Is there any particular inspiration for your new, self titled album?
Erm [a long, sleepy pause], the inspiration is just that I haven’t seen the rest of the band for maybe ten years, and I just realised that I miss my friends and I can book my mates to hang out with me for a whole month in another country and have a really nice holiday and make a record at the same time and reconnect with them [laughs]. Really, it was just an excuse for me to hang out with my best friends and see, say, Charlie for like ten years – cause we kicked him out of the band actually – after the first album, and I’ve always really regretted that. He was just a bit of a pain to be around, but he’s really sorted himself out and now he’s a really successful businessman. Which is another thing that’s really weird, he’s a successful businessman and our bass player is an excellent sound coordinator for films, I thought “there’s no way these guys are gonna want to make a new album” but they did!
Any song in particular that you’re especially proud of, or are looking forward to performing?
It’s gonna be weird playing any of the new ones because people always ask for the first album, and we always pretty much play everything from that. So it’ll be the first time that we’re playing something new in ages. So if people are jumping around for the new ones I’m gonna be like “oh god, what have I done? We have to play these now”. I guess “Four Letter Word” is the one we released online, before the album, so hopefully that one will get a bit of a response and if it does get people going I’m really looking forward to that.
25-venue tour, sounds pretty hefty. Are you looking forward to it? Any stories from being on tour that you’d like to share? (Best/Worst/Funniest moments)
I think it’s 26 now. But yeah! I am looking forward to it, massively. But I hadn’t realised we were playing so many gigs [laughs]. We told our booking agent we had a month we could play in, meaning we could do a couple of gigs a week or something – they took that as a whole month just to play gigs. Thing is, we’re getting older, I’m getting older (I’m in my thirties now), it’s gonna be hard.
What’s it like getting back in the game, do you think the music industry has changed much?
Yeah, since I quit the band I’ve had number ones, and that’s nice. Putting yourself out there as an artist – and I always think it’s weird cause you go to the studio and you have a really good time and you put a load of effort into making a record, which is always worth it because it’s such a great feeling – but then you have to take it to the industry and have to “prove it” to people. But with this new record we don’t have to do that there’s no press, we’re not trying to chart it, we’re just sticking it out there. Actually, it’s a bit annoying cause the CD is in the shops but the vinyl isn’t yet and people are tweeting me asking where it is and I feel bad but there’s nothing I can do about it till it’s released. What’s great though is that it means we can play better because it’s what we want and there’s no pressure.
Do you think that your music, or musical style has changed with you? If so, what new/fresh ideas are you bringing to the industry with this album?
I think it’s probably the opposite really, the older you get the more you start to regress into the stuff you liked as a teenager, a lot of my friends and I used to love pop punk stuff and 90’s emo sort of records and the older I get the more nostalgic I’ve gotten for that. So I think this record – rather than setting out to be like the first album – is more like the record we would have done about five years before the first album. It’s a big nostalgia trip for us.
If you could headbutt any musician in history (alive or dead), who would it be?
[I phrase this question wrong asking if he could headbutt a museum]
I thought you were getting into some really weird meta question about history [we laugh]. Nah, I don’t know, do I have any head protection? Cause if so, hmm…who do I really not like? Actually, no I’d probably headbutt some punk like GG Allin…he’d probably like it.
Where are you most looking forward to touring?
Manchester was the first gig of our mini-tour last year. It was our first night, we got there and within twenty minutes someone had thrown a brick through our van window and nicked James’ bag. What was really annoying about it was that the only things in it were phone chargers, a razor, shower gel – stuff he really wanted but nothing that was worth nicking. So definitely not there!
If you could play with anyone, who would you play with?
Musically? [laughs] Hmmm…maybe Taylor Swift?
Sammy C asks: Would you rather have fingers for toes, or toes for fingers?
So basically all fingers or all toes? All fingers, obviously. You wouldn’t be able to do anything otherwise, you’d need longer shoes but still. Imagine trying to type an email with your toes…
Jack P asks: Will boys really “be boys”?
Erm, I think they probably won’t. I think they’re probably too old. I think boys will probably have a few beers and then try and find a nice place to kip before midnight.
Lisa asks: Chocolate flavoured poo or poo flavoured chocolate?
Chocolate flavoured poo for sure, if it’s not going to make you ill then `yeah…ignorance is bliss.
Beth W asks: What are your opinions on fame, celebrity identity, and the emotional effects of it? I’d be interested to know how you feel about your experience of Never Mind The Buzzcocks, and whether you maintain that it was the correct emotional response at the time, or whether in retrospect you feel differently?
God, this answer could be so long. I mean, for me, as soon as I realised how it was gonna play out I just moved to America for three years. I knew I couldn’t carry on in England, if I’d tried to – cause I was always aware it’d blow over after six months and then I’d be able to get on with my life – but I didn’t expect it to blow up to the level it had. It was really hard for me to get rid of it in England so I just moved. To be honest it’s weird when everyone else has an opinion about one moment of your life, like I don’t really, I forgot about it. It’s just other people didn’t.
Rhian H asks: Do you hate the Press-a-tonne?
[Laughs heartily]. Put yes, in capital letters as my answer.
James R asks: What was it like on Big Brother, was it a bit creepy knowing you were being watched all the time? Did you get to see footage of yourselves in the Big Brother house while you were there or did you have to wait till you got out to see how it all looked?
You weren’t aware of anything while you were in there. You definitely don’t see any cameras, and sometimes you’d forget. But there’d be occasions where you’d realise a camera was behind a mirror and be like “oh yeah, I’m brushing my teeth in front of a fucking camera”.