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on a night out would think it was amazing! We got a bit of a fan base from that, some record labels heard about it and it all kicked off. What was the scene like in Birmingham when you started out? I knew the two guys from Swim Deep as they used to work in Morrisons in Malvern, and I knew them from the checkouts and one of them went to our college as well. Tere was basically a group of 70 people in Birmingham who went out every Saturday night to the same clubs getting wasted, and it was that group who came to see us play as well. Swim Deep came out of that crowd and there’s also a group called Troumaka from that lot too. We got signed and went off touring and Swim Deep then got signed. So there were a few bands around at that time, some of whom have now split up, but it was a good scene at the time. Outline interviewed you guys back in February of 2013 right as you were heading out on the NME Awards Tour. How have you changed as a band since then? Well we’ve learnt more than six songs, which is probably all we could play live then! We counted up how many songs we can play yesterday and it’s up to 20 now. I guess we’ve travelled all over the world; I’d never travelled at all before that. We must’ve just been about to go to America back then. We haven’t changed very much as people I don’t think. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind! You and Sam were in bands together from your early teens. Do you work well together or are there the usual sibling rivalries and spats? We never really fall out really. It’s alright because there has to be an ego struggle to fall out and neither of

us are egotistical, or at least he’s not! I really like what he does and he really likes the songs I write. If he told me to change something I wrote then we’d argue, but we just let each other get on with it. Can you tell me about your new album, Happy People? We’ve been recording it for about a year and on the whole, for me, it’s the next step. I think the song writing’s better and we did things with a bit more purpose. On the first album we’d be in a room with really loud guitars just throwing effects on it for no reason. It worked, but on this album we decided on different parts which would sound best together. Tere were bits where I really knew which direction to go in, whereas on the first album I didn’t know at all what I wanted; we just threw stuff and saw what stuck. On this album, for example, I decided I wanted a sample of a wind chime and to put it up against this, or I felt we needed a string section. We were making a record rather than letting a record be made. We were just a bunch of completely fearless teenagers but now we are actual musicians, although we don’t ourselves too seriously. Your sound is so catchy, and I hear some Bowie, Suede and bits of the Arctic Monkeys in there. What are your musical inspirations? I think Bowie’s a really good shout for this album; I was listening to a lot ahead of recording it. Whilst we were on tour with the first album our tour manager gave me Te Rise and Fall and Spiders from Mars and I became OBSESSED. We covered Fame in New York with Charli XCX as well. We listened to T Rex as well, and there were moments when we’d listen to early Prodigy and thought the

“I guess I’m quite good at acting like I’m not bothered about anything.” / February 2015 / 13

drumbeat was amazing; Happy People (the song) has a bit of a Prodigy drumbeat in fact. We pulled things in from everywhere. Since popular culture existed since the 50’s you can just pull out what you need from anything since then. Is that post modernism because I’ve never known what it is...the idea of looking back at everything that was before and making something new from it? I like to call it P.O.M.O. I wasn’t very good at school. I think Perfect Skin is possibly your best song yet; it seems to be about self image and confidence. Has your confidence in yourself increased since you’ve been in the public eye? Tat’s what everyone’s been saying at the record label actually, that it’s one of the best songs we’ve ever written. You should work at Columbia Records! I just feel the same as I’ve always done really. I’ve never been that confident; I probably act more confident now but I don’t think I am. I think everyone has insecurities but it’s how you act. I guess I’m quite good at acting like I’m not bothered about anything. Tat’s interesting; I watched the Never Mind Te Buzzcocks you were on last year and thought you looked really confident! I wasn’t at the time! I guess I’m not supposed to say stuff like that though! I really enjoyed World Pleasure- it’s my favourite on the album, and it has quite a different style to the rest of the tracks. It reminds me of Prince and Primal Scream. What’s your favourite on the album? I think World Pleasure, because we’d never made a song like that before and it was everything we’d been guided against doing by our peers and on a professional level. On paper

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