In previous interviews youve said your music is a reaction
to whats going on around you, what kind of thing could this be
and is there anything at the moment?
Keith: That can be anything from the atmosphere your recording it in,
so like the studio can be very sterile because obviously its a
sound proof box so the vibe is down to the people in there, so it meant
that we could break out and go into Notting Hill and soak up some of
the market if it was on, or go into record shops, so it energises you
to go back into the studio and brings the energy to the music. Playing
live is always the best reminder of why youre writing the music;
you know when youre in the studio it is a very sterile environment
and sometimes it can be very boring if Liams just working on some
beats and bits and pieces. As much as theyre always exciting,
not every minute of recording time can be like that.
So going back to what you were saying about performing live, do you
prefer performing at festivals or your own gigs?
Keith: The summer is predominately festivals and then come the end of
the summer, we usually do a European tour and then a UK tour and pick
up other places that we havent been to, so I think one compliments
the other because you do the festivals and thats brilliant. 'The
festival vibe, it's summer, you get to see all the other acts
and sometimes if youre lucky enough to be playing with other bands
that you're into, you can almost get there and watch like youre
a fan, then go and do what you love doing. Its not as intimate
because the numbers are so big and it is big stages and big productions,
so then you really want to go back inside and do small venues, really
intimate and hot and sweaty. So you need one, then need the other. I
like Brixton Academy, I think thats what I really prefer on the
Does your music have to change from festivals to your own gigs? Does
the same vibe carry through?
Keith: You do try and cater the line-up and set. If its a rocky
line up or more of a dance line up, you kind of tweak the set a bit
to be one way or the other. Generally were quite lucky, we seem
to kind of stretch across the two quite well so we can usually find
a set that works.
Your music doesnt only adapt to where you perform but who you
perform to too, how do you feel about a new generation fans coming along?
Keith: Its essential, I think. All the younger fans coming in, its
the life blood of the band. You see the new blood down the front. I
think when we were a really young band, fresh out the block, we used
to be really excited about mature people like older punks coming to
the show and now its twisted the other way, we're excited about
seeing the young kids down the front. That front row is the energy,
thats what gives you the buzz, without that going off it wouldnt
seem the same.
What are your thoughts on the wall of death? Because I was watching
one of the videos of it on your website and it looks crazy.
Keith: Youve got the wall of death where the crowd
splits and they all charge at each other and then you have a wall
of death with the motor bikes. It has a kind of double meaning
for us and we quite liked that. When you look out at the crowd and see
those guys going at it and you watch some of the films where the camera
man is in the mosh pit, God thats not a job Id want, it's
madness in there, only for the brave! Its also very important
to us and the crew that anyone coming over the pit is well looked after
and put back into the crowd. Sometimes you see people coming over 5
to 6 times, the energy of getting back out there and getting back into
it is immense.
How do you cope with the next few days after a big gig or tour? How
do you adjust back to normality, whatever that is for you?
Keith: When youre working it comes in big blocks and becomes quite
relentless. You get into a flow one day after the other, but its
actually quite easy now after doing it for so long to be able to go
back and chill out, hang out with the lads and its actually pretty
normal now. People often think where youre so charged on stage
youre unable to sleep, but when youre actually on tour,
its so tiring that youre actually looking forward to your
Youre very energetic on stage, what do you do to keep fit?
Keith: I mountain bike to keep fit and I run. I like running, do a bit
of boxing but nothing competition wise, but its just something
you have to do a lot to keep up the pace, sometimes it feels like its
more part of my job to keep fit than I am doing it because I want to.
You feel very disappointed if you go on stage and youre not fit
enough and you dont feel like you give it. You feel like youre
letting people down. But yeah it keeps me occupied, keeps me out of
You said earlier about being in the recording studio, how do you
start tracks - does Liam start then everyone pitches in?
Keith; Liam writes all the music, without him there wouldnt be
music. He might have an idea to put in the vocal and then Ill
go in and see what I can do, then we will all sit down together. Theres
no real rules, Maxim may then turn up and we all put our ideas in as
a collaborative. Liam writes the whole carcass of the music, he knows
what we're about and the sound as a group we like to create, I wish
I could write as well as him.
Which track would you say properly sums up what the band is about
Keith: Thats a hard question, I love the fresher music like The
Days my Enemy and Spitfire, and I love the big slamming
tracks. I suppose Smack my Bitch Up sums up not only the
euphoric electric sound, but also the big beats and the bass, weve
played it ever since it was written so Id say it really sums it
So whats next?
Keith: Were in the studio at the moment. Liams has just
done one of the tracks for Trainspotting, the Iggy Pop track. I dont
know if there will be another album as such but there will be more music
out. Writing a new album is a bit daunting and we take a long time writing
them, so it will probably be a case of trickling out a few tracks here
and there. Liams in the studio every day and as there is no pressure
to release another album it is easier, whereas if we said we were going
to, it would probably take another four years! [laughs]
I thanked Keith for his time and for speaking with me and we look
forward to hearing those new tracks starting to bang out.
Live pix exclusive to R*E*P*E*A*T by Steve Bateman from
the O2 Academy Birmingham in 2015, more here
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