Interview – FragileUK 2004
Author: Jen Thomas
Date: 15th February 2004
How’s the tour been so far?
Stuart: It’s great to be playing shows again, headliners especially! It’s cool to be back, great support bands, it’s just cool!
Both your new album ‘Start Something’ and latest single ‘Last Train Home’ hit the top 10, how does it feel to see such a big response to your new material? Did you anticipate it, or did it exceed your expectations?
Stuart: It’s far exceeded our expectations! People were always like ‘What do you expect for your future?’ but we never expected this! Never! It’s weird, it’s surprised us though. The album was the best thing, I mean the last album was ok but it was never meant to last as long as it did, so for Start Something to do well means a lot to us.
You’ve received a lot of criticism of late accusing you of style over substance, what are your opinions on this and do you ever worry that people concentrate on your looks more than the music?
Stuart: It’s a part of music y’know? So many bands now people just want to check out what the band is wearing. I think style over substance is the fact that people go to see bands like The Distillers just based on how they look rather than the music. We do worry about how we look, it’s natural, everyone does! I mean you must have thought about what you were going to wear today, everyone does it. You don’t leave the house without looking in the mirror! It’s easy to pick on popular bands because we can’t really answer back.
What is your favourite song of yours?
Stuart: Off the first album I really liked ‘And She Told Me To Leave’. I always liked playing ‘Fake Sound Of Progress’, but ‘Shinobi Vs Dragonninja’ can suck my nuts! laughs, I hated that song when we wrote it. But what do I know! If it was up to me all the weird shit would get out. Off the new album I really like ‘Last Train Home’ and ‘Sway’. I’m not into our heavy stuff so much. I’m not saying it’s shit though! laughs. I just think we’re better when we do more ‘pop’ music.
How would you describe your sound? There are a lot of tags being thrown around at the moment like screamo, extremo, fashioncore, how would you describe it?
Stuart: Ians said this before so I’ll just quote Ian! We’re kids who grew up in the middle of the 90′s listening to Slayer and metal but we play pop music. Imagine pop music played by the coolest kids around. laughsThat’s us.
You’ve got a very strong relationship with your fans, they’ve been in most of your videos and you’ve had meet&greets with them before gigs, how does it feel to see the devotion which you inspire in them?
Stuart: It’s awesome. Me and Lee were talking about this the other day, we’ve turned into rockstars! We don’t get to hang out with the crowd anymore as we don’t get the chance, we used to hang out all the time. It sucks that we didn’t get the chance as much.
Do you get recognised in the street?
Stuart: laughs I do only when I’m with Ian, Lee and Mike because of the crazy haircuts. I’m like short back and sides, fuck the long hair shit for me! laughs
What would you say are the best and worst things about being in a band?
Stuart: I think the best things are just being able to stay a child. The freedom is great. The worst thing is not being home, miss your girlfriend and family. The worst thing is losing your schedule, you know how everyone has their little rituals? When you suddenly can’t do those things then you forget who the hell you are for a week! Jetlag also sucks.
What would you say is the biggest misconception that people have about you?
Stuart: So many! That we’re manufactured, we’re a boyband… People say we’re boyband because we were on CD:UK. I mean, fuck, we were the misfit kids and now we’re on CD:UK and Top Of The Pops so we’re automatically a boyband? Fuck off! laughs
Matt from Busted said in NME that you look like a gay boyband.
Stuart: laughs They can fuck off too. I mean they’re a great pop band, but they’re just trying to start a feud with us. I mean Ian made one comment in a magazine saying that they need to admit they’re pop, but that’s it! They should just admit they’re manufactured. Worst thing is though, their new song sounds like fucking New Found Glory to me! I hear it on the radio and I’m like “Hey, I like this New Found Glory song- ooh shit it’s Busted! Oh fuck.” hysterical laughter
We do bring it on ourselves sometimes though. Smash Hits wanted us to do a photo piece recently, we said we’d do it but only if they’d get us all white suits and puppies. We slicked our hair back and posed in these white suits, all holding these little puppies like a boyband, we thought it was fucking hilarious but I just know someone somewhere is going to take it seriously……