Make It Better Later (Ska)

Written by Jonny Havoc

Make It Better Later
Posted May 22, 2007.

Aaron - Vocals/Guitar
Steve - Vocals/Drums
Fil - Vocals/Bass
Amy - Vocals/Violin

What is your website? - although the myspace is generally more up to date!

What is your myspace?

Any other websites?
I think we're on purevolume but only by accident ;)

Do you have any upcoming shows?
We sure do, we're playing on and off until July when we get back on the road to tour the UK, we're playing with Wheatus and MC Lars tonight... which should be awesome! :)

Have you been in other bands, why did they end or how are they going?
We've all played in other bands but they were all just things to do at college rather than serious bands ;)

What inspires most of your lyrics?
That's a tough one, whenever I see something or hear about something that means something to me or sparks an idea then we'll have a song, we sing about everything from Eric Cartman to the terrible state of the brittish media and their effect on society...

How many people in the band right now are the original band members?
We're all the originals!

Do you have any advice to starting bands?
First of all... don't think about it... Do it! Get as many gigs as possible and play as much as you can, and forget about getting a record deal. Labels will come to you when the time is right, concentrate on playing shows and making your own cds and the rest will hopefully follow!

What other instruments can (each person) play (other than the ones they currently play in the band)?
Aaron - saxophone, flute, oboe, piano (I'm probably worst at guitar! ;))
Steve - guitar
Fil - He's an awesome guitarist, has a diploma and everything, he's only playing bass because Aaron can't ;)
Amy - piano

Any funny/interesting stories?
Ummmm..... sadly we're pretty boring. I'm really trying to think of an amazing annecdote but really can't... Well... Fil did once eat an entire family meal at Burger King for breakfast once on tour. It consisted of two Whoppers, two other burgers (I forget which ones) 4 fries and 4 medium drinks! He didn't eat for the rest of the day....

What do you think about UFOs?
I think if we assume aliens don't exist we are being incredibly self-important considering the vastness of space, however, I'm not sure that extra terrestrial life would bother coming hundreds of light years just to fly around in the sky for a bit then go away! There's enough unexplained things going on on the planet anyway without adding aliens to it!

What religion are you guys and does it effect your music?
Steve is a strong Catholic, the others are mostly undecided... it doesn't have much of an effect on the music but we try and keep the lyrics generally clean. There's no need for loads of swearing in a song really!

What do you think of vegetarians?
I think it's great, we're not vegeterians ourselves but I have great respect for anyone making a lifestyle change based on their beliefs or values.

What do you guys do for work right now, other than playing music?
I produce records for other bands and work in a studio, Fil builds amps and does rigging work for live shows, Amy and Steve are lazy students ;)

What were some of your favorite bands growing up?
Reel Big Fish, Blink 182, Green Day, Kula Shaker, Stone Roses, The Seahorses, Queen, I grew up with a lot of classical music too through studying the piano.

Do any of the members of the band play in any other bands?
Haha, Steve is a bit of a band STICK and plays in a hiphop act called Fenna Rhodes.

Anything you would like to say to your fans reading this interview?
Hi, and thanks for reading :) Come to our shows! We love you all... every single one of you! Also.. I know Steve does all the commenting on myspace and so on but the other three of us really appreciate all of the comments and so on.. we just don't get as much time to write back as Steve ;)

Have you ever been on tour, how many and how did they go?
We've toured the UK a couple of times, we always love it!

How does it feel to tour with the band members?
Personally it's fantastic... it's like another family, we're all very different and bring something different to the band so there's never a dull moment.

What do you guys do on the road to keep busy?
Haha... we're always very busy moving equipment around, getting lost... actually mainly getting lost, we tried out Sat-Nav once and I hope we're getting it for the next tour... it's amazing!

Do you have any advice to bands about to go on their first tour?
Prepare yourself... it's hard work! Make sure you have spares of everything and lots of tape, if something can break.. it WILL break! The supermarket is your friend, eating in fast food places is great for a while but it gets really expensive and once in a while everyone needs some greenery in their diet ;)

What is the craziest thing a fan has done?
Somehow they got our logo onto their curtains.. at least I think they did. I guess it's not that crazy... I could make something up... hmm... One time a guy drove 500 miles in a stolen car with the police chasing him just so he could get to a show, he then proposed to Amy in the middle of the set just before the police got him.

How did you come up with the title of your latest album "Music By Numbers"?
Well, to us the album is our take on a lot of different styles and genres. For some songs it seemed like we'd taken the elements of a style and just filled in the gaps, a bit like painting by numbers. Clive is a good example, when we were recording it we thought: that really needs a cheesy indie chorus (think - Editors, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Killersm, The Automatic etc etc) so we thought about all the things that we associated with that kind of music and slapped them into the chorus...
1. lots of Auto-Tune (listen carefully to Fil's melody),
2. a cheesy heavily delayed guitar line playing quavers (this is crucial!)
3. on-beat rhythm guitar
4. a VERY boring bass line
5. Disco beat drums
6. a semi-screamed backing vocal
7. a cheesy effect on the vocal ('for me honey' is Steve pitch-shifted down)
Viola - music by numbers ;) I probably shouldn't be telling you this!

How long did you wait from start to finish making the CD and how did it feel? (did it take to long, or go by fast)
Well it was a bit of a stop-start process, we did the drums first in a few days, but then didn't get back into the studio for a month or so (with a tour in between). The rest took about a week and then it took forever to mix and master. It didn't really drag though as we were all doing lots of other things at the time.

What do you guys think about it?
It's a good snapshot of how we were as a band when it was recorded, for any band though I'd say the real thing is at the live show though! On the whole I'd say we're pleased with how it turned out :)

Where can we get it?
At shows, on our website and from July it'll be available from iTunes and record shops in the UK.

What do you want people to get out of listening to "Music By Numbers"?
This is an interesting question, personally I want people to have fun and enjoy the music and hopefully take away some of the messages from the songs (although they're not all that clear). It's always interesting to read reviews and hear people's comments as everyone seems to take away something different from our music (I think that applies to any music really!). As long as you can get something out of our music then I'm happy :)

What did your fans say about it so far?
Haha... well they like it I hope!

Any advice for anyone thinking about making a CD?
Take the time to get it right but don't spend forever on it! Once you've finished, leave it for a couple of weeks and then come back and listen to it again... if you still like it then... it's ok!

What do you think of Big Smile?
It's awesome! You guys must be working your butts off to get so much quality content in there!

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