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Get Amped Interview- 27/10/06
How’s life on tour with Rooster?
Rick: Awesome, really really good, it’s been an amazingly long tour, and we’re nearly done with it, it’s been tiring but really really fun
What were the main influences and ideas behind Postcards From Hell?
Rick: The idea of the record was that it was a kind of commentary on all the bad stuff that was happening in the world, or had happened in the past few years, like 9/11 and the tsunami and the Iraq war. Basically the theme that knocked the whole album together was that the world can be a really nasty place, you get the snapshots of what I imagine hell would be like. Influence wise we have loads of different influences, I like 80’s nu-wave- Depeche Mode, Duran Duran….
Tim: I like a bit of the 80’s shit, like Van Halen , Slayer, Metallica, lot’s of different stuff really.
Jason: I’m into a lot of dance music, drum and bass sort of stuff. Pendulum, Bad Company, Evil 9, but I quite like metal as well.
If you were to write a recipe for your music, what would be the main ingredients?
Rick: Groove would be a large part of it, melody, bit of harmony, tastefulness, sexiness.
Jason: A good sprig of power
Tim: A pinch of haunt
If you could meet any musical icon from the past or present who would it be and why?
Rick: I’d like to meet Jimi Hendrix, because I’d like to know if he really did have a twelve inch penis.
Jason: I’d like to meet, John Bonham, I’d like to have a few drinks with him.
You guys formed in 2001, so that means you must have been trying to make it for five years, have there been moments when you’ve seriously thought about just giving up?
Jason: You know what when people say “making it”, it’s bollocks really because, when I was at school my idea of “making it” was signing a record deal, and in various bands I’ve had six or seven major record deals, that’s not my idea of making it now. What you think is making it changes all the time, the healthiest way that we all think is that we just want to keep on writing music and perform it to as many people as possible.
Rick: Doing music for a living is what it’s all about really, you can get into that trap of thinking “ I want to make it”. Also once you’re a band out there doing it, you’re never happy with it. I know that for loads and loads of band it would be their dream to play download, we thought it was great to play download but we want to be on a better stage next year, at even more festivals. Touring China would be a dream for loads of fans, we’ve done that, but now we want to tour Japan, we want to tour America. I imagine that when you’re in a big band, you play stadiums, but you want to play bigger stadiums. I think that the bar is constantly elevated. We never really see it that there’s one set goal to achieve.
Tim: If you just gave up, all of your work would go to nothing, you’d just be saying “yeah I tried and we didn’t quite make it” You’d end up telling all your mates and your kids about how you almost made it.
Rick: So I’d say that was a resounding no all around.
Is it hard being in a band with your brother?
Tim: Easiest thing ever, I think it makes it a lot easier.
Rick: You know, when you’re on the road, when you’re feeling a little bit sick and ill and all you want around you is your family, sometimes you just want some familiar faces, being on tour with you brother you’ve got that all the time. But Jason is like a brother to us anyway.
Jason: They’re like sisters to me.
You (Tim and Rick) lived in the Middle East for three years, how has that affected your music and musical taste?
Rick: When you have an experience like that as a kid, it makes you more open minded in later life, you have your eyes open to different cultures, I think it makes you more receptive to other things later on in life. I think it just made us a bit more open minded about what we listen to and what we like in terms of art.
Why don’t you want to be labelled a surf-rock band?
Rick: Basically just because it was kind of one of those thing that the media latched onto, because in the early days we had an endorsement with rip-curl, and everyone was like “ its like the beach boys with louder guitars” which is completely missing the point. The band has evolved a lot from that point, and we hardly surf anymore, because the more successful the band gets, the less time we have for it. I mean we’re here in Cambridge, probably the most far from the sea than you can get, and I haven’t seen the surf in six weeks. It’s a hobby; it’s irrelevant to our music I think.
Jason: People want to label you as well, now-a-days people see what you sound like, and they only tend to look at the image. But looking at My Chemical Romance, to me they sound like Green Day.
I understand you played festivals in China, what were the crowd like?
Rick: Amazing, really amazing! We played at a city the size of London, it’s absolutely huge! We were the first western rock band to ever play there, they were just blown away by it, they hardly see Westerners at all, let alone Westerners rocking out! There were six hundred people there on the sound check day, and we got an encore in our sound check, if that’s at all possible. It was bizarre, but amazingly bizarre.
Jason: And an honour to be the first, now everybody does it, but we were the first!
Are Rooster how you expected them to be?
Rick: Nice people, I expected them to have a bit of a rock and roll attitude, but they’re very down to earth, and very welcoming, friendly people. I can’t think of a better band to be stuck on a twelve man tour bus with.
Were you happy to be supporting Rooster, as I know they have a reputation for being a “teeny-bopper” band?
Jason: That reputation comes from the record label, they labelled them as a boy band, and they’re not.
Rick: You’ll see them tonight and they’re a proper , tight rock band and they deserve more respect than they get from the press. I personally don’t loose any sleep over that kind of labelling, when we first announced it, some of our fans were like “ oh why are you supporting Rooster? They’re rubbish, we’ll stay for you but we won’t watch Rooster.” That kind of annoyed me in a way, because I think people should be judged on merit, not on how the media label them. Rooster are a good band and they bring great audiences and we can share those audiences, it’s been really good for us, we’re not upset about it at all.
Which venue has been the best so far on the Rooster tour?
Rick: It’s always the far-flung places that don’t get named. It’s been a really intensive tour, we’ve covered every area of Britain, and if we haven’t covered it yet we will in the next eight days. It’s been a really intensive tour but we all found that the more far-flung places that don’t get too many touring bands have been the best.
Jason: We really liked Inverness.
Rick: Yeah, right up north in Scotland, a massive percentage of the town turned up to see the gig and consequently the atmosphere was absolutely amazing. And out Norwich way was good too.
What do you prefer, festivals or gigs?
Rick: I prefer gigs, because at festivals, you get flung on with no soundcheck. They’re both great but at festivals you’re more flung in at the deep end there are so many bands and it’s a lot more stressful I think. At gigs you have time to get things right and I feel more comfortable on stage.
What do you guys do on your days off?
Rick: Sleep and do laundry, and sweat profusely from the lack of Starbucks.
Tim: I do lots of exorcise, because you kind of feel like your melting away on the tour bus.
Rick: I just do laundry and watch pornography.
Tim: It’s the opposite to what you might think, the reason that you feel so tired is because you haven’t been doing much with your days, you do unloading and that’s about the most active you get. It’s quite refreshing to do proper exercise.
Rick: Well, you jump around on stage as well.
Jason: I like to hire a bus out on my days off and re-live the touring experience, have a jolly good sleep in a tight bunk.
What are you guys going to be up to in the coming year?
Jason: Writing a new album
Rick: Writing and recording a new record, and touring it as well next year
Jason: Hopefully support other cool bands and touring our arses off basically.
Rick: Work work work!
Interview by Nicki Smith