For the past year The Amazons have been on the tips of tongues, the top of stages and across everybody’s playlists. Blazing a trail as fiery as their frontman’s flame coloured hair, this rocking quartet are steadily headed for world domination.
Funnily, it wasn’t that long ago that Matt Thomson was working at his local supermarket. “When I was stacking shelves back in Reading I was desperate for change. Now we’re embracing it.” he starts, explaining that the band believe that the “growth this year hasn’t been really triggered by one event,” but more “the constant exposure to the new cultures, experiences, and new people when on tour this year.”
The front end of 2017 was spent in the studio, putting together the mammoth self-titled debut album. Then the second half, touring the word and playing the rip-roaring, rifftastic record to the masses. “You never really know until you come off the ride for a little while and take stock.” Confessing that the real adventure has seen a lot of highs, a similar amount of lows, various modes of transport and as many kisses as there have been arguments. Nights and mornings have merged into one, with very little sleep.
“You want to be changed by this shit, you want to grow.” Matt says.
Perhaps the real cusp of The Amazons is that they’re classic. They don’t mess with what works. Tracks like ‘Junk Food Forever’ and ‘Ultraviolet’ conduct riots in your mind. They’re full-bloodied, in fact they’re total knock outs, with wrecking ball of hooks swinging their way through the wreckage. Guitars are relentless, drums are tormenting, and the grit of the vocal refuses to ever falter.
“I think people are always looking out for bands and artists who make the kind of music we play.” Matt tells, “People still love rock and roll. It’s not something that can die. It’s so much bigger than one or two bands. People like searching for music that makes them get excited, feel something and if that’s us then that’s great.”
It’s this very thrill that runs throughout the record, and The Amazons’ live set. Tracks stampede into each other, rarely coming up for breath, and consequently providing the highest quality of cathartic release. Even the slower ballads, like the piano led ‘Palace’, soaks up the loathing. “You kinda need to have faith in your own taste, not think about the current trends and sounds and make the music you want to make, and hopefully that means it’ll transcend those trends.” Matt explains, “With our record, and especially any debut record really, you want people to take away the hunger and the energy from your music. It’s not about making the ‘perfect’ album or whatever, it’s about trying to break the door down and get your feet in.”
The Amazons have undoubtedly broken down the doors, and let themselves in. They’ve become a permanent fixture, waving the flag for the UK in the encompassing approach we adopt. Their record, brimming and biting with teenage angst and small town frustrations, has done its round across the world, and like the pied pipers of the guitar age, has recruited listeners on their cleansing journey.
Touring is something that has, for the band, “definitely opened our eyes to how people listen to music across the world. It’s exciting for us, being from a small town like Reading to just collect so many new experiences. Our worldview has certainly changed, how could it not?” Whether they’re causing beer strewn pits in collapsing city venues or leaving the stage at Fuji Rock Festival in Japan with the crowd still singing every word to ‘Junk Food Forever’, each experience will “hopefully make the music more exciting.” They quite simply can’t be reversed, and neither can that moment of ultimate connection. “We’re on the other side of the world and the people are singing our song we wrote about being stuck in Reading, it’s crazy.”
Some of the songs have had time to relax. Euphoric roof raiser, ‘Stay With Me’, was written when Matt was just eighteen, and though it has lost it’s original meaning, the track now acts as almost a peephole to those teenage years. “I’ve found it interesting and a little frustrating that situations similar to the ones that inspired songs ‘In My Mind’ and ‘Black Magic’ seem to keep on cropping up in my life,” Matt confesses, “Nothing seems to change whatever I do.” These prowling songs of tormented romance seemingly only intensify, laying the foundations for songs yet to be written, and yet to be sang back in abundance.
So far, the band have been top players in the game.
The next move? “I think the hardest thing for a band to achieve at the moment is longevity. To be able to stay in the race at the moment is a goal, to carry on doing what we’re doing which is what we love.”
Photos by James Kelly
Words by Tanyel Gumushan