Contactmusic.com spoke to Billy from The Subways.
So how is your day going?
Billy: Great thank you. We're all pretty blown away with how the UK tour has just gone. It was incredible, a great experience. We'll never get used to the fact that we just sold out every venue on a 46 date tour. 8 weeks!
You guys have come far since winning the unsigned competition at Glastonbury, looking back, did you think that you would be in this position, by this point?
Billy: I had no idea. To be honest with you I abandoned all expectations a long time ago but I still have the intent of working hard and earning the applause we get. I think that because things have happened so gradually for us that it's all very natural and organic and we're all appreciative of all that's happened for us.
Ian Broudie produced 'Young for Eternity', it must seem like ages ago but how did you find working with him?
Billy: For me it was an important and integral thing. He was a real mentor. Before we even thought about recording, he and I sat down and discussed the songs and their lyrics, and the character of each of the songs. It was important for me not to make just a one-dimensional record, but to span all inspirations that had affected me into writing this record – which is why all the moods and songs sound very different to each other. Ian allowed that to flourish.
Have you started writing material for a new album?
Billy: We're continually writing all the time. We are all really excited with the songs we're coming out with at the moment, it seems like we're just pulling them out of our sleeves – probably because of all the different cultures, and different people and different ways of life that we are afforded the opportunity of seeing every day and night in all different cities and countries.
In retrospect, you've had an amazing year, what really topped it off for you?
Billy: To be honest with you, it'd have to be the carling weekend at reading and leeds. Charlotte and I used to frequent reading festival years before we ever played it. This year was really incredible for us though, because the record had just come out and for both shows the tents were packed to the brim. The roar of the crowd will always be with me. I'll never forget it.
You're going over to America next week, is it your first visit?
Billy: It'll be our second visit as a band, but our first time playing there. We're very excited. Things are looking very heated over in America for us because of our performance on the O.C. which went really well. We've all just changed our pounds to dollars so we're getting prepared!
Do you fall out much? How do you resolve any creative differences and have you as a group always had chemistry or did you have to work at it?
Billy: Because we're all a lot closer than any other band out there, probably apart from ABBA, we do get those tense moments but it's nothing we can't handle. For us being in this band is natural, it's a normality and it's a comfortable environment for us to make the best art we possibly can – be as honest in our songs as possible.
Which was the first band that really moved your soul?
Billy: It would have to be Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. My mum played me their compilation CD when I was a tiny nipper and it was incredible. The production, the melodies, THAT VOICE. For me, Smokey will always be a template to perfection. He always has a special place in my heart.
If someone was going to give you a new album for Christmas what do you hope it would be??
Billy: The brilliant masterpiece that I think a young band called Milk Teeth will be coming out with in about a years time. I want it before anyone else does!
You're adoration for music is obviously huge! What else are you really passionate about?
Billy: Film is a really important aspect of my life. I love to watch films of all sorts: comedy, horror, existential, drama, classical, anything. My family is also really important to me. I rarely get to see them so when I do get the chance it's very special to me.
You're obviously all very good musicians, what aren't you so good at?
Billy: Thank you! But I'd have to say I'm awful bowling. No matter how sober or assertive I am I can't keep that damn bowling ball on the lane.
Contactmusic.com has an area on the website dedicated to unsigned artist, what advice would you give them?
Billy: I'd say just record on your own terms. By that I mean record as often as possible, and do it as cheaply as possible. Record as many songs as you can, get them on the internet and to venue promoters – build up your fan base by treating them as a part of a community. Get to know the people who love your music and keep in contact with them. Also remember that any show that you sell out or any success you may have is because of them.
What are you doing for Christmas?
Billy: Spending precious time with my family. I'll also be recording the second album demo's in my kitchen. I can't wait.
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