Touring on the back of their recently released sophomore album Future Dust and capping off a whirlwind year filled with UK chart domination, ubiquitous radio love and more shows that you can shake a vine leaf at, English rockers The Amazons are set to detonate on their first ever Australian tour this September. We caught up with Matt Thomson to get the low down on The Amazons
H2Z: Future Dust has been out a little while now. How have you found the reception to the album and the corresponding shows?
MT: It’s been great man, I think the main thing with this record is that it has opened so many more doors up for us. In the UK, a little bit but more internationally. Just things like being able to come over to Australia. For us, that signals more of a success for us than the first record. We are also seeing a lot more response in Europe as well, especially in countries that we did not touch on the first record. It feels good, feels good to have opened up a lot more doors touring wise especially
H2Z: They say you have your whole life to write your first album, but not enough time to make your second. What did you guys do differently between album one and album two?
MT: When we finished up touring the last album we had just come off a tour of Korea and Japan, and we got home, and we really needed some time off. The problem with having that time off, is we then found it really hard to get back into the groove by writing and being a band and doing band stuff. I knew we needed to do something fairly different to the first record. Essentially I knew that we had to change it up, and we went and hold up in a place called Three Cliffs Bay in Wales. That was really kind of the story of the writing of the record. We were just in this little house called Tree Tops. We spent around 3 weeks there and wrote a lot of the record there, and got the ball rolling and came back and finished off writing the record and to be fair we were still finishing off some of the writing while we were in the studio, which is something that was very different from the first record. The main thing that comes to mind was how intense it was because we had time limitations. The label booked studio time when we had only written 3 or 4 songs. I knew we would have to do something different as we had far less time than on the first record. But it also turned into a much more intense record. It’s reflected in the songs and the cohesion in the themes, and the sonics of the record. The process seemed painful and hard at the time but the end result is a lot more rewarding.
H2Z: You mentioned going away for a break, and bands have a break on tour. How important is coming back together and working on the human connection before you work on the musical connection?
MT: Massively. Massively. And that formed how we pretty much spent our days, at Tree Tops in Three Cliff Bay. We would wake up, we would make breakfast for everyone, and then we would just plan the day from there. It is a really secluded and picturesque area, so you would spend most of the day not even touching our instruments. We would go out and explore the beach and hang out really. Then by the time we would get back in the late afternoon and early evening we would make dinner together, listen to music, and then we would go and pick up our instruments and just really jam. I might show the boys and idea and we would just work off that really, and flesh out songs and write some music.
H2Z: Human relationships are also really important on tour. So what do The Amazons do to keep what is essentially a very confined environment happy and healthy?
MT: We have been touring for about 5 years now so we know the buttons that we can press to annoy each other. It’s all about giving each other enough space and time as possible. And you are right it can be very confining. You need to not force each other to do something and if someone wants to sit something out that is fine. It’s all about giving each other space and respect that everyone has a different way of touring essentially.
H2Z: Speaking of touring, you are headed down here soon, do you have any “Must-Do’s” while you are in Australia?
MT: We have made sure we have a couple of days in Brisbane before. We want to explore the bars and restaurants in the city. We are keen to drive the few hours to check out Byron Bay. We know some people there so we are thinking about going down to visit him.
H2Z: You formed 5 years ago. What changes have you personally seen in the business in that time?
MT: Oh wow! Even just in the last 5 years the streaming thing has completely taken off. It was big before but now it’s beyond big now, but the channels you go through now all seem to be in flux. When we started out Soundcloud was really big. In someways it still is now. But Spotify and Apple Music are absolutely massive, TikTok has now proven to be a really big thing for sharing music. I expect in the next 5 years there will be even more changes. The fundamentals of the last 10 years still remain. That hasn’t changed in terms of it’s all about touring with bands. Record sales isn’t something we really think about to be honest. Its nice to get chart success in the UK but its not something that we think about too much. It’s all bout the ticket sales and about people coming to see the shows.
H2Z: Time to do some “Last Of’s”. Last physical music purchase?
MT: The last one I bought was a vinyl of “Who’s Next” by The Who. But I have a way better story. I picked up “Buckingham Nicks”. It’s out of print and its amazing quality. I was looking online for it and it is really expensive and really rare, and then I was in Joshua Tree National Park in California with my girlfriend, in the desert essentially. In Joshua Tree there is this strip of Arty Shops and Record Stores. Right there, in the middle of the desert, hours away from Los Angeles. I went into this shop and it was like clothes and stuff, but there was one little shelf of vinyl, and there was this super rare Buckingham Nicks record for $12. The people in the shop were like “Oh that’s weird, that’s kind of cheap, you got a bargain, its your lucky day”. I was like “Fuck Yes, it’s my lucky day!”
H2Z: Last live show you were at besides your own?
MT: Oh that’s a good one. We were just at some festivals and saw some cool artists at a festival in Madrid
H2Z: Thanks for your time today Matt, do you have any final words for today?
MT: We are looking forward to meeting you all, we cannot wait to play and hope you all enjoy our show so we can come back next year. We have a lot of Australians on our crew and the producer of our records is Australian, so its going to feel cool to be there and not completely alien
The Amazons – Future Dust
Album out now via Fiction Records / Caroline Australia
The Amazons Are:
Matt Thomson – Vocals and Guitar
Chris Alderton – Guitar
Elliot Briggs – Bass
Joe Emmett – Drums
September 2019 Australian Tour Dates
w/ Boy Azooga + FRITZ
Presented by Secret Sounds
Wednesday 4 September – BigSound, Brisbane
Thursday 5 September – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Friday 6 September – Howler, Melbourne