed to put them off doing it for a year or so and it just felt like the right time. We were able to get involved in it and make it into something that we wanted. It’s not so much a greatest hits, it’s more of a scrapbook of everything that’s happened so far, and I’m sure that in another ten years time there’ll be another one.

In your recent Getaway EP it seems to me that you’ve stayed true to the sound you exhibited with Vehicles and Animals…

If you listen to any song on that singles collection, I think you could go “That’s Athlete”, that’s really important. You don’t want to be pastiche of something else. From the outset we tried to do what we wanted to do and have fun with it, that’s something that would identify you as a band on your own, I think that we’re always on a journey to discover new sounds and new ways of writing.

How do you deal with being away from home?

I’ve just been chatting on Skype to the kids; that’s great. It helps having a crew and a band around you who are decent human beings. Touring is different from home life and you should enjoy that. Me, Steve and Johnny went out for a walk on the beach today. I always like to see a town, whether you’ve been there a million times before or not, it’s always good to get out and experience it.

Finally, what would you be doing if you hadn’t become a musician?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a farmer. I could definitely do that lifestyle, a pipe, slippers by a roaring fire and a massive tractor. Having said that I was into skating and snowboarding at the same time as it kicked off with Athlete. In all seriousness I’d be snowboarding somewhere in the world.

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