1. Delays have just completed a European Tour, how did it go?
"The tour in Europe, was one of the best experiences I think we've
had as a collective, and certainly one of the best experiences I've
had personally. It's something that we talk about a lot as a band, because
everybody's always saying "When are you going to go to America?"
and we've always been of the opinion, that the first place we really
want to go is Europe, and it was really good to actually get out there.
Italy, where we spent most of the time, about 6 days, was just such
a beautiful country - everything - and we got a chance to see a lot
of the cites as well. We saw the Vatican, which is one of the most incredible
things that I've ever seen, I mean I'm not a religious person, but to
walk inside and to actually see it - everybody just went silent for
about 20 minutes. Looking at it, it's so vast and ornate, it was just
incredible and Florence is a beautiful city. Rome, the city itself,
is just busy but has a great atmosphere, and the people there were wicked.
It was just great to go to all of these different places, and to see
how peoples humour and the way people interact, slightly differs. It
was a little bit embarrassing how good everybody's English was though,
it made me feel quite bad (laughing). I think our album is just about
to come out over there, within the next couple of weeks if I'm correct,
so we're just starting to creep into peoples consciousness, kind of
like where we were in Britain a year or so ago. We're just starting
to stick our heads out of the sand sort of thing. It's sometimes the
most exciting time, because when you first 'click' with people, they'll
see you live and they don't even know who you are, but then they'll
come up to you afterwards and say, "I'd never heard of you but
it was great!" Touring is the old-fashioned way, and that's very
much the label's ethos. Geoff Travis has always been of the opinion,
that the best way for bands to have longevity, and to have people that
are really passionate about them, is to go out and play, because then
there's no hype involved. People will see you and they either like you
or they don't, and those people will stay with you throughout your entire
2. You must be very pleased to be headlining the New Band Stage at
V Festival, and to be supporting The Pixies at Brixton Academy?
"Its not been quick for us, but in the last couple of months everything
has sped up so much, it's really like a blur, it's really incredible.
People who were stand-offish before, are starting to come on board now
- certain areas of the press that didn't know what to do with us, are
starting to realise that we just make good music, you don't necessarily
have to fit in. One of the great things about the Manics (looking at
R*E*P*E*A*T), was that they never fitted in with anything, so I think
it's just a mark of how exponentially, things have sped up over the
last couple of months, it's exciting. The Pixies, that's something that
I don't think any of us have really got our heads round at the moment.
Because when they announced the dates, we all tried to get tickets,
we didn't have a clue that this was going to happen, and they sold out
in like, I don't know, 10 seconds or something ridiculous (laughing)
- they just went didn't they! All of the tickets were just gone, and
I mean if somebody had offered to give me a ticket for £100, I
would have ripped their arm off (laughing). And then to get a call a
couple of weeks ago, saying "Oh, by the way, do you want to support
them on their first date at Brixton?" - it doesn't really compute
(laughing) and it's Brixton as well, which we've never played before.
It's quite a legendary venue as well, so everybody's sort of like, we've
got to be good, we've got to be good at that one (laughing). It's just
going to be incredible to actually see them as well, because they're
such a touchstone band. I'm not sure if we'll be able to meet them,
as you never know what bands like that are like, whether they have an
entourage and a barricade, or whether they'll just hang around backstage
or whatever. But I hope so though, because they're such an influential
band and are so important."
3. Rowly and yourself, originally met Greg at your local Southampton
Indie Club 'Thursdays'. Can you tell us about Idoru, and the change
to Delays with Aaron?
"We met at 'Thursdays' on a Wednesday night, which is a little
bit confusing (laughing). There's a general debate on how Idoru was
actually pronounced, because of its Japanese origin, but the last time
I heard, I think it was either (adopting Japanese accent) e-door-oo,
or i-do-roo, depending on the way you want to pronounce it. But it came
to a stage, where it was so hard for people to remember our name, as
much as we liked it and we did (I tell Colin that I have Idoru's rare
debut Safety In Numbers EP), oh really? (surprised & laughing) -
but it was just like we're going to have to change it. It was a shame,
but it took so long to get through to people. At the gigs, people would
ask "So what are your band called?" Idoru, "Sorry?"
