An Interview with Matt Thomsom from The Amazons

Posted by Bianca on Friday Mar 24, 2017 Under Interviews

Interview by Zak Edwards for Gig Junkies

An Interview with Matt Thomson from The Amazons

We do this stuff at GJ.HQ because we LOVE music. It makes it so much nicer when you’re interviewing somebody who you have an instant affinity with. That was there in droves when I spoke to Matt Thomson, the lead singer of the band that everyone is talking about, The Amazons. A genuinely nice guy. Enjoying a well earned ‘sloth day’ and sporting only boxers and tee (thankfully it was a telephone interview) we chatted about all things music, marketing and mayhem!

I kicked off proceedings by asking about their recent European Tour.

So you’re back from tour, where have you been?

We did our first headline tour over the past 10-11 days covering the Netherlands, France Germany and Austria.

How’s it gone?

Surprisingly well. You never know when playing these countries for the first time on your own how it’s going to go. The crowd size really varies. We sold out 2 shows in the Netherlands after having amazing radio support over there from Free FM (equivalent to Radio 1) which was a great start and then moved on to Germany and Paris which were really good shows.

The smallest show was probably Vienna and even that was 40-50 people. I think it shows they’ve got an appetite for guitar music in Europe more than I originally thought there would be, which was a nice surprise.

Do you think technology has a part to play nowadays as it allows people all round the World to hear you on Soundcloud and Spotify?

This is it. Technology plays a really big part in how we do things and has helped people in Paris or Vienna connect with our music where we haven’t had the airplay like we had in the Netherlands and the UK. This has opened a lot of doors for bands to go out and tour.

And does that mean you have to become a digital marketing machine too?

Well yeah. You build a team around you to focus on that, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the band. With social media and the like there’s never been as big an opportunity for a band to paint their own picture and carve out their own path which we’ve tried to do as much as possible.

You’re obviously doing really well. You’re getting championed by Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and Annie Mac amongst others. Does that create any added pressure for you guys?

You know what, I think if we hadn’t been touring and doing our own thing for the last two years – almost staying under the radar – and we’d have had all of this prominence in the beginning which then defined us, then maybe there would have been a certain amount of pressure. However, I feel that we know who we are, we’ve got an album which we believe in that was recorded in April last year when no-one really knew much about us. There was no pressure, we just recorded the songs we’d been playing in Clubs.

The biggest pressure we have is the one we put on ourselves.

Really good to hear! Bands in the past have been touted as the next big thing whilst only having 6 songs…

Yeah. They’ve got all that attention without actually working out what they are going to do. We feel we’re not like that. We’ve got ourselves in a position whereby we’ve got the material and the experience to back up these claims and are using the plaudits to our advantage.

This is a huge year for us. This is our debut album year and we’re looking at all this support from the BBC and MTV – these institutions that have shaped the way we listen to music – and we’re seeing it as a positive to get our music out to as many people as possible.

An Interview with Matt Thomson from The Amazons

OK. Let’s talk about the music. I’m a big fan! You’re likened to Royal Blood and Catfish with the harmonious melodies. Have you guys got a sound you’re looking for or has it just happened organically?

Well this is it. When we started 2 years ago we just chucked out what we had. We recorded Something in the Water, and we’ve been building our sound up since then. You can see a progression sonically through out music. I think that’s more exciting for the fans. You can listen to spotify and go back to Something in the Water and then see where we are now with songs like Black Magic and In My Mind and I think that’s more exciting. It’s cool to see a story rather than had we just released Black Magic. It’s boring that way.

So how did you guys get together?

It was me, Elliot (bass) and Chris (guitar) were in a couple of bands together in Reading with varying degrees of success and decided make something of what we were doing. We all had jobs in Supermarkets and the like and were just playing on the Reading scene once or twice a month. We went through about 8 or 9 drummers in about 18 months trying to find the right guys. We met Joe at a really dingy pub on the edge of town where we were doing and acoustic set. He just said “do you want to jam”, we played together and that was it. He shattered our ear drums!

A thundering metronome on drums…

Erm… I dunno about metronome as he goes out of time often (laughs).

Tell me a drummer who doesn’t!

This is it. He’s passionate and is a really sound guy, whilst being a nightmare as he plays SO LOUD! We love him though and he was definitely the missing piece of the puzzle. Since then it’s only been onwards and upwards.

Similar to when the Beatles found Ringo?

Yeah absolutely. It’s really important that we have such a bond. We may have played with technically better drummers but it just didn’t click. It’s just the guys personality that comes through. It’s really important for our band that we all have our own flavour and something to bring to the table. None of us are amazing musicians but when we come together there’s a chemistry and it kinda works.

Where do you guys draw your inspiration from?

It’s quite a fluid thing. Collectively we like bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against the Machine. Big unapologetic Rock bands that inspired us to pick up instruments in the first place. Conversely we’ve been listening to a lot of the Kills on tour which is completely different to what I’ve just been saying. We really like the darker, sexier side of music right now, which is what we are gravitating towards and hopefully it will come out in the music.

It really does. Look at the first 30 seconds of Black Magic. It’s like ‘BAM’ in your face!

Absolutely!

We’re all about Gigs at GJ.HQ and you’re playing Brum on the 11th April. Have you played Birmingham before and what do you make of the fans?

Sooooo many times in Birmingham. The Hare and Hounds, Sunflower Lounge and the Oobleck as well as the Institute. This is probably our 6th or 7th time in Birmingham and this is going to be our first ever headline show so we’re really excited to come back. You guys have got a really great scene, We like Superfood and are really looking forward to coming back to Birmingham and melting some faces.

And you’ve got some festivals coming up?

Yeah. We played the IOW festival last year in this Jack Daniels tent and got ploughed with endless Jack Daniels after the show which has left us with fond memories. The lineup for this year is really strong. Any lineup with Arcade Fire on we’re buzzing about. Reading and Leeds too. Reading especially is really exciting for us being local lads. Going to that festival for the last 9 or day years has really shaped how we see success in rock n roll. It’s not about how many records we sell, it’s more like which stage and what time are we going to be on at Reading. To headline Reading festival would be a dream. It was my 15 year old self’s dream when I first picked up the guitar and I still have the same dream today.

And that was that! 15 minutes chatting with a really nice guy! Genuinely personable, articulate and immensely passionate about plying his chosen trade. His band are quite literally gonna ‘melt the face’ off 2017. If you’re not booked up to see them, then you really need to! You’ll kick yourself if you don’t!

The Amazons UK tour starts in Manchester at the Deaf Institute on the 6th April.

One Response to “An Interview with Matt Thomsom from The Amazons”

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