Harry: Woodrow you there?
H: I’m good, what’s up?
Nothing much. Just recovering from last night mainly. Where are you at the moment?
Harry: I’m just…. (muffled shouting)
Girl’s Voice: IN BEEEED!!!
Harry: Shut up, shut up! (laughs)
Who’s that is bed with you?
Girl: I’M OZZY!
Harry: (laughs) Shut up Ozzy! Sorry, that’s my fiancée, Ozzy…
Oh, fiancee? Congrats! Full day of press ahead in bed then?
Harry: I imagine so. I imagine it’s something around a full day.
Probably the best policy to stay in bed…
Harry: It’s quite Lennon.
Ozzy: We’re starting the revolution…
I can picture it now! Moving on though, I first saw you guys last year at the Great Escape playing in a bar on the pier. How have you guys adapted since to being a full -time touring band since then?
H: I think we’ve…I dunno…back then we seemed quite young but now we’re old and withered.
A bit more sceptical?
H: Well Great Escape seemed like part of ‘youth’ and I don’t feel very youthful any more.
Oh no, what’s happened?
H: I don’t know. We did a live stream thing last night. Someone said of me and Dom “You guys look old and withered. What has touring done to you?”
That’s so harsh!
H: Yes. (Like) Don’t mince your words. Don’t they know I have feelings! (laughs)
People are just mean on the internet, aren’t they? I suppose its comes with the territory. You’ve just come off the NME tour. It’s fair to say NME are part of a wider push to bring back “guitar bands” into the mainstream. Did you and the other bands get to discuss that at all or was it not on anyone’s minds?
H: Not really. Everyone just discussed the immediate plans or they were just having a laugh. Nobody seemed to be very concerned about the state of the music industry.
Did you guys get along and hang out?
H: Yes, on the first night we were all introduced properly and we went out to, like, a really intense gay bar in Newcastle. It was good.
Personally speaking, I find intense gay bars are the best ones…
H: Yer, I like them intense.
How was SXSW? Is it as crazy as people say it is?
H: It was intense. We were really, really busy. I can see how it can be one of the most brilliant or potentially horrible weeks of your life. But we had loads of fun – it was really good.
Did you see many bands?
H: We had like, two shows every day so we were fairly busy but we saw a few. I went to a really weird Haim show where they played like 3 songs and just jammed. But they didn’t play any songs that people knew. It was really cool. Then we saw DIIV followed by Disclosure which was weird but quite good. It kind of worked.
I can’t imagine they share too many fans.
H: Weirdly, they kind of do.
Is it true Usher turned up at your show or was that a joke?
H: No, that was one of the many things that the boy wasn’t crying wolf, Usher was there! He just marched down with his posse. He had a kind of entourage with a few giant men with him and he watched from the side.
Did you meet him?
H: No, on the last song he walked out in to the main crowd and then did some dancing and then did one.
That’s surely one of the most random things that can happen at your show – Usher on the side of the stage watching you.
I know, it’s kinda weird.
You can tick it off your bucket list.
Yep, it’s done. I might as well quit.
It’s all downhill from here. Well, apart from your album being released yesterday. Have the nerves subsided yet?
It hasn’t began yet. I haven’t even thought about it. I’m trying to keep it out of my mind.
Probably for the best. But I’m assuming all week you’ll be doing promotional stuff all week so people are going to be talking and talking to you all week about it…
…Is there a danger you might over-dwell on it?
I think with my tendency to be absent-minded, I will probably not think about it enough.
What was the starting point for the album musically or lyrically? Was there a certain idea that you had in your head before?
I think it was just a collection of 30 songs and we picked 10 that worked together for the album. I suppose they were from over the last 2/3 years. It was written over time with no pressure so it was pretty easy to pick the songs…I doubt it will ever be like that again.
When it came to recording the songs, was it easy because you had the time to mull the songs over?
Most of the songs were straight forward and we just went in and recorded them. There was a few that we played and experimented with in the studio and some were difficult. But that was sort of self inflicted because it was experimenting for the sake of it.
Was there a particular reason Bloodshake was left off?
It was the big song from the EP and the EP still exists. It would have meant one less new track on the album and we didn’t want to leave (a new) one off. We wanted to make an album which made us happier, so we just didn’t put it on. We put it on the extended version though.
Right, so they can buy it! What are they moaning about then? I do find it odd when fans get weirded out when artists don’t include certain songs when they could just buy it anyway…
People just need to chill man. Don’t worry about it. I love it when people sometimes act as if we didn’t know what we are doing, it was an accident or there weren’t conscious decisions made. As if we just flipped a coin on it, it’s quite weird.
Do you have a favourite track from the album?
You just love them all!
(laughs) Yer, it’s just brilliant. 35 minutes of sheer good!
Now you’ve released an album and get to tour the world, is there anything else you really want to experience and take advantage of?
(pauses) Well, I wanna like, be friends with 50 Cent.
Well that’s natural, who wouldn’t?
I dunno, like a rapper that drinks giant magnums of booze or drugs…
Maybe Gucci Mane or someone that like that? Maybe you could have a collaboration between Peace and Gucci Mane!
Yer, OK cool.
I will get on it now but by the looks of things he’s heading to prison…
He got arrested. I think he has drugs on him, or assault? The usual.
Classic Gucci. OK, well I hope he has a great lawyer. Someone said to me the other day, we all know the music industry and how is it. For example Mumford & Sons outsell Lil Wayne by 10 in the US. Do these rappers actually have money? I could say to the director of our next video – ‘I want to be boasting about all my cash and flashing all my jewels’ – and they’d make it happen. Is it true? Is that the life?
It is odd. I read this old interview in Fader where Diplo goes to New Orleans and seeks out these rappers when trap music was just beginning, and one rapper he was hanging out with took him to a strip joint and casually starts throwing $50 notes continually at this stripper, wasting thousands of dollars, and he hasn’t ever had a hit record! Where does the money come from?
Marcus Mumford isn’t throwing 50s at a group of 8 hookers and then setting them on fire.
Well you never know…
He probably is. Classic Marcus.
Now you’ve come through and experienced the UK music industry machine, is it as vicious and filled with back-stabbing people as reported?
I don’t think any of the real the mean people have survived but then again it doesn’t seem like very vicious or everyone’s just being very nice. I don’t know. Perhaps that bit comes later when people have made money. I guess it will start to get a little like that.
How do you find the obsession with hype? People are fixated by this idea that everything has to be ‘new’ yet your music isn’t necessarily like that.
It’s mainly old people who think like that and there a lot of old people in music journalism. It’s like, just chill and don’t worry about it. I know you probably thought a band sound like this (Peace) in the late 80s, but don’t worry about it. It will be fine. I guarantee you the Guardian would have given us a better review if I wore a mask like the witch doctor from Crash Bandicoot and used a sampler.
I did read that review. He was a bit pernickety…
I haven’t read it. A friend sent it to me.
If you could make anything happen musical, one dream musically moment, what would it be?
Everyone….Everyone one would have one medieval folk song. Only on mandolin.
OK I will get writing now. Are there any medieval folk bands you can recommend to me?
Now in any way, shape or form.
Words: Woodrow Whyte