"There are a lot of questions thrown out without many answers..." - hmv.com talks to The Amazons
Reading indie foursome The Amazons have only been a going concern since 2014, but they already have the confidence and the arena-sized choruses of a band a decade into their career.
They unveil their self-titled debut album today (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) and we spoke to frontman Matt Thomson about how they made it…
How did the experience of making an album compare to what you’d dreamed it would be like?
“It was pretty similar. It’s a great feeling, having it finished and ready. We’ve also made sure we were involved in every step of the process, so it’s doubly rewarding.”
In terms of the songs that you’ve chosen for the album, are they from right across your life as a band or all quite recent?
“We’ve cherry picked the best tunes and the ones we think are the most relevant, but they span about four years, some were around even before we were The Amazons, it’s from when I started writing songs.”
Can you see the difference and how you’ve grown as a writer in that time?
“Absolutely. ‘Stay With Me’, which opens the record, I wrote that when I was 18, compare that to ‘In My Mind’ which is pretty recent and you can see a huge difference. I think I’ve got rockier as time has gone on. They say you have your whole life to write your first album, so there was plenty of tunes to pick from.”
You worked with Catherine Marks on the record, how did you get in touch with her and what did she give you as a producer?
“She was someone who got in touch with us quite early on. We did an EP with her and by the time we got round to the album we knew we wanted to keep that relationship going. She’s amazing at drawing out great performances from each member, she knows how to get the vibe right and how to orchestrate a live take. She’s full of energy and that really rubs off on you.”
Can you sum up the album lyrically? Does it have a common theme?
“Before we recorded it I don’t think I’d have said there was a theme, but now, sat back a bit, I think it really covers the journey from 18 and 22 and everything that comes your way. Looking back at it, there’s a lot of questions thrown out without many answers, it’s being excited by the future, but also fearful of it…”
Was the album always going to be self-titled?
“It was quite a late decision. We found it hard to sum up four years of writing with just one word. Ultimately we want the album to reflect who we are and introduce ourselves to the world.”
How’s your summer looking? Is it full of festivals?
“Absolutely. We started earlier this month and we’re doing festivals right through the summer, all over Europe and even Japan and South Korea, it’s a great opportunity, I feel like we’re a band built for festivals.”
Have you made a start on new material at all?
“We’ve not really stopped writing. You can only get songs to a certain point on the road, but I’ve got a whiteboard at home full of ideas, you won’t have to wait too long for a second record…”