How you finding the American west?
We went to see the Colorado Rockies [pronouncing it “rookies”]. We were absolutely in the middle of nowhere. We went out and walked for a while and came across the playing grounds for the Colorado Rockies and we got to see the LA Angels. It was absolutely amazing. …You can see the Rockies [rookies, again] in the distance. They call it the “Mile High City”, I think.
Yeah, exactly. Don't try jogging, or something. You landed in New York with a lot of buzz. Was it overkill? Was “new rave” hanging over your head the whole time?
I think there's not been to much focus on the whole new rave thing in America, it's really nice. I think back in the UK, they've kind of lost their minds, completely lost their minds, and people in America seem to be not noticing it so much.
Well that's good it sounds sort of refreshing.
Absolutely, sort of like a fresh start.
Do you see value in an ephemeral subculture that rises and falls?
Um… There's a car that's creeping up behind me. Yeah… subcultures come and go, and the whole idea for us is that the [“new rave”] subculture didn't exist, because, to try and get meaning about nothing… it can't sort of come and go, because it never came.
Well there were kids, dressing up and coming to concerts, and, maybe it's all style over substance, but were you guys just bystanders to that?
I think in terms of fashion you know, we have no idea. What's talked about as “having a fashion sense” makes no sense for us; we're regular guys who have no idea about fashion. Our appearance has been pretty dour and not- it's not what we've set out- it's funny, because we've never been told to cooperate for clothes, or had any contact with any of the crowds who've been following to see the band, it's bizarre. …We dressed up like idiots one day but other than that- we haven't done anything we haven't tied in with how we're supposed to be perceived.
Do you have a problem with being packaged like that?
Um… I don't have a problem with it, I just think it's really amazing that people don't actually concentrate on what is going on and have so much concentration on what definitely isn't. …I think it's funny! [Laughs]
You're next album is going to be prog? Is that another “new rave” joke, or are you being serious?
Yeah definitely. We've never been a jam band. We're very organized and everything fits into the right place. We've never written any thing when we jam and what we've been going in rehearsal it sounds like Yes [Like, 'yes!', an exclamation, or YES, the band??] It's amazing! We basically want to exaggerate everything ten fold for our next record, make it heavier and poppier and weirder.
Do you know what kind of direction that means yet?
Well we talked about how all the hip hop producers try to get up to this really dense sounding thing. Really into things being thick and dense. And more focus on the vocals.
I liked the weird monkish harmonies on your new album too. Did you guys ever find yourselves consciously avoiding the Franz Ferdinand Bloc Party guitar sound?
I don't think it really came up. We want to put an injection of fun back into music. We wanted to make that kind of music for enjoyment. I don't think we ever said that we didn't want to be that- we knew a lot of what was going on, but we didn't have a lot to do with it, we felt completely outside of it. …It didn't make any difference; scenes come and go definitely, but we're just into making pop music.
You want to become this successful band. Do you feel that's had any play in the music you've made?
We're naturally making pop music. We said right from the beginning, before we ever had rehearsals, that we have to make music that's completely accessible, where people can get ahold of it. We didn't want to be an indie band, we wanted to be pop band. And if we're not making these records for as many people as possible, than there's kinda no point doing it. And we went to the record companies with that attitude and they found that quite refreshing.
But how do you bridge the divide between, you know, “the next album's going to be dense and weird and different,” while still being accessible to everybody?
I think the truth is, we've always got an emphasis on our melody, and you can whistle a tune to somebody and they might not understand the language we're speaking but they can still get a hold of it.
Any American anecdotes?
Yesterday we were in this town in Nebraska, (what was this town called?), this town in Nebraska, and there was literally nothing to do there so we went to this bar and we sat there and got completely hammered on Long Island ice teas and we ended up taking this uncle bowling with us and I think he had this 6 year old kid and he left him at home and now we're really calming down in Denver and I think it's a bit like Chicago but I wish I could remember the name of that town in Nebraska… LINCOLN, LINCOLN NEBRASKA.
Ah yes, Lincoln. That's a major metropolis of the central midwest.
I don't know…
Ah. Lincoln, we must go back there.
When you back in New York?
We're coming back in September, we're going to play more dates.
We're like excitable children at this point. It's brand new, it's still fresh.
It doesn't feel like that in England now?
Everywhere you go you see the same. Everything's really different over here. It's really exciting like that.