Damian: Hi Ross, it’s been ten years since Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever. To me it feels like only yesterday since it was released. But you’ve not stopped in the decade so does the anniversary feel like yesterday to you, or like a lifetime ago?
Ross: It feels like a while ago but certainly not ten years ago. We’re not the sort of band who likes to look back, but recently we did a warehouse show in London where we played parts of the first two albums and we had such a good time. Then this tour got offered to us and it seemed like too much fun to miss out on. Musically, there’s a lot of records from that time which sound like they’re from a certain era but I think our record sounds like it could have been made last year and is still relevant.
Damian: I agree. So do you think you’ll have new fans coming to see the tour?
Ross: What’s really nice is that some people who discovered the band after Men’s needs have let us know that they’re excited to see the show as they didn’t get to see us tour the album originally. We get quite a few people getting in touch on social media explaining that they were introduced to the record through word of mouth, so it’s a really nice feeling that people have heard the record and like it enough to recommend it. So there’ll be a mix of people and that’ll really cool.
Damian: That’s interesting. Perhaps people got into the band a little later in some cases?
Ross: Yeah, well it’s our third record which has sold the most copies, so I think some people start there and work backwards, and forwards, from there.
Damian: Live, your energy levels are always really high. I think you must be one of the most consistent performers around. Does that come with a certain amount of pressure?
Ross: I don’t know what it is, but me, Gary and Ryan always need the dressing room clear for about an hour before we go on stage and we always psych each other up. We don’t want to go on stage and feel like we’re short changing anyone. Ultimately we are a punk band and for us it’s about more than the music. (Laughing) Sometimes I’ll be playing and think the guitar sounds strange in my monitor and look around and Ryan will be bouncing off a wall or something. If something gets broken then it’s worth it as long as it was a good show.
Damian: There’s some self-imposed pressure with that I guess?
Ross: Yeah, there can be. We feel responsible for the whole night, including the between set songs, we want anyone who comes along for the night to have a good time. That includes who we pick as support and also trying to have two opening bands rather than one. We want people to have a good time and have value for money when they come and see us. I’ve got to say as well that the Newcastle Academy is one of our favourite venues, and we always enjoy playing Newcastle, so it’s a personal highlight for us.
Damian: Thanks, I’ll pass the message on. Is there one track from the record that you’re looking forward to playing?
Ross: there’s a bunch from that record that we don’t usually play anymore, so that’ll be fun. But I always like MTV, we used to open with that. We’re in a conundrum at the moment about if we play the record front to back or not.
Damian: Well whichever way you play it, we can’t wait. Any plans for after the tour?
Ross: We may have some new material out later in the year, but we’ll see how we go first. Also, we will try to do some live shows, especially shows in new venues we haven’t played yet. We really enjoy playing new venues. It keeps us fresh.