The Struts have spent most of the year playing away from home at large venues and festivals across the United States and Canada, but they returned home last week for an intimate gig for their beloved UK fans at 100 Club in London. We headed down to check them out as well as have a chat with three members of the band: Jed Elliot (bass), Adam Slack (guitar) and Gethin Davies (drums).
So, welcome back to England! How does it feel to be back, playing to a sold out crowd tonight?
Jed Elliot: It feels fantastic! We’ve got four zombies in the band today, we’re all very jet-lagged but we’re excited to see some friendly faces back home.
You spend a lot of time on the road, especially in the US. Do you find there are differences between UK crowds and US crowds? What are they?
Adam Slack: They’re bigger in America… there’s more energy and more people.
Why is it that you’re bigger in the US than in your home country?
AS: Radio play, we’ve not been played on the radio over here. Over there we’ve got a lot of radio support, we’ve got a thing called ‘on the verge’ with iHeartRadio and they just pump the single. We got a new record deal and people have certainly latched on to the song (‘Could’ve Been Me’) — the lyrics are very relatable. It’s fresh, not a lot of people are doing what we’re doing.
Gethin Davies: The American thing now though, it is helping us in the UK in a way.
It’s better to break America, even if you can’t break here!
GD: We do love playing here though, the shows are always good… but not many bands break America so to be able to do that first then to come back here, it’s great.
What’s been the hardest part of being on the road for so long?
JE: Really it’s the kind of cliché, missing your friends, family… and your pets! Adam’s got a lovely cat called Stanley who he misses dearly.
AS: My girlfriend too, she’s back home…
Your debut album,Everybody Wants, came out just over a year ago here in the UK. Looking
back on it, is there anything you would change?
AS: We’re definitely doing what we would do differently now.
GD: We’re gonna re-release the album in America with a few new fresh songs, we’re giving the tracks the TLC that they deserve. They were kind of rushed when we released it, me and Jed have been back in the studio giving that fresh new energy to them. We’ve done a few extra guitar bits and vocals.
JE: During our UK campaign when this album was released, we were running out of money and as Geth said we didn’t have the opportunity to put it out exactly as we wanted it to be… it was kind of 75% so now we’ve got the new record deal in the States we’re going to add a few new songs and re-work the old stuff to make it sound as great as possible!
When are you looking to release it?
GD: 2016, we don’t have a specific date yet though!
You have a few North American shows coming up and you’ve just announced a couple festival shows over there including Firefly, do you have any UK tour plans for next year?
GD: Definitely for next year, nothing set in stone yet but… we’re always going to be coming back to the UK, a lot of people say to us, “oh, have you forgotten the UK?” but we haven’t at all, the UK is still one of our main priorities.
JE: The Americans have just been so good to us, there’s so much demand over there… not that there isn’t here! It’s just, you go where the people want you and in the US they seem to be a bit hungry at the moment but things can change.
What are you most looking forward to in 2016 besides the album re-release?
GD: Touring to bigger and bigger crowds, new people finding our music… no matter what country they come from, festival dates like Firefly…
AS: Starting album two… we’ve been living with these songs for like five years, and I just can’t wait to start a whole new project instead of trying to bastardise an album we did four years ago.
You guys have definitely been garnering a lot more attention in a small amount of time, say two or three years, but you’ve been a band for some time now. How does it feel seeing how far you’ve come after all the hard work you’ve put in?
AS: It feels… great. We were all in other bands beforehand and so we’ve been playing for almost twelve years now so it’s insane.
GD: It gets so busy that sometimes you don’t even realise what’s been going on, but Timehop… that’s a good one. Like, two years ago you see… we dressed up as women in giant pot noodles to earn some money! It was £200 for the weekend and it helped fund our promo work.
JE: Someone put something great on my Facebook, actually; it was about a year ago and we were just striking up the deal in the States, which has completely changed our lives to be honest and I can’t believe things are going so well, but only a year ago I had a Morrison’s sandwich board on my back, going around in Bristol handing people flyers for like £60 for the day. That was the dire straits we were in, but we still believed in the music and it pulled through! Thankfully… hopefully, even, I won’t ever have to work for Morrison’s again.
Your fashion sense as a band is pretty second to none. Is there anywhere in particular you draw influence from for your collective style?
JE: Morrison’s deli!
GD: Stage wise I think we wanna be that stadium band, so we always dress…
AS: …to impress!
GD: I mean, if you’re playing a stadium stage you want people to see you from the furthest seat away so that’s the mentality of it all, but even for small shows you want to be a spectacle even away from the music. It’s fun to get into the role as well, it’s all very theatrical.
Now that 2015 is drawing to a close, what would you say has been your biggest achievement this year?
AS: Sold out tour in the US.
GD: Signing with Interscope, and as Adam said, selling out a tour in the States. To be six thousand miles away from home and play to 2,000 people in a sold out room in Portland for example is pretty cool!