Interview: Attack! Attack!

Attack+AttackWelshmen – you can never tell when they’re being sincere or joking. Once again, George is had on, this time by one half of South Wales rock quartet Attack! Attack!, who are convincingly…well, convinced, that they’ve never heard of their American namesake. George catches up with Neil Starr and Ryan Day on their third day on tour with Go:Audio, in which they discuss just when a new album may be released, what the highlights of their ever busy year have been, and why there are two X-Box pods standing near the merch desk…

George: Can you say your names, and what you do in the band?
Neil: I’m Neil, I play guitar and sing.
Ryan: Ryan, play guitar.

George: Well, you’re on tour with Go:Audio, how’s it been so far?
Ryan: It’s only the third date, so two shows in, but it’s going good, it’s been cool, man, brilliant, very good.

George: You’ve been almost constantly touring all year, what’s been the highlight?
Neil: Going home. [laughs] Some of the festivals, there’s been loads of really good shows as well, basically, I suppose the overall highlight is just how well our band is going down with fans new and old, yeah so just going down well.

George: You’re on the road with Guitar Hero 5, what does that entail?
Ryan: Us, bringing Guitar Hero 5, fucking… pods, with us, as you can see behind you. [Beside the merch desk, two X-Box 360 pods displaying the new Guitar Hero stand]
Neil: You can play us at Guitar Hero, basically, obviously we’re on the game, so, the idea was that we can play some people at the song (You And Me), and have a laugh.

George: Speaking of the song, congratulations, how do you feel?

Ryan: It’s cool, man!
Neil: Very chuffed.
Ryan: Yeah, it’s wicked! Yeah, it’s fun.
Neil: It’s the game to be on, I guess, it’s one of the biggest games in the world, so y’know, we’re pretty excited and …what’s the word…
Ryan: Pleased!
Neil: Pleased, but like, surprised, but yeah, pleasantly surprised to be asked to be on there, yeah, over the moon!

George: What’s your favourite song to play on there, except your own?
Ryan: Ummm, The Bronx is good, d’you play on it?
Neil: Bleed American for me, good song.

George: If you could have your music featured on any other game, past or present, what would it be?

Ryan: FIFA!
Neil: [pauses] Tony Hawks, 1.

George: What are your favourite video games ever?
Neil: Mario Kart, on the SNES.
Ryan: FIFA, something like that, yeah.

George: We asked The Blackout the other month, and Skindred yesterday…

Neil: Ahhh, Skindred!
George: …what they thought of the Welsh music scene at the moment, because there seems to be a lot of upcoming talent as well as established acts, what do you think of it all?

Neil: It’s thriving, isn’t it?
Ryan: Probably the same answers as The Blackout and Skindred gave.
Neil: The Blackout can be sarcastic, so they might not of said that. I dunno, just those two bands alone, they’re two amazing bands, we could rattle them off, you know who they are, we know who they are, there’s just lots of really good bands, good healthy scene in Wales.

George: The Blackout said, you can take any genre, and there’ll be a Welsh band who’re best at it.

Ryan: Probably, yeah.
George: Do you agree with that?
Ryan: Yeah, I do agree with that, yeah I like that. It’s true, it’s true. [laughs]

George: Can you tell us an interesting fact about Wales?

Ryan: Interesting fact about Wales, erm…
George: I’m not sure if The Blackout’s answers were sincere…
Neil: There’s more sheep than people, there’s an interesting fact!
Ryan: Definitely better than England. [laughs] Laugh at that, but it’s a well known fact. Wales is also better than Scotland, also better than Ireland, also better than France, at Rugby. Also, interesting fact… It has the greenest grass ever, apparently! Greenest grass in the world comes from Wales. It’s the best place for magic mushroom picking.
Neil: Blackest coal.
Ryan: Yep, the blackest coal, the nicest cheese.
Neil: The biggest castles.

George: Now, you’ve gone beyond the point of just being an upcoming UK band, who are your favourite upcoming UK bands at the moment?
Neil: Save Your Breath.
Ryan: Upcoming UK bands, Save Your Breath are cool yeah, I like a band called Portraits, and I like…
Neil: I dunno if they can be classed as upcoming, but Fighting With Wire are an amazing band, from Ireland, there’s loads…

[Superstition by Stevie Wonder starts to play on the PA]
Neil: …Stevie Wonder, he’s upcoming.

George: Are you aware of the American Attack Attack!?
Ryan: Who? Who’s that?
George: You’ve not heard of them!?
Ryan: Who’s that?
George: Attack Attack!, with only one exclaimation mark?
Neil: Never heard of them!
George: Really? They’re from Ohio, Screamo band…they’re Attack Attack! as well.
Ryan: Never heard of them!
George: Seriously? Has no-one ever mentioned them?
Neil: No. [laughs]

George: Well, I was gonna say, had it caused any confusion, like people asking for songs that you don’t play and have no idea what they are?
Ryan: [laughs]
Neil: Ahhh yeah, it’s happened once or twice. Katy Perry…that happened last night! …We know who they are.
Ryan: We do know who they are.
George: [laughs] Ahh, right! Thought you might of. Have you ever considered a name change because of it?
Neil: Nope, because we were there fucking first!

George: How were the shows with Dopamine you (Neil) played the other month?

Neil: Yeah, good fun! Good fun, he (Ryan) came down, all the boys came down, it was a good laugh!

George: Will Dopamine ever make a full return or just one-off shows?

Neil: One-off shows, I think.

George: What’s in store for Attack! Attack! in the future?

Ryan: More of the same, playing, writing, playing, writing, rocking, playing, writing, rocking, playing.
Neil: We’re gonna record an album in March, so expect a release maybe around September time next year.

George: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
Neil: Skindred.
Ryan: Maylene and The Sons Of Disaster.
George: Are you going to see them on Taste Of Chaos?
Ryan: Maybe, yeah!
Neil: The new Pearl Jam album.
Ryan: Yep, new Pearl Jam, and The Gaslight Anthem.
George: I’ve never managed to get into Gaslight…
Neil: Nope, neither have I.
Ryan: Who else is cool that I like? There’s loads of cool bands… Listen to all the cool bands everybody else listens to! All the cool ones.

George: Do you have anything to add?

Neil: myspace.com/attackattackband, if you haven’t checked that out, just come to a show, because that’s where we do our thing! That’s what we enjoy best.

George Cannings.
Attack! Attack! are on tour NOW with Go:Audio and Twenty Twenty, and on tour in November with Kids In Glass Houses, see http://www.myspace.com/attackattackband for details.
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