The UK's next great guitar hope?
Few British bands are better primed for a breakout 2017 like The Amazons. With their self-titled debut out now and a gigantic summer of festivals lined up, Matt Thomson (lead vocals, guitar) and Joe Emmett (drums) explain why now is their time.
You were big into dance music before you started The Amazons. Is that massive rock sound a response to those days?
Matt: “It was just to get away from that and do the complete opposite of what I’d been listening to for 18 months. I got really disillusioned with it and seeing Foals play Alexandra Palace in 2014 reignited a little flame for me. If a proper rock show like that doesn’t get people going, then what will?”
Joe: “I think that’s where this primal urge came from. To just play loud and whack everything really fucking hard.”
A lot of older artists have been bemoaning the lack of new British ‘guitar’ bands lately. Does that irritate you?
Matt: “I don’t care. We’re not trying to get a bunch of old men on our side. It’s more about if it connects with fans. I don’t think they get to decide whether rock ’n’ roll’s dead. What about all the kids who are having it at the front of our shows? Don’t they get to decide whether rock ’n’ roll is still a thing? No one has a monopoly, or any authority to say what guitar music is or whether it’s dead.”
Does that put more pressure on new acts like you?
Matt: “I don’t think so at all. Because being in a rock ’n’ roll band at the moment, you’re an underdog generally. You’re not necessarily commanding huge record sales or anything like that, so there’s always a bit of fight that goes along with it.”
You’ve been touring basically non-stop for three years. How are you adjusting to life on the road?
Joe: “When we started touring we were quite sensible young men. But it’s been insane and we’re all still friends, which is a good sign. Last year it worked out that we travelled the circumference of the Earth in our shitty little van, doing shows everywhere. We decided to burn the van for the album cover, so it was kind of symbolic. All that hard work through live shows will stay with us on the album. Plus we got to ask for a new van.”
Buy: Debut album ‘The Amazons’ is out now
Live: Reading Festival (August 25), Leeds Festival (August 26), 02 Forum Kentish Town, London (October 12)
For Fans Of: Foo Fighters, Royal Blood
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Strange But True: Thomson’s falsetto vocals came about because the only way he could hear himself over the band’s racket was by going high-pitched.