ON RECORD: We’ve heard you guys met at a pub by a beach, in France is that right?
RORY: That’s spot on, pretty much.
ROB: Down in the South Coast of France, there’s a really nice spot, Biarritz, Pete’s cousin Woody was the proprietor of a surf bar called Le Surfing.
PETE: Rory was playing the keyboard, being paid in burritos, and we ended up getting pissed and formed a band.
How did you go from meeting at the pub to making music together?
ROB: Jed basically spotted a talent in Rory’s voice
RORY: Ah leave it out!
ROB: a raw talent and I was just knocking around, and we had nothing else to do, because there is nothing to do in Hossegor other than get drunk.
RORY: You laugh, but that’s pretty much it.
ROB: I suppose you could claim, that a little bit of that is true that we put Hossegor on the map.
PETE: We do one gig there a year.
ROB: Some fans go down there for surfing and take photos of themselves on the beach with the tshirt from the album cover.
PETE: It’s our little bubble, and it’s sort of popped the bubble a little bit, no where’s sacred!!!
I saw you guys play last spring at Dingwalls in Camden, a lot has taken off for you since then.
RORY: Oh sick, that does feel like ages ago.
PETE: That was the first time my mum and dad had ever come to a gig! They flew in from Australia especially, dad was fooling around at sound check, my dad was wearing his Australia cap, which he actually wears all the time.
For instance… Your song Watch Your Back was featured on the Netflix show Bloodline…how did that come about?
RORY: I didn’t even watch it either
PETE: I got it sent by Richie, our mate, who is from Liverpool, and he was like what the fuck is going on, I’m watching Netflix and all of a sudden I just hear you idiots!
Supporting Imagine Dragons for 35 dates on their tour must have been incredible. How did you handle all those dates and keep your performance and set fresh for each show?
PETE: We were playing to 16,000 new people every night. So we just smashed it every night.
RORY: We changed a few different ones now n then, but it was the first time most of those people would have seen us.
PETE: You could tell, at the start of the tour people were like yea this is a cool support act, then by the end of the tour it built and built up, then there were people who knew our songs as well. So the word spread and by the end of the tour, half the audience would be singing along to our stuff too.
RORY: When we played Manchester arena, here’s a good story. Everyone got their phones out, and some people can be weird about that and be like don’t get your fucking phones out etc. But I remember nodding and pointing at this group of people in the crowd who had their phones out, and then the whole place lit up with thousands of others putting their torches up on their phones.
PETE: It’s almost like a blue light.
RORY: I find it funny that people get annoyed with the phone thing. I understand that, but who carries lighters around with them anymore?
You released your debut album recently, some songs being well known by fans like She Wants and Remember. And some new ones.
ROB: A lot of our fans know our lyrics.
PETE: Especially on this tour, people have had a lot of time to listen to the album and they have their favourites. One group over there will be singing, and then we start playing Gold and another group will be singing. And so on and so on.
ROB: All the blokes like Loa, it’s like a football match almost.
RORY: We were in Newcastle, and all the geezers were singing their hearts out to Loa. And we were like yes this is what it’s all about! Got quite emotional in Glasgow, and we have a song called Lost Company which is about my old man, and when we first started playing it, it was hard. But as time goes on it becomes a bit of the norm, I hate to say it like that. But the crowd sang it so passionately and loud, singing that song back to us, every little bit and it was amazing. Today we did a meet and greet, and had people coming up to me saying that song means a lot to me, they lost a gran, or another loved one. You either get it or you don’t get it, and it’s amazing it touches people like that.
One of you said recently that you guys can’t live without the ocean. How does that aspect of your lives inspire your music ?
RORY: We sound like wankers when we say that don’t we.
ROB: It’s not a direct relation to the music, but it’s about our being, and what we do.
PETE: It’s the one place where you go, and you can forget about everything, like a mental reset!
JED: I would never ever not live near the sea.
You played a number of festivals this year including reading, Leeds, Y Not fest and Boardmasters to name a few, which was your fave and why?
ROB: All the festivals!
PETE: Reading for me, so many people showed up, I’d say 8000 people, for being quite early on – it was a great benchmark for us. Everyone was going mental!!
RORY: It’s weird cuz you’re hanging with the other bands in the back, who definitely get more radio play then us, and it’s like are we worthy enough? Yea we must be! Reading/Leeds same for me as well. Ever since doing those, I’ve always been nervous about it, as it’s such a big festival. Too many whiskeys, then went out and it was mental! Leeds was the same, and I was like yes definitely going to crowdsurf, and I did. They kept taking everything off me.
ROB: Zelt Festival, in some random place in Germany. It wasn’t the biggest, but it was a cool moment. A festival that goes throughout the whole of August, and different acts every night. Very quirky, backstage was like a caravan, And it was a sold out festival. Everyone was paying attention, and it was intimate. It was really cool, right by the river in a tiny little town.
What’s been the best part of your band journey so far?
ROB: There’s several pivotal moments. Too many pivots man.
RORY: For me, it was when we were outside this bar Le Surfing, where I played my first ever gig, where I met the boys, I used to work in the kitchen. And we signed our record deal outside of it. And I called my mum, and she went “Oh yeah, who’s that with? Oh yea I know that, think they have The Rolling Stones with them, well at least you’ve got a job now!”
PETE: The day we released our EP, got one of the best waves of my life! And it went up to number 80 in the rock charts.
ROB: There are so many pivotal moments, one day you’re put into fancy cars, fancy bars and the next you’re in some fucking dive. So it’s all very up and down. Playing the O2 in London was cool.
ROB: That has just reminded me of a pivotal moment! So we were recording in Nashville, in Black burn studios, probably the best studio in the planet. And you know when the soundwaves show up on the machine, at the end of my guitar track there was a (fart noise) and they amplified it!! And those speakers were the size of my house!
If you weren’t in a band or surfing what would you guys be doing?
PETE: I am an electrician, so probably that. Mind you I’d do that and go on holiday, so statistically I’d be on holiday all the time.
RORY: I’d work in a shoe shop.
ROB: I’d be Pete’s assistant
PETE: My bitch!
RORY: Fuck I don’t know what I’d do, without this I’m fucked.
Any nicknames you call each other? Who has the best one?
PETE: They call me Parps, because my surname is Harper, and always used to play Tiger Woods golf in the back of the van and I would always get Pars… so now they just call me Parps. It’s fucking stupid.
RORY: Jed gets called Jeff. Because it’s not his name.
ROB: Jed is often late, although not so much anymore. Jed is late for everything, so we called him Jeff Latelaw. But now it’s just Jeff. And my name is Raaaaaaaaab
RORY: It’s only just hit me. The worrying thing is I don’t know what mine is. And I don’t think I want to know.
ROB: Everyone’s got lots, this is Creepy Dave, he is touring with us throughout the UK.
A bit of a random unrelated music question, if you guys were an animal, what would you be and why?
RORY: As a band, we would be The Monkeys. I like the Gibbon monkey, they couldn’t be more like little shits, like orangutans, they have a funny walk and torment other animals.
PETE: It’s not really an animal….but scarecrow!
ROB: Salmon, not sure why I said that, but I’d go with that
PETE: You do give yourself an upward battle.
ROB: And together we are Wild Stallions