Amaryllis interview: before the tour

Amaryllis tour datesIt’s now only two weeks till Amaryllis go on their debut UK tour, so I caught up with them and got to ask them a few questions about the band, previous gigs and what they expect from the tour.

You’ve been around for about a year, yet you’re already going on your first UK tour – how does it feel to be growing so fast?
DAN: It’s quite exciting. In such a short amount of time we’ve managed to acquire a rather large fan base. Since the announcement of the tour we’ve discovered fans we didn’t even know we had! I think as a band we’ve played 8 or so shows. So in that space of time, we’ve achieved a lot. It feels good.

When you first formed, did you have any idea you’d be here in such a short space of time? What was your dream when you first formed?
SANTE: When we first formed I don’t think any of us assumed that we would of achieved as much as we have done in the space of just under a year. For us it’s incredible to see the things we have done and the things we have planned for the future. Some of our future plans that we can’t announce just yet are literally shocking for us because it’s something you usually see bands achieve after 3 years or something and we’ve managed to grab the shot in just under a year.
When we first formed, we wanted to make sure that whatever we did, we did it 100% and made it our own. Most bands always want to emulate their favourite band, which is okay but if you want to take it to the best level you have to think about creating something different, something unique that people will want to have a listen to, even if they’re not into that specific genre. We wanted to have fun but take it seriously and I feel that’s exactly what we’ve done and continue to do.

What was it the made you first form – a mutual desire to be in a band, or had you been working together a while and thought you may as well take it to the next stage?
SANTE: My from my point of view; I’ve always loved music and wanted to do something in it performing wise but never really have had the time due to my sporting activities. Having made the choice to finally go and pursue my music, I happened to find 4 other amazing guys who had the exact same ideas and passion for music as I did. It was me and Alex who had started up the band but I knew the rest through social networking sites or through past bands. It was mainly trial and error with the bands I had been in before but when it came to this one, we all seemed to gel really well and I knew that this was the right way to go.

Your incredible three track EP came out in January – what was your inspiration behind it, who/what influenced the tracks?
SANTE: The main influence behind the EP was from past events that I felt I needed to get off my chest. Mainly things that had been on my mind for years or were troubling in my teen years, bringing me down and overcoming the inward battle and putting them down on paper was another way of addressing my demons. I always say that writing something that’s true or has happened is a lot better than making it up. The people who listen to your music will be able to relate a lot better especially if they’ve ever experienced the same kind of issues that I refer to in the songs. If anyone has ever felt the same thing, I hope that they can say to themselves that they’re not alone and a million other people have felt the same way before. It will somehow get better.

Any particular memorable moments?
DAN: As with any band, I think all our memorable moments will be meeting new fans. Small or big shows, it’s great to have the interaction with them. We’ve met so many people throughout this past year, some of which we still talk to on a regular basis. Others pop up here and there. Me and Alex W went out to Face Down the other night and bumped into a few fans. It was pretty cool to interact with them outside of a show. I can’t wait to get on the road to meet the people that we’ve been speaking to online over the past year!

Biggest/smallest crowd you’ve ever played to?
DAN: If you squished everyone together at Eastbourne to the front, I think it might’ve been the biggest crowd. As it was an outdoor event everyone found their patch of grass and sat there! But the best big crowd will either be when we supported Taking Hayley or when we supported We Are Lost Boys. Those two gigs have been extremely exciting to us, and we’ll probably keep referencing them for a long time to come!
Smallest crowd? This one’s quite funny really. We were supporting a few bands on their tour. We pulled in a fair amount of people to come and see us, but the other bands on the bill, including the other local supports didn’t seem to bring a worthy crowd. It felt like the people in front of us were literally the other bands members. That sometimes happens in the music industry. And it’s a shame.

Worst/most embarrassing thing that’s happened when you’ve been playing a gig?
DAN: I nearly fell into the drum kit during the outro to Vixen when we played at The Garage London with We Are Lost Boys. I think Sante managed to push me back up right. There’s a video on YouTube of it happening which our cameraman Stewart Whiteford took.
Then during the intro to our set at a gig, I forgot to turn off my tuner, causing no signal to come from my guitar. The first song in our set list starts with my guitar playing. So that was kind of awkward. It happens a lot in practice too! Something I’ll need to work on since this songs going to be important to us in the future.

Have you any expectations for this tour, what do you think it will hold for you?
DAN: The tour’s going to push us to our limits. We’re fairly comfortable playing hometown shows, because we roughly know what crowd there is going to be as we have a few regulars! So these other shows may be a bit nerve wrecking at first. But hopefully by the end of tour it’ll be second nature to us.
We aren’t expecting a huge turnout, but it’s selling surprisingly well on our end. We’re going to meet loads of new people on this tour, new fans and present fans. We’ve heard from our Tour Manager that the Cardiff date is really close to selling out. And that’s really exciting, we could be playing a sold out show!
I think the one thing we’ve discovered at the moment is how different people are from other towns, speech wise. There are a few people from Scotland we’re a bit puzzled by with their ways! But it’s really interesting to see the cultural difference, and difference in sentencing from what we’re used to down here in London.

You can download the EP for free from this page (review: http://mentionedreviews.co.uk/amaryllis/), and tour dates are listed below.

2nd October – Cardiff, Moon Club
3rd October – Bristol, Exchange
5th October – Brighton, The Haunt
8th October – London, 02 Academy2 Islington
9th October – Norwich, B2
10th October – Birmingham, The Rainbow
12th October – Manchester, Fac251
13th October – Glasgow, Ivory Blacks
14th October – Newcastle, The Other Rooms

Tickets are only £6 and are available at:
www.amaryllis.bigcartel.com

Rating – 4/5
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AmaryllisUK
Twitter – @AmaryllisUK

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