Spindle chat with Habitats before their biggest UK headline show to date at The Sebright Arms a couple of weeks ago. We were sat on one of those pub benches outsides and had some questionable and some entertaining interruptions.
Habitats tell us about drawing in chalk to choose on the best band name, cheesily answer what their ‘Diamond Day’ would be and give us the lowdown on all the new music the guys have their eye on at the moment.
How did you begin? What was the origin of Habitats? What habitat were you born in?
James: We were a three-piece first, us three (James, Mike and Adam), we were in drama class and us two (Mike and James) were in music together. Me and him met through skating.
James: We were playing together and wanted to get an extra person in and I was like, I know this guy, and he came along.
Mike: We got him round our house and interviewed him. We had this list up on a whiteboard.
Joe: It was so funny.
What were the interview questions?
Joe: So I got round there, and the first thing, we didn’t even get cracking on the music, they had all these questions written up on their whiteboard. “What are your influences?” Kind of like the questions you’re going to ask us…
Joe: There’s me, never played a show in our life.
Mike: We didn’t care how he played. And we asked you to do impressions as well.
What was your impression? We think you should do it…
Adam: Wasn’t it Doc…
Joe: Doc Brown from Back To The Future. I’m pretty good at that. I’m not going to do it.
James: You’ve got to.
We’re going to holdback on the next questions until you do.
[We then got a rather risqué interruption/offer] Well that got you out of your impression didn’t it…
Joe: Saved by the bell. But yeah it just worked didn’t it.
Mike: We chalked the name up in our garden.
Adam: That might’ve been the next question…
Mike: Oh shit.
You’re all good, that wasn’t a question.
Adam: We wrote like 50 different ideas for band names all on their pavement, on their patio.
Did you take pictures of which one looks the best?
Lots of key time coverage.
Adam: That’s it.
James: He likes the band.
Joe: We thought of that in the best way. He’s sponsoring us. And it’s a furniture shop so if you like furniture, if you like sofas.
James: You’re gonna like us.
There’s a furniture shop called Shabitat too.
Joe: There’s one… Where is it?
Mike: Cause we nickname ourselves Habitwats.
Joe: That was an in-joke, now it’s going out there.
James: Out forever.
Mike: It’ll be fine…
That’s the best thing we’ve ever heard.
How has your tour been? This is your last date isn’t it?
Adam: It is. It’s been sick.
Joe: It’s been wild.
Mike: It’s been a bit boozy every night and not a lot of sleep but fuck it, it’s our first tour.
Joe: It’s been good, we’ve met some amazing people, loads of really cool hippies.
James: At the show in York, there was a group of hippies dancing as if it was the first moon or whatever. It was intense.
Joe: It was amazing.
Adam: We’ve played with some really good bands as well.
Mike: The North are very kind to us.
Joe: They’re much nicer up there.
Nicer and also drunker.
Unanimous: Oh yeah…
Joe: Yeah that helps it. There was this one guy at a show in Birmingham and he had Snapchat up as we were playing one of our tunes, he took a photo and was showing it to us saying it should be the next James Bond movie. We were all proper cracking up whilst we were playing.
Bit of crowd interaction.
You release the debut EP ‘Diamond Days’ in February. What was the whole writing, recording process for that?
Joe: It was weird. We didn’t have much of a plan when we first put out ‘Diamond Days’, we just put it out. Since then, that’s where the plan of EP then came along and we got the other tunes done.
Mike: Me and James live together and we would write mainly round our house, wouldn’t we?
James: We recorded that track ‘Diamond Days’ in our mate’s bedroom, and that’s where it kicked off. ‘Diamond Days’ is all DIY shit. So it was mainly round our house and we take it to him and he puts some sweet beats over it.
Adam: ‘Lay Me Down’, which is an acoustic track on it, it was actually written ages ago. It was the oldest track.
Mike: We play three different versions.
Joe: We thought we’d do something a bit different for the EP, show a bit of diversity really.
Mike: So we wrote all of it at home but we recorded it literally round the corner.
Adam: Down the road.
Joe: In The Tin Room with Shuta Shinoda, he’s amazing. Really cool guy and he’s got the best hair.
Adam: He’s a wizard in the studio man. It’s crazy.
Gandalf or Dumbledore?
What would your diamond day be?
Joe: I’ve always imagined, always had this vision, of playing a festival when the suns setting with loads of people, just when there’s a really nice sunset. I think that would be diamond day… I guess. Okay, cut the soppy shit out.
