In Interview with Flyte
An hour or so before their gig (and after setting up the best merch table I’ve seen all year), I had a chat to Flyte on the benches outside Buyers Club about touring, debut albums, and forrest creatures
Jess: You’re near the end of your tour now, after tonight in Liverpool you just have one more date?
Sam: Yes! It’s Bristol and then we’re done!
Will: Tonight has just sold out, we don’t really enquire about the tickets beforehand so we just turn up and ask how’s it going and it’s been a whole tour of oh shit we sold out. It’s been a really lovely thing to have post putting the record out.
Jess: Have there been any memorable moments of tour?
Will: Some pretty noteworthy level of grim hotels
Sam: Done a lot of crosswords, probably the most rock and roll thing that we’ve done.
Will: I finished a book!
Sam: Watched a lot of Friends.
Will: We had a bit of a rock and roll evening in Leeds where we went out to some heavy metal bar and then ended the night at Taco Bell.
Sam: We were up past midnight!
Will: We were pushing to two o’clock mark.
Jess: What would you say is the best and worst thing about touring?
Will: The best thing about it is when it gets going, you don’t want it to stop, and then the worst thing about it is it then stops.
Sam: Also service station sandwiches. So depressing.
Will: The UK Tour is finishing then we’re going to go off to Europe and then come back and we’re touring the UK again with The Lemon Twigs, and we’ll have a brief moment off at Christmas and then we tour around the UK and Europe again with a band called Lord Huron so there’s a lot of touring, so it’s not necessarily finishing tomorrow.
Jess: Would you say you prefer the touring and performing live or the recording and writing songs?
Will: They’re both equally stressful, no that’s not true actually but the recording when it’s at its best is pretty transcendental, and touring when it’s at its best is equally as so. The thing with studio and tour is that the highs are really really high and the lows are really really low. And also the bits in the middle can be pretty middley as well. So I think it’s quite an extreme, definitely emotionally it puts you at your extremes. And there’s not a lot of let up, but that’s great because you can complain about it in the moment but you wouldn’t have it any other way really because you just be bored.
Jess: Do you have a favourite song to perform live?
Jon: I like Cathy Come Home
Sam: Yeah Cathy Come Home has been going really well. It has the most about it with singing along and its also the most entertaining to play because there’s so many signature changes. Its sort of all over the place as a song. And we have to be totally in sync or it’ll all fall apart and it sounds terrible.
Nick: Annie and Alistair as well which is by far the hardest to play but when we get it right it’s so rewarding. Very convoluted.
Will: Yeah the two convoluted ones go down the best live, and they’re the hardest to play so the rewards are great.
Jess: Is there a song you really hate to play live?
Will: Probably those two again for the same reasons.
Jess: You released your debut album at the end of August, how did it feel?
Will: It went surprisingly great; I think we were prepared for an anti-climax because of such a long build up. And one of those things where you go ‘oh that’s it’ and shrug your shoulders. But actually it felt fantastic and we were going round record shops playing live in the shops and people were coming to see that and buy the record so there was a really sense of celebration.
Sam: We got straight out in front of people when we released it which is ideal, there was no time for it to feel like an anti-climax because we were just out on the road playing to people.
Will: And the press has been some really nice things, The Sunday Times calling it The Best British Debut of the Year and all that kind of stuff. It felt like it had been well received and out on the road when we’re playing to our fans and not just our critics people are saying how much they like it so we’re getting the warm fuzzy feelings. I’m sure the horrible dark depressing moments are yet to come but right now we’re basking in the honeymoon period.
Jess: At the end of the album you put a cover of Alvvays’ ‘Archie, Marry Me’, what made you decide to do this?
Will: Well we sort of feel like the album ends with Spiral which is the 9th track and has that long fade out and it feels very finished. So its almost like it’s a little secret track, an epilogue.
Sam: It’s a cleansing sorbet.
Will: A tip of the hat to the way a lot of people got into us which was on Facebook videos and stuff. But I feel like we were artistic enough in the studio with it that it doesn’t feel like a gimmick or anything, but a piece of art and a piece of work to set with the rest of them.
Jess: How would you say that you’ve changed and grown as musicians from 2014 with tracks like ‘Light Me Up’, to now?
Will: We’ve got braver and a lot less eager to please.
Sam: Yeah I’d say that’s definitely right, I’d say it’s probably reflecting more now the influences that the music we actually listen to.
Will: I feel like there was a point where we were all unanimously into the same music, and we knew what our influences were but they weren’t coming across in our music as much as they should’ve done, and so I think there was that moment when we were out in Australia putting the last bits down when we were really just going you know what screw whoever.
Sam: Yeah we were thinking more in terms of what we want hear, nothing else would get in the way.
Will: No expectations from any outside influences, purely our own. I know it feels like a scary thing to do and a bit selfish to make music this way but actually it’s a classic anecdote that whenever an artist or musician makes that decision to make music just for them it’s the best decision. It’s a cliché but it’s a cliché for a reason.
Jess: Yeah you should make music because you want to make it rather than trying to please other people and do what they want you to do. Who are you all currently listening to? Any albums standout to you this year?
Will: Yes we loved the latest Alvvays record Dreams Tonight, that was very good and a stand out. Because I think there’s a lot of dreampop out there and it all sounds so nice and there’s a great ambience to it. With that band I think they’re doing that but they’re also writing really great songs. That’s the rare thing.
Sam: We toured with C Duncan last year, we’re all big fans of his, he’s got an amazing way of arranging tracks and his voice is absolutely beautiful.
Will: Yeah he’s got a great second record out. When we put the album out on the same day we had the War on Drugs album and the Queens of the Stone Age, kind of Bowie influenced album coming out so it felt like we were up against some juggernauts. But its been a good year for albums I think.
Jess: If you could listen to only one band for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
Will: There you go, not f**king around.
Jess: I’ll take that as it is. What if Flyte was already taken as a band name, what would you call yourself then?
Will: ‘The Cool Legends’!
Sam: Don’t use that, cut that bit out! Might just spell Flyte differently. Put an extra Y in there. Use an S instead of the F.
Will: just FFFFF, loads of F’s, 20 F’s!
Sam: It’s the sound of white noise!
Will: Yeah, it’s a bit like Chk Chk Chk (!!!)
Jess: If you were an animal what animal would you be?
Nick: I’ve got a great snake dance!
Will: But you’re not a snake, you’re too kind!
Nick: Yeah, I’m more like a dog.
Will: Nick’s a bounding puppy.
Nick: I do look a bit like a dog as well!
Will: Sam’s a disapproving owl.
Sam: I thought I was a classic horse!
Will: Slash disapproving owl. John is some kind of sleek-y thing like a puma.
Sam: Will is some kind of big eyed forest creature.
Will: Can I be the forest spirit in Princess Mononoke? Hes quite pervy!
Sam: What’s that one with massive eyes?
Will: The weird gross one that jumps around and has weird human hands? I don’t want to be that!
Sam: Well, you’re stuck with it now!
Jess: What would you be collectively as a band then?
Will: We could come up with a good answer but you’d have to give us time. Maybe you come up with the answer you think that you want us to be. Well, in the article it’ll be like ‘they mused’ and then you think of something and then afterwards you give the correct answer and just pretend that we came up with it after musing. You could even say we had this discussion in a really post modern self. Come on, this is giving fire to the pieces!!
Flyte’s album The Loved Ones is available to buy and stream now.