Masters of guitar-led rock that feeds the soul, The Amazons are one of the most hotly tipped bands of 2017. Alongside a fast-growing reputation for stunning live sets, their two latest singles have featured as Mistajam’s Hottest Record in the World. From the hauntingly dark tone of ‘Little Something’ to the electrifying and up-beat ‘Black Magic’, The Amazons are shaking up the indie-rock music scene in the best possible way.
GIGsoup was lucky enough to catch up with the band before their sold-out headline show at Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach…
How are you all doing today?
Matt: We are doing good thank you. Actually, you know what? We’re fantastic.
Joe: Are we?
Matt: We are indeed, because yesterday in Southampton was so fantastic. It was the first day of the tour, and it was brilliant. So much energy from the crowd, and now we’re really excited for the rest of the tour. Tonight in particular actually should be something special. Last time we played Cardiff was here at Clwb… Hang on, how do you actually pronounce it properly? Anyway, last time we were here we played to an audience of six people.
Joe: It would be amazing if they’re here again tonight.
Matt: Yeah, if they’re here tonight they get free everything! Free shirts, free vinyl… Anything they want really! And then yeah, off to Coventry tomorrow to play in a library. It’s gonna be a great tour.
So, tell me a little about how you met.
Matt: Well that’s an interesting one. We’d been sort of together for a while, but were in real need of a drummer. Then one day we bumped into Joe in a pub.
Joe: Where you’ll usually find me, let’s be honest.
Matt: And it all sort of came together from there. That was back in 2014, so we’ve grown and changed a lot since then. A lot of our older stuff was pretty shit to be honest, looking back, but that’s how you kinda come together as a group. And that’s how we’ve come to find our sound, what works well for us, that sort of thing. We’re from Reading, and the music scene at the time was pretty dead. So we decided the best way to deal with that was to start playing our own stuff, the type of music we’d want to listen to.
Your latest single ‘Black Magic’ is fantastic, can you tell me a bit about the creative process behind it?
Matt: Well, this song has been in the making for ages. Like almost three years I reckon. Some songs, like our single ‘Little Something’, sort of come together almost instantly. This was not one of those times. I already had a riff and some lyrics for maybe a verse, but it just never really sounded right.
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Do you have a favourite song to play live?
Matt: At the moment I really enjoy playing ‘Black Magic’ actually. It’s so different when you play it live. Like the EP only shows one side of it, it’s what the producers thought would sound best basically, but when we play it we get to shape what we really want it to sound like if that makes sense? It can get really heavy in the instrumental bits, which is always fun. We couldn’t really have released a 7 minute version of the song, but we can play it live.
Joe: I still like playing ‘Little Something’ actually, mainly because of how heavy that can get too.
Chris: Yeah, ‘Little Something’ is always a good one. The songs that people know better are always good because the crowd really gets going and you know you’re doing something right.
You’ve been involved with Flying Vinyl previously. What sparked this involvement with the company?
Matt: We released a vinyl version of ‘Junk Food Forever’ with them.
Elliot: You know, some of those records are on sale for like £50 now?!
Matt: What?! We gave some of them away for free! For fuck’s sake! Anyway, yeah we headlined their festival last year too, which was brilliant but we haven’t been asked back this year.
Elliot: Yeah, I basically confused the organisers for a band which may have pissed them off? I’m not really sure to be honest… My bad anyway though guys!
Matt: But yeah, it’s a great company and it was great to get involved with them. Anything that helps to bring vinyl back has to be good right! And it’s a great way of discovering new music too. We’re headlining a lot of other festivals this summer though, including Reading and Leeds which we can’t wait for. It’ll be my tenth year of being there, and I think we’re even playing the Big Top stage.
Joe: We’re playing some foreign festivals too which is nice for a change. Might be able to get a tan on stage!
Finally, what sort of music do you enjoy listening to?
Matt: The guys we’re touring with at the moment, Cupids and Himalayas are both sick. Like we personally chose our support bands because we love their music. Getting to play on stage with bands that you love is always great.
Joe: Yeah, each of our support bands for the whole tour are well worth a listen to.
‘Black Magic’ is out now via Fiction Records