We talk tour life, Bon Iver and play a game of Who’s Most Likely To with Blaenvaon.
Energetic, alt-pop fusions in the midst of huge indie carvings. Blaenavon are a trio on the radar.
Each track holding some kind of statement through empathetic lyrics. Recent outfit My Bark Is Your Bite cuts corners down a dark alleyway – gritty guitars and abrasive drum patterns take a slight turn from the previous Let’s Pray.
Listen to My Bark Is Your Bite and dig into our interview below.
You’re on tour with The Hunna at the moment, how’s it all going so far?
Frank: Yeah it’s been good so far! Kinda tired because we’ve played for like a month solid with only two days off
Harris: But when you’re playing all the shows it doesn’t really matter, you don’t really notice. Pretty delirious ha, but not too noticeable!
You were here last month as well supporting The Sherlocks, how would you say Scottish crowds compare to any other?
Harris: Yeah they can be awesome
Ben: It’s never really the same like we’ve done some crazy ones here and some kind of difficult ones actually!
You get that with every show though, hit or miss!
Ben: We did get the chant at one show which was fucking cool
Harris: What chant?
Ben: “Here we, here we, here we fucking go”
Harris: Ha! Oh yeah that one
Ben: I love it
Frank: At least they don’t shout “you’re shit!”
It could always be worse!
Frank: Exactly ha!
So there’s been a lot of touring this year for you guys, what’s been the biggest highlight?
Ben: Either our headline show in London at Dingwalls or Glastonbury. Those were like the two best shows we’ve ever done probably!
Glastonbury is insane!
Ben: Yeah it was mental
How big is Glastonbury actually? We’ve heard a lot of people say it compares to a city?
Harris: A very small city yeah
Frank: You could walk across it in like an hour
Harris: But it takes twice as long as it normally would because there’s fuck loads of people about!
Frank: And to be fair we only walked across the thin bits of it
Ben: So it took about three times as long but yeah!
So what does a day on tour with Blaenavon look like?
Ben: Wake up at about 12, eat a slice of toast, drink a coffee, brush our teeth then get in the van to go to the next city
Frank: Have a beer
Ben: Oh yeah and then get to the venue, set up, have another beer
A beer just setting you up for the day ha!
Ben: Yeah! Then after soundcheck and everything, have another beer, play, have a beer, go to bed and have a beer
Harris: This is going to ruin everyone’s dream of bands and being all rock n roll
You’re keeping up the standard with all the beers!
Frank: It’s really fun when we get to stay with mates because it’s means we can actually have a good breakfast and see everyone
Ben: Breakfast is the important part there, we love food
Harris: And it’s just a lot better than staying in a Travel Lodge
Ben: There pretty heartless ha!
Frank: And it costs us money
Ben: And they have the same piece of art in every single room! There’s two versions of it, one’s landscape and the other square
Frank: It’s great but it’s like a Christmas bobble as well so always feeling festive
Ben: I can’t wait for the ‘gestures with hands’ one to go landscape ha!
Looking back, you’ve sort of already answered this but, you’ve had a pretty bust festival season, what was the stand out moment?
Ben: Yeah we kind of answered that with Glastonbury but Reading was like our home festival so that was cool! I went when I was like 16 so going back and playing to like loads of little brothers of our friends who were going to their first festival after GCSE’s and stuff and that the tent was packed out as well – so it was really weird and crazy. We played on the Friday and Saturday – Saturday in Leeds – so we had the Sunday off and just had a really sick time. I was side of stage for Jack U which is like diplo and Skrillex put together and that was also mental ha!
So what would you say has been the weirdest thing you’ve had shouted at you on stage?
Harris: Last night was pretty weird like we thought everyone was enjoying the set but then they all just started to shout someone’s name in the crowd
Ben: Yeah like Alice or something, just a friend of theirs
Harris: Yeah it was weird!
Ben: There was a show that whenever I went to say something some guy would just shout “you’re a wanker”
Ha! Did you just pretend you couldn’t hear him?
Ben: Well yeah to be fair I couldn’t really, it was only until afterwards it kind of dawned on me what he was saying
Frank: In Leeds they usually shout “Yorkshire, Yorkshire!” but sounds a little like “You’re shit, you’re shit!” so you never really know ha!
Ben: I remember we were playing at a festival and it came to me playing a bit on my own so I was like “fuck fuck fuck” how do I hold it together?! You could definitely see in my face I was terrified
We were at a HAIM gig a few years ago and Alana from the band said “I just got a haircut guys, what do you think?” and one guy just went “It’s shit mate!”
Ben: Ha! What a legend, no sorry not a legend… I mean it’s a pretty funny thing to say
So what can you guys tell us about your Let’s Pray EP? How was it to record?
Ben: Well two of the songs on it; Let’s Pray and I Will Be The World, are both on our album and we recorded them between December and January with Jim Havis which was a really amazing experience for us
Harris: But they were written at very different times
Ben: What Let’s Pray and I Will Be The World? No they were written pretty much at the same time
Harris: Okay I’ll save this for later
Ben: The other two songs were almost
Frank: Yeah that’s a thing definitely with the other two songs
Ben: This sounds like a fun story, but you can tell it
Frank: Sounds like I’m wrong
Ben: Yeah ha! No okay, those songs were ones we sorted out for the album with Jim and then the other two songs on the EP like Something Boring, was sort of like a demo we made when we were on our own. Like when we were recording demo tracks for the final record about a year and a half ago, so that feels pretty special to us because it was done all by ourselves and one of the first complete things we’d made. And then we just popped into the studio for the day and did a little piano number as well, it’s a really old song though like it’s from 2012 I think
What would you say is your favourite track from the EP? In terms of listening to and playing live?
