Ahead of their upcoming tour and following the departure of their front man and break from record label Sony, The Student spoke with Sam Douglas – former bassist and current frontman of the band – about what the past meant, what the future holds, and which is the best season of The Walking Dead.
How’s your day been so far?
It’s good, I’ve literally been binge-watching The Walking Dead and it made me forget I had interviews. It got to half three and I was like, “Oh, god, it’s half three, I’ve got to go!”
I kind of gave up after season three, I got a little bored.
Oh, mate, why? Season four to six was good, you stopped at literally the wrong time.
How is this upcoming tour going to differ from previous ones?
Well I think obviously the line-up change is a big deal. I’ve never had to really think about anything other than playing bass and doing my little sing-song bits in the background. And I enjoyed it that way – but I guess now there’s going to be a lot more focus and attention. Not so much for myself, but for the whole band, I kind of feel people are going to be paying attention to the band as a whole and how we’ve made this transition as smooth as possible. It’s not that we’ve got anything to prove, but I feel people will be intrigued how some of the old songs sound with me singing them. It’s been the strangest build-up to a tour so far.
Is this line-up change transitional?
Nah, this is it man! We’re committing to the four-piece. Obviously when we found out [previous frontman] Mikey was going to be leaving, it wasn’t like this was going to be the plan – we were just going to write songs as a four piece and go from there. To be honest, I was the song-writer anyway. Even when we wrote the last few albums we’d write songs and Mikey wouldn’t even be there, it would just be me singing them anyway. It became clear once we’d written seven or eight really good songs that we didn’t really want to bring in someone new and change the complete dynamic of the band.
Did you know Mikey was going to leave before you wrote the last album?
No. It was a weird one, we’d finished recording Wired in the summer. But by the time that record was about to be released, it was around March time, and that’s when there was whispers he was thinking about leaving. He’d been saying certain things, that he wasn’t quite happy, but it wasn’t until last year that he made it clear and it was a serious thing that he wanted to go. It wasn’t really a surprise in the end. By the time it came out in March, we’d known for a good twelve to fourteen months that he’d been thinking about leaving.
Now that it’s a slightly different dynamic, do you feel the themes you write about have changed?
Not really. As I say, I wrote most of the lyrics for Mallory anyway. I just feel like I’ve got a lot more to say now.
About what happened?
No, not necessarily. We’ve just been in a band for ten years now, I’ve seen a lot and I’ve had to put up with a lot of bollocks in the music industry. Within the last year, Mallory got a lot of… Not stick, but I just feel we didn’t get the support we deserve, whether that be from music journalists or record labels. I’m 28 now. I’m not a 21-year-old that’ll just say yes to everything. That’s why the songs we write have a bit of a bite to them.
So what’s next for Mallory Knox?
Just get our heads down and write as much as we can, demo as much as we can. We don’t want too much attention on losing a member because, as I say, we’ve known about this for ages. But we are in a good spot in terms of moving forward and potentially securing a record deal. We’re in a position where we have control back of the band and we’re not being dictated to. We’re doing our own in thing and it’s sort of like being in a new band again with your mates. We’ll be writing throughout the year, we’ll be dropping new music throughout the year and it will all be leading up to an album.
Image: Chuff Media