Tourists are those who seek pleasure from the unknown, and those who are brave enough to exit their comfort zones. It is this mix of seeking pleasure of the unknown and fear of the unknown that Tourists capture in their sound.
Musicmuso caught up with Scott from the band in the arcades in Torquay, he was pumping copious amounts of 2p's into the machine that spits out tickets that you can exchange for quality merchandise once you have spent out.....in between curses, we interrupted him to ask some questions....
Welcome to the Musicmuso Introducing feature, often referred to as ‘The Theatre of Dreams’…..please tell us about your band
Hi MusicMuso, we are Tourists a four piece band from Torquay in Devon. We've been together in some shape or form for the past five years but it's only in the last two years when we became Tourists that things have really taken off. We're inspired by many genres but I guess you could say our sound is a cross between New York post punk revival and British 80's inspired synth pop. Also New Wave, Shoegaze, Dream punk, Dark Romance … we could make up genres for our music all day! But most importantly we really believe in a foundation of strong song writing which lies beneath the layers of sound.
Give me 3 words that best describe you as a band?
Melodic, Driving, Punchy, Atmospheric, Moody, Upbeat, Committed, Passionate, etc , you said 8 words right? ….
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
I think we just follow our own advice which is 'be yourself' , love music and express yourself through it. Don't get hooked on listening to a few current bands as ultimately you're only going to end up sounding like them and what's the point in that.. There are so many bands now that seem to let promotion and marketing take precedence over the song writing. You can't chase your dream if your music doesn't have real substance and meaning.
Being a Devon based band, do you get many opportunities to play outside of the county?
Yeah last year was good for us. We played many gigs in London and Bristol , but it's not easy for a band from Devon getting on the venue and festival lineups, which is a shame. Many promoters ask you to pay for a load of tickets in which you have to sell them all to make a small profit . It's almost like blackmail as you get to play in great/renown venues. We try to avoid these situations.
How have social media platforms helped to get you noticed?
They've helped a lot. It's great to know the world have access to our recordings through our website, Spotify etc at the click of a button and leave us feedback through Twitter and Facebook. It's great for communicating with booking agents, radio stations, record labels and fans and for promotion of new releases and upcoming gigs… But it's important for us to play live as much as we can, there is no better promotion than that. As it's real, there's no fabricating anything.
Give me a fascinating fact about one of the band members….
Liam is actually 2097 years old.
What was the first song you ever learned to play?
As a band we have only ever written and played our own material, there is not enough time to be learning other peoples. It's not something we necessarily believe in, we'd much rather listen to the original.
Describe one of your live shows….
At a live show you'll get to see Tourists being Tourists. We're pretty much in a world of our own on stage which hopefully leads to a pleasurable visual and audio experience!. Well we'd like to think this entices the audience in, and transcends them into our world for a while. One thing you won't get from us is over selling ourselves between songs.We like to let the music do the talking.
Any albums in your collection that you possibly regret buying?
Well I'm yet to meet anyone without The Spice Girls in their collection haha..but our collections are all pretty well maintained. We've all got record players, every so often an incredible album will come out and it has to be purchased on Vinyl, it just sounds better. Recently I bought Tame Impala,Wild Beasts and Temples to name a few great sounding albums at the moment. It's safe to say CD's containing our deepest darkest regrets are locked away in drawers in the cellar, hopefully never to be seen or heard again.
Do you think that ‘physical’ music (CD/Vinyl) will exist in 20 years time? Explain…
I really hope so, There is nothing better than the nostalgic feeling of putting on a record and hearing that crackle as the needle hits and begins to play. Not only that, the sound is superior. I can't stand squashed files like mp3's where the music has no room to breath.That's the beauty of vinyl, you can hear the space between the sound on a much wider soundscape giving lush clarity to each instrument. We all love the physical item and the artwork that goes with is important too. I can't get my head around music that just exists digitally really, it's just within the air ! It's key to feel some sense of ownership to the music your purchasing. It connects fans and bands in a more personal way I feel.We like to put our releases out physically aswell as digitally.
