The Subways had literally just ran off the stage, Billy was chatting to someone in the dressing room, Charlotte was getting changed, we hung around until Billy was free to have a chat, here’s how we got on….
MM - Hey Billy that was a killer set, I think the crowd definitely enjoyed it judging by the amount of people singing back to you….
BL - Yes, it was pretty special, we love festivals, such a great vibe and always a good audience, up for a good time!
MM - Well, you were on a little later in the day so people were most certainly ‘refreshed’ by the time you hit the stage!
MM - I’m sure I heard you say earlier that this wasn’t the first time that you had played Lemonfest?
BL – CHARLOTTE…..lengthy pause like the Little Britain sketch where David Walliams is looking for a pirate memory game!
CC – Yes?
BL – When was the last time we played Lemonfest?
CC – I don’t think we’ve played it before….
BL – She doesn’t think we’ve played it before
MM – My apologies, I could have sworn you said that you had played here before, anyway, I was going to ask why you are doing so many European festivals thia year but only a handful of UK ones?
BL – I think this year in particular, we just seem to be playing overseas a lot more, we did a lot of UK festivals last year so this year we’re looking to open up the European festival circuit a little more. Europe’s really good for us, we have LOADS of fun over there and we love the long journeys, visiting big cities, it’s such a buzz….
MM – I saw the size of the bus that you arrived in earlier, it was pretty impressive!
BL – You know what, we toured for 6 or 7 years using rented vehicles every single day and it was so costly, we thought we should just buy our own bus and when we’re not touring, rent it out, it’s worked out really well for us so far!
MM – How do you find the audience differs from country to country?
BL – The reactions differ wherever you go and I guess it’s the same in the UK, if you stand in one spot and go 30 miles in any direction, you’re going to get a different reception each and every time, I think this is because Britain is a real melting pot of different communities and that’s what makes it so good to tour. We have realized over time that the Belgians cannot clap in time….
MM – That may be because of the strength of the beer they all drink over there, have you seen that DUVEL beer, some of it is like 12% proof, it’s more like sherry!
BL – That’s it, absolutely crazy!….The French take some time to get going, I think that after a few years of touring Europe, you find a core audience who just go absolutely nuts every time we play right from the first song but in France it took them ages, it was similar to playing in London, people just seem to be stood around with their arms folded saying “impress me”….
MM – I think you get that a lot in London, they see so many bands come and go and they are waiting to be blown away!
MM – Your 4th self titled studio album was released back in February, you decided to do it all yourself this time (producing, mixing. Mastering etc), did you find the process more liberating with not having to answer to so many people as you would have done if it was all done for you?
BL – It was hugely liberating BUT, as liberating as it was and not having to answer to anybody was great, I was the one who carried the responsibility for everything and I think that it got to me! To think that the buck stopped with me, if the album sucked, then it would be all my fault!
MM – I’ve heard the album a few times now and I think I can safely say that it doesn’t suck!
BL - Thank you so much, means a lot to us
MM – Are you considering following the same process going forward for the next album or are you keen to let someone come in and take the reigns?
BL – You know what? I’m a control freak and I LOVE THE POWER! So it’ll be me from now on, overall responsibility, I bought a whole new set of equipment for the recording of album number 4, I went out bought new hardware, software, updated the computer, new microphones everything so we’re totally ready for the 5th album!
MM – As a way of encouraging pre-orders for your latest album, you offered the first 6 tracks of the album for anyone who pre-ordered it, did that approach make a noticeable difference in the amount of pre-orders that you received?
BL – We’ve always considered ourselves as a touring band, we’re made to go on tour, we love it… We love life on the bus, meeting fans, different venues, seeing different places just gives us a great buzz, so it was just a great excuse for us to tour for longer as we had to pre-empt that early release, we added 6 extra months touring onto the whole album release cycle which is fantastic for us but also, it’s given the fans an opportunity to learn a lot of the new songs very early on so when you play live, you get a lot of people singing along to the new material and that is such a great feeling!
MM - You used a talented Hungarian artist for the artwork on your self titled 4th album, have you considered commissioning them to do a comic book for you in the same way that The Wedding present did?
BL – Totally, we are always open to those sorts of things and I think even though it’s been asked of or even demanded of by a lot of bands these days, there’s not so much value placed in the album itself, you really need to concentrate on these little extras for the fans, we’re like, you know what, that’s an amazing idea, let’s take that opportunity and show the fans a different side of the band, we’re one of those bands that have always wanted to break down that barrier between the fans and us and as a result, Charlotte and I do engage a lot on social media on a very personal level.
MM – I think that’s what I liked so much, I saw your comments on Twitter and I think that’s great that you do take the time to answer questions, sometimes, you see bands that have almost dis-engaged with their fanbase and let the management team take over but you seem to make time to go back and add real value with your fans, it’s a nice personal touch.
BL – I think that the fans also know when it’s one of us or a member of the management team responding on our behalves!
MM – Your latest album tour schedule looks pretty punishing, you played from the start of February to the end of April, pretty much show after show, not many breaks, what do you do in order to stay sane whilst on the road?
BL – Well, actually it’s probably the other way round for us, I remember a band, I won’t mention them, I love them to pieces and they’re all really nice people, we were all backstage at a festival in Germany somewhere and one of them came over and asked how everything was going, I complemented him on his set and he did the same with ours, then he said that he was off home for a while and then he had a 9 month tour coming up, I said that was brilliant and that I bet he was really looking forward to it and he said “are you kidding me?”. That’s the difference between us and other bands, we LOVE to tour, it’s as if we need to stay sane when we’re at home! We all love our families, houses pets etc… but for us, when we all wake up in the morning is “where are we playing next”, so that’s it, staying sane is doing what we do, rockin’ out!
MM – Well you certainly do rock out, I was tired watching you!
BL – I’m starting to feel like I’m holding back sometimes because I’m 30 now and I’m starting to feel it in my knees! Jumping off the drum kit and I’m like “Careful Bill”….
MM – Tell me your top 3 festival survival tips….
BL – Baby Wipes, ALWAYS BRING BABY WIPES! Water, make sure you’ve got plenty of water as you’re not going to be doing anything unless you’re hydrated and probably a spare pair of pants in your pocket!
MM – Thanks so much for chatting to us, we’ll get some pics up on all the social media channels, feel free to share them with your fanbase! We even managed to get a shot of you leaping off the drumkit earlier so that’ll be the lead image in our write up of the festival! You stickjing around for a beer?
BL – We’re off at 3am in the morning….
MM – Where to next?
BL – HOME! Hooray, we’re going home for 2 weeks, watch the full match where Arsenal won the F.A. Cup, see how the wife is (she’s a little poorly at the moment), take the dog for a walk and just kick back a little and TRY and stay sane!
MM – Thanks so much Billy, enjoy the rest of the night!
BL – Oh I intend to!
So there you have it, a quick catch up with Billy Lunn from The Subways and a few words from Charlotte in the dressing room whilst she was getting changed into something 'a little more comfortable'....
You can keep up to date with The Subways at their social media pages, they;re all listed below, just point and click, their 4th self titled studio album is also available, I have added a link below for your convenience, just click on 'Buy Now'....