Mike: I swear someone said the other day about a diamond day. The best day?
James: Just think of a really good day…
Adam: Waking up, bowl of cereal, watching a film.
Adam: Lucky Charms.
Mike: Having a bath with candles.
James: That’s more of an evening rather than a day.
Adam: The whole day in a bath?
Mike: I’ll be prinkled. Pringled. Cringled. Crinkled.
Mike: Dunno mate, I’m on the cough medicine.
James: A diamond day? A good skate, climbing a tree.
Mike: You should probably elaborate on the climbing a tree.
James: I worked for a tree surgeon company.
That makes more sense.
James: Then playing music with the boys and having a few drinks.
Adam: Pretty much today.
Aren’t you guys cute.
Are you excited for your biggest headline show to date?
James: Hell yeah.
Mike: The venues cool and we haven’t played here before so it’s fresh.
Adam: Sound check was good.
Mike: The sound guy is incredible, he’s kind of like a headmaster. He keeps you on track.
Did he tell you off?
Mike: Kind of. He was like [forcefully] “sing, sing into the mic. None of that 1-2 bullshit. Check, check 1-2… Sing! Anything, a Beyoncé song, just sing it”.
Did you sing Beyoncé?
Mike: No we sang our own songs, is that vain?
James: We should’ve done that one that you always used to do…
Mike: Oh Human League?
[Guys break out into Don’t You Want Me]
You should’ve. Have you guys got any tour highlights or funny tour anecdotes you want to share with us?
Mike: We have a magician. There he is. [Points to friend awkwardly wondering why we’re pointing at him]. We had some interesting nights with this one, he was kind of like a roadie for us as well as magician.
Also, bit weird, this guy in York he said, “stick around for some drinks boys” thinking he was going to have some drinks with us. Then he just left us with two massive bottles of tequila and rum and went off. He came back and we were wasted.
Joe: That was definitely a highlight.
Have you got your eye on any emerging bands at the moment?
Joe: One band that we’ve played with quite a few times, a really cool band, is Huskies. They’re really nice guys as well.
Adam: We played our EP launch with Huskies at Shacklewell.
Mike: There’s a band called Honeymoon.
Adam: Who we played with in Birmingham.
Joe: Cinema, they’re Birmingham boys too.
Mike: And… Queen.
Adam: Yep. We’ve played with Queen.
Joe: What was his name Freddie? Mercury?
Mike: I think that’s the one.
Joe: He was alright.
James: In our dreams.
Adam: That’s what he listens to in his room.
Mike: There’s a guy called Benjamin Clementine, who we’re never going to play with, but he is sick.
James: We played with a band called Shields once, they were good.
Joe: Also, White Giant as well.
Lots of new bands.
And what’s next for you guys? Have you got anything else coming out soon?
Mike: A huge stage at The Great Escape.
Joe: We’re playing Goldcoast Ocean Festival, Kendall Calling.
Mike: We’re going to New York to record our next EP.
Joe: In May we’re off to New York.
Mike: Next tour possibly in October.
Joe: If all goes to plan.
Mike: [In a creepy voice] And tickling each other’s toes.
Adam: That’s number one priority.
And finally, would you rather get Habitats tattooed on your face or a piercing on your face?
Adam: Piercing because you can take it out.
Mike: I wouldn’t even get that shit stamped on me [laughs].
Joe: I was thinking of getting my forehead pierced anyway…
Would you rather go deaf in one ear or only be able to use the Internet for one hour a week?
Mike: I hate the Internet.
Adam: I’d keep my hearing.
Joe: I’d sacrifice the Internet; I’d like to keep my hearing.
James: Definitely hearing.
Joe: Would you rather have a can of coke for a hand or a bicycle wheel for a head?
Can of coke for a hand. Can you drink out of it?
Joe: Yeah, but once it’s done it’s done. You could wash it out a refill it.
Adam: It should be endless.
Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader?
James: Breathe like Darth Vader.
Joe: No it’s creepy.
Adam: And irritating. Definitely Yoda.
Joe: Definitely Yoda.
Would you rather always know when someone is lying or always get away with lying?
Mike: I like getting away with lying. But not gnarly shit.
Adam: Always know when someone is lying? You could fall out with a lot of people.
Joe: I’d always know because I’m a nosy fuck.
Mike: And I’m a lying prick.
Joe: We shouldn’t work as a band.
Mike: I always lie to these guys and they always want to know… They call me Cryptic Mike…
And on that mysterious note, the interview ends.