In the week that saw the comeback of the awesome Athlete, Ant Standring took the chance to interview Stephen Roberts (drums/backing vocals) whilst all around came the releases of Athlete's top 40 single ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Beyond the Neighbourhood’, their eagerly anticipated new album.
AS: WHERE have you been hiding all this time (since 2005)?
SR: In our home made studio in South East London mostly. It's become our second home! But it definitely feels like its time to get out on tour again.
AS: WILL you be glad to hit the live circuit again?
SR: Yes, we've been waiting for ages! Playing live is the best bit about being in a band. We've got all these new songs and just want to get out play them now! Bring it on!
AS: WHO has mainly influenced your latest work?
SR: It’s always hard to say who has influenced us as we’re always listening to so much different music and have very varied tastes. There is a lot of music that we love putting on in the studio, turning it up and sitting back too. We’re big fans of a lot of Canadian bands around at the moment such as Broken Social Scene, Stars and of course Arcade Fire. As well as that we love our beats and electronic music like Bjork, DJ Shadow, B Fleishman and Dizzee Rascal etc.
AS: WHICH acts could you quite happily take down, mid concert, with your sniper rifle?
SR: Well, it’s very easy to say the obvious with this, you know Jonny Borrell, Sting etc. But I met Damon Albarn once and although he obviously is talented, he was a rude tit!
AS: WHAT changes can we expect to notice with this outing?
SR: This record is a more up beat record. It's probably got more of a playful feel to it like our first record but mostly, it’s just got good, proper songs.
AS: WANT to tell us the reason behind the six month delay between recording and releasing the album?
SR: Festivals were happening so we had to let them finish before we kicked off the new album…don’t know why really, ask our record company!
AS: WHY the titles ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Beyond the Neighbourhood’?
SR: Well, the album is called Beyond the Neighbourhood because that’s the point of view we were writing from. The last record (Tourist) focused on being away and dealing with the difficulties therein. This record was written from home, so the songs were looking outside of that hence the ‘Beyond’.
AS: WERE you all agreed and in charge regarding the latest formats for the single?
AS: WHEN did you decide to go with the more graphic artwork for your releases?
SR: A friend of ours called Stevie G is an illustrator who has done some various designs for us before. He showed us some rough ideas he had and we loved the simple yet classic look he had accomplished. We liked that you couldn't work out what era it was from. People have said that it looks very modern whilst somebody else would say it look really retro.
AS: WISH you were doing anything else with your time other than music?
SR: There is no other time and if there was, I would do more music.
Thanks for taking time out to answer my questions Stephen, peace love and hair grease!
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