Tahita and Andy meet Getintothis’ Thomas Lennon to discuss their fears, new record The Optimist and their return to a home from home.
How is the tour going up to now?
Andy Spence: Really good. All the crowds have been really supportive. Glasgow and Bristol especially were great
How you feeling about tonight’s gig at the Korova?
Andy: We have a few little hometowns like Brighton and of course Liverpool. We have played here so many times that we now feel it’s a home from home especially as the guy that designs our album cover etc is from here, so we are feeling really good about tonight.
What response have you had from the new album The Optimist?
Andy: The album response has been amazing. It’s been kind of mixed in some places but the people who got it have loved it and people like NME have given us a brilliant review.
Tahita Bulmer: I think it’s also split a lot of people who wanted us to do what we did before because they loved it and then there are the people that thought the last album was annoying and wanted us to grow more and do something that they related to more and those people are loving it.
Andy: Reactions from different countries has been varied. I think people in this country believed the hype and the new wave hype. Other countries just went out and bought it because they just saw us as a band and saw it as a progression from the last album.
Was it difficult to make this album?
Andy: To be fair it didn’t come really quickly, it took a while for us to get going and to realise what it was we wanted to do with this record, that in itself took a bit of time, but that was mainly due to getting over a massive year long world tour and massive schedule but once we settled back into it it became a lot easier.
Tahita: It was harder to make because we were trying to do something different. We threw ourselves out of our comfort zone. It’s like the saying that when things are darkest and you’re the most afraid, it’s then that you know you’re going somewhere new. So in that respect, in sort of keeping the faith and continuing to move forward as hard as we could, that helped.
It’s definitely beneficial to be out of your comfort zone. It’s terrifying and you freak out but at the same time we wouldn’t have made a song like The Optimist if we had still been in the fantastic place we were. The strongest songs on the new album I feel are when we are furthest out of our comfort zone.
The new album is a lot darker than the first. Was this intentional?
Tahita: I think it was intentional, yes. It was something we had talked about after the last album and we were aware that we were no longer these 18-year-old party animals and that we have had our darker times.
Why The Optimist as the title to the album?
Andy: Well I think because we were going through some troubled times ourselves the optimism came from the music we were making.
Tahita: It felt like we were moving forward.
Andy: And that kept us optimistic that the band was going to keep on going through those troubled times and not fall apart.
Our biggest fear was that the we would make a duff album which has been the downfall of some many bands before us.
We didn’t want to rush something out and it was rubbish and that was always in the back of our minds so there was optimism there when the music started to come together.
The single Lost A Girl seems to have a New Order influence to it, was that intentional?
Andy: Well if there is it wasn’t intentional. I’ve never been a big fan.
Of course they had their moments but I prefer them before they became as popular as they did, when they still had some of the darkness from from Joy Division.
I found there was a lot of optimism in the ceremony single so that’s why it wasn’t unusual to call this album The Optimist. You need to bring the hope into music when things aren’t always so bright.
Finally, will you be playing the NME tent at the festivals this year?
Andy: Yes we will still be doing that again this year. We always enjoy doing the later slots at festivals and in a smaller arena because, especially with the new material, it’s more intimate. It should be good.