“I really like that people know my name and think I’m cool and stuff, but it's definitely weird,” Amy admits. “It freaks you out. I remember when we were at the airport, and a bunch of school kids were looking at us and giggling because we were the weirdos.
“The easiest option would be to just bail on this and go work at a supermarket because it's confusing and foreign and strange,” she adds. “But I'd rather just be a weird, C-grade celebrity and see what happens.”
And those giggling kids? Turns out they were nervous fans who’d recognised the band in an unlikely and unexpected setting, too shy – or possibly scared – to approach them. Nothing as sinister as first feared. But assuming they must be the butt of a joke reveals a lot about the default Amyl mindset, and why they are how they are. Their customarily feral, onstage ferocity is a far cry from the four polite and friendly faces staring out from screens today. They’re actually quite sweet. And it doesn’t take a professional psychologist to draw a line from that aggro front to find hurt at the root of it all.
“Yeah, I reckon you’re right,” the singer nods. “I’m always super defensive, like, ‘What the fuck, c**t?’ I always think someone's gonna bash me or rob me. So, I'm always on edge. But I'm so psycho because I’m so scared. That’s why I sleep with knives next to me, in case someone tries to murder me. It's not nice, but people aren't just born tough. It's a reactive thing; to environment and experience.”
That’s right – Amy sleeps with knives next to her at night. It figures. There’s probably a ton of stories and legitimate reasons for it, too. But those are likely better suited to the pub someday. With that in mind though, the words of new song Security take on an almost melancholic quality. ‘I’m not looking for trouble, I’m looking for love’ she sings, and it makes you wonder if under all that ‘don’t mess’ bravado there might be a big softie, as vulnerable as anyone else is. Then again, the track Don’t Need A C**t (Like You To Love Me) would suggest you run that theory by her at your peril. She loves the contradiction regardless.
“I'm just a human being with a full-blown spectrum of emotions and reactions,” she shrugs. “With some people I’m like, ‘Don’t need you’ but with others it’s like, ‘You better love me! Because I fucking love you…’”
She says this with a massive grin and a slightly wild glint in her eye – the kind you used to see mid-performance all the time – that makes us almost grateful for the video conference call and the safety of distance.