Better Enemies – Interview

Better Enemies

I reviewed their debut album last week, and was impressed.  Upbeat, great musicianship and Scottish, that’s three wins I think.  On the basis of that, I wanted to find out more, especially since they took the super brave move of burning their bridges with a change of name and sound.  It’s a bold move, but honestly, I think it’s paid off.  Most importantly though, a band should the write music they want to, and with Better Enemies, there’s no compelling argument to the contrary, because the end product is so far, superb.

How did the name Better Enemies come about?

We spent about 2 weeks trying come up with a new name and Better Enemies was the first one we all agreed sounded good. It doesn’t have a hidden meaning or anything, we just thought it was catchy and felt right for us.

It was a tremendously brave thing to do moving out of what could be considered comfortable with Suburban Saints, looking back is there something of a sigh of relief that it’s worked out pretty well?

Yeah, it’s always scary to abandon something that’s in your comfort zone but we are super happy with the way things are going for Better Enemies so far. We’ve found a sound that seems to work for us and feel like we are playing the best live show we ever have.

The debut album is out, and it’s pretty bloody awesome.  Was it a case of having far more songs and whittling them down to a select few for it, or was it more the case of going to the studio with the tracks you wanted on it in mind only, and just tweaking them till you were happy?

Chris wrote a lot of demos for this album, probably close to 20 ideas. We usually jam the ideas and then select the ones that seem to sound the best. We ended up with around 12 full songs but managed to get that down to the 10 strongest ones before heading to the studio to record. It can be a hard thing to decide on but I think we do well as a group of 4 to all have a say and put together an album we are proud of.

Where did you record the album and who did you work with there?

We recorded the album in May 2015 with Bruce Rintoul at 45 A-Side Recordings in Glasgow.  It was great to have an outside influence listen to the tracks and discuss how we should produce the album. Bruce managed to get the best performance out of us and we loved being in the studio with him. We were there for 3 weeks and it was great to be down in Glasgow to purely focus on music.

When you first heard the full complete album, how did that make you feel?

The first night we got the final mixes back was an exciting one. I think we were just all really proud that we managed to get the performances recorded to the level we knew we were capable of. Bruce did a great job mixing the album and the production really compliments the songs.

There’s quite a bit of bounce to your songs, how on earth do you carry through that energy during a live show!?

It’s certainly a workout haha. It can be very tiring, especially in the longer sets, but our excitement for performing these tunes carries us through. It helps if you can get a crowd bouncing along to your songs, you get a heap of energy off of that!

There are an unbelievable amount of talented bands from Scotland like Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic, is it something in the water?  Is there anything you can attribute to the sheer amount of talent that there is up there?

The music scene in Scotland right now it fantastic. There’s a massive amount of talent and it’s spread across lots of different genres which keeps things fresh. I think being exposed to bands such as Twin Atlantic and Biffy Clyro have let people see what can be achieved if you work hard in the music industry.

What have you got planned next for the band?

We are trying to focus on gigging this year and try to play as many places as possible. We are looking to do a small tour at the end of summer and hopefully get some London shows booked, something we have been wanting to do for a while now. It’s also likely we will have some more music released towards the end of the year which is always exciting!

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