We Are Carnivores are a Nottingham Alt Math Rock band made up of four chaps on a galaxy quest of a lifetime. Riding unicorns through fields of melody, big juicy choruses and breakdowns that close down small venues, Harry, James, Alex and Beu write riffs that will stick to your brain like a barnacle and melodies that will catch you if you fall.
We were fortunate enough to be invited into their tour bus where we chatted about 10 year anniversaries, cover versions and spooning, here's how we got on....
We know little about you, can you spend a few moments telling us who, why, what, where and when?
We're We Are Carnivores, we're a band from Nottingham, we're doing this so we can afford to be the first band to do a Space Jam tour in 2040, it's our aim to go inter-galactic and put together a tour via a kickstarter campaign, maybe offer people button badges in exchange for donations to the cause. We also had an idea where we could get a pirates of the caribbean style boat and just sail about doing gigs where we choose, it'd be nice and peaceful, we'd hire a crew (dressed as pirates of course), We also want to do a canal boat tour, we've been watching a lot of Ray Mears and thought we could maybe combine a live show with bushcraft skills, play a drum solo whilst skinning a rabbit maybe? You could eat, then use the skin on the snare!
You state one of your interests is ‘spooning’, is this with each other?
Have we got a story about 'spooning'.....we moved to Nottingham, rather than unpacking and setting up the house, we decided to go out to Rock City and get drunk. We all woke up the next morning in James's bed, spooning each other. Harry's arms were wrapped so tightly under mine, we woke up and it was a real WTF moment. we just went back to sleep.
Was this an isolated incited?
No, it happens all the time, we think that 'spooning' is the future.
I have heard that 'spooning' can lead to 'forking'.....
That's good, we need to say that so people think that we thought of it, here goes.... "the funny thing is, that spooning can lead to forking".....
You’ve previously been featured in Kerrang and Rock Sound magazines, how does physical print vs online exposure compare these days and which do you think is better?
We think that physical print is more important these days, if you get a piece in a big magazine, it sort of adds more credibility to you as a band and if they like what you do, you'd hope that the readers of the mag will then go and check you out live and buy your music! But your website (musicmuso.com) we're not really that bothered! (laughter all round)...
Well, when this goes live and you're wondering why there are people queued around the block, you're gonna wish you hired personal security and THEN, you will thank me for all the hard work and effort that I put in on your behalves! (no guarantees of course...)
What are your views on the sudden resurgence of the audio cassette?
We only found out about this last night and I think there is something on the cassette that stops you from copying it? Some strange system when recording it that stops you from taking the material off it, if you do it'll sound so bad....
Does anyone still own a 'double tape player' with 'Hi-Speed Dubbing'?
Yeah, I had one of those, sometimes, I think, "maybe I'll use it", then I think 'No...." (more laughter)
Why would you want to do it anyway? just go rip an MP3 instead (we of course do not and would never condone piracy on any level, at musicmuso.com we still believe that 'Home Taping IS Killing Music'.....
You've heard of Record Store Day? well this year, they introduced Cassette Store Day as well, one day a year where bands release 'one off' cassettes in really limited quantity and sell them through independent record shops all over the world.
Is it like a functional thing? or something that is deemed 'cool' with the hipsters?
I think it is a bunch of bearded, skinny jean wearing Hoxton boys who go round sharing tapes and thinking they've hit the nail on the head. I guess that they weren't even thoughts in their father's heads when tapes were in full swing....
Well we're not sold on the idea and don't think we'll be doing anything on cassettes anytime soon!
What has been the most ‘rock n’ roll’ thing you’ve ever done?
Oh my god, we are SO not rock n' roll.....more like cock n' roll! - We went out once....
No, just out the door! we went to the seaside and had a delightful time!
Last night, James went down so hard, he hit his head but he doesn't remember anything about it, that was pretty fucking rock n' roll to be fair! He got out of a taxi and just fell on his face. Luckily he was drunk, if he was sober, he would have tensed up and probably broke his wrist!
Do you share Kate Bush’s views on banning the use of phones/tablets at your concerts?
No, we do like her moves though (the guys showed me their 'moves', I was very impressed and looked forward to seeing them later on in the show) Back to the question, we have NO problems in people getting their phones out, taking pictures of us and sharing them on social media sites, that's what you want as a band. We saw an old blues band a while ago in Milton Keynes and I thought I'd just get a couple of snaps to share on Instagram and when I got it out, the security were like "no, you can't take pictures"....WTF?
I have been to gigs where they have signs up saying 'no photography'...
I guess if you stump up the price of the ticket and you want to grab a quick snap then you should be able to, it's all down to personal preference. I guess if you were there recording the whole gig to put it up onto Youtube on your way home from the gig, that's a different thing altogether. Maybe there are people out there who would rather watch a clip of a live show on their phones instead of listening to a 'sweet' recording of us on our limited edition pink audio cassettes?!?
I see Reuben are releasing a 10 year anniversary of ‘Racecar is Racecar Backwards’, are you quietly planning the same treatment for your ‘So Distasteful’ EP?
Oh yeah, no doubt about it, it's gonna be huge! We're gonna do it every 10 years and then it will coincide with the Space Jam tour or maybe we could do it alongside the canal boat tour, the pirate ship tour and the Space tour, we'll definitely do something big, that's for sure! We've got BIG plans.....
Tell me a fascinating fact about one of the band members?
Beu's had this duck following him for years....
Yeah, there's this duck that follows him about all over the place, it won't leave him alone! He never sees it, but it's always there! Now and again, you hear it go off, you may even hear it in a minute....
