Summer is so close that Topman can almost taste the lukewarm cider and overdone ambiguous meat. We’ve gotten so excited that we’re already planning our playlist for the sunny days ahead. Who will we be listening to? Well, we can do better than tell you, we can introduce you to them.
Below we present to you exclusive shoots and interviews with the frontmen of the bands we expect big things from this year: Spector, Circa Waves and Citizens!
How would you describe the new album?
“A vague evolution…like a Pokémon in its second stage. If the last one was Charmander then this is Charmeleon. It’s more modern and refined. If all you’ve had is Angus Steakhouse, then this is Café Rouge. The next record is a trip to France.”
All The Sad Young Men is quite a sombre song – what’s the story behind it?
“We wanted to write something that could be understood by anyone regardless of age or sex. It’s a response to how England is now and what it’s like when you feel disenchanted. You always feel like you’ll grow up and there’s all these exciting things on the horizon, I guess this is about catching up with the horizon and those dreams haven’t come true.”
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve asked for on a rider?
“We used to ask for Courvoisier XO. No one ever gave it to us, but we went to Japan and they got it for us. I felt bad because I didn’t want anyone to spend the money. Usually it’s just fields of hummus. At some point along the line someone thought that asking for hummus on the rider would be vaguely healthier. But if you plough through the Doritos and bite size Milky Ways, hummus is not going to save you. I have friends who ask for more outlandish riders, like a radio tuned to a local jazz station.”
What’s been your greatest tour moment?
“There was a show in San Francisco, where a friend of a friend had a gun license and had a handgun on him at the venue. Afterwards when we were drinking backstage, my other friend asked him if he could hold the gun. He said yes, showed it to him, pulled it out his hand and pulled the gun on our drummer and said, ‘Get on the floor!’ The guy with the license then grabbed him and pulled his arm behind his back…which makes a change from an after party in Hull with a DJ and a bottle of prosecco.”
A fan famously has a tattoo of your face on his neck – who would you get tattooed?
“I think it would be out of respect to someone great who died. I always wanted to get John Candy tattooed when he died. But now maybe Robin Williams. I think getting a tattoo of someone’s face that is living is odd, especially on your neck. The guy who has my face tattooed on his neck also has a tattoo of Alex Turner on the other side.”
What’s been your weirdest fan moment?
“A girl wrote this letter and gave it to our tour manager, and our tour manager forgot to give me the letter and I didn’t read it until 6 months later and it was something like I’m in real trouble and I need someone’s help, please contact me I need a friend. I was like, thanks for giving me this 6 months later! This was a girl that appeared at every gig in a certain city, then she just disappeared. Hopefully she’s still alive…”
Spector's new album is due out in the summer
Who’s your favourite frontman?
“I love Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury, if you’re going to be a frontman that’s what you have to do. Don't look at the floor…I hate Liam Gallagher.”
Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane asked you to model for a campaign – how did that happen?
“He was at Field Day and talked to us backstage. He was doing a diary where he went to musicians’ houses. Hedi then turns up at my house and takes pictures in my front room. Then we were on tour a few days later and he called me and asked if I wanted to come to New York and do a shoot for a Saint Laurent campaign.”
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve asked for on your tour rider?
“We’ve asked for fried chicken, but that’s not really extravagant. The other thing we asked for was a birthday cake with 16 candles in it, and we got it once somewhere in Eastern Europe; a festival on a military airbase.”
What’s been your most memorable tour moment?
“We played in Guadalajara and the police showed up at the venue and said we couldn’t play unless the venue paid them. Eventually we went on, and during the fifth song the police came on stage and picked up the kick drum and started taking guitars. The crowd then started rioting, so I climbed up the speakers with an acoustic guitar and we did a sing along to ‘True Romance’.”
Citizens! new album European Soul is released April 13th
What do you want people to take away from your debut album?
“The thing above all else Circa Waves concentrates on is songwriting. Just good indie pop songs. Just songs for people to get excited by and to listen to before they go on a big night out with their mates. There’s no deep political message, it’s just a rock ‘n’ roll record.”
Where’s been your favourite place whilst on tour?
“Japan, because it’s so wildly different to England. We got to play Summer Sonic festival to 10,000 people and everyone knew the words. They have these tiny bars in Japan that fit about 3 or 4 people in, like someone’s living room. We went in one and asked if we’d do karaoke and ended up getting smashed. We found Circa Waves on there so I made the rest of the band sing and graded them.”
What do you ask for on your tour rider?
“We have a revolving spirit policy. Old fashioned whisky sours on a weekend, gin on Monday and Tuesday, rum on Wednesday and Thursdays, and tequila on Fridays. A different way to get drunk every night!”
What do you think makes a good frontman?
“Someone who grows with their audience through time and changes, like Alex Turner. Watching him from when I was 18, he started off as shy, now he’s this all out showman. I like to watch a frontman develop and become more confident. A frontman needs to instil confidence in the crowd, but not in a Demon Headmaster way.”
What are your plans for the summer?
“I can’t wait for festivals. We’ll be playing Leeds. I had a lot of firsts in Leeds, now we’re playing those tents where 17 year old me went.”
Circa Waves debut album Young Chasers is out now