Japanese Voyeurs

Japanese Voyeurs

It’s the last day of the RockSound Exposure tour featuring Japanese Voyeurs, Dinosaur Pile-Up and The Xcerts, and Japanese Voyeurs, the latter sit relaxed upstairs at the Southampton Joiners, looking quite tired from the tour. Vocalist and guitarist, Romily Alice, Bassist Johnny Seymour and guitarist Thomas Lamb talk about what they’ve been up to so far this year along with what’s coming up later in the year.

So what have you guys been up to so far this year?
Romily: We had a bit of a break in January, it’s always quiet not much happening.
Tom: I think we had one gig.
Romily: Yeah it was quite relaxed. Then went out do to some of our own shows and then I lost my voice which was a bit of a shame. We’re going to do them at the end of this month instead so it’s not too much of a wait. Then we started this tour.

It’s the last day of tour today, how’s it been going?
Tom: It’s been really nice, everyone’s really nice, we’re all kind of friends.
Romily: Yeah, Steve used to play drums for Dinosaur Pile-Up.
Johnny: So we’ve toured with them like twice or something. We’ve played with The Xcerts a couple of times before too so it’s quite easy.

How have you found the rotating headline slot? Has it made the shows different to your usual gigs?

Romily: It’s way more fun, it not being one bands tour. It’s quite weird in different places, no matter what order you’re playing in, it can be someone’s crowd. Around Leeds, because Dinosaur Pile-Up are from there, that’s their territory and that’s cool to see. It’s always cool to see who people are there for.
Johnny: It kind of get’s busy straight away and then stays, it doesn’t go…sometimes.
Romily: We’re laughing because we played a show last night in York.
Johnny: It was fully a Dinosaur Pile-Up crowd and they played first and we headlined last night and it was gently petering out after they played.
Romily: It was like a backwards headliner!

Johnny, you’ve been keeping a tour diary for RockSound TV haven’t you?
Johnny: I’ve done three posts. I’m not sure how many I was supposed to do. I think I’ll probably do one more, take a few pictures and just write about what we’ve been up to. It’s quite fun to do, I just need to remind myself to do it.

In one of them you mentioned you had a German TV company come and film the Brighton show. How did that all come about?
Romily: I’m not sure, I think they found us and got in touch. I think they wanted to see Dinosaur Pile-Up as well so they came over just to video the show and do interviews but they were really nice. This guy was really friendly and spoke impeccable English. But it’s funny because the video of the interview is apparently going to be over dubbed. There’s not going to be English subtitles
Johnny: And we’re all going to get our own German person to be our separate voices, which is going to be quite cool. I don’t know when it’s on but we’re playing in Germany next weekend, so we’re just going to keep watching that channel.

Did that show come about because the German TV channel filmed you, or was it already planned you were going to do a show in Germany?
Johnny: I think it’s just lucky, we’ve had the shows for a while. I don’t know if it’s tied in but hopefully the TV show will come out before we play there. We’ve never been abroad before so we don’t know how it’s going to go in Germany. We had that German booking agent come to our Great Escape show, I don’t know if that was through him?
Romily: Yeah I don’t really know. I think if something gets offered to us and we can make it work then we always try and do it. So I think someone just got in touch with us and said do you want to play and we said yes.

You initially planned to release your album in February, March time. What’s currently happening with that?
Tom: It’s finished; it’s still waiting on the shelf to come out.
Romily: We’re happy with it and want to put it out but with downloading and stuff now it just makes sense to hold off as long as possible until we feel we’ve given people a chance to get to know you. I guess because once you put it out there it, people can just get it and rip it. So we’re hoping to build up enough fans who actually really love it so that we can make the most out of it.
Johnny: I was speaking to some guy after our gig in Manchester the other day and he was like “I really like you guys, I’ve been searching all over the Internet to try and download your music and I couldn’t find anything.” And it’s like “well thanks…”

In April you’ve got a single being released as a signed vinyl via Fiction Records. How do you find working with them?
Romily: I think it’s nice because even though they’re part of Universal, the actual label is really small. There are only four or five people who actually work for Fiction and they’re all really nice. So even though it is a major label you get the feeling of working with individuals rather than it being like a big horrible machine.

Do you think you’ll be playing any festivals this summer?
Johnny: We’ve only got that 2000 trees one and The Camden Crawl, but I don’t think festivals book small bands like us until right before so we’ll just be sitting about waiting.
Romily: We’re definitely going to try and get to as many as possible and hopefully some in Europe as well. But it’s quite cool though as we’re playing the Camden Crawl with Killing Joke at the Electric Ballroom. It’s an amazing venue, and a really fun venue to play. It’s not that big but it’s got a proper stage, sounds really good and looks cool. Then the other show we’re doing is with Kong headlining, it’s a RocknRolla and that’s one of our favourite music magazines so it’s been good to be invited by them. No offence RockSound we love you too!

You also sounded pretty eager when I last spoke to you about writing new material. Any updates with that?
Romily: It’s going brilliantly!
Johnny: It’s pieces…
Romily: We tend to have little ideas going on until we finally lock it down. I’m always working on the lyrical side of things and I don’t think any of us are anxious about it, I think it will just come together when we manage to find the time. We used to have a lock up rehearsal room. That was how we wrote this first record, just from having all that time and space. But because of touring we had to let that go and so it’s quite hard to actually write when you’re on a timescale in a rehearsal room. I can’t ever imagine us booking in for four hours and then managing to write something. It would feel a bit weird to be on the clock.

Any plans for the rest of the year?

Johnny: Touring, maybe an album!
Romily: Maybe we should just never release it, the band that just keep going without an album. No, that’s not good!
Johnny: Hopefully we’ll get a good amount of festivals in the summer. Try and find some more tours from people that will have us.
Romily: We tend to tour with people who are less heavy, we’re usually the heaviest on the bill, so I think it would be quite fun to have to up the anti.

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