Blaenavon might have been around for years now, releasing the occasional single or EP, but now with school out of the way they’re ready to go full throttle into things. Their new EP ‘Miss World’ is due for release on October 30 via their new deal with Transgressive, and ‘Hell Is My Head’ is the soaring first track to be taken from it. Listen to it below and read a Q&A with the band while you’re at it.
You’ve just signed to Transgressive after being involved with them for a few years now. Why is that the best home for you and what about that label makes them so special?
“It’s quite extraordinary that a set of such well-established businessmen-and-women took us in aged 15 and acted as our label on trust alone. We’ve spent a lot of time with those lovely people over the past four years and wanted to set that relationship in stone. We all care about each other and can pick up the phone and get through to them at any time, although Toby [L, Transgressive co-founder] did say I shouldn’t call him from the bath anymore.”
Tell us about your new EP ‘Miss World’.
“We actually recorded this during the Easter holidays of last year with engineer David Pye; they were songs written throughout our time at college. The whole EP is about a vampire love triangle, set just following the collapse of the Twilight universe, intended as a rival franchise.”
The artwork for the EP is pretty cool – who drew it and what do the phrases on it (e.g. “I will call the police”) refer to?
“Our dear friend Layla Andrews painted it after an incident with Hampshire’s cruelest bus driver, who refused to allow one cordial young lady to complete her journey home. It was raining. I couldn’t say whether or not the police were called in the end. Layla does splendid portraits and other bits – everyone should have a look at LAYLA ANDREWS ART on Facebook.”
You’re recording your debut album with Arctic Monkeys producer Jim Abbiss at the end of the year – what are the songs for that sounding like? What’s your vision for the record?
“Because it’s been such a long time, we’ve got quite a sturdy catalogue of music for the album. We’ve started working with Jim and it’s the best thing we’ve done by far.”
You’ve deferred uni after juggling school and the band for a few years. Was having to balance the two getting too difficult? How does it feel knowing you can just concentrate on music now?
“It was quite tricky at times, but our manager, agent and everyone at Transgressive knew we’d need lots of time away from the music and helped us work around school. It feels good to concentrate on music. Things have been going slowly for a while and we apologise for the delays: it’s nice to have everything in place to get going again.”
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You’ve only played sporadically this year – now you’re out of education are you going to be hitting the road hard?
“There’s nothing we like more than caressing tarmac with the wheels of our deluxe tour bus – and playing music. All our friends have moved around the country, so it’s also a nice opportunity to visit everyone. Next year we’re going to drive straight across the ocean and finally crack the US as well.”
‘Miss World’ EP is released October 30 via Transgressive. Blaenavon play the following dates:
London Waiting Room (October 8)
Bogno Regis Rockaway Beach Festival (11)
Brighton Green Door Store (21) (w/Palace)
Glasgow SW3 Warehouse Studio (22) (w/Songhoy Blues)
Leeds Brudenell Social Club (23) (w/Songhoy Blues)
Manchester Gorilla (25) (w/Songhoy Blues)
Birmingham Hare & Hounds (26) (w/Songhoy Blues)
Bristol Fleece (27) (w/Songhoy Blues)
Brighton Concorde 2 (November 3) (w/Songhoy Blues)
London KOKO (4) (w/Songhoy Blues)
London Electric Ballroom (11) (w/Songhoy Blues)
Brighton Mutations Festival (29)