Q&A: We have a chat to And So I Watch You From Afar
Rock band, And So I Watch You From Afar (Rory Friers, guitar, Johnny Adger, bass, Niall Kennedy, guitar, Chris Wee, drums), recently released their fourth album.
Q: Your last album sounded really happy and upbeat, this one much less so. What was the approach this time?
A: Rory - There was talk of the uber-triumphant album - for a while, me and Niall were particularly obsessed with that. All Hail Bright Futures did really well for the band and we ended up being out on the road for ages, but by the time it came round, the record made itself. We had new pedals and we wanted it to be a bit lusher. If it was a bar of chocolate it would be Green & Black's 85% cocoa.
Q: You are well known for your tireless touring around the world. What has been the highlight of the last 18 months?
A: Johnny - We did a five-week US tour and then came home for three days and then off to India, which was pretty mental.
Q: Do you have many fans in India?
A: Rory - We didn't think so but there were a couple of kids with (ASIWYFA) tattoos, and a girl came up to us crying. It's quite profound when it happens so far away. If you're in New York, your brain can put together how it is that these people have heard your music. But to be in India, in a monsoon, and there's some kid with an ASIWYFA tattoo - it doesn't quite connect. We're from Portrush!
Q: You project a tight-knit image, and hang out together a lot in Belfast when you're not on tour. Are you really that close?
A: Niall - We also lived together for three-and-a-half years, so we'd be on tour, then hang out at home, and go out and party together and see bands. When you're on tour it's 24/7 - you drive together, soundcheck, eat together, hang out together backstage. It doesn't stop. If you can do that and still be friends, which we can, when you come home it feels natural to keep doing that.
Q: Johnny, you recently became a father to little Eisa. What effect has fatherhood had on the band?
A: Johnny - Nothing yet because of the timing. She was born at the end of August and that was the waiting period prior to the record coming out, so it was very considerate of her. She's on the album - the very last thing you hear on the record is her heartbeat. It also helped shape the name of the record, Heirs - we're leaving something behind for the next generation, and that's really poignant for me.
Q: You're approaching your 10th anniversary as a band. Do you still get as much of a kick out of touring and travelling the world?
A: Johnny - It's different but we're all still doing it for the same reasons, which is to play the music that we've made, talk to people and absorb different cultures. That buzz that you get out of the connection with somebody who identifies with something that you've been partially responsible for creating - that's why I'm doing it and we all have the same feeling.
Q: You are clearly ambitious, driven individuals, but did you always believe things would work out as well as they have?
A: Rory - The night after we recorded our first song, I was at Johnny's, we were drunk out of our minds and he said, "we're going to do this forever." I really believed it.
- ASIWYFA play at the Mandela Hall, Belfast on June 20. For tickets visit ticketmaster and shine.net