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THE AMAZONS Spill the Beans on What Is next to Come

The 2016 adventure is coming to an end when we sit down with the hotly-tipped Reading quartet as they talk about their challenges, accomplishments to date and plans for new year.

As I find myself rushing through the city in the cold December wind, trying to get to the North London’s Nambucca, I recall the last time I caught up with The Amazons bunch. Back in April, when the spring was all around us, we discussed their new family Fiction Records, stepping into the studio and new, at the time, their outstanding track Stay With Me, plus all the exciting gigs lined up for the summer.

Since then a lot of things have changed. The band experienced a busy festival season, they released a few massive singles such as In My Mind and Little Something, and of course they continued working on their debut album which, already covered in mystery, builds up the anticipation.

All that and more earned them a spot on every possible playlist across all online streaming services, including Apple Music and Spotify, just when BBC decided to add their name to the poll BBC Sound Of 2017, next to other up and coming artists.

Pretty impressive. How’s it going then?

It’s unexpected – says Matt Thomson. We didn’t expect it. I don’t think anyone else expected it. We joked about it because it was completely out of the question. We never felt that we’d been a cool band or a blog band, or a critic band, anything like that. I guess you’re in your own bubble, you know. We go and rehearse in the same place, we go out, we play gigs. You’re in your own world and it’s kind of funny to think that you’ve been recognized by BBC and MTV, and Apple Music..

And Kerrang and Deezer – Joe Emmett continues.

You can’t get much bigger than these platforms so we’re really excited – adds Matt.

If we go back to the very beginning then, what has been the highlight so far?

Recording an album in April and then finishing over the summer – Matt doesn’t give it much thought. That’s when we were like “Okay cool, now we get to put our mark on things”. You know, you play a gig but then it’s over and you get to move to the next stage. But when recording an album, your performances and moments are captured forever until the world burns down, when all CDs and computers are broken and all that.

The vivid discussion unravels as the guys don’t leave the subject and I hear “What about the vinyls?”.

Yeah, if there are vinyl players then… But what about the electricity? – Matt continues.

Jeez where are we going with this? – asks Joe.

It’s the bunker we’re sitting in – Matt explains. It really makes me thinking about “What happens when…

…we come out and everything’s broken – drummer sums up.

Alright, I admit it’s the bunker and to clarify I must mention that the venue has rather an interesting basement for guests.

It’s been about three years since these lads formed as The Amazons. Those years saw them releasing their debut EP Do You Wanna? in Oct 2015, followed by a couple of singles, all meeting critical acclaim naturally. Now, the time has come to take a bigger step.

Let’s hear what they can reveal about their highly-anticipated debut album.

We don’t have a name – Joe starts. We were supposed to have one by this week but we haven’t done that.

We are a very punctual band – Matt laughs.

Obviously, that’s not very satisfactory so I’m trying to find out what names they’ve considered so far. In spite of stating they can’t say anything, I hear first pick from Joe – “Album 1”.

Well, that’s an interesting choice clearly.

I like that – singer says. We’ve had 1, we’ve had A…

 Pie – I hear a shy whisper.

The band even reveals some working titles but I think I’m gonna leave it for another story. Let’s not spoil this one.

We went to Joe’s house and tried to spend an evening finding a name – Elliott Briggs explains. It got to a point where we literally had a dictionary and were opening every page.

We were thinking too much about it basically – adds Joe.

I think a name just comes out to you or you go for something that it’s not safe – singer clarifies. But sometimes the safest option is the most obvious one.

But we always find naming stuff super hard – Elliott ponders.

I know, but we know what not to do – over thinking. The Amazons – to be fair we didn’t over think that one – Matt says.

But we spent six months finding our band name – they mark.

And then you go back to what you came up with really close to the beginning – Matt sums up.

We wanted to make a record that jumps out of the speakers and blows people’s heads off

The band surely hasn’t wasted any time. The recording process obviously is rewarding but it gets difficult and demanding too. However, Catherine Marks (Foals, Wolf Alice) joined them on production duties and as the guys unveiled a few months ago, they had established a few practices that simply work for them. Oh and I reckon the Rock Buddha might be still involved (click here to find out more).

In terms of the sound it’s really heavy – Matt explains. I think ‘In My Mind’ and ‘Little Something’ demonstrate probably the heaviest side of the record but it gets really intimate as well. I think people will be surprised. I think when they heard ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Nightdriving’ they couldn’t see ‘In My Mind’ coming, do you know what I mean? I liked that because rock and roll is about not thinking about things but also proving people wrong. We’ve always felt like underdogs, that’s why BBC Sound Of 2017 felt mental. Even on that list we feel like the underdog ’cause obviously there’ll be some clear winners. But we’ve got our own path and we follow it really.

Next, The Amazons are choosing just one word to describe the album.

Anthemic is a good one – Elliott claims. There’s a lot of big moments on the record.

Emotive – Matt ponders and all agree.

Reflective – he goes on. Nahhhh that sounds mature. Maybe after a 10-year career.

Emotive is good, I like that – bassist says.

Rawww – Matt finds the one. The album was recorded live and Catherine kinda threw a lot of the rules she had in her head out of the window so we could service the song, just to be as raw as possible. We wanted to make a record that jumps out of the speakers and blows people’s heads off.

And Catherine was all about getting the feel that each track is perfect before she settled with it – Elliott tells. We had a song we were playing all day, 30 or 40 takes and she was like “No, not that one” and we played it again and we’d gone all the way trough. She picked the fourth one we did. So annoying but it was the toughest thing we were doing.

It was relentless, quite brutal experience – singer explains. We went there thinking “This is going to be so much fun. It’s gonna be a party.” Nope. There’s lots of ups and downs. Not every day was a great day but…

There were some great days – adds Joe.

And some terrible days. How come we’re still a band?! – Matt concludes.

The only thing I manage to get out of them is that the album release will probably take place during the summer time. Nothing on the track listing though.

Can’t tell you – says Matt. I reckon there’ll be between 10-15 tracks. Aright between 10 and 14. That’s what you get.

That’s like every album ever – Chris Alderton adds.

We haven’t actually finished some stuff – Matt clarifies. There’s gonna be some extra tracks and probably different versions so I couldn’t tell you exactly how many of them but definitely between 10 and 14.

Let’s put it this way, there won’t be any less than 10 – Joe sums up.

The time starts sneaking up on us as the guys need to gear up for their show. I believe we can all agree that the future looks pretty bright for The Amazons. Any new year’s resolutions perhaps?

I did the list the other day but I don’t like to call them the resolutions – Matt explains. Resolution is when you’ve got a problem and you need to resolve it. We’ve got goals: release the album, don’t get dropped…

That’s important – guitarist emphasises.

Very important. It’d be nice to make the second one. What else we’ve got… You wanna sell out tours. We’ve got March and April booked in terms of touring and we’d like to sell them out. We want to connect with as many people as possible. That’s all we’re focusing on at the moment. Also I’d like to finish this time next year with a lot of new material so we’re ready. We’ve started writing new stuff.