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Interview: The Xcerts (HTF Exclusive)

HTF sat down with the Xcerts at their Newcastle show to talk about the final tour for ‘Scatterbrain’, how it was tyoruing with the one and only Brand New and more..

HTF sat down with the guys in The Xcerts before their show at Newcastle Academy earlier this month to talk about the past, present and future of the band. We chat about this current tour being their biggest and how it was touring with Brand New.

You can find out more on The Xcerts via their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Thexcerts

HTF: Hi guys, thanks for speaking to us today, how are you? 

The Xcerts: Yeah no problem, thanks for coming in to talk to us, we’re good yeah, just chilling out!

HTF: Sweet, how’s the tour going so far?

Murray: Yeah this tour’s going pretty good, it’s the last one in the UK for a while, especially for the latest record so we’re giving it one last showing off before we take a break.

HTF: It’s the biggest tour for Scatterbrain to date isn’t it?

Tom: The biggest meaning longest, yeah, it’s the longest we’ve been on the road with this one.

HTF:  Cool, so it’s the big finale then?

Murray: Yeah, you could say that.

HTF: Sounds like it’s all going pretty good then! Now I seen you guys when you played here with Brand New..

Murray: Oh really? What did you think?

HTF: I came down earlier especially to see you guys, so I was already a fan of you anyway so it was good to see you up there really. Was an awesome gig.

Murray: Ah thanks man, that’s really nice of you to say!

Jordan: I’m getting your a beer! Anyone else wanting one?

HTF: Ha, thanks, but seriously you guys were pretty good that night – what was it like touring with Brand New? I’m guessing they’re a band you like?

Murray: Oh yeah, we love them. It was surreal, like, we’d have dinner with them every night and we’d watch then side stage – Jesse (Lacey – Brand New singer / guitarist) would come up to us every night after and be like “Why do you stand side stage every night and watch us?” and I’m like “Cause I genuinely love your band man!” – they’re one of the bands that we grew up on and listened to back in the day, you know.

HTF: Yeah, they’re amazing, I’d never seen them before so watching them made me feel like I was a kid again, haha.

Murray: Oh yeah, deffinitly, they’re up there alright.

HTF: So were those lights – I went home with these flashing things every time I blinked.

Jordan: Yeah, imagine watching that every night!

Murray: Yeah but we didn’t see them from the front until the third night in or something, too busy side stage!

HTF: I don’t know which one I’d chose come to think of it.. But yeah, you recorded with Mike Sapone who’d worked with Brand New – what was he like?

Murray: Mike was a legend man, he was so professional but so laid back too, he’s our friend now, we keep in touch regularly.

HTF: That’s awesome, so he’s gone from being this legendary producer to your friend – that must be pretty sweet. What was it like being so far away from home, recording and writing when there’s no distractions or anything?

Murray: It was amazing, just having the time to sit and chill out and work on songs – it was great and we got everything we wanted out of it, but you know, when is a record ever done…

HTF: Speaking of, since this is the last tour for Scatterbrain, what’s your plans for the near future?

Murray: We’ve got this tour to finish, and then we’re gonna take the summer off, just have a break really and work on our new record really, we’ve been on tour for so long now I think we deserve a break!

HTF: How old is this one now. early 2011 wasn’t it?

Tom: Late 2010! So it’s super old, this is the last tour for it then we’re gonna put it to bed and work on the next one.

HTF: Wow, that’s a lot of time for one record, and most of it has been spent on the road from what I gather – so you guys have learned to cope with each other and the crew then? 

Murray: Oh yeah, our crew are great! They don’t have to clean up after us too much, and they have to whole Scottish attitude about everything “Oh, fer fuck saaake..” (laughs), seriously though our guys are great to us.

Tom: Yeah, I mean it’s all about respect for each other too, if you think about it we’re all in this thing together for the same reasons – we love what we do, yeah sometimes things may get hard but we’re all friends here, we’re all in this for the same reason so with that attitude in mind we can work out our differences and then we laugh them off.

Jordan: It’s like what’s the point in being vexed all the time – that’s why we play music, it’s therapy man, so it would defeat the point being at each other’s throats all time getting vexed , to then go out on stage and be vexed then too.

HTF: I hear you, loud and clear – and it makes a lot of sense. To be fair that was probably the best way anyone has ever described it! You guys have been going for years though right?

Murray: Well me and Jordan started the band when we were kids and we spent most of our first years as a local band in our home town in Aberdeen, and then Tom joined when we moved down the Brighton.

HTF: That’s a pretty drastic change in scenery, what was with the move?

Murray: Well we moved down to go to the music college there, and Tom played in a band before and our drummer had left so it kinda made sense at the time and it’s stuck ever since, so we’re a pretty solid line up now.

HTF: So what about the song writing process, how does that work?

Murray: Well.. I guess.. you could say I’m the main song writer of the band.. like one day I’ll come into practice with a song, and the guys will think it’s terrible so we scrap it, or we’ll change it, work on different parts etc but we’re all pretty cool about it really..

Tom: It’s cool for me too, cause he’ll (Murray) will show me a guitar part or we’ll jam something out and I can change the beat completely and it will totally change the song.

Murray: Things sound better in my head sometimes, or I’ll have a specific time signature in mind then these guys will tear it apart and it’s a completely different song.

HTF: Does it make it easier for you being able to write for one guitar part rather than worrying about contrasting or harmonizing parts, so you can do it all yourself?

Murray: Yeah I guess, I mean we all still do write things together but in a sense it does make it easier.

HTF: Final Question – this is for Tom, from Chris HTF – Do you think that the Xcerts have bettered Brat? (Brat is Tom’s old band from years ago).

(At this point the guys burst into hysterics)

Tom: What?! Who’s this joker?! Haha, yes! Of course we have! Man, that brings back some memories! There’s some videos somewhere I’m sure.. but there’s Xcerts videos too so check those out instead!

HTF: That settled that then! I think his old band used to play with your old band or something like that. But anyway, that’s all I have for you today, and we’ve been here quite a while, so I won’t keep you any longer!

Jordan: It’s no problem man, it’s all good for everyone really!

Murray: You sticking around for the show?

HTF: Yeah man, looking forward to it.

Murray: Ah awesome, I guess we should try and be good tonight then ey! (Laughs)

HTF: I’m sure you will be fine! Thanks for the interview guys, and good look for tonight! 

The Xcerts: Thank you!

Interviewer: Sean Benham

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