You’re the first black rock band to make the shortlist, too. How significant does that feel?
Georgia: “It feels amazing, like a massive win for the community. It feels like we might be opening doors that other people can run through.”
Amy: “And it’s a massive win for heavy music! This sort of genre isn’t always at the forefront [for this kind of award], so to have a heavy act on the list this year is amazing!”
Indeed, the Mercury Prize has been criticised over the years for ignoring heavier and truly alternative artists. Why do you think that you made it where so many others didn’t?
Amy: “It’s a sign of the times, really. I think that the scene has changed. It’s opening up. People have diversified the space. They’re more open to new ideas. Live music has come back in such a big way after the lockdown. Rock has made a comeback, the alternative and independent scenes are thriving, and the people who have been championing that scene have been really vocal in fighting for it. It’s great: for the people who came before us, for us, and for the people who’ll come after us, too!”
Does it feel like you’re particularly well equipped for your place at the vanguard of that new alternative movement, earning broader commercial success but also the respect of the broader music community?
Amy: “I don’t think it’s even really a question of being equipped for it. It’s just something that we naturally do. We’ve always been vocal about these things, whether we’ve had the approval of other people or not. We’ve just been here, being a band, doing what we love, talking about what we believe in and what we want to see around us.”
Georgia: “That translates to people. We just want to reach out and inspire people to believe that they can be whatever they want to be and do whatever they want to do!”
In your recent K! cover feature, you talked about sometimes having premonitions around you band’s success. Did you have any inkling that you might be shortlisted here, or is it as out-of-nowhere for you as everyone else?
Amy: “It just came out of the blue!”
Georgia: “Well, we found out six days ago, but we had to keep it secret – which was a nightmare! It really was something that we’d dreamt of being able to achieve, so it really does feel like a massive deal to us. We even came up with a secret code to talk about it, referring to it as ‘Cake...’”
Amy: “We were like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to… The Cake Awards!’ (laughs)"