Maybe it has something to do with spicy food?
Maybe it's a spicy duck!
What are your Saturday Night and Sunday morning records?
We're really getting into the new album by The Hell they are so good..... or did you mean records like 'how long have you stayed up on a Saturday night'? (someone had stayed up until 4am once)....
So you'd recommend The Hell's album as a Saturday Night record?
It gets you pumped, they're like a hardcore band who are taking the piss. We also like to put on a bit of Dark Horse by Nickelback, we do seem to listen to a LOT of Nickelback, unsure why....(someone starts singing "I wanna do it till the sun comes up" in a Chad Kroeger style voice, we have a lot of time for Chad, he's such a sex god too!
I'm sure I saw a campaign to stop Nickelback from coming to London recently?
Why would anyone try to STOP them coming to the UK, you've gotta embrace them, Chad gets a LOT of sex!
What about your Sunday morning record?
For me, probably some Acid Jazz, maybe some St Germain....(cue sarcastic posh accent saying St Germain are really intellectual....)
Do you break out the baked camembert and french stick?
Oh god do I ever, I always take it with a glass of red wine too (if I can afford it), it's usually a plateful of ALDI sausages....I went home a while ago and my mum had cooked me up some really rich sausages, they were just too much, I ate them and just didn't like them as they were too tasty, I'm used to things with no taste, 8% meat content, the rest filled with lips, tits and arseholes!
So, onto taste.....your video for ‘So Distasteful’ made me cringe, apart from onions, what was the worst item you tasted that day?
Oh god, we ate some hideous things that day, I think the Scotch Bonnet pepper was probably the worst, it's one of the hottest chili's you can buy in the supermarket and our mouths were on fire for an hour after we ate them.
Did you have any hallucinogenic effects or was it just painful?
Yeah, it just hurt! James blended up a smoothie with avocado, vinegar, milk, yoghurt and creme fraiche, he downed it and the cameraman missed the shot so he had to do it all over again and to add insult to injury, it never even made it into the video!
Your live shows seem pretty energetic, do you encourage crowd surfing?
Hell yes, we encourage crowd surfing, hugs, spooning, we encourage the lot, any form of emotion is fine, nudity but mainly just love.
Have you ever crowd surfed?
James crowd surfed in Birmingham, he got carried off on someone's shoulders and he ended up smacking this guy with his guitar headstock, he felt terrible about it! It was a drummer from another band, he ended up with a super gash in his head!
We have also cracked guitar necks after seeing who could do the biggest 'Busted' jump on stage....Charlie Simpson would be well jealous!
You did a cover of Jessie J’s ‘Domino’ (which we thought was way better than her effort), any more covers in the pipeline?
Yes, the Safety Dance (the band started singing S.S.S.S.A.A.A.A.F.F.F.F....etc) we were thinking about doing that (I think this was a track by a band called Men Without Hats but I could be wrong!) We may also do a Spice Girls track, probably 'Who Do You Think You Are'.
We went for a while throwing snippets of Nickelback into 'So Distasteful', maybe we'll do it tonight for you as a special treat for you!
I'm into a band called SNUFF and they did a splendid cover version of "I Think We're Alone Now' by Tiffany, they also used to do the Match of the Day theme tune on trombone and also a live version of the 'Shake n' Vac' tune which was pretty awesome.
Is there such thing as a ‘typical’ We Are Carnivores live show? If so, what’s the format?
There's definitely a typical show, lots of 'Busted' jumps and power stances, we just don't take it too seriously, just try to have some fun. Every show is unique and the best show we've done is the next one (sounds great that doesn't it?)
Tell me a funny story about being on tour?
The first date of the tour, all of the support bands dropped out so it was just us for 30 minutes, there was a birthday party going on next door so we gatecrashed it and there was loads of cake and onion bhajis, we got in and someone asked us if we had eaten and we said no and before you know it, we were eating cake and bhajis. We said gatecrashed, we were actually invited but wanted to make out that it was a bit more rock n' roll!
Can we expect any festival performances from you in 2015?
We're not sure if we can disclose that information at this moment in time, I think we might be doing a festival on Mars.....we don't know yet but we should be able to get a few festivals, places like Slam Dunk or Hit the Deck would be amazing, maybe if we could get onto the BBC Introducing stage, that would really give us a lift. Reading & Leeds, Heavyfest. We are doing Camden on November 1st, should be good. We're doing an acoustic video on October 31st, like a 'day in the life of'....
The opening shot could be all 4 of you in bed spooning whilst eating cake and bhajis that you stole form that party that you crashed....
If you had just one wish, what would you be using it on?
More spooning !
What are you planning for New Years Eve this year?
We're not that good at organising things so we're just gonna play it by ear, we'll say spooning for now and see if anything better comes up, I doubt it will!
Time was against us so we steamed into the quick fire round of questions that the guys just shouted answers back to me....
Coca Cola or Pepsi?
Acoustic or Electric?
Keith Richards or Pete Townsend?
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino?
Corrie or Emmerdale?
James Bond or Jason Bourne?
Ozzy or Lemmy?
Ozzy (for pure comedy value)
Motorbike or Car?
Live or recording studio?
Strictly or X-Factor?
Burger or Kebab?
Pint glass or Bottle?
Vinyl or CD?
God or Google?
We'd like to wish the guys every success on their future live dates and the Space jam tour and we look forward to catching them onboard a Virgin Galactic flight when they finally get to play on Mars.
Interview by Steve Muscutt