Prior to Decade's show at Nottingham's Rock City (Basement) on the 10th March celebrating the release of their second record Pleasantries, I was fortunate enough to sit down with lead vocalist Alex Sears and guitarist Connor Fathers where we spoke about how the band's been getting on.
How does it feel to be back on the road touring again after quite a long break?
Alex: Yeah when we did our last tour obviously the new album wasn't out, we'd just released 'Daisy May' and we were basically on the road in support of one song. We were playing basically our entire (in fact maybe half) of Pleasantries but obviously no one knew any of the words and no body had heard any of the songs before. So to be back on the road now playing those same songs and have people knowing them and sing the lyrics and stuff is really cool for us.
You've recently released your new album Pleasantries, what's the response been like so far?
Alex: It's been really good yeah, really really positive. I was just saying earlier actually that the best way to gage a response from the release of an album is to play live and see how people are reacting to it in that kind of environment and it's just been, pfftt, wicked - loads of singing along, lots of crowd participation and everyone seems to be mega into it.
Connor: It's been an alarming response yeah and it's been great so far.
Are you enjoying playing the songs off of the new album and does it feel nice and fresh?
Alex: Yeah we love playing them, we've been playing them for a while as well, *chuckles* we've had plenty of practise when we were just waiting to go on tour and stuff.
Connor: I think we're in our element at the moment as we were behind for a little while as we've been working on these songs for such a long time while touring on the older stuff. Not that it was a drag to play the older stuff, but you're kind of behind yourselves and now it feels great to be up to date and everyone's on the same page and it's a really cool vibe.
It's been four years since you released your first album Good Luck, why such the long wait between the two releases?
Alex: It's been four years?!
Connor: Yeah January 13th 2014 but a lot of people confuse it for four years. It may as well be as everyone says four years, but technically three for when we finished it but we'll go with four, either way it's been long enough.
Alex: The wait was mostly to do with the fact we left Universal and then recorded the album and then we basically wanted to find another label before we put it out because we needed the support to give the album the justice we thought it deserved. So yeah we were looking for the right label, obviously these things take a lot of time so that was kind of the whole reason for the delay really.
Connor: I think it just took so long to untangle from one label and then shackle up to another one and formulate the whole release strategy, the visual campaigning and all that sort of stuff as well. Yeah it took its time, it took a lot longer than we would of liked but we've got there now so.
With Pleasantries you seem to have matured your sound and taken a different direction with the whole album compared to your last, why is that?
Alex: For us we like to keep things interesting and we get bored easily as people and musicians, so we just wanted to write something that we felt was was interesting to us first and foremost, that we could definitely play for the next two years or whatever. I mean we will be playing these songs for longer than that but for the length of an album campaign you could say. Yeah we never wanted to write the same things twice, like we didn't want to put out something sounding exactly like the first album because we were aware that other people get bored of it to. Like bands release things a lot that sound exactly like their first album and we didn't want that, we wanted the challenge to create something fresh.
What have Big Spring and Wallflower been like to tour with?
Alex: They are really really nice guys which is obviously important when you have to spend so much time with them, but they are also exceptional bands as well.
Connor: Yeah they are both really inspiring to watch every night.
Alex: like we do it on other tours where we'll go watch the other bands but we've definitely made a point of watching them each and every night because watching their performances really does spur you on to make a good performance yourself. And they are both just so technically proficient, yeah amazing bands.
If you could choose three albums between you to listen to for the rest of time what would they be?
Connor: The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band because that was the birthplace of so much music. I think there are so many bands and artists that can say they are inspired in someway by The Beatles as everything in someway stems from The Beatles. So yeah I will definitely go with Sgt. Pepper's (although any Beatles record is good) but that one in particular.
Alex: I'm gonna go with, hmmmm, (What's The Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis. Probably one of my favourite albums ever and definitely an inspiration for our second album.
Connor: For our third choice shell we say our album Pleasantries? Because to be fair, as lame as it is or what may seem lame to listen to your own band - you put yourself into the songs and have a great experience writing and recording them, so sometimes to listen to them back you are transported back to that time and you know better than anyone what you are trying to convey in that music and you feel it all again. It's like haircuts, sometimes you have a bad haircut and your like why did I do that. But sometimes when you have a sick haircut you look back at a photo and think damn that's a good haircut. At least right now in the frame of mind I'm in I think Pleasantries is like one of those really good haircuts I could sport for the rest of my life.
Final question guys, in the rest of 2017 is there anything we as fans can look forward to?
Connor: Yeah we're going to have quite a busy festival season but we are yet to announce a lot of it, but that will start slipping out sooner or later. We have a European run coming up with Counterfeit in the next couple of weeks, that's going to be awesome getting our foot in the door in a lot of new countries which should be great. So we're just going to tour as hard as we can on this record and crack on with album three.