Ben: I think I Will Be The World is the best song on the EP and probably the best one to play live! But we’ve also just got pretty use to that one I guess
Frank: I like listening to Something Boring the most but we never get to play that one live
Ben: This is true
Ah you should! Really like that one
Ben: You like listening to Something Boring? That’s sick
Harris: We have other bangers
What about other tracks from previous EPs?
Ben: I actually think that this is my favourite one, the Koso one was probably my the top one before but Let’s Pray is just way better
Harris: I just like that one now for nostalgic reasons just like “yeah those were the good days”
Ben: Wunderkind from that EP we never even think about anymore but we loved but this EP has got a nice whole array of our styles on show which I like. We’ve matured a lot since the Koso EP I think, arguably
This year is coming to a close but 2016 has seen a lot of great releases, anything which particularly caught your eye or you’re listening to at the moment?
Ben: Bon Iver’s album just came out like yesterday or day before
Harris: We’ve been shoving that on repeat
Ben: It’s amazing! I loved all the singles he put out and I just haven’t been that excited for a record in ages. There’s been a lot of good stuff this year actually… Life Of Pablo, Kanye’s last album was fucking sick! Hinds put out a really great record this year, Kendrick Lamar put out a really good record this year. There’s just been loads of stuff, I’d say it’s been one of the best years for releases! There’s one I really love but I can’t think of right now and it’s really annoying me
Harris: Too many releases to think of really
So to finish off we thought we’d do a game of Who’s Most Likely To.
Harris: I love this game
Ben: Bonus round
Who’s most likely to get lost in a city?
Ben: So me, like fuck me I get lost everywhere! I even get lost in the town I’m from like I never have any idea where I am ever, whenever I’m walking I always look at my feet and the ground. I mean sometimes I find fivers but then I never know where I’m going, ever
Harris: Although, yesterday we were in Liverpool and you got us safely back to the café and you were like “I did a thing”
Ben: Well yeah if I have to sit and think about it then it works but if I can just follow you guys then I’ll just do that and just concentrate on my feet, ha!
Who’s most likely to fall off stage?
Ben: Me again
Harris: Ben as well yeah
Ben: It’s happened so many times like I’ve fallen over about 3 times but I’ve actually fallen off stage once
How did you play it off?
Ben: I fucking styled it out and like threw my guitar in the air, it was sick. We were playing in Brighton with Dive and there’s this bit at the end of I Will Be Your World that’s really cool and you just get into it. Basically, I was standing on the speaker and the strobes were going crazy and I couldn’t see where the floor started and the speaker ended so I did a little jump and thought I’d made it and one foot landed on the stage and the other just went. So with guitar in hand, I smashed my knee and then managed to like throw it and also landed myself in the crowd
Who’s most likely to lose all their money at a casino?
Ben: Frank I think
Harris: I wouldn’t say it’s about luck with this one either, it’s just whoever ends up at the casino
Ben: I think you (Harris) wouldn’t do it, I’d put all my money on a lose and Frank would actually put his money on the win
Harris: Okay that’s interesting. We were going to gamble our lunch money every Monday and make it a thing but we decided not too because we were really hungry
Ben: See we always want to put £20 on black and think we’ll have a really great night so we sometimes end up storming around trying to find a casino but it just never works. It happened once with my friend and they won £20 – good day for them
There’s a casino just down the road from here if you’re wanting to put £20 on black later – could be the night!
Ben: I know! But there’s always a massive queue
Harris: We’ve tried yeah
Frank: One day maybe!
Who’s most likely to ask “when are you due?” to someone who isn’t pregnant?
Ben: Definitely Frank
Harris: You’d ask your own Mother that question
Frank: I’m really bad at like, identifying people correctly
Ben: Pretty basic social skills
Frank: Ha! True
Ben: I think the way to word it is like “oh, what you been up to?” because if they’re pregnant then they’ll just be like “just pregnant stuff”, unless you then go “oh when are you due?” and they could be like “got you! Not actually pregnant” so this situation can always go either way
Harris: It could also go like “what you been up to?” “Oh, Big Macs”
Who’s most likely to survive the hunger games?
Frank: Yeah Harris
Harris: I think so yeah, I mean I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything
Ha! But you’re going to say yourself
Harris: Yeah I’m going to say myself! I mean Frank is good at making stuff though
Frank: Yeah I’m resourceful but Harris is like a good ancient man
Ben: Frank would have a fire but he would probably then just fall asleep next to it and then get killed
Harris: That is Frank’s greatest weakness actually. To anyone reading this, if you end up in The Hunger Games with Frank, just get him when he’s asleep
Ben: Ha! He’s been known to fall asleep on the tube, while standing up with a bass in his hand
A good reputation to have then!
Frank: I’d say so
And lastly, who’s most likely to get married on a night out in Vegas?
Ben: Hmmm, me
Harris: Yeah Ben
Frank: I feel like you would yeah
Ben: I always take things to the edge of doing something funny like that and then end up being all “no no, can’t really do it”
Just get to the alter and then be all “ah never mind, got you!”
Ben: Exactly ha! I’d probably say the name Rachel then just make a runner
Frank: I think you fall in love quicker than me and Harris though
Ben: Yeah but… Actually yeah for sure. Basically, it probably wouldn’t be Harris, probably wouldn’t be Frank and maybe probably wouldn’t be me
Frank: I’d probably do it but then you wouldn’t know until a few days after when I’d then just briefly mention it like “oh yeah I did that”
Ben: That’s true yeah, okay I think we gave that a pretty reasonable answer
That’s all of them!
Ben: That is the best round!