and you'd just end up spelling it. It was taken from the novel, and
was quite apt as well, as we liked the imagery. But yeah, it was a shame
that we had to change it, but it was necessary. When Aaron joined, it
was kind of a good time for everything to change, and when he brought
what he brings, it gave us so many more opportunities and avenues to
explore musically. A lot of the stuff that we're working on now, the
first thing that comes up, will be something that Aaron's come up with,
and that gives you so much more scope musically, to fuck around with
things and to go in different directions. Before, it was more traditional,
but Aaron adds a lot more colour to it - especially live, there's such
a wider range of colours that you get on the stage I think, because
of those different sounds. Writing around it is different, as it's very
much an instrument - some people might get the wrong idea, and think
that it's just backing tracks to the songs that are written, but it's
not. It's very much an involved process, and a lot of the stuff is based
around this first, and then worked around. So it's like an instrument,
as much as the bass or the guitar. What I like about the name Delays,
is that aesthetically, if you take the meaning away from it, I like
the sound of it. Then there's always the view, that everybody's always
waiting for something, which is quite a nice concept - whether good
or bad we don't know, but someone is always waiting for something. But
we just like the sound of it, as a word it's almost French sounding,
and I just like the way it rolls of the tongue, and of course, you get
a lot of free advertising on our roads (laughing)."
4. Delays standout from other bands at the moment, due to your distinctive
sound. Was this a conscious decision?
"We didn't sit down and say, "We have to make sure we don't
sound like anyone" - it just popped up like that. We worked together
and came up with the album, and we listened to it and thought we've
got something. It's not conscious, but what I think it is, is it's kind
of honest. If there are 4 people making music in a room, they're all
individuals, everybody's different and I would always find it staggering,
if they could come up with a sound even remotely similar, when everyone
has their own influences. What I accept, is that if 4 completely unique
people are in a room making music together, why should it sound like
anybody else? I don't understand that, I've always found that strange.
I mean yeah, scenes develop fair enough and scenes influence people,
but if you're being intuitive about it and honest about it, pooling
all of your influences, then I don't see how it should sound like anybody
else. We like loads of stuff, we're not into specific things and we've
got a very wide musical range."
5. You think music should be "A blissful respite for people,
like a flotation tank, to just lose yourself in?"
"Absolutely yeah, I mean that is like the whole live experience,
that's what we hope people will get from it. When they're there, we
sort of hope that it's like (pausing), in an ideal world, a great gig
is kind of stepping into a bubble for 45 minutes, and then afterwards
we go back into the real world. But just for those 45 minutes, you're
in there with the band, and the audience gives to the band, who give
to the audience and time stops. Then you leave, and remember that there
are things to worry about or whatever - because you know, the band and
everyone has worries. But for 45 minutes, wouldn't it be great if you
could suspend it and just get off on it, and that's what we hope people
get live. That's what we're kind of aiming for, whether we achieve it
yet or not I don't know, but it's something to strive for."
6. Song writing is obviously very important to Greg, are his songs
based on personal experience?
"If you ask him about it, he'll give you interpretations, but the
way he writes I think - maybe deliberately, is quite coded. He writes
in code and I agree that it's always good to be interpretable, because
I don't think he wants to lay himself too bare, and I know for a fact,
that there's a lot of personal stuff in the songs. But he's not going
to come out and say, that this is what happened / this is why it happened.
As I say, I think he would like it to be open to interpretation and
I think that's good, because if you get a feeling from it, then you
can interpret the lyrics in whatever way applies to you, and you still
get enjoyment. It's kind of inclusive, rather than exclusive."
