Backstage at the Classic Grand in Glasgow last night, I had a chance to talk to the guys who make up Envy of the State: Scott Adams, Ben Millington, Darrell Smith and Steve Tipton.
I started by asking about the excellent show that they had recently played to an enthusiastic crowd.
SA: I thought it was a really good show actually. It looked like everybody had fun.
DS: It’s kind of hard because we are a new band at the moment, so we are touring and trying to win over everyone else’s fans but it’s going well. It’s relentless and going on stage so early in the evening doesn’t really help.
So how is life on the road?
SA: It’s probably a lot easier than we thought at first. Twenty two dates on a tour with no breaks seemed a bit intimidating at the beginning, but actually we are all feeling good, and we’re disappointed that we’re coming to the end of the tour.
You’ve been in Scotland for a few days now?
DS: It’s the first time we’ve been up here as a band. We’ve played Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen and now Glasgow. We head back down south tomorrow.
SA: Now that we’ve played a few shows in Scotland we would definitely like to come back. We’ve had a good response and it feels like we’re building a fan base up here.
Your debut album “Soundtrack For Your Life” comes out next week. Was it a long time in the making?
SA: It was quite a long time actually. It’s not as easy as it used to be in the music business and we had to really fight to get the record deal and the funding. We had to travel to different continents to try to get the backing. Then we didn’t rush to record the album; it took us two years.
DS: We went over to New York and played a couple of shows to try to secure funding for the album. Then we got picked up by a British label while we were over there! We’re signed to Red Label Records in London. It took a while to get everything into place but we finally got what we wanted. We worked with producer Russ Russell which was great.
SA: It was important for us to spend a bit of extra time to get an album we were happy with. Your debut album is always a very important one so we took our time.
How would you describe your music?
SA: That’s the question everyone asks: what sort of music do you play? We don’t deliberately try to be any sort of music; we just try to write music that sounds good. It’s modern rock basically, no gimmicks!
There is a really modern sound to your music but, particularly in the live performance, there are echoes of 80s stadium rock as well
SA: We’re a combination of the two really.
DS: And that’s because we want to be playing stadiums!
Who are your musical influences?
SA: Between the band we have such a wide range of influences. Everything from metal through to the 80s stuff, so that’s where our sound comes from. We started listening to what our parents were into. We were brought up on the classic rock bands. Then as we grew up we stated to get our own tastes.
DS: We take a bit of everything really.
Who writes the songs?
SA: We all do. Me and Darrell tend to write the lyrics and then we all come together. We probably start writing ten songs and out of that get one good one.
DS: We work on a lot of things in the rehearsal room. We don’t really take fully written songs to the table, so we all get together and play and it comes from there.
ST: We all bring different ideas and it seems to come together most times.
What’s next for the band?
SA: Because the album is only just coming out we couldn’t get into the festivals this year. But next year we should.
DS: We will be playing the Download Festival next summer. The guy who books the bands is doing some work for us through our record company so obviously that’s good news.
SA: We’ll be playing shows and promoting the album. And we have a music video coming out for our new single Rags to Riches (Riches to Rehab) too, which should be a good promotional tool. We just want to keep the momentum going!