Friday, February 19, 2016
Live Review/Interview :: Airways :: The Flapper, Birmingham - Feb 13 2016
The Flapper, Birmingham
February 13 2016
Words/Photo: Rosie Mulhern
After a phenomenal response to Little Indie's introducing feature on Peterborough's newest indie-pop exports, Airways a few weeks ago, we went along to catch them live in the act.
As the four-piece took to the stage at The Flapper in Birmingham in front of a dedicated and eager audience on the last night of their recent run of shows across the UK, they showed that although relatively new, they have managed to gather attention quickly. That they chose to kick off the set with a high-spirited performance of a song they'd never played live before, 'One Foot', might tell you something about the determination and bravery of this band. If charming frontman Jake Daniels hadn't have nervously announced that this was their first time playing the song, then it's unlikely the audience would have been any the wiser as they attacked the song with confidence and ease. [As you will see from the few words I had with the band, this is also the song set to become their next single.]
With a hooked crowd, the set flowed seamlessly from one song to another with heartfelt “thank you's” dished out here and there between their mixture of indie pop and mellow tunes. The band have already picked up the interest of bands such as Nothing But Thieves after previously supporting them on a few dates of their tour last year, and are due to be supporting Pixel Fix soon. They've also caught the eye of BBC Introducing in Cambridge and several radio stations in the USA.
I managed to grab a few words with the band before their show, and you can read what they had to say below as we discuss aspirations of recording albums on the moon and drunk stories.
Airways are: Jake Daniels - Vocals/Guitar, Jamie Reynolds - Bass, Alex Ruggiero - Guitar, Brian Moroney - Drums.
So, Airways, remind us how long the band has been together?
Jake: Since last August. It doesn’t sound like that long, but I guess it’s long enough with these guys (all laugh)
Can you tell me a bit of history about the band?
Jake: Essentially, we came together when I was in America with my manager searching for people that wanted to do music. We kind of just decided that we wanted to do a band and then I ran into Brian at the same time.
Brian: Literally ran...
Jake: Yeah, we ran to each other...We got on really well and then he was just like “Right, I’m gonna move to your house in England and be in your band.” He just turned up with a suitcase so you know, I kind of had to let him in!
Brian: So I turned up with literally no money and my suitcase was broken and everything, but I’m happy now so it was all worth it.
You’ve just done a nationwide tour, has this been a good experience for the band?
Brian: We did a bunch of shows in November and February and those were literally our first shows. We did about 15 of those and that was just supporting a load of random bands and some people we knew; just trying to get us where we are now and where we’re going. So, this is completely new to us and it’s been great to give us some practice.
Jake: It’s not really been a tour, we’ve just been doing odd shows and loads of them.
Speaking of touring, of course you’ve supported Nothing But Thieves too...
Brian: Yeah, that was so cool. We supported them in Brighton and Bristol.
Alex: It was only our sixth show that we had ever played together as a band, too. It was mad: we were so nervous.
Have you found a favourite place to play so far?
Brian: Yes! Brighton, definitely.
Jake: I think it was because the audience is like, communal. No one’s there to see anyone in particular, they’re just there to see and hear music.
You're going to be supporting Pixel Fix soon, how did that come about?
Brian: We can only be doing so many shows on our own, we're not going to grow if we keep doing random little shows by ourselves. So, we talked to our managers and they said for us to find a bunch of tours and see what happens. We submitted to probably 11 tours and Pixel Fix got back to us saying that they were interested. We didn't really know that much about the band, but we all really liked them when we listened to them and thought that we'd definitely love to go on tour with them, so I guess it was just luck.
Do you have any main influences as a band?
Alex: Van Gough.
Jake: We all have our own that tie in together, but I'm massively influenced by Arctic Monkeys and so is Alex.
Alex: Also, Kasabian.
Brian: The Kooks, The Strokes, basically anyone with 'The' in front of their name!
What are you listening to now?
Brian: I've just started listening to this band called Zibra who I think are really cool. Of course, Pixel Fix and Nothing But Thieves. The thing is, we’ve found a bunch of new bands because we submitted to so many tours so now we listen to them a lot.
Jamie: Pretty Vicious and Sundara Karma, they're cool.
Can you tell me a bit about your song - 'Ghost Town'?
Jamie: It's just a banger!
Jake: We were basically just putting ideas together in the garage and then we ended up wanting to do a pre-production for it. Dom from Nothing But Thieves just randomly said that he wanted to do a song with us and so we turned up with this little riff and then it just evolved into that within like a day.
Brian: We had it done in September and then we went to America to do a bunch of new songs and after that we were like nope, 'Ghost Town' is the one. So we finally re-recorded it and finalised it and it worked out - and here we are now.
Jake: It's mainly about how detached we are from reality and how consumed we all are by technology. So that's what I tried to write about really, telling people to get off their phones, even though I'm on mine for most of the time anyway.
Have you got any release dates for new material yet?
Jake: We don't have any dates yet, but we're recording an EP with Dom, hopefully, in March, and we're hoping to release another single in early April.
Brian: It's gonna be a banger. We're actually playing it live for the first time tonight, so watch out for that one. I mean it could literally go so bad, but hopefully it won't.
Jake: We only started playing it today so it can either go one of two ways and it could be disastrous. But hopefully, if we can get our shit together then we can release it in soon, definitely before summer anyway.
What are your plans for the future?
Brian: Well, we've always said that we wanted to record our third album in space...but for now, I think we're just trying to release the EP and see where that takes us and how that goes for us. Also, trying to build up a bit of a fanbase and do some more support tours.
Jake: I think we're planning to go skiing together at the end of the year, or if not, maybe just go-karting.
Is there a particular message that you want to get across through your music?
Jake: All the messages.
Alex: Everyone use Tinder! No, but I think every song has a different message.
Brian: It's okay to have lots of different messages every time. We try and write songs about cool stuff and come up with some unusual ideas instead of just being like, 'oh let's just write a song about a girl'. He came up with an idea the other day, like how we should write a song about how it feels not to be drunk and be around people that are drunk.
Alex: When you're drunk you can sense when someone else is drunk, do you know what I mean?
Jake: I get that. Like, you can only really tell if someone's drunk if you are 'cos sometimes you wouldn't be able to tell. It's so weird. So yeah, I think just little different, weird things.
Brian: It can be like the smallest thing...
While we're talking about songs, is there one song you wish you had written?
Brian: 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' - Arctic Monkeys or The Kooks' 'Bad Habit', or Adele's 'Hello'.
Jamie: 'Hello' by Lionel Richie. I wish we wrote the riff for 'T-Shirt Weather' by Circa Waves. That's honestly one of the best riffs written, for me anyway.
Brian: We also love Circa Waves, Eveything Everything, Foals, Catfish and The Bottlemen.
Jake: We pretty much like everything.
Find out more about Airways on Facebook, and catch them live on tour with Pixel Fix. See dates below.