Kicking things off - this is your first EU/UK tour date with ATTILA and Sylar, what’s the feeling?
Well day zero was insane, don’t think we’ve had a crazier tour so far. I’m happy we survived.
Speaking of your live shows, I know you’ve toured with some amazing bands. I think one of my personal favourites was the ‘No Sun/No Moon’ tour with Devil Wears Prada, Silent Planet etc. This one now you’ve got is insane too…
Oh wow, yeah! It’s crazy because we’ve never done a tour like this, we’ve never even toured with Sylar before and we’ve been friends for ages.
Well if you had an iconic tour lineup, of any bands ever to play alongside, what would you curate?
It would be sick if we could do Meshugga and Deftonnes. I don’t know we would be there but I’d just watch every day.
'We’re a very polarizing band.'
You guys released a single recently ‘Members Only’, this’ll be the first time your UK followers will hear it. Are you excited for the reactions for that?
Oh, tonight will be our first time EVER playing it live. Honestly, I’m a little nervous but we sound checked for it and we got through it so it’s good.
Do you ever find with playing songs live that it gets to a point where that excitement dies down and you become numb to it doing it every single day?
It depends on the reaction it’s getting, if everyone around me is stoked on it then I’ll be stoked to play the song.
Speaking of music, we’ll be approaching the next decade’s worth of music and with that will come a whole new era, especially for genre’s like Metal and Rock. Where do you see the future of our scene and your music heading?
I mean well hopefully we’re writing and recording right now so hopefully the direction we’re going in is where it’s going. I mean right now our move is kinda adding the 80’s synth wave vibe to our production style for our next record, but previously we’ve had our sound be female choirs or violins or string sections.
We’re a very polarizing band.
But do you ever feel a pressure to fit into a genre and be a sound that people expect?
Yeah, kinda. Because if I’m going by what the internet is saying vs real life, they’re two completely different things. Like the people coming to the shows are not the people commenting on our youtube videos, sometimes anyway. Some people just didn’t get enough attention that day.
Do you read the comments?
I do, well I’m not supposed to read them but I do. If we’re dropping a new song I’ll probably read and I only pay attention to the negative ones too. I just want to see the worst things people can think of, it’s like they’re trying to get under my skin.
‘What the internet is saying vs real life is two completely different things. Like the people coming to the shows are not the people commenting on our youtube videos.’
Speaking of music and especially in terms of gatekeeping, in today’s industry a lot of bands are scared to step outside their comfort zone. So, if you were to collab with any band in the world even outside of this scene who would it be?
I have been collabing with many artists you would not expect. I don’t know if I should announce it or not, but you end up In the studio with a lot of random people especially if you’re making beats you could end up with some totally different rappers.
‘I think I’ve only been home for 30 days this year, it’s probably not healthy.’
Looking at just social media, you guys have a dedicated fan base. People who comment on every post, who repost all your stuff and even have tattoos of your work. Is it ever hard to separate from that and be more than just “that guy in a band.”
Oh shit, people have that (tattoos) out here? That’s awesome! But yeah, it’s crazy to go from the highest highs like before today I was in a basement for three weeks working on our album. But going from no human interaction to seeing tonnes of people being like “you’re cool, you’re awesome!” I think I’ve only been home for 30 days this year, it’s probably not healthy.
I think behind the fun tours and travelling the world people don’t realise, there’s definitely a lot of sacrifice behind being in a band. Is there any you could share?
It is really cool but when you’re not doing it, like it’s almost like you’re wondering if it even happened to begin with and I mean I was homeless for a while, not on the streets but couch surfing.
Even on this tour we’re missing thanksgiving and spending time with our families- actually I’m wearing a Thanksgiving t-shirt! So, this is what we eat! 'proceeds to model an awesome thanksgiving dinner shirt.’
Oh, so that’s kind of similar to our roast dinners that we have every Sunday here, you’d get them in like a Spoons. I know you don’t have much time here but are there any favourite food stops here, possibly Nandos?
Well no with Nandos I’m vegetarian so when you get the veggie stuff at Nandos its typically small and not that great. But I’ll usually go to Wagamama’s. I’ve learned to like Marmite, I hated it at first but now I can eat it.
Bit of a curveball serious one here but as two people of colour in this industry I feel like an interesting talking point is the growth of representation in the Alternative scene. Do you feel like Metal has become more welcoming to people like yourself?
Oh, hell yeah! On the next tour, I’m going on in America there’s a black guitar player in every band. I’ve been on a few tours like that and then there’ll be hella white kids in the crowd. Because I’m biracial and from America I just consider myself American and if people see me differently I feel bad for them.
Cause you’re biracial, any relationship you will be in will be biracial and you won’t find your perfect match or whatever. But your typical white person who’s racist just can’t comprehend it, and I’m just like “I was born I don’t know!”
Interview - Yasmine Summan