“At our last gig someone stole one of our laptops, which was a bit shit. The gig itself was brilliant though.”
For a band that are currently doing incredibly well, in the midst of a sold out tour and with a highly anticipated album on the way, this upbeat attitude is to be expected. So every cloud has a silver lining? “Every cloud has a silver laptop more like… Well that certainly was the case for the person who stole it.”
I can’t help noticing The Delays have been off the radar for a couple of years. What have the boys been up to? “Just chilling out really” informs nonchalant front man Greg, “Our last album didn’t end up the way we wanted it to for one reason or another, we…” The sentence is cut short by his brother and keys player Aaron, claiming to know who’s fault that was, the record label’s. Everyone acknowledges and nods in approval.
“We reconvened back in Southampton and ended up just hanging out as friends rather than a band. We live quite close to New Forest so we’d go for night drives, come back at three in the morning, get our guitars out and write a soundtrack for the journey, which is kind of what the album is.”
I am strongly inclined to agree with this description. The debut single ‘Unsung’, from their upcoming album Star Tiger, Star Ariel, is the perfect road trip anthem, and is without a doubt set to be a summer hit.
So how representative is the single of the rest of the album? “It’s the most acceptable as a release. As a whole, the album is a lot darker. We’re beginning to get reviews through about the album now and everyone’s saying it’s a lot more experimental which is a nice description as we banned the word commercial in the studio.
“It’s a weird thing to be described as experimental as you do a lot of things instinctively as part of trying to express yourself. We didn’t go in with an experimental agenda but in hindsight that’s sort of what happened.”
Given the positive response to previous material (“First band in a decade to lay serious claim to the Stone Roses throne” (The Guardian), “Heavenly pop glory” (Q), “Pop song mastery uniquely honed to perfection” (The Fly)), are the band feeling pressured from fans and critics to live up to the high expectations? “We don’t really dwell on what we’ve done, we never have done. I never really listen to what we’ve recorded in the past.
“We want to keep moving. A lot of our favourite bands really embody the spirit of just pushing forwards. I think if you think too much about what you’ve done in the past you end up writing for other people, when what we want to do is write for ourselves and then see how other take it.”
“It is our best album. We’re not surrounded by ‘yes’ people, we’ve got people around us who tell us what they think. It is our most personal album; it’s the one that’s come closest to capturing the energy of us live.”
That would be a lot to capture on one album. Live, the band do not disappoint – take this from someone who felt it necessary tograce their crowd twice in the space of three days.
What next for the Southampton lads? “We’re going to be in Europe promoting our album. I love the way we talk about Europe like we’re not part of it! We can’t wait really.
“We’re just so grateful for the fans; they know a lot more of our stuff. Take a look at the bags under the eyes, it’s been wicked.”