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Stereoboard Talks To The Futureheads About A Capella & Why Food Can Make All The Difference On Tour

Thursday, 02 August 2012 Written by Ben Bland
Stereoboard Talks To The Futureheads About A Capella & Why Food Can Make All The Difference On Tour

Well I want to talk to you first of all about your latest record, 'Rant'. How did you come up with the concept for that record?
ImageBarry Hyde: Well, obviously a capella music was not what was expected from us and that was obviously deliberate. We wanted to do something really different, to do something that would excite us because of how different it was. I mean, the idea originally stemmed from when we did the a capella cover of 'A Capella' by Kelis for Live Lounge on Radio 1. We thought that we could do more of that and so we did…a whole bloody album in fact!

Recording such a record in the studio I imagine is one thing but playing it live must be quite scary surely?
Ross Millard: Yeah, obviously it was a little daunting at first taking to the stage without our guitars to hide behind and all that but it was really fun as well. The whole thing has been an enjoyable challenge. The reaction to the shows as well has been really positive so it has certainly been a really enjoyable experience overall.

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty sceptical when I first listened to the album but it’s pretty hard not to like. Were you always confident that people were going to ‘get it’?
Barry: Well not necessarily confident but I think we always believed there would be people out there who would enjoy it. It’s not so far-fetched that people who like our music normally would like us doing a capella songs as well I don’t think!

How did you go about choosing the songs for the acapella record?
Ross: Well that was a mixture of things that inspired us to go in the direction that we did on that front. I think it was important for us to pick some lesser known songs from our catalogue first and foremost, to give them a slightly new lease of life so to speak. We also have some traditional north east songs on there, some drinking songs…

Barry: Obviously those are hugely important!

Ross: ...and of course we have The Black Eyed Peas…

Barry: That was my idea. I take full responsibility for that. I just think it is a great song and when we decided we were going to do the record I really pushed for us to do that song. Quite the masterstroke I reckon!

A few years back lots of people were tipping you to become a really big band. Do you feel frustrated that you’ve never been able to quite make the step up to greater success or is it not something you really think about?
Ross: At the end of the day we are quite satisfied with where we are at. It has been hard in a way because there was a lot of hype around us when we first started and it is difficult not to listen to that! When people are talking about how you’re going to be the next big thing it is hard not to buy into that at all. However we are massively grateful that we are still here doing this. Lots of hyped bands over the years just disappear and we haven’t done that. We have done things our way and I think we are a better band for that. It doesn’t matter to us whether we are a huge band or not as long as we can keep playing our music - that’s what matters.

I know you’re very proud of being from Sunderland and the North East. How much of an impact do you feel that has had on your music and in general how important do you think something like where you’re from has on musicians and the music they create?
Barry: Yeah, a lot of people ask us questions like that. I’m not really sure I can give you an answer to be honest because I can only speak from our experience. I don’t actually think being from the North East has had that much of an impact on us and our music. I think it has given us an important sense of identity - that is important. That is why I always say on stage “We are The Futureheads from the North East of England”. However that part of the world, certainly when we started the band, was all we knew so we didn’t think about it in a
special way, a way that was affecting the music we wrote.

2000trees is all about giving British bands their chance in the spotlight. Are there any acts on the bill that you particular recommend we check out or any other British bands that you think are really flying the flag at the moment?
Ross: Well there are tons of really great bands around at the moment, especially guitar bands - which is incredible really because the Radio hardly focuses on British guitar bands at the moment.

Barry: Yeah, being a British guitar band and getting on Radio 1 these days is more of an achievement than it has been a lot of times in the past.

Ross: I mean, look at Pulled Apart by Horses who are playing here. They are not even a mainstream-sounding guitar group in any way and they are getting played on Radio 1. That’s fantastic. I really enjoyed their record and the Django Django album as well I enjoyed. Alt-J too, they are a really interesting group.

Finally, I’ll give you your chance…anything you’d like to have a quick rant about?
Barry: Haha, what to say…

Ross: There are so many things but when you get asked you can’t think of any, typical!

Barry: I’ve got one…food on the road when you are touring in the UK! You go to Europe and you get really lovely grub for not too much money. It’s healthy stuff as well, there are always some nice options and it makes it all the more pleasant to be off on tour.

Ross: In the UK on the other hand it can be a nightmare sometimes. It is better if you go through the towns rather than stay on the motorways though…

Barry: Yeah, it takes about ten times longer but you get better food!

Ross: What’s a sound check when you can have a decent bit of grub?

The Futureheads play Durham Cathedral on 25th August as part of the Streets Festival, which includes a wide variety of music and theatre. It should be a pretty special gig (it is certainly a special venue) so if you are in the North East head over and see them do the a capella stuff in its natural habitat!

The Futureheads UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed September 19th 2012 - Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Click Here to Compare & Buy The Futureheads Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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