The Amazons are currently in the middle of their largest UK headlining tour to date. On March 8th, I caught up with the band before their first headlining show in Belfast at Voodoo. The show itself was amazing, with the band running through the crowd to the stage and performing an energetic and impressive set of uplifting rock anthems.
Hey guys! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. How are you guys finding Belfast? Have you had much time to go out and explore?
Matthew: Happy to be here! We had a bit of time earlier to wander about, we went down to City Hall and that was beautiful.
Elliott: Yeah, the weather today was amazing too. Last time we were here it was raining but we had a bit more time to walk around the city. We even had time to do a Black Taxi tour of West Belfast which was interesting.
The last time you were here was to support Jimmy Eat World at their show in Limelight in November. Based on that show, and on the more recent shows you’ve done, do you have any expectation for tonight in Voodoo?
Elliott: We’re just really excited to do our own show. This is our first headline show in the city, so I think it’s just cool to know people are coming out to watch us.
Matthew: Friends of ours in other bands such as Otherkin from Dublin have played Voodoo before and said it was a great venue to play in. Our soundcheck also felt amazing which is a good sign.
For those who may not know, how did The Amazons get started as a band?
Elliot: The Amazons have been a band for about 2 and a half years. But me, Matthew and Chris have been playing together for around 10 years in different bands around Reading. We had a few previous drummers but nobody was really cutting it.
Matthew: Joe was in a pub playing bass in a band on after us at an acoustic show. I don’t even think we listened to his band to be honest, he’s a pretty rubbish bass player. But we all got to talking and decided to jam together with him on the drums, and it worked perfectly.
You have recently released a new single, Black Magic. Would you say that the vibe of this song represents the sound of your debut album?
Joe: I don’t think it’s a bad marker for that you know. With the darker side of the riffy stuff and the chorus is quite poppy, which is quite weird since it’s the oldest song we’ve got.
Matthew: We started writing Black Magic 3 years ago, with the chorus being the newest part as it was written a year ago. It was a long process of playing it, taking it out of the box, putting it back in and seeing what fits best.
Joe: It’s like that game you would play as a kid where you’re trying to get the shapes to fit into the right size holes.
Matt: Yeah, what the song was really missing was a chorus that glued it all together.
On the topic of the new debut album, what was the recording process like?
Chris: The recording process was great. We did it in April last year, and as we were a relatively new band and nobody really knew who we were, we could just do what we wanted with it. We worked with Catherine Marks, who produced the album, and she really brought out the live sound of the album. All of the tracks we did, we recorded them live, so you can really hear the sound of the room on the album.
Elliott: Recording an album was a dream come true for us. It was a lovely studio too, it was just a great place to be in. We made our own little spaces where we could just camp out and chill.
Which do you prefer, playing gigs or being in the studio?
Chris: It’s a bit like a see-saw, there’ll be times where we’re just out of recording and want to play shows, and after a while of doing that we can’t wait to get back in the studio and record new stuff we’ve been writing.
It’s also been announced recently you guys are set to play some big festivals this Summer, including the Isle of Wight and Reading/Leeds. So in relation to that, do you prefer playing smaller shows or festivals?
Elliott: Festivals have their own merits and disadvantages. Festivals are cool because when you’re there you do your set then can go out and see other bands. Although the downside is soundcheck is always so early, and if you miss it that’s that. The reason small gigs are great is that they’re so personal. After you play, you can hang out at the merch stand after and talk to people – that’s what we love doing. But they’re both great, I don’t think I can choose between them.
Chris: I think at the minute it’s small gigs, as that’s what we can sell out. I’m excited to see how the festivals will go, as we’ve been so shocked at the amount of people that have been coming to our shows.
Elliott: We’ve only got a couple of shows on this tour that haven’t sold out, and that’s an amazing feeling.
Joe: It’s great especially when you’ve gone through the experiences of playing to a room of about 5 people, it’s like a reward for our hard work.
In terms of hard work paying off, you have received a lot of attention from the music press, including BBC Radio 1, NME and The Independent. What do you think is in store for The Amazons over the next few years?
Chris: I hope that we’re just still doing what we’re doing in a few years.
Elliott: Still playing gigs, still making music, still touring, hopefully not going back to our old supermarket jobs.
Matthew: That’s the idea, I don’t want to get a proper job.
For my final question, I’m going to ask a terrible one. The show I co-host on Queen’s Radio is called Meme Girls. So I’ve got to ask, are you guys meme fans?
Joe: 100%, I love making memes.
Elliott: You are a living meme, Joe.
Matthew: I don’t think I can say I’m a fan of memes to be honest.
Chris: I like memes, they make me laugh. I hate when people use that cry-laugh emoji on Instagram and stuff though.
Elliott: I feel like we’ve all saw the dark side of Joe with this. The meme-making-hashtag-lolling-machine.
The Amazons’ debut self-titled album will be released on June 2nd under Fiction Records.
Latest posts by Jane Corscadden (see all)
- QR Music Reviews: U2 at Croke Park, Dublin - July 27, 2017
- QR Music: Interview with The Amazons - March 20, 2017
- QR Music Review: Lower Than Atlantis – Safe In Sound - January 26, 2017