News Reading & Leeds Festival 2009: Metronomy

With Reading & Leeds Festival just days away, we caught up with a few of the bands playing to see how they’re getting on, what they’re currently up to, and what we can expect from them over the festival season.

Metronomy will be playing the festival on the NME / Radio 1 Stage on the Sunday, so we got frontman Joe to answer a few of our questions.

You made a significant change to the band line-up just before embarking on the festival season; how has that affected your live performances?

Well, I guess it has affected our shows in two ways. Firstly, there are now four of us onstage and we have all but done away with our little computer friend. He has been demoted from Drummer to keyboard sound organiser. This in itself is a massive change which means that Secondly, the show has a completely new feel and energy. It is now completely live, which is nothing but a good thing.

Festivals offer bands the chance to play to people that might not necessarily give them a chance otherwise. Is this a challenge you enjoy?

Yes and no. It is always great because your normal fans will be there for you, they will have made a little circle around your name in the programme and can be relied on. Obviously playing to/trying to convert new people is more of a challenge. If it all goes well then you walk away with many new fans. But, when you are playing a tent or something you can’t help but notice the coming and going of people… obviously it is when there are more goings than comings that it becomes slightly worrying.

What’s on the agenda for the rest of ‘09 and beyond? Should we be expecting new material?

Of course, I have perfected this answer. We are touring until mid-october and then we will have a well earned break until November perhaps. Then the new record will be recorded. Actually, recording has begun, but I am a bit wary to play new stuff straight away, we don’t want to give away the big surprise too quickly.

Your live ‘trademark’ is the oversized lightbulbs that seemingly sprout from your chests, while you often break out dance routines onstage: in a world of too-cool-to-move indie bands, is the visual aspect of your show particularly important to you?

I think it is yes. The reason we started with the lights was to create a ‘show’. I think many bands forget that that is part of their job description, to put on a show.

You’ve built up an impressive collection of remixes: which one are you most proud of?

Probably the K.D Lang one, the request was something that came quite of nowhere. Other than that I also enjoy the Box Codax one… it is one that i sometimes actually listen to.

Over the years we’ve seen Metronomy evolve from relative obscurity into a slightly more traditional - some would say mainstream - sound. Should we expect a dramatically new direction from album three?

I’m not sure really, I suppose with the ‘obscure’ album and the ‘mainstream’ one we only have two points on a graph. I think anyone lucky enough to be releasing music would be foolish to be predictable. I hope the next record will be surprising and I hope that people will like the next record as much as they liked the last one.

For those undecided on whether to go and see you at the upcoming Reading and Leeds festivals - now’s your chance! Sell your set to the Metronomy naysayers in 10 words or less:

We are much better and nicer than you think naysayer!

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