It’s a busy time for Amber Run. The boys are currently working and recording their debut album which is being produced by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club, Foals, Jake Bugg), due for release later this year. In addition to that they’re embarking on their first headline UK tour, said tour takes in Cambridge on March 24th at The Portland Arms – with tickets on sale here. In anticipation Slate caught up with Amber Run’s Henry Wyeth to discuss the tour, debut album and postponing University to follow the music dream…
Henry, where are you in the world right now and what’s the view from your closest window?
We have a few days off at the moment so I decided to give my parents a visit, so the view is my Dad wrestling with the lawnmower. Rock ‘n’ Roll, right?
So you’re playing Cambridge soon, are you looking forward to the show? How important is playing live to you?
Absolutely. Getting up on stage and feeling the buzz from a crowd enjoying the music is one of the best parts of being a band.
The tour is your first big headline run of dates, do you think this is representative of where the band is now?
Yeah definitely, we spent the beginning of the year in the studio recording our debut abum and feel like we’ve been able to really find our sound. Now we just want to get out there and show everyone.
You’ve opened for some high profile acts, how does the dynamic differ for your own headline set?
When headlining a show, the crowd have usually come to watch you play and so the attention and support you get is really infectious. As a performer you have no trouble getting yourself pumped for that kind of gig.
For those new to Amber Run, how would you best describe your music?
Anthemic rock with cinematic textures and a slight pop sensibility. We just love making big sounds.
And how did the Amber Run story start?
Some of the guys went to school together but we all properly came together in Nottingham while at University. It was originally just Joe as a singer-songwriter but his music began to sound more and more like it belonged to a band and so forming Amber Run was a natural progression.
You guys deferred your degrees to pursue the Amber Run dream, how big a decision was this and what was the casting factor?
To be honest the opportunity to pursue music as a career is so rare that none of us dared pass it up. The most important thing was that we are kept busy, none of us wanted to leave education to find ourselves sitting in our student house doing nothing. Luckily weve had no shortage of things to do.
Give us an update of the debut album, last we heard you were in the studio in January working on it…
The recording is all done and we’re currently at the mixing stage. Just tweaking things here and there…
What is your biggest hope for the album?
We want it to be an album that gets people excited about music. If it makes the listener want to play the whole thing again straight after the last track finishes we will have really achieved something.
Your working with Mike Crossey and Sam Winfield on the record, how has it been working with them and what have they bough to the record?
Anyone that has had the good fortune of working with Mike will know what a genius he is. If there’s one thing that he made us realise during the recording process is that you can always go bigger. Sam is a good friend of ours and I can confidently say we wouldn’t be in this position without the work he has done over the years.
What is your creative process like?
Usually Joe comes to the rest of us with an idea and we are then able to all individually add our own little points. This more band oriented process is reflected in some of the more recent music we have made.
What kind of things inspire you to write?
It’ll usually be something that is going on in our lives at the moment, some songs are influenced by girls, others friends and one or two are more introspective thinking about the band and music.
How much experimentation is involved with your music?
With five of us all listening to such a variety of music types everyone usually has a different suggestion of how to develop a particular idea. We’re open to almost anything and its had its rewards when you listen to some of the more adventurous tracks on the album.
Hypethetically you’re going to DJ a disco for us – what is your go to dance-floor filler track?
The others might disagree with me on this but personally Don’t You Want Me by The Human League. No D-floor on earth wouldn’t be packed after that intro.
Amber Run play The Portland Arms on March 24th – Their debut LP is due later this year