7. How do you work on musical ideas as a band?
"Well it depends now, because as I mentioned, Aaron is bringing
in pieces from the groove box. But at the moment, either Greg will have
a germ of an idea that he'll bring, and then the 3 of us will work around
it, or maybe Greg will work on it with Aaron, and then they'll bring
it in and we'll work around it, before we play it. But it depends how
quickly it comes together, maybe for days we'll just jam it around,
and while we're doing that, we'll come up with ideas for harmonies,
changes, arrangements and things like that. Rowly has always been really
good at hearing how it's sounding, and then making arrangements, you
know "What if this went here?" So at the moment, Aaron and
Greg create the stuff, but it's a very 4-way process when it's brought
in. We'll be jamming it, and then everybody will sort of look at each
other, and we'll hit on it, and that will be where it becomes a proper
song, a proper piece, and then from there you'll just refine and embellish
it. That's possibly one of the most enjoyable parts for me (pausing),
it sounds pretentious to say telepathic, but every now and then you'll
be jamming something, and everybody will suddenly perk up, prick their
ears up. You could have been doing it for 20 minutes, and then one little
piece of the drums or bass, or whatever, will change and everybody will
be looking at each other, and that's when you know that you're onto
something. That's the best bit, that's when you get the shiver down
your spine - it's one of the times, when you realise why you started
doing it in the first place."
8. Geoff Travis signed you to Rough Trade Records, after driving
to Southampton Joiners for a private show. Why did you choose his label?
"The reason why, is that basically, they were the first and subsequently
last label that we went to. Because of their history and the business
we're in, they seem to have integrity, where a lot of other labels don't.
So it was their history, the bands that they had signed before, and
people we'd met who had met Geoff Travis, who'd said that above all
else he's a music lover, he's not a businessman. So we sent the demo
to him and he was really quite quick to respond. But we said before
we'd sent any demos out, that we didn't want to do the London track,
because we'd done it earlier and I think it splits more bands up, than
it amalgamates you know. It can be horrible, you can get told "If
you play these venues, certain people will definitely be there, that's
an 'A&R Hot Spot', you've got to go there, you've got to do those
places," and I think you just end up playing to 50 of your friends,
that you've brought up from the town that you're from. Unless you get
a lot of those people through the door, the promoter won't let you do
the gig, so we said we won't even do that. Geoff Travis rang us up and
said "Fine, well I want to come down and see you" - so we
did a private gig at the Joiners in Southampton, which was possibly
the most terrifying day of our lives (laughing). He's so unresponsive
when he's listening to music, he's like a blank slate, and you can't
tell one way or the other. He'll sit like this (mimicking a thoughtful
pose) and you can't tell whether he's absolutely hating it (laughing),
or completely lost in it. As luck would have it, it was the latter -
he pretty much said there and then, that he wanted to work with us,
so it was great! I don't know what we would have done if it hadn't worked
out, because Rough Trade was everybody's first choice. (I ask Colin
if it's true that Greg played a sympathy card) He did yeah (laughing),
he said he was thinking of going back to Art College, and Geoff Travis
was like "What do you want to do that for?" I don't think
we ever explained it to him, I think it was just our little ace card."
9. Have your personal lives been affected much, since being signed?
"Yeah, I think it's inevitable. I mean I've never spent so much
time away from friends and family, so inevitably you become a little
bit detached. For personal relationships, I'd be lying if I said it
wasn't a strain, because you spend so long away and then you come back
for a day, and it's almost like you need more time than that, to actually
start communicating properly. You're almost in a different frame of
mind when you're on tour, and you come back if you've got 2 days off,
and you see these people - friends, family, girlfriends or whoever,
and it's almost hard to interact with them. Because you're on such a
different level, in terms of the way you react to things on tour. It's
almost like a different plain of consciousness, and it can make it hard,
because you're there for 2 days and then you're gone again, and you're
not sure if those 2 days, really did what you hoped they would do (laughing).
It can be hard, but the plusses outweigh the minuses so much, I'd be
a fool to say otherwise, because that is part of it and it's always
what I've wanted to do. I'm not going to quit just because it can get
tough - doing the tour so far has been so cool, the gigs have been really,
really good, so to have gigs like that, it puts everything on the right
level, and makes it all right again. I think it's just too good to not
10. Congratulations on reaching #1 in the Indie Charts, with Faded
Seaside Glamour. How did you feel after hearing the news?
"It was strange, somebody just rang me up and said "Have you
seen the Net lately?" and I was like no, because I'm not a huge
'Net Surfer' - and they said "Oh, you should check out the Indie
Charts." I remember when I used to watch The Chart Show, back when
they used to have the Indie Chart, and I used to think wow, they must
be really big to be #1, so it was quite a strange moment to see that."
