ACL Interviews: Wild Beasts
Now that ACL weekend is over, it’s time for us to start picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of what just happened. Before we get too heavy into that, we’ve still got a few more interviews to bring you way that we hope you’ll enjoy. This one comes from UK based outfit Wild Beasts. Lead vocalists and guitar player Hayden Thorpe was kind enough to answer our pressing questions just prior to the festival. After the jump you can read his responses.
ATH: After years of great press in the UK, it seems like those in the US are finally catching on. How do you plan to make an impression on everyone at Austin City Limits?
Hayden: We tend to just try and play as honestly and openly as possible. No party tricks, no hidden strings, no modus operandi. I think if you’re just you, take it or leave it, then that human connection can win through. That tends to be how we’ve clawed our way here, and how we’ll probably claw our way further.
ATH: There’s definitely an artier side to your band’s sound, in contrast to a lot of the current music. Are there bands you feel a certain kinship to at the moment? Any bands you’d like to play with in order to have the best show line-up of 2011?
Hayden: Adventure and risk in music is pretty vital from our point of view. Yeah it does certainly feel like on a day to day basis a lot of pretty suburban house wife pleasing music clogging up the arteries. We have interest in competing because we’d never win.
ATH: What is your personal experience playing to US crowds? Are they as indifferent as they seem or do you enjoy playing over here?
Hayden: It sounds like a suckey thing to say but US crowds are general incredibly warm and giving to play to. It often makes the shows really fun and exciting to play. I think the importance and care placed in music by the fraternity here is pretty special and quite unique.
ATH: In your opinion, what’s the biggest difference between the two (US vs UK) in regards to how the press treat musicians or promote music?
Hayden: Good question. I think in the US there are just more pockets of music lovers than in the UK. Britain is obviously a pretty small place so press tends to be pretty blanket where as in the US there is more scope for different opinion and interesting sub versions on people’s work.
ATH: Let’s talk sports…do you care about football (soccer), and if so, who’s the best EPL (English Premeire League) team and EPLPlayer?
Hayden: Football matters very much. It hurts to say but Manchester Utd are probably the best team. That probably makes Wayne Rooney the best player. Again, it’s painful to admit. I’m a long suffering Newcastle Utd fan.
ATH: Are we naive thinking that everyone in the UK loves football in some manner or another?
Hayden: No it’s a fair assumption. People think you’re weird if you don’t take an interest and having general knowledge is a pretty good social lubricant where we’re from.
ATH: When coming to the States, what’s the one thing you personally, or the band, can’t live without? Is there something you bring from back home to keep you company?
Hayden: An English newspaper is pretty vital. When you’re far from home you tend to take more of an interest at whats going on than when you’re there. I tend to read every crumb front to back just to feel involved. Luckily the internet allows for this now.
ATH: Is there anyone at the festival you’re going to try and catch, or try and hang out with, or are you just here to play a great show and get on with it?
Hayden: I’m very excited to see Kanye. The man’s taste and execution is laser accurate. He’s sharp in many ways. He’ll be my mecca tonight.
ATH: Wild Beasts? What sort of beast are you?
Hayden: A playful soft type, with a nasty bite but we would never dream of using it.
Thanks again Hayden for making the time to speak with us. We hope to see you guys again real soon.