Interview: The Amazons

The Amazons

Words: Gary Lambert

the amazons popped musicRegardless of how an interview goes, I always come away from the sessions feeling fortunate to meet the artist or band. It is exciting to see beyond the looking glass and get some insight into what goes on in the lives of a rock band. Sometimes the band you meet are a live favourite and that adds to the excitement. Then there are times that you meet a band and find them so friendly and interesting that you cannot wait to see them live just to offer them some support, even though you have not seen them before. Without doubt, The Amazons fit into the latter. And if they get global success I’m going to say now that lead singer, Matthew Thompson, is coming for Dave Grohl’s ‘Nicest Man in Rock’ title. Despite looking exactly like a rock star should (tall, imposing, long hair and leather jacket), he is engaging, honest and friendly. Not that the rest of the band are not either, it is just that Matthew is the frontman when they are on stage and off. Those for whom the pressing the flesh element of being a touring band comes less naturally are not forced to commit to anything they will not be comfortable doing. He protects the band by leading it.


Popped Music were very lucky to meet up with The Amazons twice in very different circumstances. The first time we met up was during The Amazons adventures on the Top Man tour with Ireland’s great musical hopes, The Strypes, where they were part of an exciting corporate journey with sponsorship and free clothes. The second time we met up was at Festevol where the guys had turned up in a van for a late night set in a small room at the same time as Blossoms were playing the biggest stage at the event. On both days the guys were bright, charming and friendly. And then they rocked too. Rocked in a grab you by the lapels and demand that you come and watch them kind of way. With plenty of festival slots through summer such as The Great Escape, Kendal Calling and Truck Festival to name but a few, you only have yourself to blame if you don’t check them out.


the amazons popped musicWell what is life like in The Amazons? Well in their words it is “super, duper fun” and “better than work”. “We have all done those jobs, like working in night shift in a supermarket and now we are signed (they are on Fiction Records) it means we can focus on the music. With the exception of Joe who has a partner, a mortgage and does two mornings a week as a baker at Waitrose in order to pay the bills.”


“It is ace working at Waitrose though, I’m a baker so I just have to put rolls into the oven all morning. They do make me wear a beard snood though which is a bit demeaning”


“Once we signed, we went back into the studio in December and re-recorded everything so it was all in the can. This means now we are on three month cycles of single promotion. In February/March when we were releasing Stay With Me it was strange because although people want to talk to you about that release, all the stuff you are doing behind the scenes is in preparation for the next single so you are excited about that and making the video and deciding on the artwork etc. but still you have to make sure that you don’t lose focus of the one that is here now. The one that people are messaging you on social media about”


W5AQ3BEG3BB_WzEMxyos0C_QBAUSyMDG1uBgpQVbn2UThis element of being in a band as a job is what everybody is striving for. Every band we at Popped Music speak to are excited about that. It is what comes from teenage dreams. With the comfort the guys have together, even if we have forced the band to take sides and compete against each other in the name of table football (it finished 10-5), I wondered if they had been a high school band come good.


“We have been together in this version of a band, The Amazons, since September 2014. Like everybody, we had all been in different bands through the years, but none of them had ever felt like this. Ever felt as serious as this. Matt, Chris and Elliot have been in bands together around Reading for about seven years on and off, but Joe ended up joining after we were doing an acoustic set but needed a bass player”.

Poor Joe, “I don’t think I have ever had an official induction into the band or anything. It was just a case of me not leaving – and the rest of the guys being too polite to tell me to go”.


As I mentioned earlier, The Amazons are a band to catch playing live and when you talk to them about playing live the quartet fizz with excitement,  like Mentos in Coke. “Playing on the NME / Top Man tour was top, man*. We were playing in the usual cities we had played in previously but in bigger venues in front of bigger crowds. We have supported The Strypes a few times, we did an NME show with them at The Garage in Islington which went really well. As we share an agent we were on the list of options for who was to play on the tour with them and happily they picked us. Our sounds tend to work together too as a show. We have an excitement, a pace, a sharpness in common, but without sounding too much alike. It was a brilliant thing to do and because the audience was basically young people who read NME and buy clothes in Top Man, it felt different somehow. Everybody in the audience seemed like us as we read NME and buy clothes in Top Man”.


the amazons popped musicThe lads don’t always have to buy their clothes in Top Man. When the tour hit Birmingham, The Amazons arranged to meet up with some friends for a bite to eat and a few drinks. “We were sitting there at the table using Top Man’s Snapchat to show our mates what the tour has been like then as we flick through it cuts to The Strypes picking out a load of free gear. We were gutted! When we mentioned it later on, everybody was like ‘yeah, you’ve got an allowance from Top Man, why didn’t you turn up?’ Luckily we were able to do it again in Leeds.”


With their set at The Great Escape coming up we had to discuss festival season as Popped Music are as excited as everybody else about the thought of being stuck in a tent and dancing with strangers. “We’ve got a load of festival slots lined up this summer. We are doing Festival Number Six, The Great Escape, Standon Calling and Kendal Calling which are the standout ones. Kendal Calling will be good because we’ve all been there before but mainly in-and-out so this time we are going to see if we can stay the weekend as it’s meant to be a good one. The Riot Jazz Stage at night is meant to be legendary”. We then moved into tales of festival injuries including an amazing tale of someone waking up with a collapsed lung. I will repeat that. Someone waking up with a collapsed lung. Rock N Roll is alive and well.


This summer promise us that you will watch The Amazons at least once. Although if you don’t promise, don’t worry, by the end of summer you will be telling your friends that you did anyway.


Find The Amazons on Facebook

*The writer of this article wishes to make it known that that particular pun was the band’s own and he has the recording to prove it.

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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