11. Was recording your debut album at Rockfield Studios, an enjoyable
"We were confident that we could do a great album. I think what
happened a few weeks in, was that we realised that it wasn't an easy
process, and we felt the pressure, in that we were so over analytical
with everything. Greg freely admits that everything had to be right,
and it did become a bit tense for a few weeks, and there were some bad
/ nasty days. After that, I think we relaxed into the process of it
all. The performances that are on there, were maybe redone a few times
- there were times when we would listen back to it and think no, scrap
it and do it again
scrap it and do it again (laughing). But I
think what we came out with is great, it just took us a while to get
over that initial hump, and once we did it was a lot easier. Most of
the first album, was done with a producer that we're not working with
now, and I think the person that we've got now, is just more in-tune
with the way that we want to go. It can be difficult if the producer's
got quite a different idea, of where he sees the sound going, and that
did lead to friction. But the actual finished thing that we came out
with, I love - but we're not that precious about it you know, that is
how we were then and that's great, we've got to improve on the next
one, because there's no point in doing it otherwise."
12. So your sound will evolve?
"Yes, because with the first album, half of it is a lot more traditional,
it's pre-Aaron joining, so it was a question of trying to incorporate
Aaron, trying to get him in there, without it sounding to superfluous
- like you just put it on there for the sake of it. Whereas the new
stuff obviously, now he's been in the band a while, is a complete 4-way
process, it is becoming a slightly different sound, a more distilled
version. A song like Wanderlust is quite representative of that 4-way
sound, as its got the groove box element, the falsetto vocals and that
colourful sound to it, and I think that's where we're going. Like I
said, it's 4 instruments now, rather than trying to incorporate a groove
box, on top of the more traditional guitar music. There are 2 new tracks
that we're doing tonight, one called Out Of Nowhere and one called Lost
In Melody, that we've already recorded, and there just in the process
of being mixed. We did them just before we started this gargantuan tour
(laughing), and they're sounding great, they're sounding really, really
good, it's really exciting. The recording process was a lot freer, and
it's good to know that we're growing into the recording process - it's
great to go in there and not be tense, not be worried about things and
that we can afford to take stuff off. On the first album, if something
wasn't quite working, we'd think, well what can we add to make it better,
but with the 2 new tracks that we've done, sometimes we'd listen to
them and think, well what if we take something off and strip it down
a little bit? I think that's something really important that we learned,
that just by adding stuff, it doesn't always cover up the cracks (laughing)."
13. Do you have a favourite Delays song?
"Yeah, my favourite song is probably one of the more traditional
ones, it's one of the older songs that Greg wrote, which is No Ending.
As a song, I just love the whole sound of it, it's a very romantic song
and I don't know, I think I'm perhaps a little bit of a sentimentalist,
but I love the lyrics and I think his voice on it, is one of the best
vocal performances I've heard from him. It really captures the mood
of the song, which had always been there, but you don't always get it
on record, and I think he really nailed it on that."
14. Why the LP title Faded Seaside Glamour?
"We were doing a support tour and played in Margate, which is a
sea-side resort / town, and the place we were playing at was The Winter
Garden, which I think a few years ago, used to be used as an old ballroom.
So it kind of came about when we first went in there, because you can
see all of the old decorations and red curtains - you can almost picture
the old couples dancing and stuff. The town itself has got that sort
of vibe, but it used to be a lot more prosperous, and has kind of lost
a little bit - it's still there beneath the dust, but it's not quite
there. Also, coming from a coastal place as well, it seemed to tie in
and I think it also ties in, because there's a lot of yearning on the
record. There's definitely a melancholic undertone to a lot of the stuff,
which on the surface might be quite bright, but lyrically, there are
some dark elements to it. So Faded Seaside Glamour just seemed to tie
in with everything, and sum up the mood of the album."
15. So you're more grey skies than blue skies?
"It's strange, because we do see the initial brightness of some
of the music, and then leave at that. I don't know, maybe we all think
too much sometimes, but a lot of people do that - but yeah, there's
definitely an undercurrent to the stuff, and I think that's maybe how
we are as people."
