Interview The Futureheads

The FutureheadsJaff and Dave talk labels, difficult third albums and Bruce Springsteen.

In the year and a half since the release of second album ‘News And Tributes’, The Futureheads have found time to support Pearl Jam across Germany, write an album’s worth of new material, and - of course - part ways with their record label. In the wake of brand new track ‘Broke Up The Time’ being self-released online free of charge, the band confirmed three low-key headline shows for late 2007. DIY caught up with Jaff and Dave ahead of their night at London’s King’s College to find out what was going on inside The Futureheads’ heads.

‘Meeting your heroes is boring. I would never want to meet Bruce Springsteen, would I Dave?’ Jaff then explaining that the Boss is not only a genius, but that he’s basically Jeremy Clarkson if he (Clarkson) wasn’t such a ‘dick’. ‘He’s a man’s man’.

The duo are ‘really looking forward’ to tonight’s gig, Jaff - who seems to do most of the talking - explaining more. ‘We’ve basically been off the road for a year writing and recording… so any gigs in front of your die-hard fans… it’s true fans. It should be a good one. Two people have come from Japan, just to see the gig, that’s pretty incredible. I don’t think I’d go to Japan to see anything. I’d go on holiday, but I wouldn’t go and see a gig’. Dave agrees; ‘Nah, the flight’s too long’.

Are they planning on playing a lot of their new songs? ‘We’re going to play precisely five new songs, which is a third of our set. So that’s quite good I think. We’ve got to be careful, because we really want to do these gigs to show people the new stuff, show them the direction we’ve gone in, but then if you play too many new songs, people won’t enjoy the gig! You’ve got to try and get the balance right.

‘What we’re looking for really, with this record, is that all the songs are quite fast and punky. Whereas on the last record we could only play some of them live: some of them had acoustic guitars, some were slower, this record has been a lot more ‘live’ thought out, hasn’t it Dave?’

So the new record’s a lot punkier? ‘Oooh, yes’. More like the debut, perhaps? ‘It’s like that, but harder’.

Dave chips in: ‘People are saying that… I showed my friend it the other day and he was like ‘aah, it’s like the first one’. I couldn’t really see it myself, but he could spot it, you know’

Jaff adds: ‘It’s more like the first one, but it’s kind of further the other way, less jerky and more punk rock’.

He’s equally - if not more - enthusiastic about the band’s new DIY approach in giving away ‘Broke Up The Time’. ‘It’s like one of them [middle finger] to the record label, innit? You know, like we don’t even CARE about selling things! Write a really good song, make a little video for it ourselves, and then give it away. It was pretty cool’.

The band had previously touched on bad feelings towards previous label 679 Recordings (a blog entry by Ross hinted that the label ‘hoped it [new material] would never come’). Were they angry? Jaff’s answer is vague: ‘I’m a very angry man’, while Dave muses a bit further.

‘I never think about it really. I think Barry, well when you’ve wrote [sic] the song, when you’ve wrote twenty songs like he has, he’s very close to the songs, moreso than what we are. I mean, we’re all very fond of our songs, but he can get a bit jaded sometimes about it, but then he also just laughs at it’.

‘We weren’t dropped’, Dave is quick to quip. Jaff explains further: ‘They just said ‘we want to renegotiate your record deal’. So we just said ‘if you want to do that, then why would we want to work with you?’. If you’re not behind us, if you’re not going to do what you said you were going to do five years ago, then nah, fuck it. They did basically say ‘then OK, we don’t want to do another record with you unless you want to take lots less money and get little support”

The band now have their own label, and plans are afoot to release the third - and as yet untitled - album.

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