After a year off from touring, the energetic Leeds rock quartet are itching to hit the road. Guitarist James Brown tells The Big Issue in the North why their new album Blood is better off for it ahead of their show at Manchester’s Gorilla on 21 Nov.
What progression can we see from the band on Blood?
I think we’ve learnt how to build a record piece by piece, which I believe you can hear from start to finish within Blood. We also focused a bit more on trying out some different things, like working out vocal harmonies and playing around with layers of guitars and percussion.
You’ve taken a bit of time off between albums – why?
We took around a year off from touring to do nothing other than write material. In the past we’ve written records around touring and festivals, so we wanted to see what would happen if we put all our time and energy into just writing. It was very, very hard at first when we stopped gigging as it’s all we did for four years constantly.
What can newcomers expect from your live shows?
Pure energy and an electric atmosphere. We’ve been cooped up for so long that the recent shows have been a bit of a release.
You only played one live date last year and that was in support of Shelter. Why is Shelter important to you and is it important for you as a band to do charitable projects?
If we can help others in any way then we will. Shelter is a very important charity in the UK with so many people becoming homeless here and it’s even more important at this time of year.
Now the album is finished, do you have any other projects in mind, like the covers album you did with Blood Red Shoes?
At the moment we’ve got one little project we finished which will be announced in time for Christmas (wink, wink). We do love to do the odd surprise thing now and again.
2014 is the Year of the Horse. Does it feel like your year?
Yes it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster for us. Getting a top 40 album was incredible news and at the moment I’m sat in a dressing room in Zurich as we’re supporting Kasabian on a massive tour. It’s a pretty bloody epic year so far.