Contactmusic.com spoke to Hugh Harris from up and coming Virgin records signing; The Kooks.
How's your day going?
It's going pretty well actually! We had to do a photo shoot this morning so that was surprisingly cool. Ha, surprisingly dangerous too! We had to cross busy roads and try not to get run over by traffic whilst this guy took numerous photos of us. Yeah, we live life of the edge yaw know!?! For the past few weeks we've been touring around playing all over the country and it's been pretty hardcore. We've all been sleeping in coffin bunks in our big yellow tour bus living out our out suitcases, so things like this are always good, it's kinda nice to challenge ourselves with dangerous photo shoots and such.
You've just been on tour with the Automatic, how was that?
It was really good! They're all really good guys. We haven't actually had a chance to go out with them yet. They always have to travel to the next venue as soon as they play, it actually really reminds me of us when we were supporting other bands. I think we've been pretty good to them really! Tried to be as nice as possible anyway! I don't really like what a lot of bands do nowadays and try and compete to up stage the other band or whatever, I think bands should work together to try and create the best show possible for the audience & fans! What's the point of working against one another you know? I guess it is hard with everyone living in one another's pockets – you just have to try and over come it!!
This was your first major Kooks tour. How did you find it?
Yea, pretty good. We did one back in the summer of last year but it was nothing in comparison to this. It's helped so much having an album out. Everyone knows our songs now & lyrics. It's great to hear people singing along. It's quite a nuts feeling when you're on stage though. When you have an audience like that you kinda feed off the crowd and atmosphere.
You've had three singles released off the record already, what's the plan for the next one?
Yea, I can't believe we've already done three singles. It really doesn't seem like it. I think we're going to do 'naïve' as the next one. I think it's a pretty catchy song. It's usually the one people tell me they enjoy the most. It was quite a strange song to record for us actually, it's quite a personal song to Luke and he really wanted to get it right. It could have come out sounding very bubble-gummy and poppy and I think he pulled it off.
You're playing SxSW this year, are you looking forward to it?
Yeaah!! That will be pretty mad though. I've heard a lot about it and now I can't wait to get there. I'm not going to be able to drink because I'm only 18 so it's going to be a bit of a downer really. You know what America is like and drinking laws. They are just so strict with those things. They ask everyone for ID. I don't really want to get arrested for underage drinking. We're gonna spend a little time in America this year. I don't mean we're gonna break it or anything but we will be playing quite a few shows. We're not gonna do the usual shows when we're over there we're gonna arrange some beach parties & do some more unusual stuff. Ha, you know, get naked and dance around a fire on a beach. I'm kinda hoping it will turn all like the OC on us!!
How long have you been signed to virgin?
We signed about 1 ½ years ago, almost two years. They were really good with us. They gave us a lot of time to write and record the album. We toured with actual touring bands that had large fan bases and cult followings.
When did you finish recording the album?
Summer last year, we recorded at a place called Konk studio it was amazing, so much history has happened there. The live room had such a nice feel to it.
Tony Hoffer recorded it with you didn't he?
Yea, that was a great experience. When we went into the studio we really didn't know how we wanted to sound. We all have so many different influences and musically we are all in to lots of different things. He really gave us our space to work on a sound right for all of us. We didn't over think it either; we just got loads of really gorgeous sounds from nice amps and beautiful guitars.
What's planned with UK shows this year?
We're going to be doing the festivals; I'm really looking forward to that already. I really want to do some more little obscure festivals like the secret garden festival. I heard a lot about that last year and I really wanted to go but I was too busy. Hopefully we will fit some more dates like that in this year.
What is your personal downfall?
Girls! Women, I'm terrible! I never know what to do!!
Give me one piece of advice for a new up and coming band that you always try and adhere to?
Do it for yourself. It sounds really cheesy but f*ck it. Don't get wrapped up in things that might not happen. Stay in your band because you like the music. Don't do it for any other reason!!
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead
Shape Of You [Lyric]