Wednesday 16 April 2014

Native’s fans had a bit of a wait on their hands for their debut album, ‘Indoor War’.  However, the wait was well worth it. We caught up with the guys on their headline tour in celebration of the album to chat about working on the full length, acoustic sessions and building their fan community…

So, it’s the final night of the tour- how’s it gone so far?
Yeah it’s been great; it’s our first proper one as opposed to support tours, so going out and playing to people who actually know who you are is nice. We’ve also done our first shows in Europe which have been awesome. This is the first time we’ve ever headlined London as well.

You’re back now headlining venues that you have played as support acts…
It’s weird; I didn’t realise how support-y we’d got and how our set was built around playing to people who didn’t know us. It’s difficult to let go of that and accept that these people are actually here to see us [laughing]. It’s nice having more time in sound check, bigger dressing rooms; we’ve been here about five minutes and it’s already a mess.

‘Indoor War’, the new album has just been released. Fans have had to wait quite a while for it- did you feel like it was a long time coming too?
We could have just put it out but it did feel like a long wait, and we wrote some of those songs a long time ago. But when you put that much time and effort in to it you want to release it properly and find the right label to do that with. We’re on one now, we’ve started writing the next one so it’s not going to be another long wait. When you’re such a new band, like us, you don’t assume there’s any pressure because people don’t know your band. But from quite early people were digging the songs we put out so we were lucky that so many people wanted an album. You also get worried that people aren’t going to care, that you’ve left it too late as some songs have a certain place in time.

The album is based on a fictional character- did you go into the writing process with this structure predetermined?
A bit of both; when we started writing the first few songs they all had a similar theme and then it turned into this story. It’s quite daunting when you’re from a band who’ve only done an EP to then full album and having this planner chart on the wall and thinking how are we going to fill it. And, we all write together as well, so it just suited us to create this narrative. At first it was just for us to structure the lyrics, but then it grew into something more and made the album more special than when we first started.

It gives the album a focus but still leaves it open to interpretation
That’s exactly what we aimed for, because our band’s sound is so infectious and instant it’s important to have depth for us as well; we don’t want it to be throwaway.

The album has been out a while- is it nice being out on the road and seeing people’s reactions?
It is nice yeah, and we’ve been doing acoustic sets before the main show and things like that are great. We always have so many ideas as a band so it’s nice to get to do some of them. When it’s just us on acoustic guitars with the audience so close it’s a great environment and we’ve never had that before. We actually recorded the album twice so we’ve been mixing the set up.

I guess it’s a nice way to reward fans as well for sticking with you…
Absolutely. To have been waiting for this album for as long as they had, they totally deserve two albums and an acoustic set; that’s the least we can do. We didn’t even realise we were that sort of band who really get their fans involved, and we like building that community; it’s great.

And you’ve recently just got back from the Philippines…
It was ridiculous; up there with the best thing we’ve ever done as a band. We can’t say enough nice things about it. We played a headline show as well as the festival in Manila. We were playing in a shopping centre, like in front of a Marks and Spencers [laughing] and we didn’t think anyone would really show up and there were thousands of people going mental; such a receptive audience. We can’t wait to go back.

So album two…
We’ve got some demos done without even sitting down to write properly and we’ve got another story to help us with it. So, when we get home from this we can get in the studio and crack it out. We love writing, so looking forward to getting on it.

And what else do you have coming up?
Lots of touring and then the next album as well. Hopefully lots of festivals and tours and go to other countries. In autumn we’ll hopefully record the next album so it’s going to be good; we’re up for it.

And here’s what happened when Natives took to the stage…

The Borderline is full as Natives take to the stage at what will be their first headline London show. Fans swarm around the front of the stage, and the rest of the venue is a buzz as guitarist Jack takes to the stage alone. As he opens proceedings with the distinctive riff of new album track, ‘The Horizon’, the crowd is ecstatic and with that they excitedly welcome the rest of the band members on stage. From the off the set is upbeat and filled with infectious choruses that have to be sung along to. Each song is anthemic as the one before; new single ‘Ghost’, which is building and soars out into the venue, is followed by the epic ‘Stand For Something’.

Fans have waited a long time for a full length from the New Forest five piece, and the band are the first ones to admit how thankful they are to everyone for sticking with them. It may have taken a little longer than planned but it is most definitely worth the wait. The live set only builds on this and brings the record to life. Their recognisable pop-rock melodies and huge riffs are testament to just how talented they are, and how the album is only just the beginning.  

They may have been on the road, including a jaunt to Europe for over two weeks, but they are as fun and fresh as ever. Fan favourite, ‘This Island’, instils the usual revelry; the crowd member who dances the craziest wins a polaroid photo the band takes before breaking into the song. ‘The Borderline’ turns things up a notch; the crowd go wild, the band’s energy is catching.

Slicker than ever, Natives live show is full of surprises; percussion at the heart, at one point every band member is drumming a different instrument and the next minute they are getting the entire crowd down on the floor before getting them all to leap up in unison. The night comes to a close with ‘For Everything’ and with no encore the entire room is definitely left wanting more. It may have been the band’s first ever headline London show, but they approached it like pros; we can’t wait for the next one. We love the album and we love Natives; so we’ll see you down at the front. 8/10