16. Is artwork important to the band?
"Yeah, we work with an art guy at the record company - but we've
always loved bands, that have had something that follows through all
of their stuff. It kind of gives a sense of identity, and for people
who are buying the records (pausing), I think when you've got a collection
of the work, they can be like pieces of art. I'm not saying that it's
that artistic, but we've always liked bands like Supergrass, who have
had a symbol or something, on all of their releases. Again, it's another
good thing about Rough Trade, they are very open to suggestions. The
album artwork is based on a drawing that Greg did, which was then taken
by their art department and filled-out basically. The Idoru Safety In
Numbers EP, is also a piece that Greg did years ago, when he was an
art student. Geoff Travis always wants to know our ideas, and we always
want to have input in our artwork, because it's quite a big part of
it. Some of my favourite records, as much as the music I love, I love
the package that they're in. That's why I don't know if I'll ever get
the hang of downloading music, because I just love buying records. I've
got Screamadelica on vinyl and I just love it, because that cover is
so simple, but it sums up the record for me, the colours, the sun -
it sums it up perfectly! If you get a great album and great artwork
as well, I think it just lifts it to another level."
17. Are you pleased with how Faded Seaside Glamour has been received?
"I would say that 90% of the reviews we've had, have been great.
I wasn't sure how people would receive it, simply because you can't
put it in a box, and sometimes that can be a bad thing - because if
the press are not sure what to do with it, they won't do anything with
it. But I was more than pleased with the general reviews, and the only
thing with the bad reviews, is that I feel a lot of them were bad, simply
because they didn't know what the fuck to do with us. It does become
a little frustrating, when people, just because they're not sure what
it is, still can't see that there's good creative music going on. But
I think that's quite an English thing as well, because the English press
is very much package as well as substance, they're very much where you're
from, what scene and what part are you going to play in the big jigsaw?
But in the main, it would be hard to complain really and I don't want
to be too precious either."
18. Is it true, that you would like to release another album within
"Well, we'd like to release it as soon as it's done - I suppose
realistically, maybe early next year, because a record has a life-span,
so this record will have its life-span and then we'll release another
record. But we're recording it deliberately in bits, and we've done
2 tracks, and when we have some more time, we'll hopefully do another
couple of tracks, and then throughout the year, do it like that. We
find we work better like that, because you're not putting the pressure
on yourself, where you're saying "Right, we've got a month and
that's when we've got to do the album." Whenever we get time and
if there are tracks ready, we'll just go in and do them in little bits,
and then hopefully by the end of the year, we'll have something that
we can say, "Well now we can put the album together out of that."
I mean we'd love to release it by the end of the year, but early next
year I think, would be great. There's so much new stuff, that's the
thing - we were sat on the first album for quite a while, and the new
stuff is sounding so good, that we just want to get it out there as
soon as possible really."
19. You want to be "The Perfect Pop Band." What are your
other hopes for Delays / how would you like people to think of you?
"One of the main things that we want to do as a band, is not go
on too long. One of the most horrible things about some great, great
bands, is that they go on just 1 album, or even a single too long, and
it tarnishes the whole thing. Even to an extent The Stone Roses, I mean
as much as I do like Second Coming as an album, it's kind of less perfect
- if they'd just split up after the first album (pausing), it's like
The La's, it's just that little gem and that can never be touched, never
be tarnished. So that's one of the main things, and I would hope that
people will think that of us, is that we are the sort of band, who won't
give people less than they deserve. Because that's something that is
important to us, if we don't keep improving, if we get to a stage where
we do say the next album, and it's not as good, then we'll scrap it
and do it again. If it's still not as good, then we'd rather quit than
not improve artistically."
20. Lastly, Chips or Cream Buns?
"That's a tough one (laughing) - I would have to go chips. If you'd
asked me 10 years ago, I was a real sweet-tooth, but I've gone savoury
lately, and I haven't had chocolate for about 5 years, which a lot of
people find strange. I used to love it, but anything savoury now - I'd
probably go cheese rather than cream buns as well (laughing), I'm a
A very special thanks to Delays, Carl @ Coalition and Eddy, for all
of their time and help.