by Ellie Turner
I’m loving Money so much, and I was reading the other day that you guys first had the idea for it when you were unsigned and touring. What does it feel like when you release a song, particularly when you’ve had the idea for it for a while? Yeah, so with Money we did have the chant part of it already, “Where is the money?” We used to sing that as a joke when we were touring around playing pubs and clubs and getting like ten or twenty quid a night. It wouldn’t really cover our petrol to get on to the next venue, so we used to sing that as a chant back then. When we got out to Nashville to record the second album we remembered that chant and started to build a song around that. From all the way back there and chanting it, to hearing it on the radio now is a pretty crazy feeling.
It must be so surreal. Yeah, it’s definitely surreal! Hearing your songs on the radio never gets old, but especially one that’s been brewing around for quite a while.
Do you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio? Yeah, it was our first single When She Was Mine and we were in the Grafton Hotel in Los Angeles, off of Sunset Boulevard. It was quite early in the morning as it was being played in the evening in the UK, and we managed to find a stream online of the radio station that was playing it. We kind of all just sat around on the bed and yeah – I’ll never forget that, it was awesome.
Would you say that Money reflects the sound of the rest of the upcoming album, or is it a bit different? There are a lot of different sounding songs on the new album, but Money is definitely a good indication of what’s to come. Obviously it’s quite an upbeat song, and there are a few, well quite a lot of, upbeat songs on the album but there are also a few ballads as well.
I’m really looking forward to it – judging by Twitter, so are the fans. The reaction to Money has been crazy so far. I heard you included twenty fans in the music video for it. What was it like having them on set with you? Yeah that’s true. We did a competition to get twenty of the fans down and it was really cool actually – a load of our friends came down as well and then we kind of just had a bit of a party! It was really cool to have them on set because obviously that was before the song had even gone to radio, so no one had heard it. It was quite exciting just to play the song through these big speakers and to see their reaction first hand. It was good fun because they were all singing along by the second or third time when we were recording the video, so that was a good feeling.
Have you got any crazy fan stories you can tell us? Ooh… the craziest thing that ever happened was probably one of the first times we were touring America and we were in New York. We just got back to our hotel one day and in front of all of our hotel room doors – I have no idea how they found out which rooms we were in – there was just this bag of sex toys! There was like a whip and some handcuffs and stuff like that which was quite disturbing!
Just a little bit disturbing! What did you do? We all just rang each other because we had different hotel rooms and were just like “Erm have you got a bag of sex toys outside the front of your room?” We lifted them up and there was just a note underneath from one of the fans… it was all a bit odd!
You’ve had a busy six months touring, including Bristol, which pretty close to us here at Exeter. Do you have a favourite place to tour? We love touring places we’ve never been before over the past six months. We did loads of shows all over Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and America, which was great. In the UK it’s always nice touring our hometowns. We’ve played Bristol quite a lot, like you say, but also we did a show in Exeter a couple of years ago at Powderham Castle with Olly Murs. For our last big UK tour we played Plymouth Pavilions, which was a big show for us because we’d never played Plymouth before and sold out the venue – it was a crowd of about three and a half thousand! That was a pretty crazy feeling because most of the places on the tour we’d played at a few times before, so to never play in a town before and to then turn up to something like that was pretty crazy for us.
Do you find that different crowds have different reactions? Yeah, they do differ quite a lot. Obviously the UK fans are amazing, because it’s our hometown they’ve been with us the whole time so they’re always right up there at the top! But also Asia, the crowds over there are incredible. We had no idea; we went to Asia for the first time about three or four years ago. Our label told us we were doing quite well over there but obviously you don’t really know until you get there. The reaction was absolutely crazy and we did some quite big shows in front of thousands of people in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong – they were all singing back our words! They really took us by surprise, and I think it’s because not many bands travel over there to play for them, so when someone does make the effort they really show their appreciation, which is cool.
Do you have a favourite song to perform live? Standing In The Dark always goes down well wherever we are in the world so that’s definitely up there. We performed Money for the first time live a couple of weeks ago and that felt really good; I think when everyone knows that and is singing along it’s definitely going to be up there as well.
In Australia you were touring with Robbie Williams, so that must have been particularly crazy! Yeah definitely, Robbie has been a huge inspiration to us for ages. I remember watching his live DVD when I was younger and that really inspired me to want to be playing on a stage in front of that many people. To get the opportunity to support him, that alone was an amazing experience. Every single night he had us up on stage performing with him as well, playing a song called Road To Mandalay. We did that with him in sound check and rehearsed, and then he was like “Okay, that sounds really good. Do you know Back For Good as well?” We were a bit taken aback and were just like, “Yeah of course we know it!” but obviously we had no idea how to play it! He was like “Well if it’s a good crowd I might throw that on you as well?” We went backstage and really quickly had to learn how to play Back For Good. That night we performed Road To Mandalay and Back For Good. It was such an awesome experience and we then got to do that every single night on the tour. He also had us back on stage at the end of the show to do Angels with him as well, which was wicked.
Any back stage pranks? I can imagine Robbie being quite good at those! We didn’t have any pranks but we did play a lot of Fifa and beat him most times! This one time we tried to win a seat on his private jet for one of the flights from Australia but he wasn’t having any of it ‘cause he knew we were gonna win…
After such a busy six months, what have you got lined up for the rest of the year? Obviously we’ve got the new single Money which comes out March 18th and then after that we are gonna do one more single before the album. Then the second album is gonna be out in the summertime, hopefully around June! Then we’ll have some summer shows and then towards the end of the year we’ll do another UK headline tour, which we are really looking forward to.