Interview The Naked & Famous: ‘Festivals Feel A Bit Like Your Fifteen Minutes Of Fame’

We collar the band to find out about their summer festival spots.

Appearing on the scene in 2011, much of festival season will be new to The Naked & Famous. How exactly does a band who only know of Glastonbury through DVDs prepare? We collar the band to find out. Picture: Verena Stepahanie-Grotto

Are they any festivals you’re especially excited to be playing this summer?
Thom: None of the stuff we’re doing this year we’ve ever done before, so I don’t know if we have any real idea what we’re getting ourselves into, if we’re honest! I hear Glastonbury’s like another planet.
David: My familiarity with these festivals has been Slayer and Pantera DVDs, that’s what I know of Glastonbury so to play is pretty sweet. Without Slayer, it kind of sucks, but you know…
Aaron: I’m looking forward to Fuji Rocks and to experience Japan as well. None of us have ever been before and it always looks pretty impressive on the festival side.

How do you plan your festival sets?
T: We’ve had enough performing experience to know what stuff is crucial, what stuff works the best and how to get an accurate live flow. We definitely have a live festival set that doesn’t really move around a lot; it’s difficult for us to because of the amount of electronics, and because of the way we’ve sequenced our songs.
Festivals feel a bit like your fifteen minutes of fame - you’ve got to prove yourself in the little bit of time you have.

You’re heading out on your second headline UK tour in November. What’s going to be different for you this time around?
T: The album [‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’] has been out so hopefully everyone who’s coming to the shows will know stuff. The first time we came to the UK, we didn’t know what the hell to expect, we didn’t know where we were going, weren’t familiar with any of the towns. We were just completely oblivious and ignorant, which was fun because it was surprise overtime! We had such wonderful, wonderful shows and turnouts and audiences; there wasn’t a dull moment.

Are you more a studio band or live performers? Where are you the most comfortable?
A: At the moment we’re more of a live band because all we’ve been doing is playing live shows, but the band started as a studio-based project. Our first EP was done before there was even a live band sorted.
T: It’s almost been forced, the whole live thing. The reality of being in a band these days is that you have to tour; it’s become such a large part of what we do. I feel like it’s going to change the way we approach the second album as well because they’ve become sort of inseparable for us, the album and the live show.

Have you had any thoughts about a second album yet, or is that still quite a long way off?
T: I was stressing out about it last night and I couldn’t sleep because I had too many stupid thoughts about album number two. So yeah, quite a few thoughts.

Do you view the band as a job these days?
Alyssa: I don’t think I could ever view something like this as a job. It’s such a privilege to be able to travel to all of these places, and to wake up and get to sing everyday, you know? How can that be a job?
T: There are aspects of it that’s blahblahblah being professional, stuff like interviews and photoshoots. You look at that as an opportunity to spread the word. Music is not about image, it’s not about fashion, it’s nothing to do with opinions, ratings, reviews, judgements. It’s nothing like that at all. It’s like a really, really pure, honest, decent thing and you have to make a conscious effort to separate that because I think that’s what happens to a lot of bands when they get big. They get sucked in by all the crap that comes with the industry. There’s nothing above the music. Everything else below is just unimportant. All the promo and stuff, that part you can count as work, but it’s just a passion, a privilege.

You can catch The Naked & Famous at iTunes Festival, Latitude, Lollapalooza and Reading & Leeds.

Taken from the Summer 2011 issue of DIY, available now. For more details click here.

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