“I was way too drunk, it was embarrassing. I felt horrible for anyone who was there,” UK band Metronomy take ten of our questions ahead of Norwich gig
14:17 27 January 2014
Ahead of their Norwich gig in March - and the release of a new album, UK band Metronomy talk to us.
Three albums in Metronomy reached the mainstream with the critically-acclaimed The English Riviera. It’s taken almost three years for the follow up, but on March 10 the band will release their new single, Love Letters, in tandem with their new album of the same name. A tour will follow, with an appearance at the Nick Rayns LCR, UEA, pencilled in for March 26. According to singer and producer Joe Mount the new songs are influenced by a lot of classic 60s records – seminal funk and soul artists like Sly and The Family Stone, Love, The Byrds and The Zombies. He took time out to speak to David Powles.
Why a musician and why not a librarian or traffic warden?
“I’m not sure really. I think if you talk to anyone who is young and good at something there comes a point when you realise that actually it could be a job.
The first band I was in was a school band called The Upsides. I was 15 with some guys a few years older and we were getting a lot of interest. Unfortunately one of the guys went off to university and we had to break up.
But it’s when you are about 17 and you decide to make it your life goal. It’s a gamble but I always wanted to work in music. If I hadn’t been able to do that in a band I would have just been happy to have been involved in music some other way.”
It’s taken a while for critical and mainstream success to come along, did that matter or is it simply a nice byproduct of being in the band?
“The nicest thing is to be able to make a living out of something I love. It has taken a while and to be honest people were not really expecting us to be a big success, which was always reflected in our record deals.”
What was the turning point for the band in terms of suddenly being more popular?
“It all happened pretty gradually. The first time I felt like something was really happening was at a gig at the ICA in London in front of about 300/350 people. I was thinking to myself ‘this is incredible, we’re the only band on the flyer’. After that each venue becomes bigger and bigger, but you have to try hard not to focus on that too much. I just find it amazing to think that people are prepared to pay to come and see us.”
Funniest moment in music?
“Most of it involves things like turning up at the wrong airport or equipment suddenly catching alight on stage. It’s an industry that’s not exactly renowned for being organised so clearly there can be a lot of chaotic moments.”
“There was a gig we did in Biarritz in France with Two Door Cinema Club and we were supposed to go on stage at midnight so we had a drink at about 11pm, as we sometime do. We didn’t get on stage until about 1.30am and by that time I was way too drunk, it was embarrassing. I felt horrible for anyone who was there. I hadn’t done that before and haven’t since.”
“There are lots of things I’m proud of but the answer would probably be getting to our fourth album and people still being interested enough to listen.”
What can we expect of the new album Love Letters?
“It was recorded in an old studio, which give sit a completely different quality in terms of sound and arrangement. I definitely feel it is a record that might surprise people in that it feels a lot more intimate than our last album. When we were recording it I was listening to a lot of 60s bands, psychedelia and that is reflected in the sound.”
Do you believe in it? What would you do if you didn’t?
“I definitely believe in this album and we are really happy with it. We put a lot of effort into it to make sure it is absolutely right, changing things time and again where need be. If I didn’t believe in it we wouldn’t put it out. We don’t really kick songs out, we record them again, sometimes for up to 10 times, until we are happy with it. There’s nothing that cannot be fixed.”
If you could be in any other band which one and why?
“I’d probably be the drummer in a young band - anyone who would have me really. I’d probably say The Strypes, though I might be too old for them. I think I definitely imagine I’m still young. Yeah, one day I’m going to see if I can join The Strypes as their drummer.”
You’re a band I’ve only seen live at Latitude Festival. What can we expect when you play in Norwich?
“We know that the bigger the gig, the more people pay and the more we have to step up. We’ve played the UEA before (as part of the NME Tour in 2012) and it’s a good venue. Clearly we’ve got our new songs and a new style set and hopefully everyone will have a great time. I really look forward to playing live and can’t wait to play these shows.”
To buy tickets for their Nick Rayns LCR gig click here