‘Background’ was released on April 7th, how did the song come about?
Lyrically this song is about Jamie's experience at a school reunion. He noticed a girl he knew years and years ago. She had obviously taken a lot of the wrong choices in life. Her clothes were in taters and she was obviously a heavy drug user, her personality had suffered too. This in stark contrast to everyone else at the reunion wearing expensive clothing and boasting about their high paid jobs in London. Jamie noticed how everyone turned their backs on her and literally dismissed her existence.
Who would you like to know has your music on their iPod/MP3 player/cassette walkman?
No one more than anyone else really, Just someone that loves it like we do, or if it could help with their emotions in some way.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
I'll say 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' by Joy Division. It's heart breaking yet uplifting, it's got everything.
What was the first ever gig you went to?
Well I grew up attending my Dads and my Brothers gigs in their various bands, but the first big gig I went to was Reading festival in 1999, I remember seeing Pavement,Blur, The Charlatans,Red Hot Chili Peppers.. I had major blues for about two weeks when I got home.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
There are too many. Matthew and Me from Totnes for a local one..Merchandise, DiiV, Deerhunter, Splashh, Temples are all doing good things at the moment.
Would you rather fight 1 dinosaur sized chicken or 10 chicken sized dinosaurs?
Every interview this question always comes up. It has to be 1 dinosaur sized chicken as I imagine chicken tastes better than dinosaur, which is important for a victory feast.
What items are on your 'rider'?
Beer and water, as simple as that.
I used to play bass in a band in the early 90’s, we used to play regularly at The Piazza in Torquay, where is your favourite place to play in the Torbay area and why?
Ahh The Piazza! such a great atmosphere for bands to play in. Shame it is no more. Early 90's, do you know my brother Adam Morton? played in such bands as Q Collective at The Piazza regularly. Anyway! It's not great for original bands in the Bay who want a professional PA set up provided. Offshore Bar and The Attic are good places that provide this. Other than that the nearest and best place to play is The Barrel House Ballroom in Totnes or The Exeter Cavern.
If your music was a fictional character who would it be?
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
We've just finished writing a heap of new material so we're looking forward to getting out gigging as much as possible including some festival shows. Then it will be back to the studio to record our third EP or first album.
Scott had spent the sum total of £27.24 in the arcades, he was looking forward to exchanging the wheelbarrow load of tickets that he had acquired for a wonderful prize at the 'Gift Exchange', we followed him over and helped him to choose between a rubber snake and a blatantly fake One Direction plastic drinking beaker. Whilst he was mulling over the benefits of both of these amazing, life changing items, we asked him some quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea? Tea at home, Coffee out.
Coke or Pepsi? Coke. Always the real deal.
Drum machine or the real deal? Real drums played like a drum machine!
Mac or PC? Mac
Pussycat Dolls or The Spice Girls? haha The Spice Girls.
Ice Cream or Candy Floss? Ice Cream
Fry up or Sunday roast? Sunday Roast.
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Ozzy
CD or Vinyl? always Vinyl.
Car or Motorbike? Car.
Acoustic or electric? Electric.
Shower or Bath? 70% shower 30% bath
BBQ or Sit down dinner? well right now it's BBQ weather!
Tattoos or Piercings? There's probably more tattoos in the band.
Camping or Glamping? Camping.
De Niro or Pacino? De Niro
God or Google? The Almighty Google.
FORTHCOMING LIVE DATES
Fri 25th April - Conference room at Plainmoor FC (charity event).
Sat 26th April - The Apple and Parrot - Torquay
Sat 31st May Lemonfest - Newton Abbot racecourse.
Sat 30th Aug Bicton Fest.
You've read a lot about the band, why not expand your knowledge even further by checking out their social media pages, they're all listed below for you, all you need to do is point and click....simples!
Musicmuso would like to thank Scott from Tourists for letting us interrupt his gaming session in the arcades, we look forward to receiving more news on live shows, forthcoming releases and anything else that can be classed as newsworthy in the future.
Interview by Steve Muscutt