Fresh from their recent tour, we caught up with Rhys and Faris from The Horrors to talk about their newly released album, Primary Colours.
Tell us about how you guys met.
R: We became friends when Faris was in a band called The Rotters, and I used to play at The Junk Club. We talked that night about forming our band and doing rehearsals for the following week, and so The Horrors were born.
What was The Junk Club?
R: It was just a place to play records; there wasn’t really a ‘scene’ in South End Essex. It was a place to throw a party, and we would have live bands there. It’s now been defunct for 3-4 years. We started the club in 2001 and had bands like Neils Children and The Violets.
What was the first band to play?
R: I was thinking about this earlier and I think it was BeastellaBeast, a great band from London still releasing songs now on a label called Horse Glue Records.
Do you find that people compare you and put you into a certain genre, like garage band, shoegaze etc?
R: Someone called us a Goth band.
F: Everyone thinks that the music they are making fits into a bracket.
R: We were a band that came from somewhere else and we weren’t concerned with contemporary music, certainly not reading the magazines which would pass comment on us. Basically we weren’t aiming to be a chart hitting group, we were just playing loud punk music, and we did look quite weird. We were put in a position where people expected us to be this new number 1 act, but we were happy to play gigs and meet people on the way. The weird thing is it’s a UK press mentality, they don’t really enjoy things for what they are; they rip things to pieces and analyse them too much. With journalism it’s like the power of the pen saying what they believe in, and it’s difficult to have it scrutinised.
We were listening to the sound check and there are so many different layers to this new album compared to your old material, what influenced this decision?
R: If you’re in a band you enjoy listening to music, but if you are in a good one you will probably have quite diverse tastes. There isn’t one sound that’s a main influence.
F: Describing any kind of music with intensity or that grabs you as dark is an easy cop out. We maintain that our album is euphoric; anyone who describes it as dark or bleak is totally inaccurate.
How do you feel about the success of Primary Colours compared to your not so popular debut album?
R: We haven’t paid much attention to the success of that side of things. There have been a lot of things changing in the group over a 3-4 year period of writing. Playing keeps us moving and that’s when things are happening.
Jeff Barrow from Portishead helped produce your newest album, how did that come about?
R: He asked us to play at ATP where we played the first album. After that we told him about the new stuff we were recording and the new sounds we were into. Then we saw him at a live show in Brixton, we had just recorded Primary Colours and he said it was amazing. A few days later we went to his house to record it.
How do you think the band’s sound will progress from this album?
R: We have no preconceived ideas of what it would sound like. When we were playing Strange House we couldn’t tell you what the next one would be, and the same goes for the one after Primary Colours. It’s a product of us coming together and writing.
You have been on tour consistently throughout the last year, when do you find time to write new material?
R: We work better as a band playing together in a live environment. It’s not the best opportunity to write as much whilst on tour. We all write independently but for us we find the most productive thing is having a studio to play in where we can come and go.
How have you found playing in Europe?
R: Every show is a different show, but ultimately everyone is there to listen to the same thing.
And lastly, how did you come to appear on The Mighty Boosh?
R: It was something that we thought would be fun and Noel often used to come and see us play.
Chris Jones, Rosie Kynman & Daisy Mash