Architects Talk UNIFY Gathering, Touring Australia And Headlining Alexandra Palace
With their biggest-ever headline show looming large next month, 2018 is already set to be an impressive one for Architects.
What better way to prepare for that, then, with a couple of gigs on the other side of the world – including a stop off at Australia’s premier heavy camping festival, UNIFY Gathering.
We caught up with frontman Sam Carter and drummer Dan Searle ahead of their stunning sub-headline slot at UNIFY, where they played Kerrang! Readers’ Song Of The Year, Doomsday, for only the second time live, as well as delivering the most moving, impressive set of the day. Here’s what they had to say…
Hey, guys! Is coming over to Australia for UNIFY the best way to start off your 2018 as a band?
Sam Carter: “We love touring in Australia-”
Dan Searle: “-but we’re not touring – we’re here for four days!”
Sam: “We fly home tomorrow. So it’s a long way to come, but it’s worth it.”
What’s your favourite memory from touring Australia over the years?
Dan: “We’ve been really lucky, because the first time we came over here we were with Parkway Drive, so the first show we ever played in Australia was outdoors to 5,000 people in Brisbane. And then we did Soundwave, and then The Amity Affliction took us out twice and we did massive shows with them, so we got put in front of a lot of people very, very quickly, which is why we’ve done so well here. For me, I think that first show with Parkway was such a big one for us because it was such a crazy experience. At that point in our career we weren’t really used to playing big shows at all, so for them to bring us over and put us in front of 5,000 people straight away on night one was amazing.”
Sam: “I always think back to Soundwave [in 2010], just because it was such a good time. There was us, You Me At Six, Gallows, Enter Shikari… it’s funny to think back and that we’re all still doing this in some shape or form.”
What sets are you most looking forward to at UNIFY today?
Sam: “I’m looking forward to seeing Parkway play, because we started touring with them properly on Horizons, so it’ll be fun to see them play those songs again. We’ve still been friends and touring with them since then, but to hear some of those older songs from back in the day will be cool.”
Dan: “Yeah, it’s going to be nostalgic.”
This is only your second show of the year, after a couple of months off. How was the first gig in Adelaide?
Sam: “It was really good. It’s always weird, the first show in Australia, because it’s like endurance [because of the jet lag] – but you get through it. The show itself was great, and it was really great to play [newest single] Doomsday for the first time.”
Dan: “It’s so daft to play your first show in five months jet lagged, and with a new song in the set. It’s a silly combination, but we got through it. Someone said we sounded exactly like we do on the CD, which isn’t what we sound usually sound like! But yeah, it was fun – I think we were carried by an enthused crowd.”
What was the live response to Doomsday like?
Sam: “It’s funny when you play a new song and it’s already one of the biggest songs in the set. We’ve never had that before.”
Dan: “We released the song in September, and now we’re sitting here in January, so it’s been four months or so, and we’ve never had it where there’s been a gap like that, where we finished a load of touring, and then released a song, and then not toured.”
Sam: “Normally you start touring a new song straight away.”
Dan: “Or you release a record with a load of new songs and you start putting them in the set, and people have had like a week with the record and they’ve got to get to know all the songs, and it’s always a bit like, ‘Oh, it was kinda quiet for the new stuff because [the audience] don’t really know it yet…’ Whilst Doomsday is already up there with the most popular songs in the set. It’s kind of weird like that.”
Sam: “It’s fun for us because we’re excited to play it, and we can’t wait for it to come in the set. You know which bits in songs are going to go down well, and then you play a new one and you’re like, ‘What’s it going to be like?’”
Is it already big enough to be an encore track, do you think?
Sam: “It’s big enough to close the main part of the set. We’re trying to figure it out.”
Dan: “Gone With The Wind just feels like a closer to us because of what it’s about, so it’s hard to upstage that song. But yeah, Doomsday feels like a massive song in our catalogue, but it’s strange playing a song that Tom never played. It’s a song we never played with him onstage, so it’s really strange… but, you know, we’ve had lots of firsts in that sense over the past 18 months. But obviously we’re really happy with how the song’s been received. It felt like a massive challenge for us to take that step, so the fact that people like it has been great.”
Beyond Australia, your biggest-ever headline gig is coming up very soon at London’s Alexandra Palace…
Dan: “Yeah! We’re doing a whole tour in Europe before that show, and they’re some of the biggest shows we’ve ever done, but they’re warm-ups for Ally Pally. We don’t usually get nervous once we’re in the rhythm of touring and we’ve found our feet, but Ally Pally is so disproportionately large… the biggest show on that European tour will be half the size of Ally Pally, so jumping up to that size is just so unusual for us.”
Sam: “It’s going to be weird tonight to play [UNIFY] and know that there are going to be two-and-a-half thousand more people there at that show than there are here. To have that many people more at your own headline show in London is fucking insane.”
Dan: “It’s such a surprise to us. I don’t think anyone would have predicted it a few years ago. It seems so crazy.”
Have you started planning production and the set list?
Dan: “Yeah. You get to Ally Pally and you think you’re gonna be rich, and then you spend all the money [on production] and so you’re not rich (laughs).”
Sam: “Yeah, we’re literally going in. It’s not every night that you get to play to 10,000 people.”
Dan: “We really want to put on a great show that’s memorable for everyone. I think what’s really nice – especially in the UK, but everywhere, really – is the real emotional connection with fans, and the way they feel towards the band because of what’s happened with the band. There’s this real feeling of support from the fans.”
Sam: “And it feels really genuine in both ways – we really appreciate everything that they give to us when we play.”
Dan: “It’s going to be a really special night for that reason; I think that fans of the band know what it means to us to be able to do something like that.”
Beyond Ally Pally and the subsequent American tour you’re doing afterwards, what’s the plan for Architects for the rest of the year?
Dan: “Just sit on beaches for a while, I reckon (laughs). Something like that. Go to the gym, lose some weight and walk the dog! We’re working on new material, and we hope that we can suss an album out in the near future.”
Sam: “It’s just going to be a five or six month dog walk.”
Photos: Jay Wennington
Catch Architects live at the following:
3 London Alexandra Palace