Photo: Will Ireland
The latest band to appear on hit online music TV Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling and join co-hosts Gordon Smart and Laura Whitmore at the iconic indie haunt is Reading’s finest rockers, The Amazons.
To coincide with the announcement of the band’s biggest run of shows to date and launch of new track 25 from their latest album Future Dust, lead singer Matt Thomson and drummer Joe Emmett channelled their inner Ronnie O’Sullivan and dished the dirt on their “chaotic” year, inspiration behind the latest tracks, reliving heading up the Waitrose check-out counter to becoming festival regulars, to feeling like brothers and more determined than ever.
25 boasts drums inspired by Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, with nods to Queen Of The Stone Age, while being a self-analysis of lead singer Matthew Thompson’s view of being 25. The new album, Future Dust, will be released on 24th May on Fiction Records.
After their debut album hit number 8 in the UK album charts, the band went from success to success, including being named as a band to watch by NME, The Independent and BBC Radio 1, and performing on Later… with Jools Holland. Talking to presenters Gordon Smart and Laura Whitmore, lead singer Matt revealed: “There’re a lot of things in the record that reflect our last year. Whilst we were writing it, there was a lot of chaos and uncertainty in our personal lives. Everyone’s having a bit of a turbulent time.”
Despite having a hugely successful time over the past year, including a homecoming gig at Reading Festival, Matt confirmed that they’ll always keep striving for better. He commented: “The goalposts always change. Right at the beginning we just wanted to get a gig at the Purple Turtle in Reading, but then once you do that, there is an itch that hasn’t been scratched, and you need to keep on going.”
Delving into the meanings behind lyrics for previous single Doubt It, the grungy effort that was released last month, Matt said: “It’s not about doubting, it’s about if you want something – don’t doubt it. Don’t think about the consequences, just go with it.”
Matt reveals the band has come a long way from working in Waitrose along Oxford Road in Reading, even beyond music, as drummer Joe become a father for the first time to twins, Jude and Edie. On the pressure of combining parenthood with being a musician, Joe added, “It was an interesting discussion but she [Joe’s partner] is great and she understands what I have to do. They [the twins] had been around for a week and then I had to go and record the album… Then I went back at weekends – we were recording in Wales so it wasn’t too far away.”
Rock stars are often not too far away from danger or dangerous acts, and The Amazons attempt to come under this umbrella where they waved goodbye to their tour bus in true rock star fashion: setting it alight for their first album cover. Drummer Joe said: “When we signed to Fiction, that was the first thing we spent our money on, that beaten up old van. And it never let us down. I think we travelled the circumference of the earth twice in it… RIP Big Suze.”
After years of traveling up and down the UK’s motorways in Big Suze, living in each other’s pockets and hours of sitting around waiting to perform, the boys insisted they were “as close as brothers”. Joe argued: “The bond is better and the band has never been stronger, that’s for sure. We are as close to brothers as I think you can get, really.”
The Amazon’s November UK headline tour will see the band play to 25,000 people across the country, including London’s Brixton Academy. Please find tour dates below.
25/05/19 Radio 1’s Big Weekend Middlesbrough, UK
26/05/19 Neighbourhood Weekender Warrington, UK
27/05/19 Reading University Reading, UK
06/06/19 MTV Plymouth Plymouth, UK
30/06/19 Community Festival London, UK
14/07/19 TRNSMT Festival Glasgow, UK
23/08/19 Reading and Leeds Festival Reading, UK
08/11/19 O2 Academy 1 Birmingham, UK
09/11/19 O2 Academy 1 Leeds, UK
11/11/19 Rock City Nottingham, UK
12/11/19 O2 Academy 1 Newcastle, UK
13/11/19 The Barrowland Ballroom Glasgow, UK
15/11/19 Manchester Academy Manchester, UK
16/11/19 Great Hall Cardiff, UK
17/11/19 O2 Academy 1 Bristol, UK
19/11/19 O2 Academy Bournemouth, UK
20/11/19 UEA Norwich, UK
22/11/19 O2 Academy Brixton London, UK
In the wake of the demise of music TV programmes such as Top Of The Pops, Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV offers aspiring bands a genuine platform to succeed and counts the likes of Tom Grennan and Gerry Cinnamon who’ve since each headlined their own tours, released albums and gone on to become Radio X and Radio 1 regulars amongst its successful alumni.
The interview is part of the latest instalment of Red Stripe presents: This Feeling TV – a new music TV show for the digital age that still maintains all the unique charm and quirkiness that typified music TV shows back in their heyday. The show has accumulated over 1 million views, paved a platform for new, emerging talent and helped the grassroots music scene to growth, on and off the stage.